Alternate End #3
Liz struggled against Khivar’s mind but he was too strong and he forcefully held the connection in place.
It’s no use trying to get away, Isabel said in Liz’s mind. Khivar has more power than you could possibly imagine.
Liz tried again to get away, attempting to disconnect her mind from Isabel and Khivar, but it was no use.
Don’t worry Liz, Isabel soothed. We aren’t going to hurt you.
Of course not, Khivar agreed. We need you unharmed so you can help us defeat Max.
No! Liz exclaimed. I won’t let you use me like that again.
Khivar’s deep chuckle echoed in her mind. How will you stop us?
Liz summoned all her strength, concentrating on keeping Khivar out of her mind. But she felt him pushing easily through her few remaining defenses delving further into her memories. What are you doing? she asked anxiously.
Taking all the information you have about Max’s defenses, Khivar said. We thought our last plan was perfect, using you to kill Max, but obviously we underestimated him. We won’t make that mistake again.
Memories flashed through Liz’s mind as Khivar sorted through them, and she was helpless to stop him. She tried to reach for Max, but Khivar was blocking their connection.
We can’t have you calling for help, now can we? Khivar mocked.
Liz was growing more desperate with each passing moment. Vaguely she felt Jaetus’ mind touching hers, trying to guide her and then it was gone. Khivar must have blocked him too, Liz thought, but at least Jaetus would tell Max that she was in danger.
Liz relaxed a bit, knowing Max would help her but then Khivar started to access her memories of Future Max and the Granolith. Instantly she panicked. If Khivar found out the truth about the Granolith they were all dead.
Even with the Granolith’s extra power Max hadn’t made any progress in contacting Isabel, and he was beginning to get frustrated. At one time he and Isabel had been so close and now he couldn’t even sense her at all.
Suddenly he felt Liz’s terror shoot through him. He had been blocking most of the connection with her so she wouldn’t know what he was doing, but immediately he opened their bond wide and redirected all of his attention on her.
But Liz wasn’t alone. Max felt Isabel and Khivar too and then the connection with Liz was abruptly severed.
Instantly he tried to connect with Liz again, but he couldn’t. Max could feel Liz, feel her fear, but he couldn’t communicate with her. He could tell that somehow Khivar was blocking him.
In the few seconds that he had connected with Liz he knew that she was in their room and he leapt to his feet and rushed from the Granolith room. Vaguely he heard Darius’ voice behind asking him what was wrong.
“Khivar is in Liz’s mind again,” Max called over his shoulder as he ran. “She is in our room, get Seris.”
Khivar paused in his exploration of Liz’s mind when he stumbled across the information about Future Max. He had always wondered how Max had come back in time and if it could be duplicated. The ability to control time would give him an overwhelming advantage.
Liz struggled against Khivar with renewed strength. She couldn’t let him discover what they had learned about the Granolith.
The Granolith! she thought with relief, and automatically reached for it’s power.
She and Max had used it so many times to help them in the war, and its energy signature was always in her mind, almost like the connection she shared with Max.
With relief she felt its power and drew it into her. The energy flowed through her, filling her, and she felt Khivar’s surprise as he realized what was happening.
Liz effortlessly broke his hold on her mind and reversed it, holding him in place. She wanted to kill him and Isabel but she didn’t know how. Instead she had to settle for a few angry words. You almost made me kill Max, Liz raged through their connected minds, for that I will kill you both.
She easily pushed Khivar out of Isabel’s mind and focused on her sister in law. You won’t get any mercy from me this time Isabel. You know how much Max means to me. How could you?
This time it was Isabel who was struggling to escape, but Liz held her tight. Isabel screamed in frustration and turned her attention back to the conversation. Liz you always helped us, even though it was mainly because of Max. But you were always a good friend to us. And believe it or not I am sorry that we had to use you.
Liz’s voice rose angrily. You would have destroyed me if you’d succeeded in making me kill Max!
I want Max dead, Isabel snarled back, and I’ll do anything to make that happen.
Why? Liz asked. How can you hate him so much? You were so close…
Isabel cut her off. Max would have taken over my life! He was already starting to do it. And he would have kept me away from Khivar.
Liz was incredulous.
I was older, Isabel continued, I should have been Queen, but Max would always be favored, he would always be more important. Everything I ever wanted Max got handed to him on a silver platter. But I’m taking it back. When he’s dead I’ll get everything I’ve ever wanted.
Your family used to be the most important thing to you, Liz pointed out.
And I’ll have a family, Isabel said. I’ll have Khivar and we’ll have children, and I’ll be Queen as I was meant to be.
And your brother is only in your way of this great life? Liz asked. And what about Michael and Alex and me? We were in your way too?
Liz felt a rush of guilt from Isabel, but it was quickly pushed aside by anger and hate.
Sometimes, Isabel said, sacrifices are necessary.
You heartless bitch! Liz growled.
That’s why I’ll make a great Queen, Isabel said. I can do what needs to be done.
Well so can I, Liz said. So can I.
Once again Liz pried into Isabel’s mind and quickly sorted through her memories, looking for her current location. With the additional power of the Granolith it was easy to do, and Liz ignored the pain she knew she was causing Isabel. Soon it wouldn’t matter anyway.
And when Liz found the information she was after she directed one more comment at her sister-in-law before releasing her.
Liz opened her eyes as she brought her consciousness back into her mind. Jaetus had her head in his hands and was calling her name.
“Are you all right?” Jaetus asked.
Liz nodded. “I’m fine.”
“I’m sorry,” Jaetus apologized quickly dropping his hands. “I wasn’t strong enough to help you and then I felt a tremendous rush of power. I sent for Seris and Max.”
“It’s okay,” Liz assured him. “I…”
Suddenly Max burst into the room, closely followed by General Darius.
Max rushed to Liz’s side, dropping to his knees next to her. “Liz what happened? Are you okay?” he asked anxiously.
“I’m fine Max,” she quickly assured him. “I connected with Isabel…”
Max cut her off, “You did what!?! What were you thinking!?!”
Liz shook her head. “No Max, listen to me…”
He cut her off again. “You promised me that you wouldn’t put yourself in danger!”
“Max!” Liz insisted. “You have to trust me now. This is important!”
Max knew Liz was worried that he didn’t trust her anymore, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He met her eyes. “Of course I trust you. I trust you more than anyone. Tell me what happened.
He saw the relief on her face as she continued.
“I found out where Isabel and Khivar are hiding,” Liz said. “The whole building is filled with their supporters. We have to use the Granolith right now to destroy them.”
Max nodded as he took her hand and opened their connection wide. “Show me where.”
Liz showed him the location and felt him reach for the power of the Granolith. She could feel the anger and hate rushing through him directed at Isabel and Khivar. They had been the cause of so much suffering and death and Max wanted them dead almost more than anything. He lashed out wildly using the additional energy to help focus and send his power across the city to the building where Isabel and Khivar and their followers were staying.
He had only meant to kill the building’s occupants but his rage made his power almost uncontrollable. With a thought he toppled the building, pulling it to the ground, immediately killing almost everyone within. Then he concentrated on the few remaining living individuals that he could sense inside and used his healing ability to suck the life force from every one of them. In seconds he had killed them all.
He looked to General Darius. “Take a legion to these coordinates,” Max ordered, passing his hand over the floor, creating a map of the building’s location. “I want everything there, and do a thorough investigation. And I want Khivar and Isabel’s bodies!”
Darius bowed and hurried from the room.
Max turned his attention back to Liz. “It’s over,” he said, releasing a deep breath and touching her face. “It’s finally over.”
Liz was stunned. After everything, all of the death and suffering, the war, the worry, it was all over just like that. Could it really be true? Could it really be that easy?
Suddenly Seris came into the room bowing before Max and Liz. “Your Majesty, you sent for me.”
“Liz was in contact with Khivar again,” Max said. “I want you to check her.”
“I’m fine,” Liz said distractedly. “They didn’t do anything to me.”
Max’s brow creased with worry at Liz’s seemingly detached state. He lifted her chin forcing her to meet his eyes, but he had to say her name twice before her eyes lost their faraway look and she really focused on him.
“I want you checked anyway,” Max insisted.
Liz agreed with a nod.
“That bitch!” Khivar raged, looking out the back window of their transport as they sped away from the collapsing building. “I can’t believe Liz accessed so much power! It must have been the Granolith! She could have killed us both if she would have realized how! As it was we barely escaped with our lives before Max pulled the building down around us!”
Isabel was still stunned as well. “I knew she would hate me but I never knew she had it in her to actually kill us. She must have gone running to Max the second she released my mind.” She turned to Khivar and threw her arms around him. “We’re so lucky you got us out of there or we’d be dead.”
Khivar hugged her back tightly. “When Liz released my mind I ordered our senior staff out of the building. The others don’t matter and we needed someone in the building for Max to kill. It will take a while for him to figure out that we aren’t among the dead, perhaps even a few days, and by that time it won’t matter anyway. Max will be dead.”
Song Playing: Damaged People by Depeche Mode
Max insisted that Seris check Liz’s mind, and he himself checked the rest of her body for injuries. And when he was satisfied that nothing had happened to her he dismissed everyone from the room, waiting until they were alone before he turned to her.
“What were you thinking Liz!?!” he asked angrily.
“We were running out of time!” Liz said heatedly, tears welling in her eyes. “You wouldn’t accept my help and nothing else was working! I couldn’t just stand back and let you die!”
“They could have killed you!” Max roared.
“Don’t you understand Max?” she asked softly as the tears spilled from her eyes. “I can’t lose you.”
More tears rolled down her cheeks. “You’re everything to me Max.”
“Just as you are to me,” he whispered, as he took a step closer.
“I wouldn’t want to go on without you,” she gasped. “I know what life is like without you, and wouldn’t have anything to live for if you were gone.”
“I know,” Max said gently. “I couldn’t live without you either.”
“I would rather die myself that have anything happen to you,” Liz said reaching out to him.
“No!” Max growled, pulling her into his arms. “Neither of us are going to die. I love you too much to let that happen. We’re safe now. We’re going to live, and love and grow old together.”
He kissed her hard and Liz returned his kisses, melting into his arms.
But Max’s heart was still racing with the thought that he had almost lost her again and he felt the need to show her and himself that she belonged to him and he had power over her and her body. His hands reached under her skirt, pushing it up as he gripped her hips, lifting her and carrying her to the bed. He laid her down without breaking the kiss and climbed on top of her.
With a single motion he tore off her panties and then quickly unfastened his pants, freeing his already hard length and surged inside her. He buried himself completely within her soft, welcoming depths and stilled his motion to look into her face.
Liz’s eyes burned with desire for him, her face flushed with passion, her lips parted as her breath came in short gasps. She was so beautiful, and she was his.
Liz attempted to lift her hips to start the rhythm between them but Max put all of his weight on her, holding her still. He wanted her to know that he controlled this situation completely. Liz’s eyes widened but she understood him instantly and he felt her body relax as she surrendered to him.
A smile lifted the corner of his lips and he continued to hold her eyes as he skimmed his hand down her body. With a feather’s touch he passed over both of her breasts causing Liz’s body to strain towards him, but he didn’t stop. He reached lower, tracing over the soft skin of her stomach and down to his final goal where they were already joined.
His practiced fingers stroked over her clit, softly at first, each motion causing her body to jerk. Then he increased his pace slightly, rubbing it in gentle circles, teasing it, grazing it with his short nails. And all the while he greedily watched Liz’s reactions.
No matter much they were together, no matter how many times they made love Max knew he would never get enough of her. He loved giving Liz pleasure and loved watching it reflected so honestly in her face.
As he continued to stroke her clit he started pushing power into her. Just a small amount at first but he rapidly increased it quickly sending Liz over the edge. But he didn’t stop. He kept increasing the amount of energy bringing her to climax again and again.
Her wet heat pulsed around his painfully hard cock and he could feel the power running through her. Liz’s whole body glowed with the energy and it passed from her, flowing back into him. He was already so aroused from watching Liz climax that the power broke the last of his control. With a groan he started to move inside her, thrusting hard and fast.
Liz was already so oversensitized from the multiple orgasms that every one of his movements in and out made her body jerk and writhe beneath him. It was as if a live wire was attached to her and he felt the sparks of energy passing through them both. Her breath came in quick pants and she wrapped her arms and legs around him, drawing him closer and causing him to sink even deeper within her.
Max growled, his own breath coming in harsh gasps. Neither of them would last much longer. He held Liz tightly to him, thrusting into her as hard and fast as he could. Again he pushed Liz over the edge and this time he allowed himself to follow her.
They both floated in a warm river of energy, completely content to simply be together. Their connection was open wide and thoughts and emotions passed freely between them.
It’s so nice to be able to do this again, Max said, to completely loose our control and not have to worry about anything.
Liz agreed with him silently. I love you so much Max. I never wanted anything except to be with you.
I love you too, Max said, kissing her forehead. And we have the rest of our long lives to look forward to.
That night Liz slept deeply and contentedly, with no dreams plaguing her rest for the first time in a long time.
She awoke still wrapped in Max’s loving arms, the sun streaming through the window. The light illuminated his handsome face and Liz let her eyes roam over him, drinking in the sight of him. A dark sprinkling of beard outlined his strong jaw and surrounded his sensuous, full lips. The small lines around his mouth and eyes were softened and he looked so peaceful and relaxed.
The danger was past. It was truly over. Finally they could live in peace.
Liz reached out to touch his face.
Max felt her stir and sleepily turned to her with a smile. “Good morning.”
Liz smiled. It was the first morning of the conference and Max was safe. “Yes it is.”
Khivar, Isabel and their small band of men watched the palace from a nearby building. Delegates from every region of the planet were arriving for Max’s conference to rebuild the Antarian society and restructure the government.
“What a waste of time,” Khivar said to Isabel. “We’ll just change it all back tomorrow when we have killed your brother and have taken back the palace.”
“Tonight,” Isabel said excitedly. “Finally tonight!”
Khivar smiled. He had been worried about Isabel’s true intensions for no reason. She wanted Max dead even more than he did, and after Liz’s visit yesterday Isabel was even more determined to see it through. In fact she had insisted on going into the palace to watch Max and Liz die.
They could have entered the palace at any time, but Khivar had learned of the conference and purposefully waited until all of the delegates were gathered. He would kill Max, end his line once and for all, and take possession of the Granolith with all the regional leaders as his witnesses. Khivar would show them all that fighting him was useless, that he had all the power. And after that no one would stand against him.
A messenger rushed in and handed Khivar a folded piece of paper.
Khivar read it quickly and summarized aloud. “Our man in the palace says that even though Max thinks we’re dead he hasn’t lessened the security.”
“But surely that won’t be a problem,” Isabel said.
Khivar shook his head as a smile curved his lips. “It wouldn’t matter if Max had every man in his army guarding the palace. This plan is foolproof and he will die tonight.”
It had been a long day and Liz was tired, but it was a good feeling. The news of Khivar’s death had spread rapidly and lightened the hearts and minds of the delegates attending the conference. A spirit of fellowship and hope infused everyone and a lot had been accomplished in the plan to restructure the government.
After the meetings there had been a reception and a large banquet that had lasted for hours. It was really late but finally Liz and Max were able to retire to bed.
When they reached their room, she and Max made slow, sweet love and he held her until he eventually drifted to sleep. But Liz found it more difficult to turn off her mind.
Sometime during the day she had become aware that there was a sort of nagging feeling in her mind, almost like she had forgotten something. She had tried to push it aside but as the day passed the feeling continued to grow. Even Max’s lovemaking hadn’t been able to extinguish it entirely and now as she laid in the dark, quiet room she finally allowed herself to consider what could be wrong.
Almost immediately the answer came to her. For so long she had been worried about Max’s safety, knowing that tonight was the night he would be killed. And even though he was safe now just the thought of the deadline approaching still had her tied in knots.
Liz forced herself to try and relax. They were safe, she reminded herself. Khivar and Isabel were dead and her vision wouldn’t come true.
She snuggled closer into Max’s side, laying her head on his chest. The soothing sound of his strong heartbeat reassured her that he was alive and safe, and after a few moments Liz drifted to sleep.
Khivar’s man within Max’s guard kept careful watch until the palace was mostly dark and quiet before sending the signal for Khivar to enter. Then he waited for his master to return to the palace.
When the war started Khivar had sent several hundred men to join Max’s side as spies, assassins and sleepers, and he was one of them.
And as far as he knew, all the others had been discovered. He was the only one left.
The man smiled. It had been ridiculously easy for him to join Max’s troops and work his way up through the ranks. He’d simply killed anyone in his way, knowing it would be blamed on the enemy. And when the war went against Khivar he had bided his time, waiting for his master to contact him.
While Khivar was in power he had added several secret exits from the palace in case he needed a quick escape. After the war he had sent instructions to his man inside to allow all of the secret tunnels to be found, except one. And it was through that one remaining tunnel that Khivar and his few troops would re-enter the palace.
Khivar had also riddled the palace with passages inside the walls that would take him from one part of the palace to another, and they also connected with the one remaining escape route. He’d had them constructed so they were almost impossible to discover. Even a thorough examination of the walls wouldn’t reveal them. And he had instructed his spy to make sure the passageway leading to Max’s bedroom stayed clear and undiscovered.
The guard snapped to attention as he heard the faint sounds of footsteps in the tunnel where he was waiting. He bowed deeply before Khivar and Isabel. “Your Majesties, welcome home.”
Liz’s sleep was troubled.
She had vague dreams of their life on Earth when they were fighting the Skins, of the war on Antar, of the assassination attempts on Max’s life. Then her dreams turned to the time she had visited Isabel and Khivar in the goal before their execution.
Khivar’s smiling face hung before her taunting her with his sorrowful, concerned expression and soft, comforting words as he tried to spin his spell around her convincing her that Max was evil.
Then her dreams shifted again. Again she relived her experience yesterday when she had been in Isabel’s mind, but this time more of Isabel’s thoughts became clear.
Liz saw Khivar and Isabel in the building that Max had destroyed. They had lived there since their escape from the execution and she watched as they plotted to kill Max. They had used individuals with the talent that allowed them to mask the use of powers. And they had used others that possessed the talent to hide auroras. That was how they had been able to stay hidden so long and so well.
But the dream didn’t end there.
She could see that when she had forced Khivar from Isabel’s mind he had gone into immediate action. He had ordered his ‘important’ people from the building and carried Isabel to a transport while Liz had still been searching through her mind. The building had come down moments later as they were driving away.
As shiver raced through Liz. Khivar and Isabel were alive!
That was what the nagging feeling was trying to tell her all day. She’d been connected to Max when he pulled down the building, but she hadn’t sensed Isabel or Khivar inside.
Again her dream changed and she watched herself and Max in bed as the shadows around them began to move and sway, and finally coalesce into a dark mass in the corner of the room. Khivar appeared but this time he wasn’t alone. Isabel was at his side and together they stepped into the room and approached the bed with murderous intent.
Khivar stopped his small band of men at the secret door that led into Max and Liz’s bedroom. He signaled to everyone and then turned on the device that he had brought.
It would finally all be over in a matter of moments.
Liz’s eyes shot open as she came awake. Khivar and Isabel were alive and coming to kill them!
She tried to get up but her muscles felt heavy and sluggish and she only succeeded in moving her hand on Max’s chest. She tried to cry out but her voice only came as a low moan. Her efforts caused her head to swim and she blinked trying to clear it.
Just a moment ago she was sure that she had meant to do something important but now she couldn’t seem to remember. Maybe she was sick, she thought to herself.
Vaguely Liz was aware of a strange smell in the room and her eyes moved slowly around trying to determine the source.
Her gaze was drawn to a strangely shaped shadow on the wall that somehow seemed familiar. For some reason it seemed really important and she focused on it, trying to pull the information out of her fuzzy brain.
She watched curiously as the shadow on the wall started to move and panic raced through her as she remembered. It was just like in her dream! Khivar!
Then she realized it hadn’t been the shadows moving in her dreams at all. Khivar was pumping some kind of gas into the room and it was causing her to hallucinate. It must also be responsible for her fuzzy head and near paralyzation.
Liz focused her eyes on the corner of the room where Khivar had appeared in her dreams as she went into Max’s mind. She had to wake him up. But she couldn’t even gain access to his mind. Max was out cold.
The gas must have affected him faster, Liz reasoned, trying to keep her mind working. Perhaps it was because he was a hybrid and she was an altered human.
But that won’t save you! a voice inside her head shrieked.
With Max unconscious she couldn’t even use his powers to save them.
Again she tried to cry out, hoping to alert the guards outside their door, but again only the smallest sound left her lips.
It was becoming increasingly difficult for her to think and her vision was going fuzzy, but she had to do something quickly or they would both die.
The Granolith! she thought triumphantly. It had saved them so many times in the past and she could use its power to save them this time too. She reached for the connection in her mind, but it wasn’t there.
NO!!! she screamed frustratedly in her mind. How could her connection to the Granolith be gone? Had Khivar somehow been able to block it?
Her eyes widened with terror as she saw a wall panel in the corner of her room slide slowly aside, revealing an inky tunnel beyond. The simplicity of it almost made her laugh. It hadn’t been some kind of new power at all. Khivar had simply used an overlooked passage in the wall to get past all of their security.
She watched helplessly with a horrible sense of deja-vu as Khivar stepped into the room, closely followed by Isabel. Again Liz tried to get up, but it only resulted in a small jerky motion that brought Khivar and Isabel’s attention to her.
“Still awake Liz?” Khivar mocked. “I wasn’t really sure about your physiology but I thought the dose of gas I used would have rendered you unconscious too.” He shrugged. “This way you can watch Max die before we kill you.”
“NO!” Liz whispered fiercely.
Khivar smiled. “And how are you going to stop us? I’ve blocked your connection to the Granolith so you can’t access its power this time. And you can’t even move.”
Liz watched as Khivar withdrew a large sword from a sheath on his belt. Desperately Liz looked to Isabel. “You can’t let him kill Max!” Liz gasped. “Isabel you’ve got to help us.”
Isabel looked at her incredulously. “You’re out of help Liz, she sneered. “And out of luck, and now you’re going to die.”
Tears welled in Liz’s eyes as Khivar raised the sword above his head. How could she be so helpless? All of the power they had and still they couldn’t save themselves.
But she couldn’t just lay there and watch Max die. Again she struggled to move and she felt her body shift a little more but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Khivar laughed at her feeble attempts. “A fighter to the end. I see why Isabel loved you. You won’t give up even when you know you’ve been beaten. You must be the reason Max was able to elude us all this time. He certainly isn’t capable of doing it himself.”
Liz looked into Khivar’s smiling face. She hated him more than she’d ever hated anyone, even Tess. Khivar was the cause of all the pain in their lives, the deaths, the war, everything was because of him. And now he stood over Max’s helpless body mocking him.
Max, who had only ever tried to defend his family and his people. Max, who always tried to do the right thing, the best man she had ever known, her love, her soulmate. Max, the greatest and most powerful leader Antar ever had and Khivar was not only going to take his life but his dignity. After they were dead Khivar could make up anything about Max that he wanted and no one would dispute it.
As Khivar started the downward motion of his sword, anger and hatred boiled up in Liz like never before. She felt it flowing through her body filling every inch of her with power until it was almost painful. The feeling was incredible, like she was made of pure power, and it pushed all the fear from her. Something in Liz’s suddenly mind gave way and she gasped with the sensation.
Time around her seemed to go into extreme slow motion, the sword Khivar held almost stopped in place. But Liz ignored it completely, and instead she instinctively focused her newfound power on Khivar’s mind.
She entered it easily and forced all of her bad memories into him. All of her loss, all of her pain, every moment of hurt and sorrow that Khivar had somehow been a part of: Future Max’s visit that forced her to pretend to betray Max, Alex’s death and the resulting riff from the aliens, learning of Tess’ pregnancy, seeing Max’s parents die through his eyes, Rath almost killing them both, Maria’s and Michael’s deaths, her plan to kill Max because Khivar had convinced her he was evil. All of it was because of Khivar.
The memories flowed faster and faster through Liz’s thoughts and she stabbed each of them into Khivar’s mind like weapons, aware that she was tearing him apart.
To Isabel it all happened in seconds.
Khivar swung the sword at Max and suddenly a pure, golden light burst from Liz. It had Liz’s face, almost as if it were her ghost, but Isabel only had a second to see it before it slammed into Khivar’s head.
He staggered, his sword stopping mid-swing and his eyes rolled back up into his head. Blood started to drip from his nose and a slow moan escaped him that grew louder and louder until he was screaming. His whole body shook and the sword fell from his grip as he collapsed to the floor.
With a scream Isabel dropped to her knees cradling him. Khivar’s body jerked with convulsions, blood pouring from his nose, eyes and mouth.
Liz’s power flushed the toxins out of her system almost instantly and she rose from the bed as the sword slipped from Khivar’s hand. She watched with no emotions as the blood rushed from his face, simply continuing to destroy his mind.
She was aware that her power also rushed into Max bringing him out of the drug’s influence. His power surged to meet hers joining with it, and through their connection she quickly showed him everything that had happened. He came to stand beside her as Isabel rushed to the fallen Khivar.
Max took Liz’s hand speaking to her through their bond. You don’t have to kill Khivar, he said gently. Let me do it so you don’t have to bear that burden.
Liz turned to look at him, and her glowing, golden, power-saturated eyes met his glowing blue ones. She knew that Max wanted to protect her, but she wanted to protect him too. And Khivar deserved to die, there was no doubt. Liz squeezed Max’s hand. Together, she said. We’ll do it together.
Max grimaced but nodded and used their combined power to pull the life force from Khivar, quickly ending his suffering and his life.
As Khivar released his last breath Isabel screamed. “NO!!!”
She gripped his body to her tightly and sobbed.
With her new level of power Liz could feel Isabel’s love for Khivar and feel her grief at losing him, and she was overcome with pity for her sister-in-law. Isabel had been a fool but everything she had done was for the man she loved. Liz had been willing to kill Max to save him. Was what Isabel had done so very much different?
Liz knew Max had heard her thoughts and his came to her, reminding her of the war, the deaths, the attempts on their lives, all at least partially orchestrated by Isabel.
She hurt and indirectly killed a lot of people, Max said.
Liz agreed. But I still pity her, she said.
Suddenly Isabel turned toward them with hate clearly outlined on her beautiful face. “You’ve killed him at last you bastard,” she raged at Max. “You’ve finally won.”
Max shook his head. “Isabel for me it was never about winning. It was about making sure that Antar, my people, and my family could live in safety and peace.”
But Isabel didn’t seem to hear him.
“I would kill you both with my bare hands if I could,” she screamed. “But since I can’t, I won’t give you the satisfaction of killing me.”
Isabel grabbed Khivar’s sword and with a single motion pulled it across her throat, cutting deep.
Liz started forward but Max held her back and they watched as Isabel collapsed on top of her lover, blood flowing from her body into a great pool beneath them.
It was over within moments and she released her final breath, an almost incomprehensible whispered word. “Khivar.”
Max and Liz embraced and wept together for a long time, sharing their relief and sorrow and loss, comforting and taking comfort in each other.
The rest of Khivar’s men, who had fled back into the tunnels when they saw him fall, were easily rounded up.
Max had all of the passages sealed and he ordered the few men who knew the truth to keep it silent. As far as everyone was concerned Isabel and Khivar died in the building collapse. The people would never know how close they came to losing their King again.
Max personally burned both Khivar’s and Isabel’s bodies until nothing but a handful of ash remained. He and Liz took it to seashore and used their powers to lift the ashes into the breeze, swirling them together as they floated away.
Then hand-in-hand they attended the second day of the conference. They were more subdued than the day before but happy that once again great strides were made toward bringing all of Antar back together in peace.
Finally after another long day they were alone together in their room and Liz automatically looked to the place on the wall where the tunnel had been.
Max embraced Liz from behind. “Are you sure you don’t want to change rooms,” he asked softly. “We do have a lot of them to choose from.”
Liz leaned back into him. “No, I think we should stay here, to remind us of everything that happened.”
Max kissed her head. “The conference went well. I think we’re on the right track. Of course it will be a few months or longer until everything is running smoothly, but when it is we have some decisions to make. Like whether we want to stay on Antar.”
Liz turned in his arms. “Max you are the King. These are your people, my people. I know you want to stay and I think we should stay too.” She smiled. “This is our destiny Max and helping the people rebuild their lives will help us heal too.”
Max smiled and pulled her to him for a quick kiss. “Well what do you think about taking a vacation to Earth to see your parents?”
Liz threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. “Oh Max, I love you so much. You’re so good to me.”
Max hugged her back. “And while we’re there I think we should tell them the truth, and even invite them back with us.”
Liz pulled back to look into his eyes. “Really?” she asked incredulously.
Max nodded. “We’ve lost so many people we love and I think we should hold on to the one’s we have left.”
“Me too,” Liz agreed. “And I’m glad my parents won’t think you’re a criminal anymore.”
Max touched her face gently. “A lot of bad things have happened but we still have each other.” He held her eyes as he spoke solemnly. “I love you Liz and I promised you that I would spend the rest of my life making you happy, and this is just the first step.”
or is it?
Soaring With Angels |
Alt End #3 Part 3 - Alt End #4 Part 1
Back to Main||