(Antar date 05.24.71306)
Liz lay in bed and turned to look at Max beside her. Dawn was approaching and the light coming in through the small window was just enough for her to see him. With her eyes she traced his face, noting the changes. His hair was a little longer, not like the Max from the future, but longer than Max had ever worn it on Earth, and she loved how it curled slightly around his neck. His skin was dark from all of the time spent in the sun. There were soft lines starting on his brow and around his mouth, lines of worry and tension. He was leaner than he had been on Earth, not any less muscular, but his body had lost any trace of softness in the months of battle.
But Max wasn’t the only one who had changed. Michael’s body had also grown strong and lean. He had regained a few memories from his other life, and had thrown himself wholeheartedly into his new life, or his old life, Liz mused. He had embraced the role of Max’s second-in-command, the General he had been in his other life re-emerging almost instinctively. Sometimes Liz worried that Michael seemed to have lost almost all trace of who he used to be. He was in soldier-mode all the time and he never relaxed his vigilance. Michael waged war with a single-minded ferociousness, and he seemed most content when he was protecting her and Max.
Liz knew she had changed too. Physically she was basically the same, except for the fact that she had let Max lengthen her hair as he had begged her to do, and it now hung in a long, thick length down her back, almost to her waist. During the day she fastened it into a braid, but at night she let it flow loose as Max wanted, surrounding them both in a dark cloud as they made love.
They had been on Antar for just over a year and the war had been going strong. To Liz it seemed like a long time, but at the same time it also seemed that so little time had passed for some of the things that had happened. She, Max and Michael had quickly learned the Antarian language and they had all grown more powerful and proficient with their gifts, and Liz was surprised how quickly she had grown used to the constant sound of laser blasts and explosions. But the three of them had also grown hard and jaded because of the war. They had witnessed and participated in acts of violence and death that would have horrified a younger Liz, but she accepted that it was part of war.
At first Max had wanted to keep her away from the front lines where he was leading his troops. He hadn’t wanted her to be subjected to the horrors of war, the pain, the death. He had asked her to stay in a safe house, but Liz had insisted on being with him. She wanted to stand by his side through the worst, supporting him, sharing her power with him. And Max had agreed because he wanted her with him, and he also reasoned that he could keep her safe better than anyone else.
The conflict between Max and Khivar’s troops had been waging in some form or another for more than seventy years, but it flared into a full-scale war within days of their arrival. Just as Kasha had predicted, Larek and Hanar had joined with them, sending troops, weapons and ships to aid them, and Sero and Kathana aligned themselves with Khivar.
They had discovered that the Michael worshippers were only a couple of hundred strong and most of them had joined with Khivar. The long years of war had been costly to all of the planets, with millions of casualties on both sides, but because of Max’s presence and the additions of his and Michael’s powers, gradually Max’s forces were gaining ground.
Khivar had the power of the Granolith but he kept it hidden, probably afraid that Max’s forces would take it from him. Khivar also used the Granolith sparingly. It was good for destroying specific targets but much of the war was fought on the ground and Max kept his armies on the move to avoid providing targets.
Max had told Liz of his dreams of taking the Granolith’s power into him to augment his own, and they had wondered why Khivar didn’t do the same. Liz speculated that either Khivar didn’t know how, or he wasn’t strong enough to do so. But either way, the Granolith hadn’t been as much of a threat as they had anticipated.
The war was starting to turn in their favor but Liz knew Max was still frustrated. He had anticipated killing Khivar quickly and putting an end to everything, but Khivar was still alive and the war was dragging on. Max was also disappointed that he hadn’t been able to sense the Granolith. In his dreams he remembered being able to feel the Granolith’s power, but at least so far he hadn’t been able to sense where the Granolith was.
Every night she and Max made love, sometimes slow and sweet, but more often it was impassioned and frenzied, both of them wanting to erase the experiences of the day with their joining. And before they went to sleep each night, they overloaded each other with energy. In the beginning they had gained power rapidly, but it had been months since either had felt a change within, and Liz was beginning to think that they had both reached their full potential. But Max felt that he was still unable to access part of his power.
Max hadn’t really regained many memories from his past, just a few glimpses he received in dreams, but he did remember being able to feel and use the Granolith’s power. They had spent a lot of time looking for the Granolith. At first they believed it to be in the palace, and had Max had led a small of men to get as close to the structure as possible, hoping he would be able to feel the Granolith within. But he had sensed nothing, and they had begun to look elsewhere. And now any time they captured a high-ranking man in Khivar’s army they pumped him for information, not only about the war but also about the location of the Granolith. None of the men they had taken so far had known or admitted to knowing where it was. But just last night Max had captured one of Khivar’s head generals and today they would get any information he had.
Liz could see out the window that the sun was just peeking over the horizon and she knew they would soon be awoken by the head priest Jaetus, to face the new day. Jaetus acted almost as a servant to herself and Max, willing to do even the most menial tasks, anything to serve his King. Kasha trusted his loyalty completely and Max accepted him on his mother’s recommendation, but Liz thought Jaetus was creepy.
He was always hanging around, offering his services, and she often saw him watching them with almost a look of awe on his face. Jaetus deferred to them almost reverentially, bowing with his forehead pressed to the ground, but he never ventured his opinion or advice unless Max specifically asked for it. Since Max had chastised him for suggesting Liz was unworthy of him, Jaetus had never questioned Max’s judgment again.
The priests themselves had been just as much of a surprise to Liz. They turned out to be a tremendous fighting force. There were thousands of them, and they waged battle with a frenzied berserker-style, seemingly unafraid of death.
Liz had once asked Max’s mother Kasha about the priests. What they believed in? Why they fought?
“The priests are in the service of the true King,” Kasha had answered her simply. “They have served and protected the line of Max’s ancestors for thousands of years. They are called the Order of the Angel.”
Isabel entered Khivar’s office just as several of his men were leaving, and right away she could see that something was wrong. She crossed to where Khivar stood, taking his hand in hers. “What’s happened, my love?”
“Last night Max may have captured General Lucien,” Khivar said. “There are conflicting reports. But if it is true, we both know it’s because Max is still looking for the Granolith.”
“Maybe we should move it,” Isabel suggested. “The war is starting to go against us. If Max gets his hands on the Granolith…” she trailed off.
Khivar pulled her into his arms. “That’s why only you and I and handful of trusted men know exactly where it is. General Lucien doesn’t know. No one who is in the field does, just for the reason that Max could capture them. The Granolith is safe,” he assured her. “And the course of war flows like the tide, sometimes with you, sometimes against. But we will be victorious, of that I promise.”
Max pushed a steady stream of energy into Khivar’s General Lucien, causing him to cry out in pain.
“Where is the Granolith?” Max asked him.
The General remained silent, looking at the ground, and Max started again, pushing even more power into him.
Liz watched as Lucien writhed and screamed in pain. She hated it that Max was forced to do things like that, but they had no choice. They had discovered that the power to take information from minds was very rare and often unreliable. Max had two mind readers, but if the captive had enough power, he could keep them out of his mind entirely. And Lucien was powerful.
One of Max’s Generals had suggested torture to get information out of the minds of the more powerful men. Max had agreed, but he insisted on doing it himself. Liz had been horrified, and she’d told him to let someone do it, but Max had overruled her.
“I’m the leader, Liz. How can I order someone else to do what I’m not willing to do myself?” he had asked her.
Liz knew he was right, but she still hated what the war had done to them. And if Max had to torture the captives then the least she could do was be there to support him. Max didn’t want her to see what he had to do, and every time he begged her not come with him. But Liz had told him on many occasions that the only way she wouldn’t be with him was if he removed her bodily.
“We share everything,” she’d said, “the good and the bad.” And Max had finally agreed.
Her attention was drawn back to the present as Lucien roared in pain. “I don’t know where the Granolith is,” he gasped, finally answering Max’s question. “I swear. His Majesty Khivar and your sister the Queen are the only ones who know.”
A scowl crossed Max’s face and he took Liz’s hand and they left the room. He’d made another big mistake in letting Isabel go, and they were all paying the price.
(Antar date 05.25.71306)
Liz awoke gasping for air, the vision that had come in her dreams terrifying her.
Over the last year, her visions had come with more regularity as her powers had increased, and they had been clearer and easier to read. But still there was so much that was unclear and she didn’t understand.
Some of the visions were glimpses of the past, their past on Earth, Max and Michael’s past on Antar when they were boys, and then later as men. Some were of the future, showing her battle strategy or allowing her a brief look into the minds of their enemy. But through it all, she’d had one recurring vision, the same one that had come to her again last night.
In it she could see herself standing over Max as he lay in bed. Blood covered his naked chest, soaking into the bedding around him. His blood. Liz reached out to him touching his face gently, but she knew it was too late to do anything. Max’s throat was cut, almost all the way through, and he was already dead.
Max woke up, feeling Liz’s terror in his mind and he turned to her. “What’s wrong?”
Liz shook her head. “I had the dream again,” she said softly, “the one where you’re dead.” Tears started to roll down her cheeks as she met his eyes. “Max, I’m so scared. I can’t lose you.”
Max wrapped her in his arms, hugging her fiercely. “You won’t lose me. Your having the vision so we can stop it from happening.”
Liz clung to him but nodded.
He stroked her hair soothingly. “Did you see where we were, or were you able to tell when it was going to happen?”
Liz shook her head as a sob escaped her. “No, I didn’t see anything but you lying on a bed with your throat cut.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “There was so much blood.”
“That’s okay,” Max assured her. “You’re having the dream more often and we’ll figure it out. We’ll stop it from happening.” He hugged her tighter. He wanted to ask her more questions, but he didn’t want to put pressure on her. Liz usually came up with the answers to her visions on her own. “It will all be okay,” he soothed, “I promise.”
(The Royal Palace)
A messenger rushed in to the dining room where Khivar and Isabel were having breakfast. He bowed before them. “Your Majesties, three more of your legions have been wiped out by our enemies.”
Khivar threw down his glass. “Dammit!” He motioned to the messenger. “Call a meeting of my senior staff!”
Isabel waited until they were alone. “What’s wrong? You said the war would sometimes go against us.”
Khivar nodded. “Yes, but we are loosing too many troops. I’ve underestimated Max again. I thought we could defeat him easily, but he is proving a very accomplished strategist, and more powerful than I imagined.”
Isabel was suddenly scared and grasped his hand. “What are we going to do?”
Khivar squeezed her hand. “I have a plan, but it is dangerous, and that’s why I haven’t used it before now. I just hope that I haven’t waited too long.”
Isabel’s brow creased with concern. “What do you mean? How dangerous is it?”
“It could be deadly,” Khivar said. He held up a small chevron-shaped device that Isabel recognized from Brody’s office. “I will double the number of troops confronting Max directly and equip them with amplifiers,” he said. “At a specific time the amplifiers will all be switched on, blocking Max and Michael’s formidable powers, and hopefully we will take them by surprise and overwhelm them with sheer numbers.”
“Hopefully?” Isabel asked.
Khivar nodded. “There are two problems. First, this is the same way we brought your brother down in your last life.”
Isabel gasped. “And what’s the other?”
“It will put our troops at risk. The devices don’t only block Max and Michael’s powers,” Khivar reminded her, “they block everyone’s powers within a certain distance. That means no one will have the use of powers for attack or defense.”
“And Max and Michael?” Isabel asked.
Khivar met her eyes. “I am giving orders for them to be killed on sight.”
Liz watched as Michael emerged from the cell where they were holding Khivar’s General. Michael’s face was white, like he had seen a ghost and he was obviously upset, his brow creased with lines of deep concentration.
He didn’t even see her as he walked past, and Liz reached out to him. “Michael?”
He flinched at the sound of her voice, but stood to attention, meeting her eyes silently.
“Are you okay?” she asked, concerned.
He nodded. “That General, Lucien,” Michael said, looking to the cell door, “he used to be a Michael worshipper, but joined with Khivar.” Michael shook his head distractedly. “He told me things.”
“About Khivar and the Granolith?” Liz asked, but she could see immediately that she was wrong. Her brow creased. “What he said upset you.”
“He said…” Michael trailed off and his eyes snapped to hers. He shook his head. “Lies, that’s all, Liz. He told me lies, and he died for his insolence.”
(Antar date 05.26.71306)
Max stood in his temporary command center at an elevated position behind the front line where he could see the main part of the battle and direct his troops. With his left hand Max lashed out with his powers, picking up dozens of Khivar’s troops and slamming them together, smashing bodies, killing them instantly. With his right hand he sent out his shield, avoiding his own troops, and used it like the blade of a sword, cutting through the bodies of dozens more enemy soldiers.
Over the last year his powers had grown stronger and stronger and he could use them for hours without getting tired. But he couldn’t use them at full strength the whole time, so he alternated between large and small bursts of power, taking out a large group of Khivar’s men and then doing lesser things to rest and rebuild his energy.
He always kept Liz close at his side. It made Max feel stronger to have her with him, not only because they could share power, but because of the love and support Liz gave him. And he wanted her near him so he could ensure her safety. It was true that Liz could use his powers, and in the last year she had become very proficient with his powers and her own. They had also discovered that she was an excellent markswoman, and Max always made sure that she carried a blaster to protect herself. But Max still felt better when she was nearby where he and Michael could watch out for her.
At first he hadn’t wanted her to be near the fighting. Max not only feared for her safety, but he simply didn’t want her to be a part of the atrocities of war. He was the King. He had to kill and torture to enemies to ensure their victory, to keep them all safe, but he didn’t want Liz involved. She had insisted on being with him, and Max had agreed, but he still tried to shield her from as much as possible.
Max glanced to where Michael and Liz were plotting troop movements a short distance away. Michael was the only one, other than himself, he trusted to protect Liz, and he and Michael had an agreement that one of them would always be at her side.
Liz felt his eyes on her and turned to meet his gaze. Immediately a rush of desire went through him, as it always did. Every day Max’s love for her grew, and he considered it a miracle that she loved him back just as fiercely. He still couldn’t believe how lucky he was to have found her. She was everything good and pure, she was strong and determined, and she believed in him completely. He’d said it many times, but she was the best decision he’d ever made.
Max heard Liz’s voice in his head, speaking softly but solemnly. And you’re the best decision I’ve ever made, Max. I love you more than anything. Being with you, sharing your life, there’s nothing more I want.
Max’s heart filled with love and pride. I love you so much Liz it fills up my soul. Every day I think I couldn’t possible love you more, and every day I discover something else about you to love.
He felt Liz’s strong emotions through their bond that echoed his own. Love and desire were the two strongest, and Max’s body clenched as he felt the tendrils of Liz’s power reaching out to him. He wanted her all of the time, to be inside her, to feel her soft, wet heat surrounding him as he tasted her skin, her small hands wandered over his body. And feeling her desire, her power, mixing with his own power surging through him made his hunger for her almost overwhelming.
Later, my love, he promised her. I'll take you hard and fast. I’ll push my cock into you again and again until you are breathless and you come apart in my arms.
Oh yes, Liz gasped as desire rushed through her.
Max could feel her lower lips dampen and he swore he could smell the intoxicating scent of her arousal. Liz, he growled. I love how you’re always ready for me. He could feel Liz’s wet passage throbbing with need, aching to be filled by him, and his erection hardened painfully.
He sent a small amount of power through the connection using it to brush her clit, making Liz’s whole body shiver with need. I would take you now if I could, angel, he whispered.
Max, Liz started, but their attention was drawn back to the battle by the sound of multiple laser fire.
Khivar’s troops focused their fire and the soldiers in Max’s front ranks fell. Khivar’s men took advantage of the opening and surged forward. Again they aimed together at Max’s soldiers, and again the front line faltered allowing the enemy to advance, and Max started to get a bad feeling. Khivar was up to something, of that he had no doubt. Anger started to rage inside Max as he wondered if he missed something that Khivar could use to his advantage.
Max looked around quickly, scanning the area for any sign of what might be happening. Suddenly and a pulse of blue-white energy erupted from Khivar’s front ranks, knocking hundreds of men, on both sides, to the ground. The light radiated out quickly and passed through them all before Max could react. He staggered back, pushed by the energy, but quickly recovered and checked himself for injury. And when he found nothing wrong he whirled to Liz and Michael, but they were also fine.
Michael gave him a shrug, indicating that he didn’t know what was going on, but Max had a nagging sense of familiarity.
The sound of more laser blasts drew Max’s attention back to the battle and he watched as a large number of his troops were cut down. For a moment he was confused. He couldn’t understand why his soldiers weren’t using their defensive powers. But then another round of laser blasts took down several more of his ranks and Max suddenly realized what had happened. Khivar’s troops had used amplifiers to block their powers, just as Brody had done when he had held them captive in the UFO museum.
Instantly Max became enraged as the possibilities started to whirl through his mind. They had come so far in the last year and the war was starting to turn in their favor. But without his powers to defend them, his troops, Michael and Liz, they were all sitting ducks.
Max’s rage increased as he watched more of his troops cut down, their surprise about having no powers momentarily immobilizing them and leaving them helpless. The command center around him was in chaos as his Generals and advisors raced around. Everyone was panicking.
“Hold your ground!” Max roared. “Hold your ground!” He yelled to the Generals, “Order the troops to use their blasters!”
Suddenly sounds erupted all around them and Max watched horrified as even more of Khivar’s troops charged through the foliage to join the battle. Thousands of soldiers surged toward them, blasters upraised, and shots sounded all around them.
Michael turned back to Liz. “I don’t like this. Something is going on.”
Liz nodded. “I feel it too, something is going to happen.”
The sounds of many men approaching drew their attention and they both turned to see thousands more of Khivar’s troops joining the battle.
“I knew it,” Michael roared.
The sound of shots erupted all around them and Michael pulled Liz to the ground. He overturned the table and they took cover behind it. Michael looked around quickly for more danger and to his horror saw Khivar’s troops advancing toward them on all sides. More shots rang out, several hitting near them, but Michael was able to pinpoint where they were coming from.
And when the next round of shots were fired, he raised his hand and tried to use his powers to divert the shots away from them. But his powers didn’t work, and Michael realized that Khivar’s troops had used amplifiers to block them. He only had a split second to decide, but to him there was no decision, and without a trace of regret in his mind, he threw himself in front of Liz.
A shot hit the ground near Max. “Take cover!” he ordered as he dove aside. Automatically he looked to where Liz and Michael had been, but he couldn’t see them, and something snapped in his mind. They could be injured or dead and it was all his fault. He hadn’t been able to protect them, and a roar of pure murderous fury was ripped from his lungs.
The whole world went into slow motion for Max, and suddenly everything became so clear. The sounds of battle faded into the background as he rose from where he was crouched. Shots zipped past him, but Max ignored them as power filled his body. All around him he could sense the dampening field produced by the amplifiers but he simply ignored it. It couldn’t stop him any more.
Max could feel the life force of the thousands of men on the battlefield, his own and Khivar’s, and with only a thought he sent out his power. It left his body in a green pulse that radiated out in all directions. He automatically bypassed his own people, letting his energy seek out Khivar’s troops, snuffing the life from them like blowing out a candle.
As Max’s energy passed through them, Khivar’s troops fell to the ground dead in an ever-widening circle, like blades of grass before a strong wind. Almost instantly he killed thousands of them and then he dropped to his knees exhausted. The blackness of unconsciousness pulled at him, but Max struggled against it and thrust out his mind, searching, calling. Liz.
Michael watched with a strange sense of unreality as several shots hit him in the chest. He though it would hurt, but the only thing he felt was a sense contentment and relief.
Liz’s small body was pressed beneath him and after a moment she started to stir. “Stay down,” he rasped.
“Michael…” she started to protest, but he cut her off. “Damn it Liz, do as you’re told for once,” he grunted. “I gave Max my oath to protect you.”
She stilled beneath him and Michael looked down to see blood soaking his uniform. He released a ragged breath and wondered how much longer he would be able to hold on. Long enough to save Liz he hoped.
Michael could hear the sounds of battle all around them and laser blasts continued to strike the ground near him. People rushed around and he could see their troops desperately trying to defend themselves against Khivar’s superior numbers.
Another laser blast struck him in the chest but Michael didn’t feel it either. After a few more breaths, his vision started to blur, but he could still see enough to recognize Max’s glowing green energy as it rushed past them. And he did see the majority of Khivar’s troops fall beneath Max’s power. Michael relaxed knowing it would be okay, and this time he didn’t protest as Liz started to wriggle beneath him.
Even from her position behind Michael, Liz had seen Khivar’s troops fall, and she pushed at Michael’s weight holding her down. “We’re safe now,” she said. “You can get off.”
Michael took another ragged breath. “I don’t think I can,” he grunted.
Liz was instantly concerned. “Michael? What’s wrong?” She was able to look over his shoulder and see his bloody chest, realizing for the first time that he was injured. “Oh my God Michael!” Pushing at him, Liz lifted him up enough to wriggle out from underneath and get to her knees beside him. She quickly glanced at his wound and started to rise. “I’ll get Max.”
Michael grabbed her arm, holding her tightly. “It’s too late, Liz.”
“No it will be okay,” Liz assured him.
Michael met her eyes. “Just stay with me,” he whispered.
Liz grasped his hand. “Okay,” she said as tears started in her eyes. “I’ll stay.” She looked around desperately. “Help!” she yelled. “Help us!”
Michael squeezed her hand weakly. “It’s over Liz, let me go. Let me go to her.” He gasped for breath. “I’m not afraid to die. I was loyal to my King and Queen. I did my duty and saved you. That’s all I ever wanted.” He met her eyes. “I was a good soldier, wasn’t I?”
Tears poured down Liz’s cheeks and she gripped his hand tighter. “Of course you were, and you still will be.” With her mind she reached out to Max, and as their bond opened she heard his call. Liz. And then the connection went black.
In the second their minds touched Liz knew that Max was okay, he had simply passed out, but she also knew there was no one to save Michael. Max was unconscious she couldn’t use his power to save Michael.
Michael released another gurgling breath and his eyes drifted closed.
“Michael!” Liz sobbed.
“Maria,” Michael whispered, and he released his last breath.
Max came-to suddenly. Instantly his bond with Liz flared to life and he felt her beside him and turned to her.
Liz reached out to him when he stirred. “Max,” she said, tears gathering in her eyes.
“How long was I out?” he asked.
“A few hours,” Liz said softly. “It’s just after dark.”
He could feel her sorrow and rose up on one elbow, cupping her face in his hand. “What’s wrong? I killed Khivar’s troops, I remember that. And you’re safe, and I’m okay.”
Liz gripped his hand tightly and turned to place a kiss on his palm. She nodded. “Max, I’m so sorry, but Michael…” she trailed off.
Max sat up. “Michael’s dead,” he said softly.
Liz nodded and sat up too.
Max’s face hardened and instantly anger rose up within him. “How did it happen?”
“He was protecting me,” Liz said softly. “When Khivar’s troops starting shooting at us Michael shielded me with his body.” Her voice broke as she attempted to keep the tears at bay. “He made me stay down until he was sure I was safe. I didn’t even know he was hurt.”
Max’s scowl deepened and he looked down trying to remember. He shook his head. “I should have known. I should have helped him.”
Liz shook her head. “Max, you used all your power killing Khivar’s troops, and that was much more important. They would have killed all of us.”
Max met her eyes. “But my power passed by Michael. I could feel his life force in my mind, I should have felt that he was injured.”
“You can’t blame yourself Max,” Liz said softly. “Your whole attention was focused on saving us. And Michael’s was too.” She reached out to touch his face. “I tried to use your power to save him, but I couldn’t. And Michael asked me to let him go, Max. He wanted to be with Maria. He never really recovered from losing her, and I think their together now.”
Max nodded. “I don’t blame myself for his death. Others are responsible for that and they will pay. Khivar, Isabel, every one of Khivar’s soldiers is accountable and I’ll wring the life out of every one of them all for what they’ve done to Michael, to us.”
Liz could feel Max’s anger growing within him. “You killed thousands of Khivar’s troops today. And the ones that escaped your power were wiped out by our army, except for a few we sent back to Khivar to tell him what happened. It is a huge setback for Khivar and his supporters. It’s just too bad Khivar wasn’t there too.”
Max shook his head. “Don’t believe it Liz. Khivar has millions of troops engaging ours all over Antar. This war isn’t over by a long shot.”
“But the power you accessed today,” Liz argued, “you could wipe Khivar’s army off Antar in a matter of weeks.”
“Five thousand at a time,” Max said scowling. “It will still take a long time. If only I had the power of the Granolith,” he said frustrated. “I’m more powerful now than I was in my last life, I know it, but still I can’t access the Granolith.”
“Khivar must have it hidden far away where you can’t feel it,” Liz said.
Max shook his head. “That’s not it. I can tell that something is wrong. It’s like something in my mind is blocking it.”
“Maybe you just aren’t ready,” Liz said.
“I don’t have time to wait,” Max ground out. “I need that power. With it I could wipe out Khivar’s army and end this war.”
Liz could see Max shaking with anger and she leaned forward to place a kiss on his neck. “We’ll figure it out. We always do.” She smoothed her hand down his naked chest, and a line of blue light followed its path.
Max shuddered under her touch, his desire for her was instantaneous. “Liz,” he growled. He encircled her in his arms, pulling her over him so she straddled his hips, and took her lips in a hungry kiss.
When the soldiers had carried the unconscious Max into their room and put him in bed, Liz had undressed him except for his boxers, and now she was grateful for his lack of clothing. She brushed her hands over Max’s pecs, up to his shoulders and down his bulging arms, pushing an ever-increasing amount of power into him. She ground her dampening center against his hard cock, eager for release.
But there were too many clothes in her way, and as Max continued their kiss, Liz smoothed her hands back down his chest and across his stomach. And reached through the opening in Max’s boxers, she pulled him out.
Max growled into her mouth as she stroked his velvety erection, but she didn’t tease. She lifted up enough to push her own shorts and underwear aside and guided him into her aching core. Liz lowered herself down onto him, taking him deep inside, and the amazing sensation of having Max’s glorious length filling her made her arch back with pleasure.
“Liz,” Max groaned breaking the kiss.
Liz started to rock her hips back and forth and her hair flowed around them. Max ripped her shirt off and grasped her breasts, taking one into his mouth and laving her nub with his tongue. But it wasn’t enough for him. The anger and heartbreak at losing Michael was pushing on him like a physical weight and he just wanted to lose himself in Liz, in the union of their bodies, in their love.
Max grasped her hips and thrust up into her again and again as she continued to move. Liz moaned with pleasure and it increased his own, but it still wasn’t enough. And Max could feel through their connection that it wasn’t enough for her either.
“I need you Liz,” Max growled. “I need more.”
“Yes,” Liz gasped.
Max kissed her hard and lifted her off him. He got out of bed, pushed his boxers to the floor and reached for Liz. Again he kissed her, thrusting his tongue into her mouth as he pulled her out of bed. He set her feet on the floor and smoothed his hands down her soft skin. When he reached her shorts he pushed them and her panties down her hips, letting them pool on the floor. Then he broke the kiss and spun her in his arms, embracing her from the back.
He loved taking her from behind because he could touch so much of her. Pulling her against him he moved her hair aside and fitted his chest against her silky back. His hands roamed over her stomach and breasts as he pressed his erection against the sweet globes of her bottom.
“Max I need you now,” Liz gasped.
Max kissed and bit the back of her neck as he bent her over the bed. He led his shaft to her waiting heat and with a powerful thrust he was inside.
Liz whimpered her pleasure.
Max grasped her breasts, quickly brushing his thumbs across her hard nubs as he started a fast pace within her. His anger and sorrow built within him and found answering feelings inside Liz. Through their bond they shared and experienced each other’s overwhelming emotions, the horror, pain and anger of losing Michael, and the desire for revenge.
Max pushed power into Liz, his hands roaming over her breasts and stomach, but it still wasn’t enough for either of them. He settled one muscular arm between her breasts, splaying his fingers across the base of her neck, and wrapped the other arm around her waist. He increased his pace inside her, pulling her into him with each powerful thrust.
Their bodies slapped together and Max groaned with the exertion. He continued to push power into Liz and their emotions grew into a frenzied rage as their orgasms built.
Max still wanted more and he touched Liz’s mind with the idea only to be met with her instant agreement. He grasped her shoulder to get more traction and reached down with his other hand to stroke her clit.
Liz covered his hands with her own pushing power into him, and thrust her hips back to meet his strokes. “Max,” she gasped as her pleasure started to consume her.
Max’s whole body felt like it was on fire and the power that Liz pushed into him brought him even closer to the edge. Once again he increased his pace, pulling Liz’s hips against him tightly, so that each thrust of his hard cock brushed the sensitive spot within her. With his fingers he brushed her clit rapidly, overloading her with power, and Liz’s whole body shook.
Their energy swirled around them, mingling together, building like never before, and it pushed their pleasure to even greater heights. With only a few more of his forceful thrusts Liz came apart beneath him, crying out her completion. Her inner walls gripped his shaft, pulsing around him powerfully, and with a final deep surge Max exploded into her and they both collapsed onto the bed.
As he climaxed Max felt a barrier in his mind give way and a rush of pictures, emotions and sensations assailed him. A nagging feeling was just on the edge of his realization but he couldn’t quite focus on it, their combined pleasure pushing everything else from his mind.
He and Liz seemed to be floating together in a warm sea of their combined power, that continued to send pleasurable electricity through them. He could still feel her beneath him, around him, and he embraced her tightly reveling in their love. The thought raced through their combined minds that they were drunk on the power, but neither of them cared, only wanting to be together as long a possible.
Time passed and eventually the sensations lessened. Max nuzzled Liz’s neck, placing soft kisses over her shoulders. Reluctantly he pulled out of her and cleaned them both before picking her up and laying her in bed.
Liz wrapped her arms around his neck and sat up to press her lips to his. Max climbed into bed and lingered over her, deepening the kiss. The nagging sensation in his mind returned, but suddenly some of the imagoes he had experienced started to come clear.
Max broke the kiss and touched Liz’s face gently, looking into her eyes. “You had the vision again, the one where I’m dead.”
Liz nodded and tears pricked her eyes.
Max sighed and pulled her into an embrace. He felt so helpless that there was nothing he could do that would allow her to see more and save them both.
A shiver of foreboding raced through him. What if he was destined to die? He pushed the thought away almost as quickly as it popped into his head. Even if that was true, he had to do anything he could to make sure Liz was protected, and with Michael gone that wouldn’t be easy.
Suddenly a thought occurred to him. “Liz, what happened to the amplifiers?”
“General Darius reported that most of them were destroyed by your power, but a few were intact and they collected them.”
Max nodded and placed a kiss on the top of her head. “Okay, tomorrow we’ll get Darius to show you how to use an amplifier. It’s one more thing to keep you safe.”
“Now that Michael’s gone, you mean,” Liz said softly.
“Yeah,” Max admitted, hugging her fiercely.
Liz felt anger rushing through him again and she stroked his back soothingly. “My visions are scaring you and you’re worried that you’ll leave me unprotected.”
Max didn’t even try to deny it, knowing that she’d felt the truth through their connection. “I can’t believe I have all of this power, that I could kill so many of Khivar’s troops, and still be so helpless,” he ground out with growing emotion. “I thought that all of this, the power, the war would give us some kind of resolution, but things just keep getting worse.”
Max’s whole body shook with his strong emotions. Usually their lovemaking dissipated his rage, but the events of the day were still consuming him. They had come so close to losing everything, and Michael had paid with his life. He was scared for himself, for Liz, he was enraged about Michael’s death, and he burned with hatred for Khivar and Isabel.
If he hadn’t accessed the power today they all would have died, and Max tried to remember what had happened to release it. He had been practically overcome with anger seeing his soldiers being cut down, and when he’d realized that Khivar’s troops were using amplifiers to block powers he’d just given in to the rage.
And that was the answer he realized. When he’d killed the Skins on Earth he’d simply been consumed by his anger and it had allowed him to reach inward to a deeper, more primal energy. So instead of pushing his anger away, Max embraced it.
Immediately he felt a surge of power rush through him and realized it was Liz’s. His emotions were flooding into her, stirring up her anger again and through their bond it was swirling together, building on each other.
Once again Max felt that something was subtly different in his mind. Their lovemaking had altered him somehow, and suddenly the vague sensation that had been bothering him became clear. Max gasped with surprise and pulled back to look into Liz’s eyes. “I can feel it,” he growled triumphantly. “I can feel the Granolith.”
Liz touched his face gently, but Max could feel her relief and curiosity through the bond. He directed her senses toward its energy in his mind.
“I can feel it,” Liz said in an awed tone. “But it seems so far away.”
Max nodded. “It’s in the palace.”
“The most heavily guarded place on the planet,” Liz said with a sigh.
Max smiled. “I have an idea, and if it works it won’t matter if Khivar has every man in his army guarding it.”
(Antar date 05.27.71306)
Khivar and Isabel listened increasingly horrified as the four remaining soldiers from the battle with Max’s troops, recounted their experience.
“It was like a nightmare,” one soldier said. “I was in the rear of the battle and we appeared to be winning. The enemy troops were falling before our superior numbers and we were advancing on Max’s position, but suddenly a glowing green light burst out from Max’s headquarters. It passed through Max’s troops, leaving them unharmed, but it felled every one of our soldiers it touched. They dropped to the ground like insects, and it all happened so fast that we could do nothing.”
“How did you survive?” Khivar asked.
The soldier shrugged. “The green light stopped within a few feet of me, and hundreds, possibly thousands of us survived. But the enemy troops rushed us with their now superior numbers and slaughtered our remaining men. I thought I was going to be killed but someone shouted to take prisoners. A few of us were secured and led into Max’s camp.”
“And he released you to deliver the message,” Khivar said.
The soldier shook his head. “We never saw Max. A woman with long, dark hair conferred with the Generals, and then we were taken away and released.”
Khivar turned to Isabel. “There has to be a reason that Max wouldn’t be commanding his Generals.”
Isabel nodded. “That’s why his shield didn’t kill everyone. Max must have over-used his powers. When it happened before, he passed-out.”
Khivar nodded. “So even though he is incredibly powerful, even more so than he was Zan, there is a limit. We will have to come up with a new strategy…”
Khivar trailed off as a messenger burst into the room and dropped to his knees. “Your Majesties, the Granolith is gone.”
Soaring With Angels |
Part 14 - Part 16
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