Something's changing in me. It's like part of me has died, and something else has woken up to take its place...

I stared at the words on my computer screen. My teeth tugged at my lower lip and I looked down at the keyboard, trying to focus. My hands hovered over the keys.

I saw him today, I typed, watching the jerk of my fingertips as they pressed the letters down. He didn't look at me.

He was with Isabel.

I lifted my head again and stared at the words on the screen. After a moment I grabbed the mouse and moved the cursor, clicking it harder than I had to. A tiny gray box appeared on the monitor, asking me if I wanted to save the document.


The document disappeared. I shut the monitor off and picked up an armful of files.


"Parker," The congresswoman said absently, picking up her messages and rifling through them. The pink scraps looked odd in her hand.

"Hi," I said.

She reached the last message and frowned. "Are there any other messages?" She asked suddenly. "Did, uhm..."

I felt my lips press into a thin line. I knew what was coming. And I didn't have an answer. Well, I did, but it wasn't what she wanted to hear. He's gone. He's not coming back. And you should be grateful. He was a mean bastard, he wasn't even human. I've got his ashes in the bottom of my closet. Wanna see?

"...did Mr. Pierce call?"

I glanced up and frowned, shook my head. "No."

She pursed her lips for a moment. She rolled her eyes. "Look at me," She muttered, a smile flickering across her lips. "Waiting for my boyfriend to call. Which one of us is in high school?"

I didn't answer. She shook her head and walked past my desk, closing the door to her office.

I stared out the window in front of me, watching the shafts of sunlight filtering onto the floor, creating a play of light on the carpet. She'd been betrayed, too. She'd been left with no warning, no reason...

I stood up suddenly and walked into her office.

Change Pierce's name for Michael's, and it was exactly what had happened to me.


It wasn't so bad, I thought. I woke up. I went to school. I watched Michael out of the corner of my eye and ignored him completely. I left school, I I went to the congresswoman's office. At least I wasn't crying anymore. I was sick of crying.

I was angry. And Maria wasn't helping.

"...I think I know why Max and Tess were, you know, together last night," She said, sitting down on my desk and leaning in to me. "He was just playing bodyguard. He was walking her home in case the, uh, killer was following her."

"You don't have to make excuses for him," I said, my voice brusque. I didn't want to talk about Max. Thinking about Max made me think about -

"Who's making excuses? I'm just trying to help him. Help you," She said quickly. "You know, help the situation."

I set the files in my hands down on the desk and stared up at her. "Did he send you here?"


"He did, didn't he."

"Not this time. I mean..." She frowned, shaking her head. She waved her hands. "No. No, of course not."

I closed my eyes. I'd told her I didn't want to talk about him. She just didn't want to listen. "Maria, I thought that you were my friend -"

I stopped in mid-sentence, the rest of my words crowded out by the sharp tang of guilt in my mouth. Hypocrite. You've only been sleeping with -

He wasn't her boyfriend, I thought fiercely. He wasn't.

"...this is so unfair," Maria wailed, waving her hands. "I care about you both. I just want you guys to be happy, and together, and..."

...and then Michael and I can be together, I finished for her. Right?

I took a deep breath. "Will you do me a favor, Maria?" She nodded. "Will you keep your big fat nose out of this?"

Her eyes widened and she straightened, taking a step back. "Message received," She said, her forehead crinkling in surprise. "Man!"

I felt the blood rushing to my face. "Look, I have a lot of work to do, so just..."

"Fine, fine," She said, moving to the door. She paused suddenly and turned around. "You, uh - you weren't serious about the big fat -"

"Goodbye," I said, pointing at the door. I didn't look up until I heard the door close behind her. She was walking down the street, her thumbnail trapped between her teeth, her hair falling forward over her shoulders. Her other arm was wrapped around her body.

I watched her turn the corner and closed my eyes. I couldn't blame her. I'd done everything I could think of to get Michael back, to get him to listen...

I shook my head quickly and stared down at the files on my desk. Those days were over. We were over. Time to move on. However that was going to happen.

I picked up a thick file at random and opened it. Something about the costs of state university tuition being increased by 13.4 percent over the next ten years. I turned to my computer and started to transcribe it, my hands shaking over the keys. Working for the congresswoman wasn't so bad. At least I didn't have to think...

It took me a moment to hear it - a faint grinding noise, coming from her office. I frowned and stood up, walking over to the door and knocking softly. When she didn't answer, I opened the door.

She'd drawn all the shades, plunging the room into darkness. She was leaning against her desk, her jacket tossed over her chair, her blouse pulled tight as she downed a tumbler of a dark liquid. The room smelled sour, like whiskey. She finished the glass in one gulp and looked over at me, her eyes glazed.

"Not a very pretty sight, is it?" She murmured.

"You know, I wasn't -" I frowned and reached for the doorknob. "I wasn't thinking, I -"

"Don't be shy," She said, her words slurring together, shaking her head. "It's not every day you walk in on your boss drinking and shredding... but then again, you've never worked in Washington." She shook her head and picked up another file, feeding it into the giant paper shredder. Thin lines of white and manilla fell from it like long strips of snow and disappeared into the wastepaper basket.

"Is there anything I can do?" I asked quietly.

Her eyebrows went up. "You wanna help?" She asked, picking up a file and holding it out to me. "Grab a file. Feed the beast."

I walked into the room and took it from her, glancing down at the manilla cover. The words Top Secret were emblazoned across the top in a slash of red.

"You're shredding all the alien files?" I asked.

"I am shredding Special Agent Pierce," She said. "And everything having to do with him."

I stared down at the file. I was holding Pierce's files. Everything they learned about the aliens...

"You ever been in love, Parker?" She asked suddenly, turning around to refill her glass.

I stared at her. "Once," I said.

She turned around. "He dumped you, too?"

"Not exactly," I said. Too quickly.

"What, you left him?"

"There was -" I closed my mouth. I couldn't believe I was standing in my boss' office, talking about my love life. "There was just someone else in his life," I said.

"But you walked," She said, shaking her head and gesturing at me with the tumbler, the dark liquid sloshing dangerously close to the edge. "See? You go, girl. Don't you let any man pull that crap on you, you know?"

I blinked and stared down at the folder. "Yeah."

"Yeah," She repeated, louder this time. "Who is this bitch who moved in on your man?"

"Oh, she's, um -" I shook my head. "Just someone. This girl from his past."

"Ohh," She said, nodding drunkenly. "Worst kind."

"You know, she's not that bad -"

She snorted back a laugh. "Yeah, right," She said, taking another swig from the glass. "Like you don't hate her."

He was sitting at the counter, smiling at her. I saw the tug of his lips, the beginning of the smirk playing on his mouth, her long blond hair flowing over her shoulders-

"Maybe a little bit," I murmured, looking down at the file.

"Uh-huh," She said, nodding emphatically. "See? Now, let it out. The truth will set you free, Parker."

"Okay," I said quietly, staring at the folder. "I do. I... I hate her."

The words rang hollow. I remembered sitting with Isabel, painting our nails. Her hand moving over me, removing the coffee stain from my shirt. The way she held on to me in the jeep after Pierce took Max...

I didn't hate Isabel. She wasn't the one who took Michael away from me. She wasn't the one who kept talking about destiny...

"...does this tramp have a name?" The congresswoman asked, her words slurring together. I stared up at her.

"Tess," I murmured.

It was almost a relief to say it. I hated her. I hated what she'd done to Michael, what she'd done to Max, what she'd taken from me... even what she'd done to Isabel.

She'd changed everything.


I stormed into my apartment and slammed the door behind me. The UFO Center was under new management. And Max, Perfect Max Evans, had been fired.

Something was up.

I knelt down next to the couch and yanked out the binders, flipping through the pages of my sketchbooks. They started out as notebooks for biology or world history or whatever, but sooner or later I always started doodling in the margins. And then one day I realized I was doodling the patterns I'd seen in the desert, when I tripped out. When they all showed up with the stones in their hands...

Liz didn't need a stone, I thought.

I closed my eyes and tried to black out the thought. That's not what you're here for, Guerin. Talk about history...

I stared down at the pages, flipping through them, remembering what Is had said earlier by the bleachers.

...so it's the day that we got the message from our mother. But that doesn't really prove anything...

Proof. Jesus. We were sitting ducks and they were waiting for proof. We'd have proof when they were surrounding us in the dark, sizing us up, laughing under their breath at how stupid we'd been.

We are not voting on this, Michael. I've made my decision. That is the end of it.

"Damnit," I snapped, dropping the sketchbook from my hands. I ground my palms against my eyes and listened to my heartbeat thundering in my chest.

He didn't give a damn. He was the one who said we had to figure things out together. What he really meant is that he wanted to know what I was up to. Turnabout wasn't on his majesty's agenda.

I took a long breath and let my hands drop, staring up at the ceiling. This King business was going to his head. First it was a committee, all of us deciding things together and now it was his decision alone? Just like that?

It affected all of us. And he didn't give a damn.

Max lost, Michael.

I closed my eyes and let it drift back to me. The chamber, his body, his voice droning on and on and on...

He tried to talk to them. His advisors told him they weren't listening, that they were going to attack when he least expected it. He didn't agree.

And because of that, our world was lost.

Max's eyes hadn't wavered at all. He'd stood in front of the bleachers, sunlight blazing across his shoulders, his eyes locked on me, daring me to defy him. There wasn't a doubt in his mind.

I took in a breath and opened my eyes again, staring at the book in my lap. The four-square symbol covered the page, multiple sketches of it trailing across the paper in loose, light pencil lines...

I flinched and flung it away from me. It ricocheted off the wall and fell behind some paint cans.

"Not the welcome I expected," someone said.

I looked across the room at Isabel.


I stood up and crossed the room, reaching behind the paint cans. "What do you want," I muttered, snatching the sketchbook up in my fingers.

"I wanted to talk to you."

"Really," I said, turning to glare at her. "Too little, too late."

"What do you expect, Michael?" She demanded. "You're putting me in the middle -"

"Hey, I'm trying to save your life," I snapped. "I'm dealing with reality. You know it's just a matter of time before they find us -"

"It could be a coincidence," She said desperately, drowning out my words. "You don't know that he's one of them. You don't know if -"

"I know that Max is too paralyzed to make a decision," I almost shouted.

Her eyes grew wide and her spine stiffened. She looked away from me, out of the window. I crossed the room to her.

"You know it, too," I said quietly, staring down at her. Her eyes flickered up to meet mine, her features etched with fear. I pursed my lips and scowled.

"And maybe he's not the only one," I said.

Her features hardened and she looked away. I shook my head and walked past her.

"Don't go there tonight, Michael."

I stopped and didn't turn around.

"I know you, Michael," She said, her voice strong again, loud and sharp and trembling with emotion. "God, I know exactly what you're going to do. You're going to ignore what he said, and you're going to go there tonight and break in, and -"

"I don't know what you're talking about," I said evenly, turning around to face her. She almost flinched. Her lips pressed together in a thin line, turning her lips a faint shade of pink.

"Fine," She said quietly. "I probably deserved that. But just - call me. If you need me. If something-"

"Isabel," I interrupted. "I said, I'm not going."

She smiled weakly. "Right," She murmured. "You're not going."

We stared at each other for a moment and then she turned quickly, her skirt flaring with the swiftness of movement. She jerked the door open and turned around. "Sorry about - the door," She said quickly, her eyes moving from the doorknob in her hand to the kitchen counter and back again.

I opened my mouth to speak and closed it again. "No problem," I said.

"I won't do it again," She said evenly.

"Good," I said.

She looked up at me again, her gaze desperate and defiant. "I'll have my cell phone next to my bed," She said evenly, her hand on the door.

I scowled. She turned suddenly and jerked the door shut behind her. The click from the lock resounded through the apartment like a death rattle.

I stared down at the sketchbook in my fists and tried to breathe.


The knock was soft against my door. "Honey? You still up?"

I closed my eyes for a moment and didn't answer. I lay on my bed, the corner of my quilt gathered up in my fists, staring out the window at the sky.

"Guess she's asleep," My dad murmured.

"I'm worried about her," My mom whispered.

"Honey, she'll be fine." I heard the creak of the floorboards as they walked down the hall. "It's tough at her age. I remember when I was sixteen..."

His voice faded as I heard their bedroom door close. I closed my eyes again and could see them walking down the hall, her feet shuffling in the bunny slippers I'd given her last year, his arm draped over her shoulder as he whispered words of comfort io her. She'll be okay, it's just a phase, we survived it, didn't we?

I turned my face into the blanket, breathing the soft, comforting scent of detergent into my lungs, pressing the soft fabric against my cheek.


I looked down one side of the street and then the other. Empty. "Move it, Guerin," I muttered.

I darted across the street and ducked into the UFO Center entrance, sliding my hand over the lock, hearing the snik of the lock turning back, jerking the door open and slipping inside. I crouched down and locked the door behind me. Good, I thought, glancing around. Now what?

I blinked and tried to force my eyes to adjust to the darkness. Every other time I'd gone off for something, I'd known exactly what I was looking for. At least I had an idea. This time, they could be waiting for me.

There's a good chance that they know exactly where you are, Michael. And look at you. One kill, and you're useless...

I felt the pull of it, felt my eyes drawn to the crack on the wall where Pierce's back had hit. I closed my eyes tight and saw the look in his eyes, saw them widen as I stretched out my arm and the white fire pulsed out through my skin and sent him flying back against the wall -

I swallowed hard and opened my eyes. Rivers of green light spilled out from the exhibits and snaked their way across the floor.

We don't have time for ethical dilemmas, Michael.

I blinked again and stepped into the room, walking down the stairs, trying to stay in the shadows. I was almost at the bottom of the stairs when I caught movement from one of the back rooms. I moved back as the new guy came out, staring at something in his hand. It started humming and whirring. He stopped and I took a step forward -

There was a blue flash of light and then something hit me. Hard. I was off the ground, flying back, the scream trapped in my throat. My back slammed against something and then I felt the ground, cold and smooth under my skin -

"Who's there?" He yelled. "Stay where you are!"


I sighed and rolled over on my quilt, staring up at the ceiling. Come on. You have to stop this. You have to get some sleep...

The pain ripped through my body, making me gasp out loud. I sat up, my arms flying around my rib cage. I could feel it again, the searing heat, the blood gushing, tiny fragments of metal ripping through skin and muscle and bone and -

It was gone.

I blinked and stared down at my body, my breath short and ragged, watching my fingers tremble over my nightshirt, feeling my chest and my ribs, trying to find the opening or the blood or something...

Nothing, I thought blankly. No hole. No wound. I was fine. Then what just...

I turned to the window, still dark and empty and freckled with stars. The cool night air felt strange in my throat.

"Michael?" I gasped.

I stood up quickly and ran to the window, opening the latch and jerking the window open, staring up at the clear night sky. The rooftop was empty.

I stared at the lawnchair and remembered waking up to find the pendant on the window ledge. The hurt rippled through me again, followed closely by resentment and anger...

I hesitated. He's with Isabel now, I thought.

I turned back to stare at my bed, my hands drifting up to my chest where the bullet had entered my body months ago, fingertips tracing the scar that wasn't there.

I didn't care. I had to make sure he was alright. I closed my eyes and tried to reach out to him -

The images surfaced immediately. He was in the dark. He was hurt. A giant alien towered over him, and someone was yelling...

I opened my eyes. The UFO Center.

I flew across my room and down the stairs.


"Hey!" Brody yelled. "Don't move!"

I pulled myself up, pushing stuff out of my way, lunging for the exit door. It opened and I lurched out, stumbling against some boxes in the alley. Something fell to the ground behind me. I could still hear him yelling -

The pain rippled up from my chest again. I tasted blood in my mouth and fell against the wall of the alley, sliding down until my back hit the ground. I tried to breathe and stared at the door, waiting for him.

You can still get him, I thought. At least you can get him before he gets to Max or Isabel. Or Liz...

I heard the screech of tires and a door opening. Damn. More of them. I tried to twist myself around to see them and doubled over again. The footsteps were coming closer, pounding quickly against the pavement.

Learn. Kill. Protect the King. That's all that matters -

I felt fists grabbing onto my jacket. I let the fire surge up in my hands and -

Nothing happened.

"...please be alright. Please be alright," She chanted in a low voice, jerking me around to face her.

I thought she was a dream. I really did.

"Michael. Michael. Are you okay?"

Liz crouched next to me, wisps of hair and panic slipping across her face. She touched my cheek with her fingertips, warm skin against mine. I stared up at her.


"We have to go," She said, standing up and trying to pull me with her. "Come on -"

I drowned the gasp in my throat. Not a dream, I thought, twisting my arm out of her grasp and falling back. The pain under my shirt was real. "Get outta here," I snapped. "He's gonna come out here any second -"

"I'm not leaving you here."

"I mean it. Get outta here -"

"I said I'm not leaving," She said, leaning down, her eyes flashing. "Come with me, or I'm staying."

I stared up at her and tried to breathe. She wasn't going to budge. I glanced at the door. Brody was in there, and my powers weren't working -

"Fine," I snapped.

Her hands were on me, yanking my body up - me, I thought, not my body. Not yet. Me. I tried to stand and fell against her, making her stumble to the side. "Come on," She muttered, wrapping one of my arms around her shoulder and half-dragging me to the street. "Hurry -"

The side door of the car was open. She threw me into the passenger side and the pain blossomed again under my ribs, spreading through me in a scalding current. She slammed the side door and I slumped down at my seat, staring at the door. I heard her car door open and the sound of her fumbling with the keys.

Come on, I thought, trying to will the door to stay shut, to keep Brody inside, at least until we were gone, until she was out of sight. Come on -

The engine turned over. I heard the squealing of her tires as she hit the accelerator full force, leaving the UFO Center behind us. I grabbed the side mirror and moved it so I could see the street behind us. No one yet. Good.

I glanced over at her. She was pale. Her hands were trembling, her knuckles bright crescent moons on the wheel. "Are you alright?" She said.

I nodded and tried to sit up. The pain welled up again, sharp and hot like lava, heating my insides to a boil. I flinched and jerked my face away. "I'm fine," I lied, glancing at rear view mirror and the side mirror. "Stop the car."

"What?" She demanded, surprised. "Why?"

"I'm going back."

"No you're not," She said loudly, turning another corner. "Michael -"

"I'm fine," I snapped. "You shouldn't have shown up."

"Oh, because you had it under control?" She demanded, her voice sharp and tight. "Right. Sorry. My mistake."

I closed my eyes and bit back the howl in my throat. Brody was back there. And now he knew we were on to him. He might even have seen the car, or Liz -

"Look," I said, trying to keep my voice even. "You showed up. You helped. Good for you. Now stop the car."

I could feel her eyes on my back. I counted the seconds of silence. "We should tell Max," She said flatly. "Make sure you're okay -"

"Like hell," I growled. "I don't think his Undecidedness expects his lowly second tonight."

There was the silence again. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. "He doesn't know you're here," She said slowly.

"You are not taking me to Max," I interrupted, twisting around to face her. Stupid. The pain bloomed under my ribs again. "Stop the damn car."

"I'm not going to leave you, Michael," I shot back, glancing at his hand. "What happened? What did -"

"It's nothing, alright?" I snapped. "It's alien stuff. It doesn't concern you."

"Doesn't concern me?" She repeated, staring at me, thunderstruck. After a moment she turned to the windshield, her face blank. "Doesn't concern me."

“No,” I snapped. “It doesn´t have anything to do with you anymore.”

She made a choked sound and I scowled. Was she laughing?

"That´s funny, Michael,” She said. ”Because I still felt it."


I could feel his stare burning into my skin. "What," He said in a low voice.

"It was -" I swallowed and shook my head. It was suddenly hard to breathe. "It was like when I first found out about you. About the three of you," I said. "When I was..."

The words hung unsaid in the car. I blinked and willed the road to swim back into focus. His eyes were burning into my skin.

"When you were shot," He said quietly.

I flinched and nodded. I felt my chin tremble and hated myself. Weakling, I thought, you're so weak...

"He was right," Michael murmured. I turned to stare at him.

"Nasedo," He said quietly. "He was right."

"About what?" I demanded. "To leave you in the desert? To kidnap me? To threaten both of us, to get Max caught -"

"That we don't belong together," He interrupted.

I felt my jaw drop open and closed it again, staring back at the road.

Feeling the bullet again didn't hurt this bad.

"Not - you and me," He said evenly. "Although that's obviously not a good idea, either -"

"Not a good idea," I repeated numbly.

"I mean that the four of us are barely ready to take anything on," He said deliberately. "The rest of you can't handle what's coming -"

I shook my head. "No," I said. "I don't believe that -"

"Where's your cell phone?" He interrupted, his hands searching the dark corners of the car for my purse. I blinked and stared at him.


"I want to call someone," He said, stretching his hand out. "Come on."

"Who?" I asked, ignoring the ice thawing in my stomach.

He dropped his hand and didn't answer.

"Who?" I demanded. He glared at me.

"Isabel," He said.

I stared at him in disbelief. "You want to use my phone," I said. "To call her -"

"Fine," He growled, his features contorted with frustration and rage. He twisted back to the window and I heard him curse under his breath. "Stop the car."

I stared at the road in front of us. We were at the edge of town. The desert, endless and bleak, stretched out before us.

I felt the tears stinging my eyes and laughed. It sounded high and false, too sharp, too desperate. I clutched the steering wheel in one fist and shifted the car into fifth gear with the other. "Tell you what, Michael," I said. "You want to stop the car?"

I pushed the accelerator to the floor and the car pitched forward. "Stop it yourself."


My body pressed further into the seat with the sudden acceleration. "What the hell are you doing," I snapped.

She turned the wheel suddenly and we fishtailed, the car swinging wildly in the desert sand. I lodged one arm against the car door and reached for the car roof on instinct to to brace myself. Stupid. The pain seared through my bones, up my arm, spreading out to my fingertips. I dropped my arm back down to my side and tried to breathe.

"I'll tell you what I'm doing," She said, her eyes locked on the road, her fingers clamped tight on the wheel. "I'm taking us to the desert."

"Stop it," I said, my voice low and dangerous.

"You know, you're saying that a lot tonight."

"I mean it," I snapped. "This is dangerous -"

"Funny, Michael, that was going to be my point," She said suddenly, her voice sharp with sarcasm. "Life is dangerous. Breathing is dangerous."

She twisted her face around to look at me. "Feeling anything is especially dangerous," She said. "Right?"

I glared at her and didn't answer. I recognized the defiance in her stare, the challenge... I'd seen that before. But it was more than that. I'd never seen her this angry.

"Hang on," She said, and turned the wheel sharply.

The weight of the car slid with the turn. The wheels were slipping on the sand like oil, kicking up rising waves of dust around us. Nasedo was right, I thought distantly, staring at the pinpoints of light and the surge of sand rising around us. I never should have started this. She'd never be safe around us. Around me.

Tonight was proof of that.

For a moment, I thought about reaching over to grab the wheel. I could just force her to pull over. I could let her scream and rail and hit me if she wanted. Walk back to town. Call Isabel and tell her what had happened -

I felt the tires catch against the ground and the car lurched forward suddenly. She'd gotten it under control again. The moment was gone.

We drove in silence, and I never made a move to stop her.


The brakes would have squealed if we were on pavement. Instead we skidded for a several yards and came to a sudden stop.

The cloud of dust enveloped the car for a moment, darkening the windows. I grabbed the keys from the ignition and jerked the door open, slamming it shut behind me. I stared up at the sharp, jagged cliff that tore into the night sky. The place where they'd gotten their message from -

Home, I thought bitterly. The dust drifted around me and on me, settling on my shoes, my jeans. I breathed in deep and felt the gritty texture in my mouth. Tears slid down my cheeks and I jerked my sleeve up over my face in one swift movement. I shrugged my shoulders and tossed my hair back. Maybe he'll think I just brushed my hair out of my face.

I stared at the jagged rock and raised my chin, trying not to look at the clusters of stars crowding the night sky. Home. Call it what it is. What it was. Home.

"What're we doing here," He called out wearily.

I turned back to face the car. He'd rolled the window down but was still sitting in the passenger seat. I could barely make out his silhouette in the glare of the headlights.

"You tell me," I said, squinting a little, shrugging my shoulders. "Explain it to me, Michael. Explain you breaking into the UFO center -"

"I told you," He snapped, looking off to the right. Even in the darkness I knew he was pursing his lips and scowling. "It doesn't concern you anymore."

"You think it's that easy, Michael?" I demanded, standing in the pool of light, my hands settling on my hips. "You think you can just - rewrite history? Make everything different?"

He barked a laugh, short and low. It echoed through the canyon. The side door opened suddenly and he stood up, leaning on the car door. "Why don't we talk about what's really bugging you," He said.

"Which is what, in your opinion," I asked. My heartbeat faltered, remembering the pendant on my windowsill, the smirk that danced across his lips in the cafe when he was looking at Isabel...

Weakling, I thought.

He shook his head and looked down at the ground. "You sure you want to do this, Liz?" He asked softly.

I blinked, my breath caught in my throat. He sounded so different just then. Not mean, or distanced, just soft and torn up and - like Michael, I thought instinctively, he sounded like Michael...

I licked my lips nervously. He was just playing with me. He shrugged and snorted back a laugh, stepping away from the car and walking towards me. I felt my heartbeat speed up with every step.

"Come on," He said, his eyes locked on mine. "Let's go back."

"And do what?" I asked quietly.

The muscle in his jaw twitched. He glanced away and shrugged. "Drop me off at the edge of town," He said tersely. "Go home, and climb into bed, and go to sleep."

I choked back the laugh. "Why make you walk?" I asked. "Why don't I just take you straight to her house?"

His eyes hardened. He stepped closer to me. "Look," He said. "I don't have time -"

"You better make time, Michael," I said, backing up, my arms extended. "Because it's a long walk back to Roswell. I should know, I walked it three months ago," I said, turning around to face the cliff. "Remember?"

"You're pissed off about Isabel," He called out suddenly. I stopped. My arms dropped to my side.

"I get that," He said. "I get that you're angry. But this is not going to change anything."

I felt the tears burning and blinked them back. "You know, I bet you believe that," I murmured, turning around. "But that's not it."

"It's not," He said, his voice flat with disbelief. "Right."

"No," I almost shouted. "I'm pissed off because you seem to suddenly be buying into this whole destiny thing. And that is not you, Michael."

His features contorted into a grimace and he turned away. "Whatever, Parker."

"All of you are doing it," I said, walking back toward him. "Max is walking Tess home, you're - you're with Isabel, it's like you just decided to change your lives just because -"

"Drop it."

"- just because some hologram showed up and told you something that may or may not have happened," I said, walking faster, my hands moving quickly. "You don't even know if it was genuine or not, Michael, the planet I saw in my flash was glowing, that means it could have been a red star and that means it could be gone by now -"

"I said stop it."

"- there may not even be anyone left, Michael, and you're all scared, I know that, but you can't -"

"Liz!" He roared, wheeling around on me. "Stop it!"

I stared up at him, my eyes wide, my pulse racing. His features were contorted with fury, his eyes burning into me. I couldn't breathe. He'd never sounded like that before. He'd never -

"You don't know what you're talking about," He said suddenly, his voice rushing like the sudden release of a dam, his words flooding over one another. "All of this - us being here, everything that's happened, it's all Max's fault."

I stared up at him. What? "I don't -"

"He lost," Michael snapped. "He didn't do what he was supposed to do, and now our home's paying the price."

I stopped and stared up at him. "And that's all Max's fault?"

"He's the damn king," He almost shouted. "But he won't do anything but hide, Isabel does whatever he wants, and all Tess can think about is -"

He turned away without finishing the sentence. The word hung between us. Destiny.

"So it's on me," He finished angrily, his back to the car, his face drowned in shadow. "I break in, I find clues they can't ignore, then we all have to deal with it. That's my job."

He looked up at me, his eyes glinting in the harsh light of the headlights. "I can't let him do it again," He said, his voice low and dangerous. "I can't let it happen twice."

I stared at him, my lips parted. I didn't know what to say. Something unfamiliar flickered over his face and he turned away quickly. His arm slid up his body, wrapping around his rib cage. His knuckles were pale reflections in the beam of the headlights.

"Michael?" I murmured. "What's -"

"I'm fine," He mumbled, stepping toward the car. His voice was thick and choked. He stumbled and recovered, moving toward the car again.

"You don't seem fine," I said slowly, following him. He reached the passenger side door and jerked it open, his hands gripping the door frame until his knuckles glowed white. He tried to settle into the passenger seat and I saw it flicker across his face again. He was in pain.

"Michael," I said quickly, moving toward him. "What's wrong -"

"Just take me back," He said quietly, his voice rough and low. "Take me to the UFO Center..."

"You're hurt," I said quickly, crouching down on the desert sand. I reached up and touched his face. "Michael, you're cold -"

He jerked away from my touch. I froze and sat back on my heels, staring at him. He was pale, his breath coming in short, ragged gasps. He was trembling, shaking with chills -

"I'll be right back," I said quietly. "Don't move."


I closed my eyes and tried to breathe. Liz was moving things around in the trunk. "What the hell are you doing," I muttered, and regretted it immediately. I felt like my insides were turning to molten lava, and my skin felt like ice -

"Don't talk," She called back. "Don't move."

Move? Jesus. Moving hurt. Everything hurt.

I heard her running around to the side of the car and then something was covering me, falling around my shoulders. "That'll keep you warm," She said, her hands moving over my skin, her palms rubbing warmth into my arms.

"Don't," I muttered, trying to shake her off.

"Michael, do not make this harder on me," She snapped suddenly, her fingers tightening.

I looked at her and saw the worry and panic etched on her face. I frowned and slumped back in the car seat. After a moment her hands started moving again, rubbing my hands and arms. "You could've told me you were hurt," She muttered.

"I was handling it," I mumbled.

"Right," She said sharply, shaking her head. "I can see that. You're ready to fight the world..."

Her voice faded away and I let my eyes close. I wanted to sleep. I was so tired. All I wanted to do was sleep...


Hands were grabbing me roughly, slicking my hair back, moving over my face. I didn't care. I was tired. I was so tired. I just wanted to rest. Just let go...

The roaring grew to a scream in my eyes, and everything went black.


I stared at him. He wasn't answering me. His eyes were closed.

"Michael," I snapped, cupping his face in my hands. "Wake up."

No response. I frowned and slapped my palm against his cheek. "Michael!"

He didn't respond. His skin was freezing. I let go of him suddenly and his head lolled to one side. I stared down at him, the breath caught in my throat. This isn't happening, I thought blankly. This is impossible. This isn't happening -

I stood up and leaned over him. "Michael. Come on," I whispered, my hands shaking. "Michael -"

He didn't blink. He didn't move. I caught something moving quickly out of the corner of my eye and focused on his pulse. It was speeding up, the skin rising in a quick flurry of movement at the edge of his jaw.

His breath was shallow. I reached for his hands and almost recoiled. He's cold, I thought numbly, he's so cold...

"Get up," I said suddenly, gathering the blanket around him tightly, trying to jerk him out of the car. "Michael, get up -"

No response. Nothing. "Oh, God," I said quickly, the panic rolling through me now. "Oh, God. Michael. Come on. Michael -"

My hand slid down his chest, over his heart.

The warmth rippled up inside me suddenly, like heat blossoming out from the marrow in my bones. I felt the glow building up in me, lighting my skin from within with streaks of pale, golden light, warm and comforting, rushing out from my bones and through my muscles and up to my chest, gathering for a moment in my heart and then they were spiraling out suddenly, rushing down my arms to and then to my fingers, making the tips of them glow like diamonds -

The glow hung between us for a moment and then rushed suddenly into him, the streaks of light and warmth dancing underneath his skin in a expanding spiral and then rushing across his body in a sudden wave of light, disappearing into nothingness.

I heard him breathe in sharply, saw the sudden rise and fall of his chest. I raised my face to look at his eyes, wide and unbelieving, locked on me, hovering over him.

I sat back and stared down at my fingertips, pale and trembling. He started to sit up and paused, hesitation skipping across his face. I heard his movements after a moment.

I stared down at my hands, turning them over. My breath was shaking.

"Liz," He said quietly. "What -"

"You're alright," I whispered, my voice strangled in my throat. I stood up suddenly and got out of the car, staring out at the desert. After a moment I turned around to face him again.

"I'll take you back," I said.


The drive back to Roswell was a quiet one. I frowned and glanced over at her. She had this distant, worried look on her face...

She looked over at me. "What," She said. "Is it worse?"

"No," I said quickly, shaking my head. "No, I mean - I think something's wrong with my ribs, but -"

"Max should be able to heal that," She said, turning to look out at the road again. Her hands hung loosely on the steering wheel. "Yeah," I mumbled, turning to stare out at the window for a moment before turning back. "Are you sure you're -"

"I'm fine," She interrupted, nodding.

"You're sure."

"Yes," She said quickly. "I'm sure."

I licked my lips and nodded. "Okay."

We were on the street just before Max's when she turned the wheel, bringing us to a slow stop on the side of the road. She pushed the car into neutral and pulled up the emergency brake. I stared out the windshield and waited for her to say something.

"What you said before," She said slowly. "About Max."

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

"I was thinking..." She stopped and shook her head. "I was just wondering how you knew that. For sure."

I opened my eyes. "Call it a hunch," I said.

She nodded slowly and put her hands back on the wheel, frowning. "Okay," She said quietly. "And you said he had lost. Right?"

I licked my lips and felt the muscle in my jaw twitch.

"I'm just..." She shifted in her seat. "Look, I'm probably the last person you want to hear this from, and maybe now isn't the best time, but -"

"Spit it out, Liz," I said quietly.

She paused. "I just think it can't all be Max's fault," She said.

I scowled and looked over at her. "What?"

"Look, maybe - maybe you're right, maybe he made bad decisions. And maybe it was ultimately his responsibility, because he's - because he's the leader. But all of you were there, Michael. You and Tess and - Isabel, you were all there."

"What're you saying?"

"I'm just - look, I have no reason to stand up for Max," She said evenly. "Not with what he did before - before I left. I'm just speculating that maybe all of you made mistakes," She said slowly. "Maybe there's a reason why you were brought back differently, you know, part... human. So you could be different.

"Maybe they did that because that way ..." She shrugged and stared at her hands in her lap. "Maybe this time you could learn something different. Think about things differently.

"Maybe this time, you would win," She finished quietly.

I stared at her. She pressed her lips together and looked up at me for a moment, her gaze flickering from my eyes to my chest.

"That's all," She said. Her fingers found the ignition key and and turned it swiftly. The engine started and her hand dropped to the gear shift, driving us around the corner to Max's house.


I brushed my hair back from my face and shifted my weight nervously. Michael wasn't strong enough to climb trees and rainpipes, so I was alone, standing outside Max's window. The last time we'd talked about Michael... I didn't want to think about the last time we'd talked about Michael.

But he was the healer. There wasn't anyone else.

I tapped my fingers against the windowpane. I heard muttering and a slow shuffle. A light came on and the curtains drew back.

"Liz?" Max said, blinking in surprise. "What's going on?"

I swallowed and fought the urge to back up. "I have Michael," I said quietly. "Downstairs. He's hurt."

He stared at me for a moment in confusion, and then anger clouded up his features. "It's not what you think," I whispered quickly.

"It's exactly what I think," He muttered. "He went to the UFO Center."

"We weren't -" I paused and frowned. "Yeah," I said. "How did you -"

"I'll get Is," He said shortly. "We'll meet you at the back door."

"Oh - okay," I murmured. "Alright."

He smiled at me grimly and turned away. The drapes fell before my eyes.

He didn't get mad, I thought. He didn't get mad that Michael and I were together...

I shook my head and stepped back from the window, climbing down to the ground.


"God, are you okay?" Isabel asked, wrapping her arms around Michael and leading him over to the couch.

"I'm fine," He muttered, shrugging her off. "Easy. Easy, alright?"

Max turned around to face me. "Thank you for bringing him here," He said quietly, his voice tense, but not with me.

"Right," I said, staring past him at Isabel and Michael. She was brushing his hair away from his face, her eyes glazed with worry. I felt sick. "It was nothing."

"I'll walk you to your car," He said, gesturing to the back door.

"What about Michael?" Isabel said sharply.

"I'll be right back," He said quietly, without turning around. I felt his hand settle gently against my back and stepped forward quickly.

I walked out the back door and stopped. He followed me out, closing the door behind him, his eyes locked on the ground.

"Sorry to wake you up with this," I murmured, walking slowly to the car. He shook his head wearily.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with him," He said quietly. "He won't listen to me, he won't do what I tell him..." He shook his head. "Thanks. For bringing him here."

I frowned and stopped. We were at the street. "It's okay," I said, confused. "It's no big deal."

He smiled ruefully and nodded. "Okay," He said, glancing at the car. "Were you out joyriding or something?"

"Oh," I said. "The dust. Yeah, I'll just... wash that off when I get home, or something -"

He tilted his head slightly and waved his arm in a wide arc towards the car. Specks of dust disappeared. I frowned. It looked waxed.

"Maybe, uhm - maybe it's better to not, you know, go overboard," I muttered.

He smiled at me and waved his hand again. The finish dulled.

"Thanks," I mumbled, moving to the other side of the car.

"Sure," He said in that soft voice. I picked up my pace and opened the car door, getting in and turning the key in the ignition. I glanced out the window. He was waving.

I frowned. It didn't seem to bother him at all that I was with Michael -

Maybe Tess was getting what she wanted after all.

I pulled out onto the street and drove back home. It was only when I woke up the next morning that I realized I'd never waved back.


“They don't feel broken,” Isabel murmured, her fingertips gently prodding my ribs. I winced and jerked away from her.

“Yeah,” I muttered. “Not to you.”

Her eyes flickered up to meet mine, guilty and wounded.

“Nice move, Michael,” Max murmured, his voice low but angry. “How many times do we have to have the same conversation? How many times do I –“

“Knock it off, Max!” Isabel snapped. Both of us stared at her.

“He's been through enough,” She said quietly. “He doesn't need a lecture.”

“Thank you,” I said quietly. She glanced at me. “Better late than never.”

“I just don't want to see any of us get hurt,“ Max said.

Isabel stood up. “I know,” She said evenly. “But someone did get hurt. Michael nearly got killed tonight. Nasedo already has been killed. Something has to be done, Max. We have to do something about Brody.”

The tension in the room shot up. “What are you saying?” Max said.

I stared at my hands. Maybe all of you made mistakes, Michael…

“We have to kill him,” Isabel said, her voice shaking with emotion. I looked up at her and then at Max. He looked completely blindsided.

I knew how he felt. Thinking it was one thing, but saying it… that was something else.

“Wow,” I murmured.

“He used an alien weapon,” She said quickly, the words tumbling out of her mouth in a rush. “What human could do that? He's a skin, whatever that means. And he killed Nasedo and he's been stalking the rest of us. We're at war.

“It's him or us, and I choose us.”

I looked at Max, his eyes wide and unconvinced. I stood up.

Liz was wrong. They both were wrong.

“Me, too,” I said.


“Where the hell is he,” I muttered, pacing in the alleyway.

“He´ll be here,” Isabel said nervously.

“He better not back out,” I said, turning on her. “One way or another –“

Her eyes lit up. I turned around.

“Let's do it,” Max said quietly.

Getting in was easy enough. We walked down the steps, Is and I flanking Max in case anyone attacked us from the back. My eyes were itching to look up, to see Pierce flying back again –

We don´t have time for ethical dilemmas, Michael.

I scowled and tried to concentrate. We had no plan. Just get inside and get to Brody. The fire was already blistering up my palms. Once we got inside…

I knew I was supposed to do the rest.

Look at you. One kill, and you´re useless…

I scowled and shook my head, trying to focus. You can´t screw this up, Guerin -

Maybe you all made mistakes, Michael. Maybe Max isn´t the only one who screwed up –

… Learn. Kill. Protect the leader…

You´re starting to believe in this destiny thing, Michael, and that´s not who you are –

“No,” Max said suddenly, turning around. “We can't do this.”

The fire was white-hot now. “What?” I demanded. I knew it. I knew he´d back out. It´s the same thing all over again –

“This isn't us,” He said, shaking his head.

“I know what you're saying,” Isabel said slowly. “But we have to do something –“

“Brody's dead,” I growled. Max looked over at me. “End of subject.”

I took a step forward, and he stepped back, and –

The green shield hung between us, pulsing slightly, blocking us from him. I felt my jaw drop. He lowered his arm and the shield disappeared. He flexed his hand into a fist and then released his grip again, staring down at his hand…

“What the hell?” I said softly.

“When did you learn to do that?” Isabel demanded.

“A while ago,” Max said evenly. “Just wait here.”

“What are you gonna do?” Isabel said, taking a step toward him.

“Face him,” He said. “Find out the truth.”

He wouldn´t listen. And because of that, our world was lost –

“And if he kills you?” I demanded. “Then what?”

He looked at me carefully, and a wry smile flickered across his lips. “Then you can be fearless leader,” He said quietly.

I stared at him openly, watching him turn away, moving slowly for the door to Brody´s office. Protect the King. Protect the King –

He opened the door and crossed the threshold, and the door closed softly behind him.

The fire flickered in my hands as Is and I rushed to the door.


“You're here because of what happened on May 14th,” Max said evenly.

“How do you know about May 14th?” Brody asked.

“It's all over your files.”

There was a pause. “You rehearsed that answer,” Brody said, his accent clipped and angry. “You're here because of this -”

The light was simmering in my hands. I raised my arm and Isabel grabbed my wrist. “Don´t,” She whispered.

“Isabel –“

“Nothing´s happened,” She whispered, her eyes flickering up to mine. “Michael. Nothing´s happened.”

Not yet, I thought. I twisted to look inside the office window. Brody was holding the pentagram. It was covered in alien symbols. And Max´s hand was a fist over Brody´s wrist.

It activated for me, I thought, staring at the two of them, but not for Max –

What did that mean?

“You're one of us, aren't you?” Max said slowly.

Brody swallowed hard and nodded. “That's right. I suspected we were alike, but I wasn't sure.”

“Why are you here?” Max said. “What do you want?”

“What we all want,” Brody said. “To re-establish contact. Maybe even to go back. Will you let go of me now?”

No. Don´t. Don´t –

He let go. I flinched and twisted away from the door, the fire ready in my hands –

“Do you remember what happened?” Brody asked quietly.

“Not entirely,” Max said, waiting.

“Me neither,” Brody sighed. “Two years of recovered-memory therapy and still the only thing I can remember about my abduction is the color of the walls, the smell of burnt hair…”


“Oh, my God,” Isabel murmured, sagging against the wall. “He´s not a skin, Michael.”


I watched Isabel hug Max, her arms wrapped tightly around him. He smiled weakly over her shoulder and looked at her when she released him.

“How´d you know?” She asked him intensely, her voice soft and relieved.

He shook his head. “I don´t know,” He said softly, his eyes flickering over to me. “I just did.”

I blinked and nodded, trying to hide the shame in my face. We could have killed him. I could have killed him. And he was just an innocent guy…

That still doesn´t explain what hit you. Or why it didn´t hit Max.

Max started to walk away and we fell into step next to him, Isabel staying between him and the wall, me crossing to stand between him and the street. It took me a second to realize it. We´d both done it without even thinking about it. It was just instinct…

Learn. Kill. Protect the leader. Convince him to lead…

Maybe you all made mistakes, Michael.

I stopped, shaking my head. Max turned back, a worried look flickering across his face. “You guys go ahead,” I muttered.

“Michael,” He said, the warning soft in his voice. “He´s not dangerous –“

“That´s not it,” I muttered, shaking my head. “I just – I just gotta go think.”

He stared at me for a moment and then nodded. “Alright,” He said.

I blinked and felt the scowl settle across my face as he turned away. I wasn´t asking for permission, I thought.

Are you sure, Guerin?

I spun around quickly and walked in the opposite direction, back to the UFO center and the alleyway where I´d laid helpless. I glanced at the exit door and licked my lips nervously, walking into the darkened, empty passage. The boxes were still crushed from where I´d fallen the night before.

I felt it, Michael. It was like when I first found out about you. About the three of you. When I was...

I closed my eyes.

There´s a lot you don´t know, Michael. You don´t know, for example, that the same thing that binds you together, that helps you, can hurt you.

Whatever you feel, she feels.

I could see her body arching up from her bed, her eyes squeezed shut, her breath coming in short gasps and wheezes, her hand clutched over her heart, her voice repeating over and over in my mind. Michael. Make it stop. Make it stop –

I felt the howling rising up in me and swallowed it, pressing it down until the fire was blistering up my palms and I felt the sudden slam of knuckles against bricks. I opened my eyes, my breathing ragged, and waited for my vision to clear. When it finally did I was staring at a hole in the wall the size of my fist.

I´d done everything he wanted me to do. I´d lied to her. I´d broken her heart. It was over, it had been for months, and she was still connected to me…

I didn´t know what else to do.

I stood there, remembering Max´s smile hovering so close to me, the silver flickering circling his arm as he clenched his fist tighter around my heart, the pain searing through me after he let me go, feeling her reach out to me and severing the connection, shoving her out of my mind –

I stopped and turned around slowly.

She said she´d felt it. Felt that it hurt.

How´d she know where to find me?


I stood up from my desk and walked over to the filing cabinet. Whittaker had gone home hours ago.

I just didn´t want to go home. Michael was working the late shift tonight. I resisted the urge to look up at the clock to see how soon he´d be in the kitchen –

A hand clamped over my mouth, trapping the scream in my throat. The files spilled out of my arms all over the floor. Arms circled my body quickly and turned me around.

“Don´t make a sound,” Michael said quietly, his eyes locked on mine.

I started to nod and frowned instead. He scowled and released me. I stumbled back a step and tossed my head a little, getting the hair out of my eyes.

“What,” I murmured.

“Last night,” He said evenly. “How´d you do it.”

“Do what?”

“How´d you know where I was,” He said deliberately.

I stared up at him and felt my heartbeat speed up. “You know, you can´t just come barging in here –“

“Answer the question.”

“Are you even Michael?” I demanded in a low voice. “How do I know you´re not –“

“It´s me,” He snapped, closing the space between us deliberately. “I was hurt outside the UFO Center. You found me and got me out. How did you find me?”

I swallowed and shrugged. “I told you,” I said shortly. “I felt it.”

“That´s it,” He said, his eyes narrowing.

Yes,” I said. “Other than connecting with you to find out where you –“

“You got inside my head?” He demanded, moving closer to me.

I stared up at him. “Michael. I thought you were hurt. I didn´t think –“

“No. You didn´t think,” He snapped, his eyes flashing. “I told you. Stay out of my head, Parker.”

I felt my jaw drop open and fought the urge to laugh. “I can´t believe you,” I murmured. “Michael, I saved your life –“

“Do me a favor, Parker,” He murmured. “Don´t do me any favors.”

I closed my mouth over the bitterness burning down my throat. “Fine,” I said. “Next time, save yourself.”

“I don´t want anyone to get hurt -”

“Well, too late, Michael,” I snapped. “People are already hurt. They have been for a while.”

His face contorted suddenly and he turned away, stepping away from me quickly, yanking the door to Whittaker´s office open and disappearing into the darkness. I heard the slow creak of the back door closing, and then the click of the lock sliding into place.

My breath came in quick, shaky bursts, and the familiar burning was blurring my vision…

No. Not anymore. Not again.

I brushed the back of my hand across my eyes and turned back to the files at my feet, gathering up the loose piles of paper and filing them back into the plain manilla covers.


…here's to the nights we felt alive
Here's to the tears you knew you'd cry
Here's to goodbye
Tomorrow's gonna come too soon...

“Can we change this?” I demanded.

“Jeez, relax,” Courtney said, draping her arm across the counter. “It´s just pop music.”

“Not my style,” I growled, throwing a burger special up on the shelf. “Order up.”

“Sooo,” She said, ignoring the food. “How do you feel about piercings?”

I glared at her and chewed on the toothpick in my mouth. “I don't,” I muttered.

She raised her eyebrows. “You should think about it.”

“Not into pain,” I said, turning around to grab some fries. I looked past her to the café doors. She should be here by now. What the hell was she doing? “Order up.”

“Well, it only hurts once,” Courtney said slowly, tilting her face and smiling lazily. “Then it's about the stimulation.”

I stared at her as Maria appeared outta nowhere. “Table 4 is waiting,” She announced, glaring at Courtney.

I glanced at both of them and rolled my eyes. “I´m going on break,” I muttered.

I don´t think either of them heard me leave the kitchen and walk into the back. They were too busy glaring at each other. Jesus, I thought, rolling my head to one side and then the other, hearing the soft pop from my neck -

“I need to talk to you.”

“Max, I need to talk to Maria.”

I glanced at the door to the restaurant and moved closer.

“Look, you need to hear this,” Max murmured.

“Look,” Liz interrupted, her voice tense, almost strangled in her throat. “Maria tried to explain to me about you and - and Tess the other night, okay?” Liz said. She sounded nervous. “But I don't –“

“This isn't about Tess,” He interrupted. “It's about you and me.”

I caught a glimpse of her through the diamond-shaped window and watched the blood rushing away from her face.

“You think I'm gonna forget about you, or – or get over it, or something,” He said evenly. “But I'm not.”

She was shaking her head slightly, opening her mouth to speak. He didn´t even give her a chance. “I don't care about my destiny,” He said. “Or my planet, or anything else. All I care about… is you.”

She almost flinched.

“So just know this,” He said, his voice low and determined, moving closer to her. “I'm coming for you, Liz.”

She stared at him, her lips barely trembling. He held her gaze for a moment longer and then moved away suddenly. She stood there, shellshocked, and then she was moving for the door. I barely had time to get into the corner before she rushed into the back room, the door swinging closed behind her. Her hands were shaking, slipping over her hair –

“Hey,” I muttered, stepping forward. “Are you –“

She whirled around suddenly, startled. “Don´t,” She said quickly, her hand held out. “Just… don´t.”

I nodded and licked my lips, glancing at the door to the restaurant. “Look, do you, uhm – should I get Maria, or –“

“I wish you´d both just leave me alone,” She said sharply, pacing nervously, her hands on her hips.

My mouth opened and closed. “Right,” I muttered. You don´t have the right to be hurt by that, Guerin. You deserve anything she dishes out.

We stood there, the awkward quiet stretching out between us. Music from the small radio in the kitchen filtered into the room.

...All my time is froze in motion
Can't I stay an hour or two or more…

“I´m going to go,” She said quickly, turning and rushing up the stairs. I stood at the landing below and watched her run upstairs, away from me, away from Max...

...Don't let me let you go
Don´t let me let you go…

“Bye,” I said softly, and didn´t move.


Chapter Index

Main Authors Offsite Recs
DC Slash Harry Potter Ros. Hetero Ros. Slash Ros. Other