|"The Way You Love Me"
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
|Let it not be said that she was a slow learner, Shilla thought as she served lunch to Max and Liz a few days later. It was a ritual now, Max would
arrive in the suite at various times throughout the day and she would leave. Unless she was asked to stay. Those were her favorite times since
she got to see Max and Liz together and what an education she was getting! They always held hands when they were near each other, like they
just HAD to touch in some way. And the looks that they shared just blew Shilla away.
Her second favorite was sitting with the Queen and just chatting. Liz liked to talk about her home on earth and her parents. And, of course, about how wonderful Max was. Shilla was slowly gaining an understanding for this most unusual couple. She now knew that Liz was not Antarian but human, and that the King had chosen her of his own free will. And that they had bonded twice and also "got married" according to the earth’s traditions a long time ago.
The only weird moment had been when Shilla had cautiously asked about the other Queen that was on Dendar and where she fit in. Liz’s eyes had fleetingly clouded over before she said simply that Tess was supposed to have been Max’s mate. Shilla had left it at that. Especially after she got a stern look from Max when he arrived for lunch that day and had spoken softly with Liz. She hadn’t been able to hear what they were saying, but she did take note of the soothing way in which Max stroked Liz’s hair. And the intense way he had kissed her before he left. Over and over until Liz finally pushed him out the door with a small giggle.
Shilla had still not figured out why the King left so late in the mornings. He was clearly up for a while by the time he went to his meetings and sometimes he was frowning fiercely as she passed him on her way in. On these occasions, she would find the Queen looking pale. She had also noticed that the Queen got dizzy on occasion. Shilla hoped the Queen wasn’t sick or something, because she didn’t think either of these two people would make it without the other!
And now it was the day before they would arrive on Dendar. The excitement on the ship was as palpable as the tension in the Antarian group. Even James, who normally was quite friendly with her, had become stern and quiet. Nick and Grace were having lunch with Max and Liz and they were talking about the big celebration that would be held on Dendar for Max’s arrival.
"So the other ship will get there today?" Liz asked. She couldn’t wait to tell Maria about her news. She would have to do it in some soundproof room, though.
"That’s what they tell me," Nick answered. "I will speak to Michael again later today."
"I think we should ask them to stay on the ship until we’re there too. I’d like for us all to arrive together," Max said as he took Liz’s hand and kissed her knuckles. He could feel her excitement at seeing their friends again.
"I will contact him again later then you can talk to him," Nick answered. They had been communicating with Michael and the others twice daily during the trip.
"Where are we going to stay when we’re there?"
Nick looked at Liz. "Well, there is some good news. Max’s parents had a suite in the Dendarian palace. It’s like a house within the palace. They are preparing it for you all."
Max and Liz had the same thought immediately. "Where is Tess staying?"
"She apparently has her own rooms somewhere else in the palace. I have no idea why she isn’t staying in the royal suite." Nick smiled at their obvious relief. He paused before saying: "We have to talk about money, Max."
"Money?" It was the first time this ever came up.
"Yes, obviously your family had a substantial fortune before the war with Tresar. While some of it was very definitely lost when the planet was destroyed, Dendar served as a base for ‘banking’ if you like. A lot of it may still be available once we get there."
"Money?" Max seemed unable to grasp the context.
"Well, not really money as you would know it from earth. But resources and jewels that are very valuable in our galaxy." Nick didn’t mention that he hoped the family jewels were part of what was left. Better to leave that as a surprise for when they are found.
"Yeah, uhm… I think you’d better handle the finances," Max told Nick dryly.
Michael and Maria had had one of their infamous fights and took to glaring at each other whenever they were in the same room. Michael had unfortunately made too big a deal of being happy to get off the "blasted ship" and for finally getting away from having Maria, Isabel and Alex "yapping" in his ears all the time. The truth was, he had cabin fever…. And he needed Max’s advice on how to get bonded to Maria. Commitment and romance was not his strong suit.
Isabel, on the other hand, had taken to her exalted position like a fish to water. She wore the Royal Antarian garb almost daily, liking the identity it gave her. They had talked to Max earlier and decided to wait for him and Liz to arrive before shuttling down to Dendar. As she stood in front of the large window in the lounge area and stared down at the silent planet that drifted just below them, she felt a stab of pain that they would never get to see their own planet. That Antar was gone and so were their families.
Hearing the voices of Alex and Maria behind her, a smile returned to her face. But she had Max and four wonderful friends.
Cleaning the kitchen after lunch, Shilla dropped everything when she heard a soft gasp from the dining area. She found Liz sitting on her heels on the floor, clinging to one of the chairs and looking deathly pale. "Queen Liz!" she cried and rushed to her. "Are you okay?"
"Very dizzy," Liz mumbled, raising a shaking hand to her face.
"Should I go get the King?" Shilla asked anxiously. Max and the others had left a few minutes ago and this was the only answer Shilla could come up with.
"No!" Liz yelled weakly. "No please… Just help me to bed. Need to lie down for a few minutes."
Practically dragging an unsteady Liz to the bedroom, Shilla was close to panicking. If the King got upset when Liz was merely mildly distressed, she could just imagine how he would react if he knew about this. She helped Liz onto the bed and hurried off to get her something to drink. When she put that next to the bed, Liz asked her to go get Grace, but she ran into Max outside in the corridor instead and he looked at her with alarm.
"The Queen… nearly fainted," Shilla blurted out breathlessly, seeing the shock register on Max’s face just before he sprinted back to the room.
Ignoring the nervous Shilla, who was hovering in their door and wringing her hands, Max dropped to his knees next to the bed where Liz lay with her eyes closed.
"She shouldn’t have told you," Liz smiled weakly when he put his hand on her forehead.
"Lord, Liz! Don’t scare me like this! What happened? Is it our—?"
Nodding slightly, Liz finally managed to drag her eyes open. "It happens sometimes, love. It’s normal." At least, Liz HOPED it was. This was the worst dizzy spell she’d ever had. She felt such tenderness for Max as he knelt helplessly by her side. He hated this, that much she knew. He hated not being able to help her. "A kiss would make me feel better."
He kissed her on her forehead, then on her eyelids, then on her cheeks, on her nose, on her chin, all the while murmuring soft words of love to the mother of his first child. By the time he reached her inviting mouth, she was smiling. The kiss was long and wet and sweet. They tasted each other gently, tongues caressing and exploring, lips brushing for endless moments.
When they finally broke apart, they smiled at each other lovingly before Liz finally noticed the anxious Shilla still standing at the door. "I’m fine now, Shilla," Liz assured her too. "But could you still go find Grace, please?’
Shilla nodded, trying to swallow past the lump in her throat. She had been really scared that something terrible was happening to Liz. And then to witness that tender scene! She was starting to suspect that emotions were infectious.
Liz waited until Shilla had left before lifting her shirt and placing their linked hands on her stomach. They both stared at the glow that appeared. "See, our baby is fine."
Max looked at her seriously. "Liz, I love our baby, but you have to know that you are my first priority right now. And…" His eyes skittered away from hers. "And that is an alien baby you’re carrying. We don’t know what… You have to promise to tell me if you feel something’s wrong, okay?" He met her gaze imploringly.
"I know you think I need to concentrate on other things right now, and that you should… rather keep some stuff from me, but… but I beg you not to." He touched her face with his free hand. "Cause not knowing is just going to make me worry more."
Biting her lip, Liz realized that what he was saying was true. From their connection, he would pick up that something was wrong, and if she denied it, he would just freak even worse.
"Promise me," he stressed.
"Okay. I promise." She watched him relax and put her hand on his cheek to pull him closer. She was starting to feel weepy and kissed him softly. "I love you so much! Don’t ever leave me!"
His first instinct was to panic about why she was suddenly feeling so vulnerable but when he looked into her moist eyes, he realized this was hormonal. She didn’t really believe he would leave her. So he just said, "I promise" quietly and tenderly wiped the moisture from her cheeks.
Max was ushered out when Grace arrived, much to his disgust. And Grace had barely returned from the lounge area when Liz burst into great racking sobs. Grace patted her back and waited to hear what this was all about.
"I’m so scared, Grace!" Liz was lying on her side, crying into Max’s pillow. "I don’t want to see Tess again. I don’t want to wear that damn Antarian outfit again. It hurts him."
She sounded incoherent to Grace.
"What if all this familiar alien stuff makes him want to go back to Tess? What if something happens to my baby?"
"He would never stop loving you," Grace tried to stop the avalanche of tears. "And Nick says he was very unhappy when he got married to her."
"But what if she was better than me in bed?" Liz practically wailed. "What if he remembers that now? Oh God, he’s only going to stay with me for the baby!"
"It will never happen," Grace tried again, only making Liz cry harder. She was starting to gain respect for the calm way in which Nick had handled her own outbursts when she was pregnant with Madelaine. Getting an idea, she quietly motioned Shilla closer and sent her off with instructions.
A few minutes later, Grace put a gurgling Maddie next to Liz on the bed. The little girl regarded the weeping lady curiously before reaching out her tiny hand and grabbing Liz’s nose. This caused a fit of laughter from Liz and Grace sighed in relief. Max was handling the next emotional outburst himself!
|Part 44 | Index | Part 46
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