|"A Present Unseen"|
|Disclaimer: I own nothing and am nothing but a lowly servant of my computer and endless hours of fanfic. (Ok, maybe not.) Ooo, but I do own Adam. Mine. Mine mine mine.|
Summary: It's about two years after A Past Forgotten. Graduation is just around the corner, but so is trouble.
Author's Note: Ok, I know I say this a lot and I talk too much as it is, but FEEDBACK. I need it... it keeps my blood pumping and my fingers typing. Please? Love you guys!
|Max groaned loudly as he felt life flowing back into his pathetic, weak body, and it was unbearably painful. So painful that he was sure that his teeth would crack into miniature pieces by the amount of grinding his jaw was executing. His head throbbed, a sharp, tiny prick pricking it repeatedly, and with a certain vengeance. His eyes pulsed with tiny, aggravating spasms, even underneath his very much-closed eyelids. His mouth was beyond parched, reaching the point of dryness not even know to man or woman. The dry scratchiness in his throat was annoying and beyond frustrating. His senses were irritating him to no end, and if that damn woman would shut the hell up…|
Max’s eyes flew open but immediately shut, not being able to ignore the rushing ache that cursed his body. But he could hear her. A woman. Her voice sounded in the backdrop, singing softly to herself with its carefree richness. Her voice sounded luxurious and sweet, emotion fulfilling each note, melody and lyric.
Max almost felt himself wanting to drift back to the land of dreams, where pain and troubles were nothing but passing thoughts. The caressing voice was lulling him rapidly back to the beloved unconscious state of mind. Where there was nothing but peace, calmness, and Liz… sweet, beautiful, loving Liz…
“LIZ!” Max’s jagged voice blurted, coming out strained and excruciatingly painful. The soreness that drowned his throat quickly became overwhelming, and he began to make distressing whimpers.
“Oh dear,” he heard the soft voice say, as a warm body sat down beside him. Feeling what must be a bed sinking down on his left side, he concluded that either this was a truly torturous way to die by letting the small pains consume him like a snail, or that by some act of heavenly beings, someone had come to his rescue before that soldier could torture him into death.
He remembered what happened. The tender moment, the special smile, the soft kisses, the silky hair, the smooth skin. Everything that was Liz. His finally being able to voice his promise of love and forever. Her warm body, pushed up against his, not caring that luck probably fled their side long ago. Nothing but their warm embraces together, forever.
But it ended much too swiftly for him, because after that all he could remember was overpowering heat and throbbing, and devastation. Devastation for being weak, for letting his guard down, for letting what happened happen, for being the foolish, irresponsible, endangering bastard that he is. But most of all, for letting Liz down. For promising her love and protection and failing not even a blink later.
Max felt warmth suddenly enrapturing his body, and without having any other choice, he savored the feeling. For he didn’t know when he’d feel this again, if he’d ever feel warmth again that is.
“Open your eyes. That should help a bit,” that voice called again. He wanted to open his eyes, but he didn’t. Opening his eyes meant facing the truth, also known as his failure. Opening his eyes meant letting the previous pain sweep through him. Opening his eyes meant dealing with what had to be dealt with. Opening his eyes meant living.
“Where am I?” Max’s voice cracked, as he slowly opened his eyes. He may be a failure, but not a coward.
His eyes quickly settled on a young looking woman, promptly seated beside his resting body. Her features were youthful, like her, and could not disguise the unmistaken beauty of a lover and a fighter. Her skin was smooth, almost silky, and her lips warm and full, glossy with its natural sheen. But her eyes, it was her eyes that Max couldn’t tear himself away from. Her whole body screamed with its innate young features, but her eyes, through the shining compassion, there was something aged. Masked pain, or unforgettable pasts, whichever, it was unavoidable and undeniable.
“You’re in my cottage, your highness,” she replied meekly, her eyes peering at him curiously. The wood walls and floor surrounded high above them.
“Excuse me?” Max whispered, unable to gain full control of his voice. A small smile graced the young lady’s face.
“If you don’t mind, sir, I think it’d be best for you just to gain some more rest.” She pulled up the covers that enveloped him, but he threw them off instantly, as if they were burning him. Shakily, he moved his body to an upright position, swinging his legs over the side.
Unable to plaster a grateful smile on his face, he said softly, “Thank you for your kindness, but I really must get going. My girlfriend-”
“You mean your queen. Leandra.” Max’s eyes shot up to the timid girl, who was now avoiding his gaze. He wasn’t hallucinating. This woman did call him his highness, and she knew who Liz is. Who Liz was.
“Who are you?” Max growled fiercely. He hated losing control. And right about now, he had none. No cards, no dice, no luck, and definitely no control.
“Your majesty, I really think it’d be better if you’d just relaxed and-”
“WHO ARE YOU?” Max roared, despite the agonizing ache that vibrated in his head because of it.
The young girl looked frightened for a moment, unsure of what to do. He could overpower her easily, and she knew it.
“I’ll tell you anything you want to know. Just, please, lay down. You need to be rested if you intend of rescuing our- er, your precious Leandra. Please, your Majesty.” Max eyed the girl suspiciously, but she just kept her head down, staring at the wooden, creaking floors. She shifted her weight from foot to foot.
Max sighed, knowing he didn’t even have the strength to leave the bed, much less leave the cottage. If the woman wanted to kill his sorry ass, she would have by now. So, against his persistently disagreeing mind, he laid back down on the bed. If he were to die, at least he’d be in comfort. But he highly doubted this young lady wanted to hurt him, much less kill him.
“Thank you,” the young girl replied softly. She scurried off to the side momentarily, grabbing the steaming mug of hot liquid. Pulling a seat up beside the bed, she placed the mug on the bedside table, knowing that if the king wanted the drink, he would reach for it when the time came.
“What, ah, what would you like me to tell you?” She spoke softly, with a characteristic quietness to her voice. Max instantly felt angry with himself for being unbelievably rude to this woman.
“Well, who you are would be helpful,” he replied, letting his voice become gentle again. She smiled gratefully at him, and then quickly turned her eyes back to her fluttering hands.
“I’ve been waiting for this my entire life,” she said quietly, almost inaudible to Max. Almost.
Panic etched his face, quickly being able to identify who she was.
“You’re the… soldier? You were going to kill me!” Max frantically inching away from the woman, trying to move with speed but failing horribly.
“No! No! It was a cover, please, sir! You have nothing to worry about! I won’t hurt you!” The girl yelled at him. She placed her palm on his arm, and instantly his body calmed. That warmth again, overriding his formerly intense panic. He could feel it in her touch, that she wouldn’t hurt him. That she had no intention of it whatsoever.
“W…Why? Why are you working for Khivar?” Max shivered at the name. That bastard had Liz. But he needed to be calm if he wanted to think rationally. Thus, he needed to forget Liz being captured momentarily. Thinking of her would make him indubitably lose his mind.
“I’m not,” the woman responded, easing into her smile again now that Max was tiding his hysteria. “I’m a loyalist, your greatness.”
“A what?” Max choked. “Are you from- holy shit.” Max’s uncommon curse pierced his own ear, and he shook himself lightly. She had to be kidding.
The girl just laughed lightly at Max’s amazement. “Yes, sir, I am from Antar.”
Max’s jaw dropped. Did she just say Antar?
“Wow. I mean- it’s just that- I can’t- holy shit.” The girl laughed again, a bit more loudly.
“There’s many of us on Antar. Loyalists, I mean. We all have faith in you coming home to rule. But we cannot rebel against Khivar, for if he ever even thought we existed, I would be long dead by now. He would kill without a second thought. He would steal a life without considering its effect on others, on his people. He would just murder someone in cold blood because of greed.” The girl’s eyes hardened, focused on something behind Max’s head. In a low voice, she added, “He has before.”
Max didn’t know what to say. This was a lot for his mind to absorb all the while his body aching, begging for his attention.
“What’s your name?” Max asked gently. This young girl had suffered much at the hands of Khivar, Max could tell. The hate and revulsion on her face told him exactly how she felt about the evil ruler of Antar.
The girl blushed slightly, bringing herself out of her daze. “I’m sorry, I have no earth name. On Antar, they call me Manika.” She smiled shyly at him. Max nodded, smiling back.
“Well, no more with this royalty stuff. Just call me Max.” The girl nodded in return. As she was about to say something, the door flung open and a loud, joyous voice filled the air.
“Honey, I’m home!” the male voice called, lightheartedly. Immediately Max stiffened, preparing himself for fight or flight. Most likely the second option though. Manika, on the other hand, was grinning and standing up to greet the new male.
The guy looked no older than Manika and Max, and apparently he was overjoyed about something. His towering body did not give him much of a powering image, as his structure was somewhat thin and scrawny.
“Ah, Manika, I see out guest has awakened.” She nodded her head, and gestured for the male to greet Max. He strode to Max’s bedside, but Max didn’t feel the motion of cowering. Something was familiar about him.
“Welcome to our makeshift home, Max,” the guy declared warmly. Max eyed him cautiously though, his sudden welcoming feelings for this man worrying him even more.
“Do I know you?” Max uttered, quietly.
The man grinned broadly, and offered his hand to Max.
“Max Evans, I do believe we have mutual acquaintances. It’s nice to finally meet you. I’m Owen MacDonald
|Part 61 | Index | Part 63|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|