|"Captivated by Darkness"|
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.|
|Alex slammed the phone down.|
The child placement services in Tucson, Az was possibly the worst run state office left of the Mississippi.
He had left three messages with their dubiously named message service, and no reply.
He swore under his breath.
Things seemed to be going well for Liz, but he could see how much effort it took for her to just go through what used to be a normal day.
And it pissed him off. It really did.
If these so-called public servants didn't get off their asses and call him back...
Words failed Alex at this point and he shoved the phone into the wall.
Maria looked in the mirror in Liz's bathroom and took a deep breath.
There were still two more days in the school week and she was exhausted.
She hated to admit it even to herself, but being with Liz was so draining.
How would she make it? How would any of them make it?
Tears welled up in her eyes.
No, she lectured herself, wiping them away quickly.
Don't let Liz see you-
She stopped herself cold.
God, when am I going to get used to this?
The tears flooded back.
She couldn't wait to see Michael. She needed his arms around her like she needed air to breathe.
When she was surrounded by his familiar scent, warmed by his touch... then she might just feel like everything would be okay.
Liz was still on her balcony after Maria left.
Three days of the school week gone and this was her first chance to relax on her balcony, alone.
Maria was actually spending the night at home tonight.
Of course, she had been so wonderful, but...
It was a relief to be alone, to be able to forget that she was handicapped now and depending on so many people.
But there are trade-offs, she readily admitted.
Being alone also meant that she also felt the presence stronger...the darkness.
Even now, she felt it creeping around her, as it had been ever since that night.
A shiver passed through her.
In her mind, she had finally given it a name, although she had told no one.
It wasn't that she thought they wouldn't believe her...it was just that....well, yeah, okay, they wouldn't believe her. And they would think she was obsessing over the Max thing again.
And she wasn't.
I mean who had time to obsess over a lost relationship when you had to count the steps from the cash register to the counter and from the counter to the swinging doors, just so you wouldn't run into something and completely embarass yourself?
In all honesty, counting was a fairly numbing occupation. It was impossible to worry and count at the same time, even for her.
Which was why she was beginning to wish for something to count right about now.
In the dark silence, she could feel the presence strongly now... the envy... the hatred...and something unrecognizable.
And she knew she should be afraid.
But Liz Parker wasnąt going to play that game anymore.
A slight smile graced her face.
"You won't break me, Tess. You can't."
The silence was palpable.
Her response was immediate.
Liz fell back as the lawn chair began to slide under her and gain momentum quickly.
She barely had time to hold her arms out into the darkness in front of her before she slammed into the brick wall lining the roof.
Alex's eyes immediately went to the answering machine as he entered his room.
He sighed and sat down, bringing his hands to the top of his head as he thought.
"Bye, Alex," came his Mom's voice. "We'll be home around 11:00 or so."
"Yeah, have a great time," he called out distractedly.
He was getting desperate. Maybe he could find out the home number of the lady in charge of the-
His eyes fell on the fax machine.
There was a printout...and from upside-down, it looked like a photograph of someone very familiar.
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