|"Captivated by Darkness"|
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.|
|Liz changed gears with calm efficiency.|
Her mind felt unclouded and sharp for the first time in weeks.
Isabel would heal Alex. He would be fine.
But Maria could be next.
Her lifelines. Her best friends.
Tess was trying to take them away from her, too!
"Let's just add that onto the rather long list of reasons to kick her ass the next time I see her," Liz growled as she shoved the stick into third gear and reached for her cell phone.
Somehow she managed to dial the number while swerving around a parked truck.
But then again, she could drive to Maria's house in her sleep.
Max's answering machine picked up again on the third ring.
She left him a quick message while running through the red light doing 50 mph.
Mom would kill me for driving like this.
Wait a minute, why am I going to Maria's?
She'll be at Michael's.
He could protect her!
But she had to warn them.
She punched in his number and watched the road nervously.
Maria was just starting to completely relax when she heard a strange noise.
"Michael, what was that?"
"The refrigerator," he looked over at her with raised eyebrows. "It's shifting gears. It thinks it's a race car."
She smiled at him archly.
"Trust you to have a delusional fridge."
Michael grabbed the phone as soon as it rang.
"Yeah," he said as he leaned over on the counter.
He frowned and glanced at Maria.
"Yeah, she's here, Liz....What? Is he okay?"
At this, Maria jumped up from the couch and walked over to Michael, touching his arm lightly for support.
"Yeah, Išll keep an eye on her....Max was at work. He should be home soon....Yeah, I'll try him for you."
Liz could breathe more freely now. Maria would be safe with Michael.
She did a slow U-turn and headed back toward Alex's house.
Maybe Isabel wouldn't mind healing Liz's face; it was really beginning to throb.
A sudden chill made Liz slam on the brakes.
Oh no, not again.
The presence and the too-familiar darkness crept over her.
Liz gripped the steering wheel fiercely as her vision slowly disappeared.
Her breath came in short gasps, but she managed to keep herself from panicking.
She had her phone with her...and Michael knew where she was if anything... anything...happened...
A whisper brushed across her mind.
*I will break you.*
"Like hell you will," Liz spat out.
*Like Alex, I will. And Mariašs next. Unless you're willing to play the game...*
Liz forced back more angry words.
At present, she wasn't holding the cards.
*The cave. Now.*
The darkness retreated, leaving Liz shivering.
But at least she could see again.
And for some reason, she suddenly felt calm.
It was all clear to her now.
This was all Tess wanted. Revenge.
Liz fixed steely eyes on the road ahead of her.
As long as she left Alex and Maria alone, Liz could handle it.
She put the car back in gear and hesitated.
Should she try Max one last time?
But what would she say?
Liz felt sick as she realized that she basically had nothing to say to him.
Nothing coherent, anyway.
Just a bunch of leftover feelings that were hard to make heads or tails out of.
Liz couldn't deny it to herself.
There was always that. And there would always be that. No matter what happened.
But then again, there would always be Tess.
That was the main thing she had learned from this.
If things were ever going to be right again with Max, Liz had to face her.
They had some unfinished business to take care of.
So Liz slowly turned the car around and headed for the highway, hoping she could at least get some answers before Tess completely demolished her.
Max had left work early. Just to drive around.
He needed some time to think.
He was trying his level best to "respect" what Liz had been through and give her time, like Maria so strongly suggested.
But, it didnšt feel like respecting.
It felt like ignoring...ignoring the person he loved to distraction, the girl who held his life in the palm of his hand.
Liz was in her own private hell right now. And he was supposed to stay away.
Not only did that not make sense, it was just a load of crap!
Why should he use all his energies forcing himself to stay away whe he could be using that time to help her.
And he was sure that he could help her somehow.
Maybe if he made the connection to her again, he would be able to sense where the problem was.
And even if he couldn't, just to be near her again would be heaven.
Just to look into her beautiful eyes and touch her as he had done the night after the shooting, the first time they had connected.
Max inhaled deeply.
Where had that come from?
*Max, the cave...*
*It was Nasedo....I'm in the cave.*
Max's throat constricted.
Nasedo had Tess?
He shook his head.
He had to go. He knew it was her.
And if she was in trouble, he had to help.
Max turned the jeep around and headed to the highway.
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