|"Epiphanies 2: The Anasazi Road"|
Disclaimer: I would be the happiest woman on Earth if I owned any of these people, but sadly, only Josh, the Holbrooks, and Paul Hernandez are mine.|
Summary: This is the sequel to EPIPHANIES 1: The Ties That Bind. It picks up the evening of the Evans barbeque that ended the first story. Here, Max and Liz must come to terms with a shocking revelation about Liz and her Grandma Claudia. They search the past among Native American ruins and history to find the truth and each other.
Authors Note: I have done extensive research on the Anasazi for this fic. Most of what you will read is either factual or widely accepted speculation. I have, on occasion, filled in a gap or made an assumption that suits my purposes. The alien connection, of course, is my own Roswell-loving imagination.
|Paul Hernandez had to admit, this was more than he bargained for. In all the years he had been researching the Anasazi and his own roots, he had seen and heard some remarkable things, but he never could have anticipated where it was all leading.
Meeting Claudia Parker had been a stroke of luck, and their friendship had been one of the highlights of his life. They had become partners, friends, almost family. It had been so important to her that her granddaughter know the truth about her alien heritage, and she had fought stubbornly with her son about it for years. Then she had felt something, a change in her sense of Liz. She had always been so intuitive; that had been her gift. She had been sure something had changed with Liz, and as soon as she could, she went to her. She had known about the crash survivors living in Roswell. What she didn't know until she got there was that somehow they and Liz had found each other.|
When Claudia died, he had felt lost. Then one night, she had come to him in his sleep, excited about Liz and her young boyfriend, her young alien boyfriend. She had felt the power they created when they were together, and she saw that it was not only possible to tell Liz about her ancestors, it was necessary. These two young people were the Voyans' greatest hope of resolving an ancient conflict, and Earth's best chance of avoiding it.
Paul looked in the rearview mirror at the two exhausted teens. It looked as though Liz was asleep, but Max was watchful, his eyes peering into the night as if he expected to see danger coming. All the while, one arm cradled the young woman against his shoulder while his other hand idly stroked her hair. Paul had seen young love, experienced it in his day. What he was observing was something else. Since yesterday, he had watched them with fascination, observing their total devotion to each other, their complete selflessness when it came to the safety of the other, the quiet strength that exuded from them when they were together, and their baffling ability to communicate with a look or a touch. Claudia had been right. This pair was very special indeed.
Max caught Paul's eye in the mirror. "Where are you taking us?"
"I'm headed in the general direction of Roswell, but we're all too tired to drive straight through. I figure we'll go until we need gas, find a place to rest, and call the Holbrooks and your folks in the morning. That okay with you?"
"Don't call my folks just yet. Let Mr. Parker explain what's happening to my mom. We haven't quite gotten around to telling my dad yet."
Paul smiled sympathetically. These kids had so much to deal with. "I think we can make Chaco Canyon; it's only about 3 more hours from here and they have an inn where we can get some rest."
Max nodded his gratitude.
"Max? What did you hand me back there in the kiva?"
Max looked startled. "You still have it, don't you?"
"Yeah, it's on the floor over here. What is it?"
"I'm not sure yet, but it might be what we were looking for."
Paul's eyes flew to the rearview mirror and locked with Max's. The car began to accelerate.
After a very short debate with himself, Paul rented two rooms at the inn. One for him, one for Max and Liz. It seemed foolish to give any nod to propriety after all they had been through. They were exhausted, they clearly needed to be together, and Paul had no interest in being the one to tell them differently. He saw them into their room and made sure they got something to eat. As he turned to leave, Max stopped him.
"Mr. Hernandez, I can't thank you enough for all you've done for us. I . . . don't know . . . How can I ever repay you?"
"No need. I just wish Claudia could be here. She'd be chompin' at the bit to get this mystery solved."
At that, Liz came rushing into his arms and hugged him. "I wish she could be here, too," she said tearfully.
Paul looked flustered, but pleased. He patted Liz on the back and turned her around into Max's willing arms. They exchanged smiles and Paul quietly closed the door. Max led Liz toward the bed. "You need to eat something, Liz. You haven't eaten since breakfast."
"Neither have you," Liz pointed out. "What have we got?"
"Sandwiches, apples, and sodas," Max said, poking through the bag Paul had brought in from the general store outside of the park. Then he began to laugh.
"What are you laughing at?"
"And Tabasco sauce!"
Liz's face broke into a smile. It was good to smile, to laugh. It felt just a little bit normal.
Once they began to eat, they wolfed down everything Paul had brought them. They hadn't had time to think about how hungry they were.
"Next order of business, a shower," yawned Liz. "I can not go to bed like this." She knelt behind Max on the bed, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Care to join me?" she teased.
Max turned his head slowly around to look at Liz. "You're tired, you're dirty, you were captured by evil aliens and almost killed, you may have discovered an ancient alien artifact, and now you are trying to seduce me? Haven't you had enough for one day?"
"I haven't had nearly enough of this," she purred and brought her lips to his, teasing him with her tongue, circling her hands across his chest. Max reacted immediately, turning to meet her mouth and pulling her around to his lap. The kiss escalated as Max silently asked her to open her mouth to him. She did so willingly, eager to taste him, to pull him into her. Liz shifted so that she could straddle him, wanting as little space between them as possible. Sometimes she wanted him with such intensity that she would have crawled inside him if she could. Her body started to move against him and he groaned, his hands beginning an exploration of their own.
Max's head was spinning. He had almost lost her today! His Liz! The thought shot daggers through his insides and he wanted nothing more than to envelop her and keep her protected in him forever. If he pressed her to him hard enough, wouldn't she just slip inside where he could keep her safe? His arms tightened around her and he heard her gasp. He realized how hard he had gotten and she was starting to rock against him, arching her back, grasping his shoulders.
"Liz!" He didn't know if he was asking her to stop or go on. There was nothing in his world at this moment but Liz, and he wanted her. Heaven knew how he wanted her! He took one hand and lifted Liz's top above her breast, suddenly hypnotized by the milk-white mound, her pink nipple standing taut, reaching for him. Liz had stopped moving and was watching his awestruck face as he reverently touched it. She sucked her breath in sharply as his fingers brushed lightly across her nipple, causing a deep ache within her.
"Max," she barely whispered. To her surprise, she found herself lifting her torso ever so slightly, guiding it toward his barely opened mouth. Sheer instinct took over as his lips opened to take this gift of gifts into his mouth, suckling, kissing, dancing across it with his tongue. He loved the feel of it. He loved what it was doing to her, as he heard a primal sound rise from her throat. This was heaven. Nothing else in this world or any other could ever feel so right.
"Liz, I love you!" he whispered hoarsely, reaching for the button on her shorts.
It took three rings before either of them realized the phone was ringing. They pulled back from each other, panting, flushed, disoriented. On the fifth ring, Max slipped Liz off his lap and reached for the phone. He worked valiantly to keep his tone regulated.
"Max, this is Paul. I'm turning in and just wanted to make sure there was nothing more you needed."
Max worked his jaw, waiting for words to come that would form some sort of response. "Uh, yeah . . . no . . . I think we're fine."
"Max, are you okay?"
"Yeah, fine. Fine."
There was a silence on the other end.
"Thanks for calling."
"No problem." The line went dead.
Max and Liz looked at each other sheepishly. "I know we talked about this. I'm sorry, Liz."
"No, Max. I'm sorry. Everything you've said makes sense. I just can't seem to keep my hands off you, that's all." She looked at Max guiltily.
He looked at her beautiful face, still flushed and radiant. "I hope that never changes."
Liz felt shivers when he looked at her like that, or talked to her in those deep velvet tones. She smiled at him, eyes sparkling with love, visible even from across the room. "Guess I'll go take that shower . . . alone."
Liz stood in the shower, letting the temperature cool her still-heated body and clear her head. She loved him so for trying to protect her, and she had to try to respect that. She had no doubt their time would come, it just seemed to be taking so long!
Stepping from the shower, Liz realized she had no clean clothes! Everything had been left back at camp. She wasn't about to put the filthy clothes on that she had stripped off moments ago, so she wrapped herself in a towel. Max would think she was making another attempt to seduce him. She would just have to explain; certainly he wouldn't expect her to put those clothes back on.
She filled the tub with warm water and threw her clothes in, swirling them around as best she could to get the worst of the grime off. She could do Max's, too, she thought. She grabbed another clean towel for him and went to suggest that he change out of his dirty clothes. She opened the bathroom door, ready to defend herself.
"Max, our clothes are filthy, and . . . ." She stopped as she took in the scene before her. There was Max, grubby and disheveled, sprawled on the bed, sound asleep. On her pillow was a little note scribbled on Chaco Canyon Inn notepaper: "Liz, I will always love you. Your Max."
She leaned over, touched by how adorable and young he looked. She whispered in his ear, "I'll always love you, too."
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