|"Ties that Bind"|
Disclaimer: I own nothing. . .but I wish I owned Max.|
Summary: A stranger with an incredible claim and a strange connection to Liz comes to Roswell in search of the Pod Squad. What will her message mean to the Royal Four--and to Max and Liz's future?
|“Who are you?” Max stepped forward, addressing Marryn
with surprising calm.|
“Didn’t my new friend Alex tell you?” She held out one slim, long-fingered hand. “I’m Marryn Riley.”
“Is that really your name?” Max demanded.
She shrugged. “It’s the name I was given—this time.” Smiling pleasantly, she queried, “And you are called?”
“Max Evans,” he answered, briefly taking her hand.
“Nice,” she offered. “Very. . .American.” Looking past him, she added, “Alex I know, but the rest of you?”
“My sister Isabel,” Max answered for them, “our friends Michael and Tess. You’ve met Alex—this is Maria. . . and Liz.”
Marryn nodded at each of them in turn. “Friends,” she observed. “That’s good. You need friends.”
“Why are you here?” Michael asked.
“This isn’t the place to discuss it,” she said, as though they were talking about a trip to the mall. “Is there somewhere we can go? Oh, and I only talk to. . .Max, was it? For now.”
“You can’t just come in here and make demands,” Michael protested.
Her eyes hardened slightly and the smile left her face. “I wouldn’t have come here at all if it weren’t for Zan—Max’s little trip to New York. It wasn’t my choice to spend my winter break in New Mexico. I was supposed to be *skiing* in *Vermont* and instead I’m here chasing after a high school boy with delusions of grandeur.”
“Hey—” Michael began, charging forward, but Max stopped him.
Marryn smirked and folded her arms, amused. “Well, well, well. You can take the boy out of the army, but you can’t take the army out of the boy.” She stepped closer to Michael and looked him up and down. “First lieutenant impulses—very strong.” Turning to Max, she smiled. “Shall we?” she asked.
Max nodded. “Where do you want to go?”
“You’re the local,” Marryn told him. “You decide.”
“Max!” Isabel grabbed his arm. “You can’t just go off with her—we don’t know who she is, or why she’s here.”
From the looks on their faces, the others agreed—especially Liz—but no one said anything. “That’s right,” Marryn said calmly. “You don’t know who I am—but you don’t know who you are, either. . .or what you might do.”
Tess stepped closer to her, as if drawn by some invisible force. “Can you tell us?”
Marryn considered. “Maybe.”
“Why—why don’t you just stay here?” Liz suggested. “It’s private—you can sit at a back booth, and Maria and I will make sure no one bothers you.”
“I think not,” Marryn answered. She turned to Liz, her eyes radiating understanding and comfort. “Don’t worry,” she said quietly. “I’ll bring him back unharmed.” Looking at the others, she sighed. “I’m not here to hurt you. I can help you, but I need to speak with Max.”
“It’s okay,” Max assured them. “We’ll just be at the park—if I’m not back here in two hours you can come looking for me.”
“You’ll be back,” Marryn informed him. A mischievous twinkle danced through her eyes. “The park is a public place—your friends can be sure I won’t molest you.”
“I can take care of myself,” Max told her, although he was starting to believe she really wasn’t there to do him any harm. Something about her was familiar—he almost felt glad to see her. “My Jeep’s outside.”
Marryn flashed a grin. “So’s my Camaro—unless you don’t like convertibles.”
“Do you know the way?” Max asked her.
“You do.” She put on her sunglasses and seemed about to leave, but suddenly turned back to the others. “I—I hope I’ll see you again,” she said hesitantly, displaying the first uncertainty Alex had seen in her all afternoon. “We should—you know, have coffee or something.”
Michael just stared back at her. “Just bring him back.”
She nodded, the moment of vulnerability gone. “Well then, Max, let’s get out of here.”
“Right.” Max cast one last look at the others, his eyes lingering on Liz as she studied the floor, and followed Marryn out of the Crashdown.
* * * * *
Max had thought she’d wait until they got to the park to tell him why she was in Roswell, but to his surprise, she started in on him the moment they were in her car. “You have a lot of nerve, Max,” she said, turning on the radio.
Max had been marveling over the car and had to reel his mind in at her words. “What?”
She checked the rearview mirror before guiding the car onto the road. “Going to the summit like that, drawing attention to yourself, stirring up trouble with the Skins. They’re powerful, Max, and they’re deadly. What do you think you’re doing?” She turned her head to glare at him.
Max drew back. “We destroyed their husks,” he said defensively.
“They can still destroy you.” Glancing at the road, she added, “Left at this corner?”
“Yes.” He paused, gathering his thoughts. “We didn’t want to do any of those things. We just wanted to stay anonymous, here in Roswell.”
“You want to stay anonymous, you don’t go running to summits with people who want to kill you,” she snapped. “Look, maybe you were a king last time around, but this time you’re just a regular Joe like everyone else. You can’t go making decisions for all of us.”
“I didn’t mean to—” He stopped and looked at her. “What do you mean ‘all of us’? Who are you?”
As they stopped at a red light, she turned to look at him, her expression one of disbelief. “God—you really don’t know, do you? I was your sister.”
|Part 1 | Index | Part 3|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|