Title: Kismet
Author: Zia
Summary: Maria lives with the Dupes, then they go to Roswell.
Rating: R-NC17
Disclaimer: They aren’t mine sadly.
Distribution: Ask and ye shall receive.
Author’s Note: I haven’t written and completed anything for like a year now, haven’t written anything in months. Feedback would be greatly appreciated. It helps to fuel my writing. :)

Part One

A scream tore from Maria’s throat as she watched Rath shove Zan to the ground and speed up the truck. ‘Too fast. Nothing anyone could do.’ Lonnie's hand clamped around her throat, cutting the scream short. “Shut ya mouth bitch.” She growled in Maria’s ear as she squeezed harder, cutting off all of her air. “Make another noise and I’ll kill ya.” Maria knew that she would. And she figured it wouldn’t matter if she made a sound or not.

Ava’s hand was on Maria’s back, soothing feelings coursed through her body from her fingertips. Then Rath grabbed Lonnie’s hand. Maria was their whore. Plain and simple. She withstood everything that they did to her. But Zan, he was the one that protected her. Made sure they didn’t go too far, never hurt her too much; he healed most of her wounds and held her at night. For some reason Lonnie hated her for it. Maybe it was because Lonnie thought she was the reason Zan wouldn’t go to the summit meeting.

That was true. Maria had convinced him not to go. So she believed that it was her fault that Zan was now laying in a puddle of blood. Not moving. The warm sticky blood still seeping out of him. Hot, searing tears rolled down her cheeks, leaving black trails from her eyeliner and mascara.

Rath pulled Lonnie’s hand off Maria’s throat and yanked her away. “Yo, lets go.” He said in a deep voice, laced thick with a hard New York accent.

They sat in the car, speeding down the freeway towards Roswell New Mexico. Maria’s head rested on Ava’s chest, her eyes closed tight. Lonnie and Rath sat together in the front seat talking to each other about their preppy dupes. All they cared about was Max Evans. Zan. Max. Ava. Tess. Rath. Michael. Lonnie. Vilandra. Isabel. The same person. They were all the same person. Hair. Tattoos. Piercings. Clothes. Was that the only difference? Would they all be the same? Attitudes, and personalities. Maria was scared.

Ava’s hand rested on Maria’s back, under her shirt against her pale scared skin. They’d left scars on her once perfectly smooth porcelain skin. Zan had never fully healed her. He’d take away most of the pain, and the blood, but left scars. Only ones that no one else would ever see, because they were covered by her clothes. Ava traced her fingertips over them. Scars left by whips, fingernails and other things. Once of twice a knife or burning cigarettes. She felt Maria stiffen in her arms and ran her nails down her back, leaving unseen red welts.

Part Two

Rath drove down the freeway, not really paying attention to Lonnie. He looked in the rearview mirror at Maria. His little bitch. He found her years ago, lying in some back alley in the snow, blood seeping from her wrists staining the white snow beneath her. He didn’t know why he’d even bothered to go over to her, to carry her back down to the sewers, to get Zan to heal her. The night they’d stayed up together, talking. Actually she had talked. He had only half listened. Her dad left her when she was 3, her mom died when she was 12. She was in foster care for the next 3 years of her life until she finally ran away and ended up as a hooker. The guy that had been her pimp had beaten her often, and let everyone of her customers do the same. She was just their sex toy, and punching bag. It had been Christmas Eve when he found her. She’d been so tired of living, knowing things would never be okay again.

She’d stayed with them. He never knew why. They treated her like shit. Beat her, almost killed her a few times, and she was their fuck toy. Never once had she complained. Rath just figured it was because it was a steady life. They fed her, and clothed her, and took care of her. Well Zan took care of her, Ava too, sometimes he did when he was feeling generous. Tonight was the first time he’d ever seen her shed a tear. Maybe she just didn’t realize what they were really capable of. He looked at her in Ava’s arms, clutching onto her tight, eyes closed, the dry tears left dark streaks down her sides of the face.

The car came to a stop, bright sun blazing through the window, stinging Maria’s eyes. The heat felt good on her face. First Lonnie, then Rath climbed out of the car, then Ava pulled away from Maria and stood beside them. Slowly Maria slid out of the car, stretching her arms over her head, her tight shirt slipping up over her stomach, revealing to anyone who looked a tattoo of a fairy, blue wings, blue dress, laying atop a blue crystal ball. Rath had picked it out. Never saying a word he just pointed to it. It was low on her stomach, half hidden beneath her shorts, the other half usually hidden by her shirt. Another mark on her stomach was a scar, the went from the middle of her ribs on the left side down to her belly button. One of the few marks on her body not left by one of her lovers. It was from the day her mom died. The car spun out of control on the ice, slamming into a ditch. As Maria had climbed out the window, her mom already dead still in the car, she’d had to climb through a barb wire fence, the spike on the metal had dug into her skin, leaving a long deep cut.

Maria looked at the restaurant in front of them. A large brick building with a fake spaceship sticking out of it that said ‘Crashdown Cafe.’ Maria pushed some of her hair from her face and glanced over at Rath, Ava and Lonnie. Aliens. Who would have thought? She never would have believed if it hadn’t have been for Zan healing her wrists and removing the scars. “Yo, keep watch.” Rath told Maria his hand moving up to the back of Lonnie’s neck as he pulled her with him away. Ava followed close behind. Maria didn’t understand how she could be like this, so uncaring of the fact that her Soulmate was dead, probably still laying in a ditch frozen stiff. She wanted to cry again, everything was falling apart. Zan was dead. Lonnie wanted her dead and Zan wasn’t there to keep her warm at night. In her mind he was perfect, he took care of her, but she knew he wasn’t. She knew his secrets, what a cold hearted prick he really was. But he did take care of her. She had no idea why though, she never questioned it. Now part of her wished that she had.

Part Three

Michael Guerin walked out of the Crashdown wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. He squinted slightly, glancing around. He’d just gotten off work, the morning shift, after working all night at Metachem. He was more than tired, and there was just something in the air today, something was off he wasn’t sure what. He saw a girl leaning up against a black sports car. She had to be about his age. She just stood there, leaning against it, her hands behind her, occasionally looking up to look down the street before looking back down at the blacktop parking lot. He wondered if she was having car trouble maybe. She wasn’t from around here, that was obvious. He’d never seen her before. Her hair was short, blonde with dark pink streaks through it. She wore a short sleeved shirt, and a pair of cut off denim shorts, finished off with a pair of black boots.

Michael walked over to her, wondering what she was doing out here alone just leaning against the car. “Hey.” He called and she looked up at him. She just stared for a second and her eyes wide, her mouth part way open. “You okay?” He asked her and she didn’t move for a second before shaking her head.

Maria stared at him as he came towards her. He looked so much like Rath. There hadn’t been a picture of him in the year book. He’d missed that day of school or something. And now here he was, coming towards her. Nervously she glanced down the road after he’d asked if she was okay. What if they came back. What would happen then? “I’m fine.” She said simply looking back at him. His hair wasn’t like Rath’s. Softer, curls falling into his face, framing the strong features. She’d always thought that Rath was beautiful, but she never dared to tell him because she’d made the mistake once before, not saying that he was beautiful, but she’d stared at his face after they’d fucked and reached up, tracing her fingers along his cheek, softly murmuring about how soft his skin was under his short beard if only he’d just shave. He’d almost killed her that night. She’d only been there a week. He struck her hard across the face, his skull ring leaving a mark that she swore was imprinted in the bone of her cheek. Then his hand wrapped around her throat. She was used to it now. Them choking her. Sometimes they did it when they were having sex, or when she did something they didn’t approve of. But that time he’d squeezed so hard her windpipe collapsed. She lay on the mattress that rested on the floor, covered partially only by a thin rough sheet. She clawed at her throat, trying to take in a breath, fingers dug into her skin, drawing blood. Then Zan was there. He sent Rath flying across the room into a large pipe then grabbed her hands, holding them away from her throat as his other hand wrapped around it, healing the claw marks and letting her breath again. That was the first night she’d stayed with him.

Michael kept watching her. She looked like she was somewhere else. Looking down the street again, then just staring. “Hello?” He asked touching her arm. That seemed to snap her out of it. She jerked her head up and looked at him. Her skin was soft under his fingers. “Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked her again. “Maybe you should get inside.. go to the Crashdown maybe, get something to eat.” She just shook her head.

Part Four

“I’m fine.” Maria snapped at him. His hand jerked away from her. Obviously not expecting such an attitude. They’d probably kill her if she left. If they even noticed. They had a tendency to forget about her. She didn’t think they really forgot, just that they didn’t want her around. Well they did, for their own reasons, but they all had reasons they wanted her gone too. She was Rath’s own personal sex slave, granted that’s what she was to all of them, but him more so. To Zan she was just there, maybe he just wanted to take care of someone, and everyone knew that Ava wouldn’t let him. To Ava, she was her lover. Because Lonnie had started to push them all away, they wanted that comfort of sex. Lonnie. To Lonnie she was hardly anything, but everything at the same time. No one knew all the things she did to Maria. How she treated her when no one was looking. Maria always figured it was because she had moved in on her territory. Rath, Ava, even Zan. Lonnie had hurt her in so many ways. Beat her. Cut her. Raped her, mentally and physically. She remembered all the times that Lonnie had slit her writs, the same place that she had years ago. Countless times. Let her bleed, if she’d let her bleed another minute she’d be dead. Over and over. At least once a month. Sometimes more. Unconsciously Maria’s fingers trailed over her wrist, feeling the invisible scar. No one knew that Lonnie could heal. Not like that. When the others would come home, Maria would be fine again. No sign of anything happening. Sometimes she left marks, so no one would get suspicious.

Michael looked at her. She definitely had a tiger in her. He glanced around. Trying to figure out what she was looking for. “Please...my treat?” He offered. She was pale, and he could see lines down her cheeks. She’d been crying. He wondered why. What could have happened to make this beautiful pixie like girl cry? Finally she relented and he led her to the Crashdown, and led her to a booth. He sat across from her after ordering some food. She didn’t seem to talk much. “What’s your name?” Every time she looked at him, it was a weird look. Like she knew him, or recognized him. He didn’t get it.

Maria couldn’t get over how much they looked alike. And how different he was from Rath. He offered to buy her lunch? Rath just stole it, and then ate half. He didn’t care if she hadn’t eaten all day. She didn’t remember when she ate last... it was before Zan died. She hadn’t been hungry. She missed him. The feel of his little beard at the end of his chin and how it felt against her bare flesh. She missed his tattoos. He didn’t mind her tracing her fingertips over his skin usually. She’d trace his tattoos, in her mind wondering what they meant, or why he got them. The Four Square one. She knew it was from ‘home.’ It had to do with who they were. She loved the ones on his back. His right shoulder had a V shape made from five intricately designed stars. Obviously he hadn’t had it down at a tattoo parlor. The designs would have been too hard. It was from his home too. He had another on his back, that covered most of it. A dragon. It was beautiful. Breathing fire as he roared. When Maria stared long enough she could almost imagine it coming to life. Flying away or breathing it’s fire on Lonnie, and Rath and Ava. She’d never have to deal with them again. She loved her fantasies. Her fantasies and Zan kept her sane. Now she only had the fantasy.

Lunch came and she just stared at it. She wasn’t hungry. She hadn’t been for days. She still hadn’t spoken a word since he’d asked her name. Part of her was afraid he’d turn into Rath. “Maria.” She finally spoke after a long silence. He looked at her, surprise written on his face. “My name is Maria DeLuca.” He watched her and nodded.

“I’m Michael Guerin.” He told her, but she already knew. She didn’t say though. If she did anything to screw up what Rath, Lonnie and Ava had going, they’d kill her. “Who’s your new friend Michael?” Maria heard that voice. The voice that chilled her blood. Lonnie. But no New York accent. She cowered. Not intentionally. But it was the lack of the accent that scared her more. Made her sound more menacing. She looked up and saw a clean cut, long haired, beautiful version of Lonnie. Everything about her was perfect. Her skin, not marred with tattoos and piercings. Her hair long and beautiful, soft curls fell over her shoulders. Her clothes perfect. A knee length black leather skirt. a purple tank top. “I’m Isabel.” I know. Maria whispered in her mind. She smiled at her. Lonnie smiled at her too. When she was bleeding. Teetering on the edge of life and death.

Part Five

“This is Maria.” Michael introduced Maria to Isabel. Isabel smiled warmly at her, despite her caution towards her. She’d felt like something was off. Did if have to do with her? This small girl that she swore had flinched when she’d heard her voice. Who was she? “Michael, you’re coming over for dinner right?” She asked, giving him a look. A look that told him that Max wanted a group meeting. Max had felt it too obviously, there was no other reason for it. “Well Maria, it was nice to meet you but I have to go.” She told her as she turned and walked over to Alex who had just walked through the door. A soft passionate kiss was placed on his mouth, his arms snaked around her waist as he held her. Together they walked from the Crashdown, arms still around each other.

Maria continued to watch them as they left. Lonnie...no, Isabel. She’d never seen her care about anyone like that, kiss someone like that, hold someone. It was obvious that Isabel cared deeply about him. Maybe she was safer here. She looked up and saw Michael’s eyes on her. “Disgusting isn’t it? They do that all the time. But Max and Liz are even worse.” Maria felt a tug at her heart hearing Max’s name. Max. Max was Zan. Was he the same? But he had a girlfriend. Liz. Did Liz, and Isabel’s boyfriend know the secret? She wondered. Max had a girlfriend. Max couldn’t be her Zan. He couldn’t take care of her like Zan did. “So where are you from?” She looked up at him again.

They sat together, talking for hours. Nothing specific. Michael finally got her to tell him where she was from. New York. She told him about her father leaving, her mother dying, but she wouldn’t tell him anymore than that. Michael told her about growing up in Roswell. Alien crap everywhere, and growing up with his foster father Hank. He never spoke a word of being an alien, or of how often he was beat.

Maria liked him. He wasn’t like Rath. In some ways he was, but not the scary ways. Not the ways that hurt her. She glanced up, and noticed that the sun had just started to set. She hadn’t realized she’d been sitting in here talk to him. “I need to go.” She said getting up quickly from the booth. She was supposed to be ‘standing watch’ and she’d just left. Zan wasn’t here to heal her.

Michael watched her get up quickly, her shirt slipping up he saw a tattoo on her stomach and wanted to explore more of it. See what it was. He noticed a scar too, not far from the tattoo. She spun around and he caught site of several other marks on her lower back. He reached out to stop her, to ask her, to find out what had happened to her but she was already running out the door by the time it sunk in.

Part Six

Maria ran all the way back to the car, but they weren’t there, and the car still was. Where were they? She wondered concerned. What happened to them? Did they know she was gone? Did they run into trouble? She bit her lip and looked up and down the street. Finally she saw them, stalking towards her. She bit her lip harder, tugging at it with her teeth. "Yo, let's go we's gots a meetin." Rath growled at her, grabbing her arm and pulling her away from the car. She didn't make a sound as his short nails dug into her skin. She was too used to it now. He practicality dragged her along the street with them. "Go on, we'll catch up." He told Lonnie and Ava before pulling her into a dark alley with him.

Rath pressed her back into the hard concrete, sharp rock digging into her tender flesh. He pushed her shorts down, and grabbed her wrists in his other hand, wrists pinned to the wall. Her legs wrapped around his waist, and he shoved his hardness into her. No seduction, no passion, just pain flooded Maria's body. Her head tilted sky ward, the stars in the sky blurry and swirling together as he pounded into her violently. She swallowed hard as she felt his hand under the front of her shirt and a digging pain, from the top of her right breast, crossing over to her left hip. His ring. She knew that's what it was, she felt the trickle of blood rolling down her stomach. One more hard thrust, deep, tearing. Maria let out a quiet cry as she came, her own fingernails digging into the palms of her hands. Rath let go inside of her then pulled out and set her feet back on the ground. He shrugged off his jacket as she bent down to pick up her shorts and pull them back on. Her legs were shaky and was having trouble standing. She felt his jacket around her shoulders and slipped her arms through the oversized sleeves. He didn't do it because he was worried about her being cold, but because he wanted to hide the blood seeping through the front of her shirt, and at the crotch of her shorts.

Isabel looked up from where she sat, close to Alex, fingers laced tightly together as they sat on her brother Max's bed. Alex had been there for her through so much. He stayed after he found out about them being aliens, and she really believed that he loved her even more for it. Now this. Finding out that there was another set of them. Of herself, Michael, Max, Tess. And they were scary. But their Max was gone. What happened? He said there was an accident. How could and alien just suddenly die in an accident. Her eyes scanned over Ava and Lonnie. They said Rath had something to take care of in their New York accented voices. The window pushed open to reveal Rath, and a girl following close behind him, wrapped in an oversized jacket. It took a second for her to realize it was the girl that had been with Michael earlier. Maria. That was her name. She seemed odd. Alex's hand squeezed hers and she looked at him with a small smile.

Michael leaned against the wall. He had his doubts. He didn't want these 'dupes' anywhere near any of them. He didn't trust them. He watched his own doppleganger climb through followed by slim pale legs settling on the floor, his eyes roamed upwards and saw that it was Maria. This time clothed in Rath's jacket. She looked worse than she did before. He swore he caught a glimpse of a blood red line over the front of her shirt. He kept his eyes locked on her. He wanted to talk to her again. Ask her about the scars, ask her why the hell she hadn't said anything about them.

Maria climbed through the window after Rath and glanced around. Isabel, Alex, Michael, Tess. A brunette next to Max, arms locked around each other, her head on his chest. That must be Liz she thought and wanted to cry again. Max. He looked so different than Zan. There was another boy, sitting in a chair, Tess in his lap. Who was he? It was obvious they all knew the secret. They knew about the aliens. How did they find out? She tightened Rath's jacket around her and leaned back against the wall beside the window. Avoiding Michael's stare. Was he mad at her because she hadn't told him? Did he even care?

Part Seven

Hours had passed. They were all talking amongst each other in different rooms of the house. Max stood in the same room as Maria, speaking with Rath. She knew it was about the Summit Meeting. Don't do it Max. Please just say no. She willed with her mind. Lonnie and Isabel were talking. What were they talking about? She didn't know. She was afraid to know. Alex, Liz, and Kyle, they had all introduced each other later, and Michael were somewhere else. Tess and Ava gone too. Silently Maria left the wall she was leaning against and walked out of the room and down the hall. Looking for a bathroom so she could take a look at the cut. She found one and walked inside, closing the door and locking it behind her. She slipped of the jacket and pulled her shirt over her head and looked at her reflection in the mirror. The cut wasn't too bad. Not as bad as some. It had stopped bleeding, and if Zan had been here, he wouldn't have healed it. She picked up some tissue and got them damp and wiped at the dry blood on her body.

Michael watched Maria walk into the bathroom and slowly walked down the hall. He really did want to talk to her. He tried the door and it was locked, so he waved his hand over it, unlocking it easily before pushing it open and walking inside. He stood frozen when he saw her. Clothed only in her denim shorts, and boots. Her shirt sat on the sink, the dark red line obvious on it. The red cut over her chest and down her stomach, the blood stained tissues in her hand as she stared at him. He closed the door and kept his eyes on her. "What happened?" He asked softly, concern evident in his voice.

Maria stared at Michael as he came in and saw the cut. "Nothing..." She tossed the tissue in the toilet and flushed it, washing away some of the evidence. She picked up her shirt and moved to pull it on, but Michael caught it in her hands, his eyes locked on her chest. But she could tell he wasn't staring at her breasts, he was staring at the mark Rath left. "Max could heal this for you." He told her and her heart fluttered. Would he? Would he take it all away? Did it matter? As soon as they were back in New York she knew she'd be dead in a week. Less if Max went to the summit meeting. Or they wouldn't kill her. They'd just leave her. Then what?

Maria's hands were tangled in the shirt that Michael was holding up, not quite over her head, but close, just holding it there as he looked at the long cut. It didn't look that bad, but it wasn't nothing like she claimed. "Did they do this to you?" He whispered when she didn't respond to his offer of Max's help. She seemed kind of an unlikely candidate to be hanging out with them. Even through her tattoo, and dark pink hair, she just didn't seem like their type. He looked at her face, her head was down, eyes closed. They did do this to her. Was it Rath? That why they were late? He remembered seeming the marks on her back and quickly spun her around before she could react and looked. His hand smoothed down her back, over the small scars, none of them were too large, fully healed, leaving a pale line, or bump, the occasional indentation in her skin. How could she put up with this? He didn't know what made him care so much, but he did.

Michael pulled her back against his chest, his arms wrapped around hers, and over her chest, just holding her tight. "I'll keep you safe." He whispered against her ear and just held onto her. Maria had no idea how long he'd held her, but by the time he'd finally started to pull back tears were streaming down her cheeks and she was clutching onto his arms as if her life depended on it. Slowly he turned her to face him and saw the tears. "I won't let them hurt you anymore." He told her softly, pulling her shirt back over her head. He waved his hand over her shirt getting rid of the blood. Maria lifted her head, silent tears still rolling down her cheeks. He cupped her face and wiped them away then kissed her forehead. She felt safe, protected, and most of all, she felt loved. He may not have been in love with her, but on some level he did, or else he wouldn't be doing this for her now.

Michael held her as he walked out of the small bathroom. He glanced down the hall, and saw no one, heard no voices. He took her hand in his and walked down to Max's room, wondering if they'd gone back down there. Still no one. The house was empty, and Michael was concerned. He had no idea where anyone was, and had even more reason not to want his friends around the pierced freaks that came with Maria. Michael called Max's cell phone and found out that their dupes had gone to where they were staying, Isabel was with Alex, he was with Liz, Tess with Kyle. "Why are you so curious?" Max asked him and Michael just shook his head, pulling Maria into his arms. "No reason really, just wondered what happened to everyone. See you later Maxwell." He hung up the phone and looked at Maria. "I'll take you home with me, is that okay?"

Maria looked at him. She liked to look at him. "Yeah, thanks." She felt something towards him. She didn't understand what it was though. He led her to his motorcycle, then got on and she climbed on behind him, arms wrapped tight around his waist, her cheek pressed to his shoulder. "A motorcycle... I've never been on one before." She smiled. The first time since before Zan died. Way before. She'd never had a reason to smile. He glanced at her over his shoulder and she looked up smiling when she heard him laugh quietly. "Then you're in for a real treat." He revved the engine and took off down the road causing her to shriek quietly and hold onto him tighter. He laughed and she decided that she loved his laugh. She had a feeling he didn't do it often, and that was her mission. To make him laugh as often as she could.

Part Eight

Michael slowed his motorcycle to a stop in the parking lot of his apartment. He waited for Maria to climb off. He could still feel her fingers digging into his chest as he had sped all the way here. He wanted her to forget everything, and just let it go. He slid his arm around her shoulders, and her arms instantly went around his waist, moving as close to him as she could and still walk at the same time. He pushed open the door to his apartment and flicked on the light as he walked inside, Maria still firmly attached to his side. He kissed the top of his head before pulling away from her and closing and locking the door.

Maria stepped into his apartment, taking everything in. "You live here alone?" She knew he did. She remembered from this afternoon when they'd talked, and she knew, because it was one of the things they had in the files about him. His apartment fit him. It smelled like him, and felt like it had this safe barrier around it, that no one could break through. She looked at the posters on his walls, eyes scanning over them, then looking at his stacks of CDs on a table, an empty pizza box, with two empty snapple bottles beside it. She smiled to herself, just because she could. She could feel happy around him. She turned around and looked at the couch, old and worn in. She sat down on it, and felt a broken spring, not visible to the naked eye, stabbing into the back of her thigh. She didn't care, because in some twisted way it made her feel safe too.

Michael watched her as she looked at everything in his apartment, exploring like she wanted to know everything about it. She finally came to stand at the island table, separating the kitchen from the living room. "I like it." She smiled and he chuckled, making her smile grow even more. He felt sorry for her, she needed happiness in her life, and he swore on his life he'd make her happy, he would make her so damn happy it would make up for the hell she'd been through.

Later they laid in bed Michael's bed together. Maria wearing one of his Metallica shirts. He laughed and told her she looked like a little kid in their dad's clothes. She'd just laughed and wrapped her arms around his waist. Michael had lifted her into his arms, holding her against his chest before laying her in his bed, and making sure she was comfortable before stripping down to his boxers and climbing in beside her. Instantly she was against him. Head on his chest, arms around his waist, legs tangled together.

"Maria, I know that you probably don't want to tell me...but please. I just want to know what happened. I want to be able to protect you and I can't if I don't know everything." He felt her arms tighten around him and winced slightly at her surprising strength.

"After my mom died, I ended up becoming a hooker. Life sucked so I tried to kill myself. I couldn't handle everything anymore. Rath found me. He took me to their home, in the sewer and Zan healed me. I've been with them ever since." Slowly her walls broke down. She began telling him everything, once she started she couldn't stop. She told him down to the smallest details, of when she'd lay on Zan's back and kiss and touch his tattoos. Of the things that Lonnie did to her. "The stupid summit meeting. They wanted to go so bad, and I told Zan not to. That it wasn't safe. And he told them the same. It was set up and we weren't going. So they killed him. Rath shoved him in front of a fucking Mac tuck and killed him." Tears rolled down her face, pooling on his chest. "They want Max...they want him to go to the meeting. He can't go to the meeting." Michael nodded and kissed her forehead and wiped her face.

"It's ok Maria. He won't. I'll talk to him in the morning and make sure that he says no." She interrupted him. "They'll kill him if he says no." Another soft kiss to her forehead. "We won't let them." Maria stared into his eyes. How could someone be so understanding, so sweet, caring, and loving. She knew at this moment, looking into his deep soulful brown eyes that she was never leaving his side. She loved him. She thought she'd loved Zan. Just because he made sure she didn't die. But she knew that she loved Michael.

Maria's hand slowly traveled up Michael's chest to cup his face and give him a tender kiss. His arms tightened around her waist slightly as he kissed her back with just as much tenderness, but full of passion. In minuets, hands and lips were every where, touching and exploring each other. The shirt Maria wore now lost somewhere in Michael's bedroom with the boxers he'd worn. His head rested on her stomach, pressing soft kisses to her flesh. His fingers traced the scar on her ribs and stomach. Taking a break from their passionate exploration to catch his breath. "Where did this one come from?" He asked tracing one of his fingers over it.

"The car accident. It was in a ditch, and my door was pinned shut. I had to climb out through the window, and just my luck, I had to climb through a barbed wire fence. My mom was still in the car...they said she died on impact. Just as long as she didn't suffer." Maria's eyes slid shut and her fingers tangled in Michael's hair as she felt a slight tingling where Michael traced his finger over the scar, then the same with the cut Rath had given her earlier that night. Her eyes opened and she looked down at him. Her stomach was bare except for her tattoo. "Michael?" She questioned quietly.

Michael looked up and kissed her belly button. "I'm not that good at it. But I can manage to take some of them away every day." He saw the tears in her eyes and quickly moved up beside her and held her close. "Maria? What's wrong? What did I do?" She smiled slightly at him.

Part Nine

"Thank you." Maria whispered. It meant so much to her, that even though he knew he couldn't do it that well, that it would take a long time to get rid of them all, but that he would. He didn't say Max could, but that he would do it. Her arms wrapped around his shoulders as she moved to sit in his lap, and capture his lips in a passionate kiss. His arms snaked around her waist holding her tight against his chest. Maria loved the feel of his arms around her. The safety, the strength. The kiss slowly grew deeper, and Michael rolled her onto her back.

Michael looked down at her face and traced his finger over her cheek. "I've never done this before." He whispered and Maria gave him a small smile that made him feel better about everything. He kissed her again softly moving to lay between her legs as they wrapped around his waist. Slowly he pushed inside of her, groaning her name quietly against her lips.

Maria's back arched up off the bed, her legs tightened around Michael's waist as she let out a low moan from the back of her throat. She'd had sex plenty of times in her life, but this, this was different, she could feel it. She held onto his shoulders as he started to make slow deep thrusts inside of her. "Michael." She whispered against his mouth, forcing her eyes open to look at him. She saw his eyes were open, looking down at her, watching her. She smiled at him and touched the side of his face.

They moved together in tandem, slowly at first, then speeding up with each thrust. One of his hands wrapped around her back, spreading his fingers out, feeling her skin. One more thrust, deep, hard. He felt her inner walls clamp down around him, drawing him deeper within her body, he groaned her name quietly as he came, spilling his seed deep inside of her. He looked down at her again, his weight rested on his arms. They breathed in time with each other, panting gasps for breath. Michael's head dropped down to her shoulder and he closed his eyes, breathing in her skin. Her small hands traced patterns on his back. Slowly he drifted off to sleep, loving the feel of her arms, and her body wrapped firmly around his.

Maria laid underneath Michael, watching him sleeping. She smiled feeling his smooth skin under her fingers. "I love you." She whispered against the side of his face before she let her tired eyes slide shut and drifted off to sleep. She woke up hours later hearing a low growl in her ear, then the feel of someone grabbing the back of her head and yanking her up so hard and fast she swore they ripped out half her hair. Her eyes flew open and she saw Michael still laying in bed, unconscious, eyes half open, mouth open, chest barely rising and falling with his breaths. Her eyes scanned her captors. Rath standing in front of her, Lonnie's fingers wound through her short hair. "Slut." She growled pulling her hair hard again, her feet slipping out from under her as Lonnie dragged her away from the bed.

"Michael." Maria cried out, but it was quiet, garbled. She felt herself being shoved in the trunk of the car and clenched her eyes shut. She heard more voices then silence for a moment before a clinking noise, like someone banging something against the top of the trunk. Ava. Maria thought. The sound rung in her ears, making her head throb. She tried to pull her hands up to cover her ears when she realized that her hands were tied behind her back, as well as her feet. She couldn't move. She forced the tears that threatened to fall back, swallowing hard.

Part Ten

Michael woke up with a start. His head was throbbing and he could hear it pounding. No, the pounding was someone's fist on the door. He struggled to get up and pulled on his boxers. What happened? He came home with Maria. Where was Maria? He didn't remember her being in bed with him as he walked out to the living room. He pulled open the door and saw Isabel in Alex's arms, tears streaming down her face. "Max. He's gone! They took him and Tess!" Michael was instantly awake. I quickly ran back to his room. "Maria?!" He yelled, and there was no response. The apartment was silent other than Isabel's soft crys and Alex's hushed calming whispers. She was gone.

Rath drove them back to New York. Them. Lonnie, Ava, Max and Tess. And Maria. But Max and Tess didn't know about that little fact. The little whore was shoved in the cramped trunk of the car. Two days later they pulled up near the entrance to their home. "Go on 'n check it out. We's got somethin ta take care of. Meet you back here in a few hours." He told Max and Tess, and reluctantly they left. He popped open the trunk and looked down at his little Ria. Unconscious, her naked body curled into a ball. The little whore. She fucked his dupe and he was pissed. There was dry blood in her hair, obviously from Lonnie's nails digging into her scalp as she pulled her from Michael's apartment.

Waving his hand over her to cover her with a blanket, just so no one would get see her he picked her up from the trunk and carried her down to their home and tossed her onto the bed. The fact that Tess and Max hadn't really come on their own free will and it make him chuckle quietly. Ava had warped their minds and made them want to.

Michael didn't tell them he knew exactly where to find them. Maria had told him that night when she was telling him everything. He'd told them he was going to go look for them, that he'd be back later. He made his way through the grungy sewer towards where she said they stayed. He saw a faint light, and some random things strewn about. He started running, hoping she was there, hoping that they weren't. He froze when he saw her. He got his wish. She was alone. But she was even more pale than before, and it was emphasized by the blood she was covered in.

"Maria!" He cried out. What if he was too late?! The thought hit him like a fist in the stomach, causing him to practically double over in pain. He ran to her side. She was laid out on her back, her leg bent at an odd angel to the side of her body. She had deep cuts in her stomach, and over her legs, and her wrists. Her chest didn't rise and fall with any breaths and he let out a strangled sob. He was too late.

Michael was determined to make her look perfect again even if it killed him. "I'm so sorry Maria." He whispered. Michael moved up on the makeshift bed beside her and touched her hair, and then over her face. "I promised I'd protect you. And I couldn't." Tears filled his eyes and he made no attempt to push them back. He'd never cried. Not once. Not even when Hank had beat the shit out of him, when he was only 9 years old. Seeing Maria laid out on the mattress right now was nothing compared to that. Compared to all of the times he'd been beat, and berated, combined. Tears rolled down his cheeks dripping down onto her stomach, mixing with her blood. He moved up slightly and noticed a cut over her lip. He leaned in and kissed her tenderly, placing his hand over her stomach, his fingers slipping in the slowly drying blood. "I'm so sorry." He whispered again as he concentrated all of his powers into her body. Picturing her in his mind as she was last night, laid out beneath him, naked and beautiful. A smile on her face, her emerald green eyes vibrant with life. With a quiet grunt he expelled the last of his powers, his strength and energy into her. He collapsed against her, his head resting on her chest, harsh breaths against her cool skin as he slipped into unconsciousness.

Part Eleven

Maria's eyes slowly fluttered open. She felt a heavy weight on her chest and gasped for breath. She felt like she was being crushed. Her eyes flew down and she saw Michael laying partially on top of her. What was he doing here? How did he find her? How was it that she wasn't dead right now? She shook his shoulder. "Michael." She rasped quietly, swallowing a few times to moisten her throat. She remembered then bringing her in here, throwing her onto the bed. Rath raping her over and over as Lonnie cut her skin with a razor and Ava sat there watching, occasionally hitting her, or using her powers to tear something inside of her. "Michael baby." She whispered pushing him off of her chest and onto his back. She looked down and saw that she was still naked, but there was no sign of what they did to her. Not even a scratch. "Baby please wake up." She whispered kneeling beside his head and holding his face.

She heard him groan and start to stir. "Come on baby, wake up please wake up." She begged quietly reaching down and finding his hand, holding it tightly in hers. Slowly his eyes opened and he stared up at her. "Michael?" She whispered brokenly then leaned in and kissed him with everything she had inside of him. His arms wrapped around her and she moved closer to him.

"I thought you were dead. You were... you weren't breathing." Maria kissed him again and looked at him. "Whatever you did... you fixed me." He tightened his arms around her and rubbed his hands up and down her back. "They have Tess and Max." She nodded. "We have to go save them."

Maria slowly pulled back, not wanting to lose contact with him, but knowing she had no choices. She stood up and quickly walked over to the drawer that her clothes him. She heard Michael say something and lifted her head up. "What baby?" She asked and he didn't say anything. She quickly went back to dressing.

Michael watched Maria get off the bed, and walked away. Her skin was practically glowing, silky porcelain skin, not a scratch, not a scar. "It's gone." He whispered quietly. Maria said something but he didn't even hear here, he was too in shock of the fact that he healed her. He brought her back to life, and made her skin perfect again. He climbed off the bed still watching her. She pulled on fishnet stalkings, and an unbelievably short purple and black skirt. Next was a purple corset with black lace. She pulled on her knee high leather boots and all the while he didn't take his eyes off her. "It's gone." He repeated as he stopped to stand in front of her.

Maria looked up quickly from zipping up her boot and stared at him. "What's gone?" His hand reached out, wrapping around behind her to touch the back of her exposed shoulder. "The scars...they're gone." Maria's eyes went wide and she threw her arms around him and placed a passionate kiss on his mouth. Her scars were gone. She could start her life over with Michael. As soon as they took care of some things.

Part Twelve

Maria held onto Michael's hand as the walked towards the large warehouse. "Are you sure this is it?" He asked her quietly. The place looked abandoned, no one in their right mind would go in there. But then again, the freaks lived in the sewers.

Maria nodded. "Yeah, they've brought me with them here before. She'd met Nicholas that time. He scared the shit out of her. He may have only looked like a little kid, but he was terrifying. Her grip tightened on his hand for a second before letting go to climb through the broken window, Michael following close behind her. Maria straightened up and glanced around, listening for them. "That way." She pointed down one of the long narrow hallways.

They made their way down the hallway and finally saw Max, Tess, Rath and Ava. "Michael?" Max said when he saw them. "What are you doing here?" Rath and Ava quickly looked up in shock of seeing Maria alive, and pissed. They stormed over to them, Ava wrapped her hand around Maria's throat and Rath stood in front of Michael. "What the fuck did you do to her?!" Rath demanded. Michael didn't back down. He held his hand up, ready to blast him. Nothing happened. Rath smirked. "All worn out from healin the bitch?" Rath laughed out loud, and Michael punched him hard in the jaw, knocking him on his ass.

Maria stared at Ava, unable to breath. Her vision started to get fuzzy around the edges. She heard Rath laughing them saw Michael punch him. Her eyes went back to Ava, and for some reason a picture of Zan popped into her mind, then his tattoo, coming to life again, Ava and burning and screaming.

Ava was determined to kill the little bitch and make sure she stayed dead this time. Suddenly she saw Maria's skin glowing, yellow, orange, and red. A flame flickered within her emerald green eyes. Then Ava let out a scream, loud, ear piercing as the glow traveled up her arm, and down her chest, covering her body. The scream didn't end. She flew backwards, halfway across the length of the room, suddenly engulfed in flames.

Mara stood frozen, staring at Ava's body as she screamed and writhed on the ground. She looked at Michael and Rath, then her head jerked up when she saw Lonnie and Nicholas come in the room. Her dark eyes narrowed and a line of fire flew out from her chest, instantly incinerating them both.

Max and Tess moved over to stand beside Michael as Maria walked over to Rath, still on the floor half conscious. She straddled his waist and leaned into his ear. "Wake up baby." She whispered before lifting her head up and looking at Michael and his friends. "Get out." The feelings inside of were getting stronger and she was afraid of what might happen.

"No!" Michael practically yelled. "I'm not leaving you!"

Tears welled up in her eyes. He didn't have any powers. When he healed her, he gave her everything. "You have to! You'll die if you stay!" A tear rolled down her cheek.

"So will you" He challenged and watched her lift her hand up, a flame forming in her palm, directing it at them.

"Get out!" She screamed and Max pulled Michael's arm, dragging him from the warehouse. They got outside, at the same time that Isabel, Alex, Liz and Kyle showed up. They all stood there staring, waiting to see what would happen.

Maria looked back down at Rath, who was staring up at her with wide eyes. "You like pain dontcha baby? Try this." She leaned in and covered his mouth with hers in a hard kiss, forcing his mouth open. The fire inside her grew, consuming them both. Rath screamed into her mouth. Louder and more piercing than Ava's.

Michael stood outside, his friends holding onto each other as they waited. He heard a high pitched scream from somewhere inside, then ten seconds later the entire building went up in flames. It was burning so hot, that if he could have moved he would have. He couldn't stop staring. She wasn't coming out. The thought ran over and over through his mind. His legs felt weak. He'd promised to protect her, and she died not once, but twice.

Suddenly Michael saw movement other than the flames licking the building. Someone was climbing out of a window, that flames were also flying out of, then walking towards him. Maria. Flames flew out from the building behind her. "They're gone." She whispered before her eyes rolled back into her head and she collapsed. Michael's arms quickly shot out and grabbed her limp body.

Part Thirteen

Michael carried Maria's still limp body into his apartment and carefully laid her on his bed. She hadn't woken up since she walked out of the burning building. Max had checked her out and assure him that she was fine, just worn out. Whatever she had done had worn her out almost to the brink of death. Michael pulled the blankets up over her and kissed her forehead.

Michael watched her a few minuets longer before getting up and walking into the living room. He sat on the couch and rested his head in his hands. The fact that he couldn't protect her kept running through his head. She was asleep in his arms and Rath still got her. Rath killed her. They all killed her. He could still feel the pain she was in up until the last second before she bled to death. He healed her, he felt all of it. The pain she went through her whole life.

Michael looked up when he heard a creek of the floor boards. Maria stood a few feet away from him looking scared and lost like a little kid. "You're awake. You should be resting."

"I can't." Maria whispered walking over to the couch and sitting beside him. "I had a nightmare." She pulled her legs up under her and curled up against his side. Michael's arms wrapped around her shoulders and held her against his chest.

"Lay out here and I'll make you something to eat." Maria shook her head and tightened her arms around him. "Maria, you haven't eaten in four days. You have to eat something. " Michael pulled away from Maria and she laid down on her side and closed her eyes. He made sure that she was ok before going into the kitchen. His powers were slowly coming back. He barely had any right now, but it was better than nothing.

Maria curled up on the couch and watched Michael in the kitchen. Something was wrong. She just didn't know what. She heard the phone ring, and Maria tried to hear what he was saying. The phone slammed back into it's cradle and she flinched.

Michael ran his hands over his face. Max was an asshole. Demanding that he come over and since Maria was awake to bring her too. Max didn't give a shit about the hell that she'd been through. He saw Maria flinch and sighed quietly. "Sorry. We have to go toe Max's."

Maria climbed off the bike and looked at Michael. "What's wrong?" She asked him softly. He shook his head, and refused to look at her. "Michael please.

"I promised you I'd protect you." She looked at him confused.

"What? Michael you did-"

"No." He cut her off. "I didn't. They got you and they killed you and I couldn't keep you safe."

"I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for you. You saved me Michael. In more ways than you'll ever understand."

Michael shook his head. "No Maria. I didn't. You did." He started his bike again and took off. Leaving Maria even more confused and scared.

Isabel walked out of the house hearing Michael take off. "He's always been like that. Give him a little while to cool down. Don't worry, he'll come around."

"I don't get it. He did protect me. He healed me."

"He doesn't see that as enough."

"But..." She trailed off when Max came out of the house and walked over to them.

"Izzy, can I talk to Ria alone?" Isabel nodded and went back inside. Max smiled at her, and Maria saw something in his smile, something familiar. "I'm so proud of ya Ri' I knew ya could do it baby." He touched her cheek softly, and she felt that familiar pang again. No one called her Ri'...except for...

Part Fourteen

Maria stared wide eyed at him. "Z-Zan?" She whispered and saw a smirk grow on his face. It was him. She'd recognize that smirk anywhere. "But...how? They....I saw..." She was on the verge of tears.

"Shh, you think I'd let those fucks win? I'm fine baby." Zan pulled her into his arms and she clutched onto him. Fingers digging into his arms, afraid he'd slip away again if she didn't. Tears streamed down her face and she didn't move to wipe them away.

Zan pulled back slightly and took her face in his hands and pressed his lips to hers in a deep and passionate kiss. Maria's arms tightened around him and he dipped his tongue into her mouth, one of his hands lacing through her hair, the other resting on the small of her back. He lifted her up and carried her down to Max's room and laid her back on the bed. He melted the lock on the door, preventing anyone from disrupting them.

Maria looked up at Zan as he hovered over her. His hands stroked under her shirt, his rough fingers cupped her breasts. She moaned loudly and arched her back. She loved the feel of his hands, she'd missed him so much. Her fingers dug into his back, clawing at his shirt, trying to feel his skin.

Zan waved his hand over her, removing her clothes, and then his own. He noticed the scar on her stomach was gone. His hand slid around her, feeling her back. The scars were gone. The preppy dupes healed her. "They heal ya baby?" She nodded slowly and he dug his nails into her back, leaving long, red, angry welts over her silky skin.

Maria let out a loud moan and arched her back farther. Then she felt him inside of her, thrusting deep and hard. He slid his hands up over her breasts then her arms, he found her hands and lifted them over her head. Quickly he formed a pair of handcuffs attached to the headboard and secured her wrists in them. She tugged lightly as he started to pound into her.

Michael pulled his bike back into the Evans' driveway and took a deep breath. Was Maria still here? He wondered. Where else could she go? He climbed off and walked inside. He saw Isabel standing in the middle of the hallway staring at Max's door. "Izzy?" Then he heard a loud cry followed by a moan. "Uh..." Michael stared at the door in shock. Since when were Max and Liz having sex? He could hear the bed slamming against the wall.

Maria looked down at Zan as she moved quickly over him, her hands still cuffed to the bed. He kept her on the edge, not letting her cum. He kept digging his nails into her skin leaving bright red welts all over her body. She moved harder against him, the handcuffs digging into her wrists, his fingers digging into her thighs. He growled and thrust up once more into her and she let her head fall back and screamed out his name as she came violently, her body shook as she collapsed against his chest, breathing hard.

Michael's head jerked up when he heard the scream. That was Maria's voice... saying Zan's name? What the hell?! His mind was overloading, trying to figure out what was going on as he tried to open the door. It was melted shut, and he couldn't get it open. Maria was in there. That's all he cared about. She was screaming and he needed to get to her. He glanced at Isabel who was standing beside him and they raised their hand to the door and finally managed to get it open.

Maria sat against the headboard, her hands still cuffed behind her. "How Zan? How did you do it? How'd you get here? You looked just like Max... God Zan how?" She asked him quietly as she watched him getting dressed. His tattoos were back, his piercings, everything about him was Zan. He glanced at her and smirked slightly.

"S'ok baby, I'll explain it all lata." Zan walked over to Maria and touched her bare thigh. The welts he'd made were starting to heal, and leave just raised lines on her body. He lightly trailed his fingers up and down her thigh making her shudder and moan quietly.

"When are we going back to New York?" Maria asked, trying to focus on something other than the pleasure his fingers were giving her. Her eyes flew open when she heard a loud bang and she saw Michael standing in the door way for a split second before he was running towards them. He tackled Zan and started to punch him over and over despite Maria's screams to stop.

Zan shoved him off, keeping him back with a shield. He wiped the blood off his lip and smirked. "Damn, for not havin ya powers yer pretty damn strong." He watched Michael rush to Maria's side and stroke his fingers over her face and let the shield fall.

"What did you do to my brother!?" Isabel yelled at him watching the scene in front of her. Zan standing beside the bed as Michael made sure Maria was ok.

Part Fifteen

"Chill V. I ain't done nothin wit ya bro. My darlin sis and her lil toy Niko did it." Isabel stared at him. "Dey killed 'im. Rath'd just figured I wasn't Maxi boy, and was 'bout to kill me when my baby came in." Zan flashed a smile at Maria who was watching him.

Maria tried to ignore Michael who was sitting on the edge of the bed beside her, covering her with a blanket, trying to uncuff her. "It's ok Maria, I'll get you out of here. You're gonna be ok." She felt the handcuffs release at the same time that Zan looked at her. She saved his life? She blamed herself for it all along, and now she knew that she saved him. She'd loved Michael, and he pushed her away. Claiming that he couldn't keep her safe. She quickly climbed off the bed, not caring as the blanket fell away. She threw her arms around him and held onto him as tight as she could.

Michael stared in shock as Maria ran into his arms. She actually wanted him? But she cried in his arms about how they'd treated her. He didn't move from the bed. He didn’t know how to react.

Maria held onto Zan as he led her out of the Evans’ house. “Where the hell are you going!?” She heard Michael demand. She could hear the faintest hint of Rath in his voice, the same tone he’d often used with her.

Zan squeezed her arm gently and pushed her slightly. “Go onto the hotel, Baby. I’ll be there in just a minute.”

“Be careful.” Maria whispered before walking down the street towards the hotel.

“You think you can just waltz back into her life after all the shit you put her though?!” Michael yelled at him.

“Oh, so you think she’s better off with you? Ya left her man.”

“Yeah, and you tried to kill her.”

“I never tired. Just gave her a healthy dose of pain.”

“She’s better than that.”

“She’s better than you.”


”She doesn’t want you.”

”She doesn’t need you.”

”You don’t understand her.”

”Oh and you do!? She spent hours crying in my arms about the shit you put her though.”

“My Ri don’t cry.”

”She’s not your ‘Ri.’ She was a scared kid that you took in and broke even more than she already was.”

“You don’t understand her!”

“You don’t understand. She’s not your whore.”

“She’s my Ri and I take care of her.”

“You can’t take care of her. You don’t know half the shit she’s been though.”

“I know everything man. When we fuck she opens up everything inside her mind. She do that for you?”

Michael was stung. Zan knew everything and didn’t do a damn thing about it. And also the fact that Maria let Zan see everything inside of her, but didn’t show him.

“Yeah, didn’t think so. She doesn’t want you. She’s in love with me man. Not you.”

Michael’s fist made contact with Zan’s jaw and heard it crack under his fist. Then he heard a scream, one that he recognized. Maria was standing across the street watching them.

Maria had gotten tired of waiting around at the hotel for Zan and had decided to head back to look for Zan. She saw him with Michael, still standing in the Evans’ front yard. She saw the look of pure fury on Michael’s face as he slammed his fist into Zan’s jaw. She whimpered quietly till she saw Zan’s hand raising up, glowing blinding white. She screamed causing both men to freeze.

Zan didn’t stay still for long, he pressed his hand against distracted Michael’s chest. Maria screamed again, and he heard the click of her heels as she ran towards them. “Please Zan, no don’t do this. Don’ kill him. Zan please.” She begged him.

Pain ripped through Michael's body and he collapsed to the ground. Zan’s hand still pressed against his chest. Maria being held back by Zan’s other hand, to keep her away from Michael.

“Zan baby please let’s just go. We’ll go back to New York and everything will be ok. He’s not worth it Zan.” Michael listened to her words then watched her slip between him and Zan. She kissed Zan hard and used her hand to push Michael away. He felt something. How much she loved him. That she was trying to keep him safe. Michael fell to his side with a groan, then heard Isabel making noise as she came running out, yelling at Zan and Maria to leave as she rushed to Michael’s side.

Part Sixteen

Maria lay on the bed of their hotel room, sore, bloody and bruised. She craved this, the pain that Zan and the others had caused. She’d had it for so long, she became dependent on it. She stared at the wall while Zan went to get them something to eat. She heard a knock on the door and knew it wasn’t Zan so she kept quiet.

After Michael had managed to recover from what Zan had done he immediately went after Maria. He was afraid he was too late though. That in the last two days Zan had killed her, or they left. He knocked on the door and heard nothing so he pressed his ear against the door and knocked again. He heard the bed creak and a soft feminine whimper. Maria was in there. He knew it. He used his powers to open the door. She didn’t look as bad as he’d expected.

“Michael.” She whispered sitting up slightly.

“Come home with me Maria.” Michael said walking towards her slowly.

“She’s not going with you.” Zan growled from the doorway. “We went over this already. She don’t want you.”

“She doesn’t need you! She needs someone that can take care of her, not beat the shit out of her.”

“I do need him.” Maria spoke softly from her curled up position on the bed.

“No you don’t Maria.”

”You don’t get it Michael. I need Zan. I need what he does.”

“Remember man? She didn’t let you see what was in her head. She doesn’t want you here.”

”No, she didn’t show me. She told me. She told me everything and she cried. Maria you let your walls down for me. Please don’t put them back up.” Michael held his hand up and the cuffs wrapped tightly around her wrists melted away.

“He can’t give you what you need Maria.”

“No, I’ll give her what she deserves.”

Maria stood up slowly and pulled on her jeans, shirt and shoes then walked towards Michael. Zan’s hand grabbed her arm roughly and stopped her. “I’ll kill you if you leave.”

“No you won’t Zan. You never did before, you never will.”

“Don’t come crawling back to me when he doesn’t make you happy.” His hand made contact with her face and Michael was there in an instant, but Maria stopped him.

“You ever come near her again… I will kill you with my bare hands.” Michael wrapped his arm gently around Maria’s waist and guided her out of the hotel.

Michael knelt in front of Maria with a damn washcloth and a bowl of ice cubes. He cleaned her up, kissing each mark on her body wishing he could heal them. He touched her face and lifted her head to look at him. “I love you Maria. I’m sorry for pushing you away but I was angry that I couldn’t protect you better. It was stupid because you ended up getting hurt worse.”

“I know Michael. I know you want to take care of me, but there will always be times where you won’t be able to. But it will never make me love you any less.” Maria told him before wrapping her arms around his shoulders and slipping off the couch and into his lap.