A/N: No more lemon from here on, just so you know.

Chapter 7: Traitor's Blood

Liz opened her eyes drearily. She only vaguely remembered what had happened just a few hours ago.

Where am I? She recognized the room as Max's.

What am I doing here? Max wasn't in the room, and she didn't remember how she had happened on his bed. She tried to remember exactly what had happened. All that came to mind was Brett, and then that overwhelming feeling of dark. Then Liz remembered losing that feeling with Max's horrified face over her. She couldn't remember... Liz fell asleep again on Max's pillow.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Isabel stared off into the night sky, lost in thought again. The green grass that surrounded her seemed to be whispering to her in the faint breeze. The beauty of it was comfort to her. Slowly and gently, her head fell to her arms in the cool summer moonlight.

Isabel dreamt of her home planet, of peace there. She dreamt a green cloud came and swept her up into the skies and held her softly closer to the sun that lit their planet. The cloud changed into the collective consciousness that Isabel had imagined, but it was only the friendly ones. She didn't lose herself among them, they let her keep herself, and then they floated back into that place of peace where all things go after they die. And the cloud still held her, and reminded her of arms holding her to a chest. Like her dad used to do when she was little. And they squeezed her gently. A tendril of the cloud pushed a piece of her hair back.

Then Isabel awoke. She smiled at what she saw, because she knew it couldn't be real. Trevor's face was smiling down at her. She thought to herself,

I'm still dreaming. A very good, very realistic dream. But then she felt. The arms around her. They were the same as the clouds. Isabel opened her eyes wide. It was Trevor, holding her up against his chest, a small wormhole dwindling about twenty feet from her. Isabel laughed and screamed happily.

"Is-" Trevor began.

"Trevor!" Isabel immediately shut him up with her lips. She wouldn't pull away, and neither did he. It was sweet, beautiful. They sat in the middle of a small patch of grass, Trevor's arms around Isabel's shoulder's and one hand on her neck. Isabel's left hand was entwined in Trevor's hair, while her right was pressed onto his chest. Trevor broke their kiss first, savoringly.

"Isabel," he whispered breathily.

"Trevor, I missed you." Isabel felt like she was glowing inside.

"Isabel, I missed you too, so much, but we don't have much time. We need to get everyone together as quickly as we can. Michael, Maria, Max, Liz, Alex, everyone. Do you have your cell with you?" Isabel was a little confused, but dialed Michael's house. He picked up on her third try. She could hear him and another person, who she assumed was Maria, breathing heavily and shifting in the background when it was picked up.

"Hey, Michael, it's Iz... We all need to meet at your place ASAP. You're never going to believe what's happened... Humans need to come too. Can you get a hold of Liz and Max for me?... You're busy? Doing what? ... None of my business? Michael, everything you've done since we met has been my business... Well, please, just try his cell phone and then the house. I'll be there in a few minutes!" Isabel then called Alex, who picked up on the second ring.

"Hi Alex, it's Isabel! Listen, we all need to meet at Michael's as soon as possible. It's urgent. ... All right, I'll see you there!" Last she called Liz, just in case Michael was talking with Max too long. She tried five times. On the last ring before Isabel lost her patience, Liz picked up.

"Hello?" she said groggily.

"Liz, it's Isabel."

"Oh, hi. What's up?"

"Why didn't you pick up?"

"I was asleep. Any idea where Max is?"

"No, I thought he was with you."

"Well, he was. I'm on his bed right now, and he's no where to be found."

"You didn't..."

"No, but I don't remember exactly what happened."

"Well, we'll find him. Anyway, we need you to be at Michael's as soon as you can be."

"Why?"

"I'll tell you when you get there!"

"All right. Bye."

"See ya." Isabel looked at Trevor.

"Let's go!" he said. She ran for her mom's car. Trevor appeared in the driver's seat before she got there.

"No fair!" She lightly punched him on the chest, but didn't pull away when he grabbed her wrist. He moved her fingers to his neck and kissed her again, gently. Then he put the pedal to the floor and they sped off to the UFO center. When they arrived, Trevor hid behind the counter until everyone but Max was there.

Michael had his arms around Maria's waist, resting his head on her shoulder, he kept kissing her, and looking at her like she was the only person alive. Unusual. Nevertheless, Isabel cleared her throat.

"Even though Max isn't here, and apparently no one can get hold of him, I've gotta start. Something incredible has happened."

"You're not pregnant, are you?" Alex joked. Isabel glared at him for a moment while he squirmed and hid.

"No. I'm back," Trevor said, and came out from behind the counter. Michael jumped out from behind Maria and tackled Trevor. Then he pulled him up and enveloped him in a bear hug. Trevor laughed and hugged him back.

"But why are you back?" Michael asked after everyone else had hugged Trevor. When he had hugged Maria, he had held her by the shoulders and raised an eyebrow as though he knew something about her.

"I'm getting to that." Alex had just given him a one-arm hug. They had never really been that close. "First, Liz has something to tell everyone about her day." Everyone turned to look at Liz.

"How did you know?" she asked Trevor.

"I saw as I entered Earth."

"Today, I went to class with that new guy Brett, and I told him off for being such a jerk to us all. He told me to come with him, and I figured it might be something important, so I did. He was headed for the janitors closet. I turned around and headed back to class, but he grabbed my wrist, hard. Like pincers. I looked back at him, and his eyes were glowing red. I was so scared, I screamed, but he put his hand over my mouth and stopped me. Then Brett took his hand off my mouth, but I still couldn't scream. My lips felt like they were sewed together. He pulled me into the janitors closet, and when he took his hand off the door handle, I could see that it was melted. He whispered,

"Why? Because you destroyed me." I could see his hand swirling with power waiting to be unleashed. Then he said, "Now you pay for what happened to a myriad of beings!" And then I passed into a kind of darkness. The next thing I remember, I woke up on Max's bed. With no Max."

The room was silent. Michael was next to Maria again, holding her hand. Maria was squeezing him tightly.

"The reason I'm here is to help you guys out. A single aura from the consciousness escaped to Earth, somehow before it dissolved into the air. It's evil, to the extreme. It always was, and the myriad of beings that Brett referred to is the consciousness. It can take over auras, shift at will. It gives power to the person possessed by it. That's what happened to you Liz. And that's what happened to Brett. It can only possess by touch. There's one more thing though, Liz. Do you remember anything that happened before you fell asleep?"

Liz looked a little bewildered.

"No, I don't think so... No, wait, there was something. I remember coming out of that darkness, with Max's horrified face right above me."

"So that means that-" Alex started.

"That Max was possessed too," Trevor finished. "And that's potentially lethal to all of us." The room erupted.

"What are we going to do?"

"We have to find Max!"

"Has anyone seen Max since Liz did?"

"We should split up and search for Max."

"No way! We have to stick together and find him."

"SHUT UP!" Isabel yelled. Everyone stopped and stared at her. "First thing is first, everyone call their parents and give them an alibi. Whatever it is, tell them you're at Michael's and that if they want anything, to call you at someone's cell phone number." Michael and Alex didn't have cell phones, but Michael didn't need to call anyone anyway. Alex could tell his dad like it was, because he already knew about the aliens.

"Yeah dad, I need to stay out later tonight. Alien stuff. Okay, I'll call when I can. If you need me, just call Liz's cell. Or Maria's. Or Isabel's. See ya." Isabel looked around the room.

"Next, we are all going to go together to find Max, so we can't be overpowered by him. I'm assuming we'll have a stone with us, Trevor?" Trevor nodded.

"Wait, how do we destroy the aura without destroying Max?" Liz asked fearfully.

"We can do the same thing we did when Michael's hand was melting into Max's shoulder. Concentrate on Max's aura and then the dark purple of the other aura," Alex suggested.

"Yeah, once we get the two apart, we use the stone to destroy the aura!" Maria said.

"Why is it always Max who is in trouble with the consciousness?" Liz murmured. Maria abandoned Michael for a moment to hug Liz.

"Let's go you guys. Where do we start?" Maria said fiercely.

"Nearby. It wants to get to us, so it should be close. Or it may be looking for a stone. So we'll try in the surrounding areas first, then the cave and so on," Trevor said. "It shouldn't be difficult."

The door was flung open, and Max stepped in. In a voice entirely not his own he said,

"Aaah, the traitor has arrived. I get to have your blood too."