"I'll be dimming my side of the connection, okay? So that you'll be able to focus. To keep you alert."
Those had been Max's final words, spoken out loud but in a hushed whisper, before we crossed the threshold to the house. The blood in my veins had turned into acid from the frantic bursts of adrenaline, my back was hurting from being held in a straight line that would have made any architect delirious with happiness, and my legs were stiff with numbing fear.
But my mind was sharp. With Max's thoughts and emotions dimmed, I was able to gather my energy and focus on my surroundings.
The front door immediately opened to the large open-planned room where Max, 24 hours earlier (almost to the minute), had made me tremble with restrained desire and fed me overly sweetened pancakes of heaven. I visualized his smiles and his playfulness as he had moved around the kitchen and remembered the touches, the flirtatious moves and the heat from the side of his thigh pressing up against mine under the table.
It didn't even feel like the same house.
The dining table, where Max had stacked pancake after pancake on my plate, had been moved to the far end of the room. In front of the table were two smaller tables, with empty chairs on just one side of the table, facing the large table. The main table was also only occupied on one side, the chairs positioned in a manner that let its occupants look out over the smaller tables.
Like a court room. But without an audience. Without any witnesses.
I shivered. This was not a meeting.
This was a hearing.
Lights were off, except for two floor lamps. One by the large table and one between the two smaller. All the curtains were drawn. And the silence was deafening.
The second Max and I crossed the threshold to the main entrance, Max put his hand to the front of my hip and guided me slightly behind him. Normally, I would have objected to being semi-hidden behind someone. I didn't like to hide. I didn't like how inferior and incapable it made me feel and look. I had been raised to hold my head high, square my shoulders and to not let anyone run me over.
Instead I found myself bitterly swallowing the values from my upbringing and stomping my pride to a wet stain on the floor. In this environment, I was no safer than if I had stepped out right in front of a whole battalion of soldiers with fully loaded weapons pointed straight at me.
I had to accept the fact that Max had something I didn't. Alien powers.
While the right part of my body was shielded behind Max's, my head was completely exposed. I needed to see as much as possible. It gave me some sense of control and an inkling of security.
Maybe if I had known what I would see, I might have chosen to close my eyes against all of this. But by the time I realized that, it was too late.
The five men seated behind the main table, staring at us seemingly without blinking, were not scary-looking. There were no evil weapons of torture positioned on the table surface in front of them. They were, by appearance, human. For a second, I had feared the possibility that they might have shed their human 'disguises' for the occasion.
Instead, I realized that the fact that they looked completely normal was even more frightening. Dressed in monochromatic suits, they looked like they were attending a business meeting.
But compared to an ordinary business meeting, blackness surrounded them. Yes. Blackness. I squinted my eyes, in an attempt to help me see better, and realized that I was actually seeing black - like a halo - around the outlines of - specifically - the white-haired man in the middle.
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Unbreakable - A Beautiful Lie · (Roswell Fanfiction) · √Fanfiction
I saw him right before Max did. When he did, his gasped "Fuck" magnified the jump of fear made by my body when I found myself standing merely two feet from an alien. His large bottomless black eyes were staring emptily into mine and I could see the...