Max's hand was easing off the small of my back as my intention moved through our minds. Even before the blonde girl had fully turned towards me, my legs were quickly closing the distance between my friend and I.

The expression in her large green eyes was one of absolute fear, her nervous gaze flittering quickly over the observing group in front of her. Her chin was dropping slowly when shocked confusion replaced her terror as she became aware of the other people in the room, right as I reached her and wrapped my arms tightly around her body.

She remained stiff in my embrace as I squeezed my eyes tightly closed to prevent a cascade of tears. Instead I pressed my forehead against the top of her shoulder, letting the familiar smell of her envelop me.

Never before had I been so happy to see Maria.

"Liz?" she whispered, confused and detached, her arms never returning my hug, the stiffness of her body unyielding.

"It's okay," I mumbled against the heat of her skin. Michael had worked her into a fervor, her body burning up with fear and anger. "You're safe."

There was so much to say, still no words. What could I say? What was I allowed to say?

My grip tightened desperately. I had missed her so much. I never realized how much I had missed her until right then, with the familiarity of her so close to me.

Even if she wasn't acting at all like the Maria I know.

Why was she here? Why had Michael brought her here? No one seemed to have been in on Michael's plan, otherwise they wouldn't have been so taken off guard.

"What- Does- Did he capture you too?" Maria breathed and I felt her body wakening up in my arms, the momentary daze of her anger and need to flee starting to wear off.

I pulled back, letting her out of the confinement of my shaking arms, and couldn't help the small smile from touching my lips when I met her eyes. "No. We're here of our-" I licked my lips slowly before giving her a half-truth to ease her feelings, "-own free will."

The real truth being that none of us wanted to be here. We were all here out of necessity. To hide. To survive.

Maria's nervous gaze jumped back and forth between the odd assorted group of individuals in the room, only briefly touching on my face. I was trying to keep my expression neutral. Trying my best to make her feel unthreatened.

Mr. Evans' evenly controlled voice made Maria jump, telling me how tightly wound she really was. "Michael."

I automatically wrapped my hand gently around the middle of her underarm, attempting to calm her jittery nerves. Also, unconsciously keeping her from running.

"Come with me," Mr. Evans commanded.

I caught Michael's eyes over Maria's head as he uncertainly glanced at the back of Maria's head, sweeping into the direction of the corner that lead to the front door, and back to me.

He was worried that she would leave.

Why - again - was he so intent on getting her here? On keeping her here?

Take her to our room.

Max's voice in my head startled me, my hand momentarily tightening in its grasp around Maria's arm, directing her attention to my face. It was as if seeing Maria had transported me away from the alien world I had been consumed by these last couple of weeks. As if I was leading two separate lives. Two lives that didn't mix.

There was the life working as a waitress at my father's diner and getting A's at school. The life where Maria was my best friend and we spent our free time gossiping (well, Maria gossiped and I listened), painting our nails and watching chick flicks.

Unbreakable - A Beautiful Lie · (Roswell Fanfiction) ·  √Read this story for FREE!