MR Bloodlust 2 : Queen of Hearts by heaven-angel-15

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Humor, Romance
Characters:Fang, Max
Published:2007-06-07 07:26:42
Updated:2010-05-12 21:09:08
Packaged:2021-04-04 13:52:40
Summary:/FAXNESS/ Now that Fang is safe, Max just needs to wait out her bloodlust, and then everything will be fine. Until they find out the bloodlust has spread. And Lissa is...dying? ! And Fang's bloodlust is BACK ! ? /

Table of Contents

1. WHAT ! ? Lissa is DYING ! ?
2. Princessa Lissa's Proof
3. How To Tell The Flock ?
4. Stealing Phonebooks And More, Oh My!
5. DumbBlondeValleyGirlBarbie Max ! ? AHHH!
6. Somebody's A Liar Liar, Pants On Fire
7. Lissa The Flirt and Pencil Pusher
8. My Clone, In Lissa's House, WHAT ! ?
9. Lissa Falls Down The Stairs, Oops
10. The Return of DBVGB Max
11. Snap Out Of It Max !
12. The Kiss xxx Part I
13. The Kiss xxx Part II
15. Sometimes Leaving Is For The Best
16. Beauty, The Beast, and The Angel
17. Emotions, Errors, and Everything
18. My Max or Yours ?
19. Who Needs Lissa When You Have Love ?
20. Things Go Bad , , ,
21. , , , And Then Get Worse
22. Note To Self
23. Bloodlust and Faxness
24. A New Flock Leader ?
25. Show Me What I'm Missing
26. AN : I'm Sorry, FUNERAL
27. AN : Damn Trojan Virus but SNEAK PEEK!
28. AN : Last one! I swear!
29. Our Ending

1. WHAT ! ? Lissa is DYING ! ?


Welcome everybnody to Bloodlust 2 : Queen of Hearts. This is the seqel to Bloodlust and I can't thank you all enough from mthe botto of my heart for making Bloodlust such a big hit. I Neverdreamed I'd actually have the chance to make a equel to it. LOL

But quickly, I'm just going to rant a disclaimer at you (since I keep forgettinbg, and I really don't wanna be sued. LOL)

First off, I do not own the characters of this fic -- Max, Fang and the others all belonmg to James Patterson -- author-extrordinaire and genius at writing.

Secondly, I do however, own this story and this plot. So with all due respect and kindness and love towards you all, PLEASE DON'T COPY ANYTHING FROM IT!!!!!...please?! LOL.

If you want to borrpow any ideas or anything from the plot, please ask me first? Okay? Sweet!

Enjoy guys!!! And thank you so much for all of your comments and support on Bloodlust, and I hope you guys will like this fic just as much!!!!!

Love from, CK

Bloodlust 2 : Queen Of Hearts

Chapter 1

When we reached New York in the mid-afternoon, we all couldn't help but cheer in relief. We'd been flying for about two or three days (I'd lost track) stopping only to eat and sleep (and get supplies, like candy) as we made our way to New York—our newest School safe-haven.

New York was a blur of colour, sights, sounds, and people, meaning that if six scraggly-looking kids suddenly showed up in the city, no-one would know notice or care.
…and this is a really helpful thing when you're on the run.

It's been only a few days since we'd left that cave on the outskirts of the School, but ever since then something seemed to have changed within our Flock. We were stronger as a family and a lot happier than we'd been in almost six months (when our house was destroyed and we found out Jeb was a whitecoat—again.)

Not to mention, we hadn't caught sight of any Erasers since our last escape, which is always a very good thing.

"Max?" I heard Nudge say from behind me. "I'm hungry...can we land now?"

"Not yet" I told her gently. "We need to fly just a little further into the city, then we'll drop down, stroll through the streets, maybe see some sights, and grab a whole load of pizza. Does that sound good?" I teased.

"Yeah!" Nudge practically squealed with happiness. I heard murmurs of agreement go through my Flock and I grinned at them all, before I felt a feather-light tough on my arm.
I turned to see that it had (literally) been a feather-light touch, as Fang's jet-black, temptingly soft looking wingtips brushed across my arm. I looked up from the wingtips to their owner, Fang, who was looking at me with a look that made my heart skip a beat and my mouth go dry with desire.

He was smirking at me softly, like he could read my thoughts, and the light wind was causing his hair to move adorably in front of his deep, brown eyes that were so…so...
Max… My Voice hissed warningly in my ear, snapping me from my Fang-gazing-trance.

"Huh?" I said outloud, dumbly and saw Fang's smirk widen at me. I saw Fang's mouth move as he spoke, but I was too busy starring at his lips to notice. They looked so…so…

"Max?" Fang said, (again) waking me from my trance. I caught his eye and had to stop myself from blushing at how openly I'd been starring at him. He raised an eyebrow at me.
"Am I tempting you too much?" Fang asked, a knowing grin on his lips.

I did a double take and frowned at him angrily as I scoffed.

"No..." I said, sticking out my tongue. "You're not that good-looking, so don't get too cocky…" I told him teasingly. Fang just continued to gaze at me knowingly.
"Alright, the next time I see you starring at me with dreamy eyes, I'll try not to let it go to my head" he muttered, smirking at me.

Oh! Why that little!---

Max… My Voice whispered in my head again.

What now? I asked it irritably. Can't you go on vacation or something?

Max…you have a single day of bloodlust left…do not throw it away by letting your teenage urges for Fang claim you…

I snickered outloud and saw Fang and the rest of my Flock giving me weird looks.

What is so funny, Maximum?… my Voice asked. This is a very serious matter…

I know –- I'm the one who's going through it, remember? I shot at my Voice.

It's just so funny to hear a voice in my head say the word 'urges'. Hehehe!

I started to laugh again but had to stop and bite my lip instead as a sharp, aching pain settled in my head.

Jerk… I shot at my Voice, but there was no response.

Oh, and did I mention that before? I've only got a day left of bloodlust and then I'm home free. Can we say 'thank-you-gods!?'

(Can you believe it? Just one more day of bloodlust and then I'm done. Finished. Finito. Finis…. and those are the only three languages I know how to say 'finished' in, so I'll stop now before I embarrass myself.)

"We're here" Fang suddenly said, nodding his head to down below us. I trailed off from my thoughts and nodded at him, motioning for my Flock to follow me as I swooped down behind a high skyscraper.

(Skyscrapers… one of the many things that are more helpful to us bird kids than you humans may think…)

Once we all landed on the pavement in an empty alley, I instructed everyone to throw on their sweatshirts and we casually walked out of the alley, putting looks of 'who-us?-fly-down-from-the-sky-and-hide-in-alleyways? Nah' types of looks on our faces.

"Now can we eat?" Nudge quickly said before I could speak, and I had no choice but to agree.

After buying 22 slices of pizza and 16 cans of soda from a street vendor, we headed off to the New York Public Library to do some R&R—which for us, is research and relaxation.

(Research being Fang checking his blog, and myself, Iggy, and Fang looking up more on Itex. Our relaxation being that the library is quiet, peaceful and we can nap there before it closes.)

And you want to know what the best thing was? The street vendor didn't even give us a second-look when we bought our 22 pizza slices from him, and (talk about a bonus) there was a newbie working the library (according to Nudge's powers) and he let us through without asking us to sign in and told us it was 'cool' if we wanted to eat and drink in the library.

…No doubt he'll end up getting fired soon, but hey, we sure liked him a lot.

We headed up the stairs two-at-a-time -- seriously, the library was so big it had stairs to another level! Do you know how cool that was for us? -- And as soon as we reached the top, Fang wordlessly headed for the computers.

Angel and Gazzy ran off giggling and returned with their arms full of colourful books, while Iggy and Nudge went to a small table and just talked.
I sat down on the computer next to Fang's and immediately started to play games on the internet, deciding I could research later and relax now.
(What? I had a deprived childhood and I planned on making up for it.)

It was peaceful and it was nice to just all sit together and soak up the atmosphere after flying non-stop for a few days…

….if only it had lasted long enough for me to actually enjoy it!

As I was playing games on the computer, I suddenly heard Fang swear a little-too-loudly under his breath. I turned to him quickly when I heard it.
Fang never swears when the younger guys are so close—which meant that he was either really pissed or something really bad had just happened.

And I had a bad feeling it was the second option.

Instinctively, I did a 360-sweep for any supermodel-looking people that could possibly be Erasers in the library.

"We've got a big problem…" Fang hissed at me, his eyes never leaving the computer screen.

"What about the bloodlust is so bad? Did something go wrong?" Angel piped up from flicking through a colourful book on the floor. Fang shoot her a warning look and I tensed.
"Fang…is something wrong with me?" I asked, hoping he couldn't hear the worry in my voice.

"Does this have something to do with the bloodlust?...or are you in trouble because of the bloodlust?!" I asked him, fear creeping in that maybe the bloodlust may have found a way back into Fang's… well, blood.

"No, it's not me…and it's not you either…" Fang muttered.

"Well, what is it?' I asked him, leaning down so he could whisper it to me as he quickly gave me a 'you-better-lean-in-because-this-is-important-but-the-little-guys-can't-know-about-it-or-they-ll-worry' type of looks.

Fang shot a hard, warning look over his shoulder at an almost too-innocent looking Angel and Gazzy who were looking up at us from the floor. I quickly closed off my mind from Angel as Fang shooed the two away with a single glance.

After making sure they were far enough away, Fang's eyes rooted to the computer screen again.

"What is it?" I asked, trying to peek over his shoulder since he (obviously) wasn't telling me much.

"I just got an e-mail from Lissa" Fang said in a low tone I didn't recognise.

I had to stop myself from screaming in the library.

"What!?" I hissed at him, anger boiling in my blood and ringing in my voice, yet Fang's eyes stayed glued on the screen.

"What the hell?" I hissed quietly again, making sure the younger guys hadn't heard me. "How did you get Lissa's e-mail address?! Better yet, why do you have it and why does she have yours!? And you actually have an e-mail address? Why? Who are we going to give our e-mails to anyways!?"

"Max..." Fang said in a clear warning tone, but still kept his eyes on the screen.

"What happened!? Did she break a nail?" I said mockingly, but then but my lip to silence myself.

Way too be a witch, Max… I thought to myself in frustration, bubbling with anger and guilt inside.

I was being way too harsh—Lissa was a good person. It wasn't her fault that Fang was attractive and that she liked him …or that she was prettier than I was…or that she grew up in a normal city…or that she hadn't been born with wings on her back in a creepy science lab off the coast of California…

Yet even so, I still couldn't help but dislike her.

"Sorry" I muttered to Fang (and partially to Lissa…wherever she was…) in apology. I cleared my throat before speaking again softly.
"So, what's wrong with her?" I asked, but there was no answer from Fang. Just silence.

"We forgot all about the rules of bloodlust" Fang said quietly, ignoring my question.

"Rules like…" I asked, trailing off.
For the first time, Fang turned away from the computer screen (hallelujah) to look at me deeply and seriously in the eye.

…and did he ever look hot doing it.

His eyes were such a deep, dark brown and piercing with some kind of emotion, and his strong set jaw and his --

I quickly shook my head to rid myself of my thoughts of Fang.

Come on, Max! I told myself in frustration.Just one more day…just one more day…just one more day of crazy-hormone-driven bloodlust for Fang and then it'll all be over…come on...get yourself together!...

"Rules like, bloodlust is spread through mating, germs, salvia…" Fang said, still starring at me intently.

A moment of silence passed between us and I saw Fang's brow furrow in frustration.

What?...did I miss something?...

"I still don't know what you mean..." I finally told him. His brow furrowed even more at this and he sighed softly to himself. (Apparently, I'm dumb for not realising what that statement meant. Oops, my bad.)

"Max…" Fang said quietly to me. "Do you remember the first time you went into bloodlust?"

"Yeah, it was at that carnival in Texas" I said, nodding in recognition. "When Lissa kissed you, I flipped out for some reason."

Fang raised an eyebrow as if to say 'and-you-don't-know-what-that-reason-was?'

Okay, okay, I'll admit – I was furious and jealous of Lissa at the time, but Fang didn't have to know that, did he?

"So…" Fang said, waiting for me to clue in. I frowned in misunderstanding still not having a clue about whatever it was Fang was saying.

"So…" I repeated and Fang frowned again.

"Max" Fang told me gently. "Lissa kissed me at the carnival, remember?"

It was then (ladies and gents) that everything Fang was talking about hit me like punch in stomach.

And it was also like a kick in the gut, punch to the face, stab in the back, and just about every type of pain you can think of all rolled into about three seconds of utter horror and recognition.

"Lissa kissed you…" I repeated as the words sunk in and twisted sickeningly in my stomach. I turned to Fang with my jaw slack and my eyes wide in disbelief.

It couldn't be…no, no….no!...

"People with bloodlust – specifically us..." Fang said, "Aren't supposed to spread bloodlust unless it's to other human avians…"

"Or else the bloodlust backfires in the other person's system…" I said in complete understanding, my eyes still wide in disbelief.

Oh (insert-a-swear-word-of-your-choice-here.)

Fang looked at me solemnly, and it felt like Mother Nature really, truly was out to stab us in the back. My Voice's words (from what seemed like forever ago) whispered evilly in my ear…

…Max, Fang is a human-avian, not just an ordinary human, so his kiss with that girl Lissa was meaningless — and, the bloodlust was not actively in his system when he kissed her…

…However, if Fang's bloodlust had been active and he'd somehow exchanged blood or saliva with her or vice versa – say he'd bitten or kissed her, then I'm afraid to say that Lissa would be lying close-to-dead right about now... a pity, but I'm sure you wouldn't mind it if your competition was destroyed ---

I heard my heart thudding in my ears and had to swallow hard before I managed to speak again.

"…Lissa's dying, isn't she?" I whispered to him.

Fang just nodded.


All I can say is, I hope all you Lissa-haters are happy...


More on Lissa and this new problem are coming soon!

2. Princessa Lissa's Proof

Oh my freakin' Gods...

-- Ck rubs her eyes and does a double take --

I've only gotten the first chapter up and ALREADY you guys have given me three full pages of reviews! -- a large majority of them also involving happy-dances since Lissa might possibly die.

:-D LOL.

It's slightly cruel, but also pretty hilarious -- I'm not going to lie. Thank you guys so very much for the reviews!

-- huggles everyone --

I hope we can keep this fic on a roll from here-on-in, so I'm happy to present you all with the second chapter! I hope you'll like it!

Love from, CK

Chapter 2

Well, you guys know the routine so, (insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here.)

That pretty much sums up my thoughts exactly. Okay, I'll admit that I never really liked Lissa. But do I want her dead?

Umm…hang on give me a sec….hmmm…let me think about it….err…man, tough choice…do I really want Lissa dead?...umm…………


"That's not the main problem though" Fang muttered so quietly I almost didn't hear him. I did a double take and gawked at Fang silently for a minute.

"What?! Fang! Lissa. Is. Dying" I said, pronouncing each word and starring at Fang like he'd turned into a five-year-old. Fang just starred emotionlessly back at me.

"… but there's a bigger problem?" I asked him, disbelieving.

"Unfortunately" Fang said lowly, nodding solemnly at me with a deep frown on his face. He cursed under his breath before he turned the computer screen towards me, leaning back in his chair casually to keep an eye on the others.

I quickly read over the screen, realizing that it was an e-mail from Lissa to Fang.

hey Nick!

im so sorry, ive been trying to get a hold of u 4… well 4ever. LOL.

I hope your happy in ur new home in Cali –

I shot a quizzical look at Fang when I read this.

"We live in California, now?" I asked him. He smirked but didn't respond, and I continued reading.

--- it sucks though that ur parents move u and ur siblings so much.

I know its good missionary work but it must be awful. 8( I cant imagine moving that many times, i would totally miss all of my friends way 2 much. Kinda like how i miss you now. LOL. 8-p Total hugs and kisses...

I almost punched out the computer when I read this…

...almost, being the key word there. I really (really!) would have loved to have punched the computer, but I wasn't about to break our cover and get us kicked out of library.

I could practically hear Lissa's (whiny, annoying, flirty, squeaky, sly-little) voice saying those words in my ear.

"Total hugs and kisses!" I whispered mockingly and angrily under my breath, trying to stop my heart from pounding with jealousy.

Well, Fang sure is Mr. Popular with the ladies, isn't he? I muttered to myself bitterly. Only a second later, I wanted to hit myself and quickly shook the bitter thoughts from my head.

Come on, there's no reason for me to be so jealous! I'm never like this!...It must be a side-effect of the bloodlust that's causing me to be so jealous…and Fang is my boyfriend now… I reminded myself. I felt my shoulders relax at this, letting go of a tension I didn't know I'd been holding.

Lissa is nothing more than a friend to him…and he's allowed to have normal, human friends…plus, he's my boyfriend now… Lissa can't take him from me so I just need…to relax.…

Unless Fang chooses to leave you ...

I almost yelled out loud and had to bite my lip to stop myself.

Great, you're back… I told my Voice irritably.

Indeed, Maximum… My Voice answered smoothly. And I'm only hear to warn you —

Again? I mentally whined tired of hearing 'you-must-save-the-world-or-else echoed constantly in my head.

I'm hear to warn you… My Voice continued, that Lissa's health and your concern for her is pointless…just forget about her and move on…her death will mean nothing to the world…unlike yours, Maximum…

My eyes widened and I suddenly tensed again in disbelief.

Wait! What do you mean Lissa's death means nothing!? I shot at my Voice. Everyone's death should mean something to at least someone! Are you telling me to just forget about her and leave her to die?!?! way!

"We are going to save her and she does matter!!! So take that!!!" I yelled in outrage, and then realised a second too late that I'd yelled in the library.

We heard a 'shh!' come from downstairs –probably the guy who had let us in – and I winced, turning to my Flock sheepishly.

"Sorry" I whispered quietly, ignoring the worried looks my Flock were giving me. 'Just…go back to whatever you were doing…I just need to talk to my Voice for a sec…and sorry again..." I told them.

"Ok-ay" Iggy said, in a tone that told me that he knew something was wrong.

I turned away from him awkwardly and went back to yelling at my Voice.

And secondly, I don't want to her you taking about my death ever again -- it's creepy. And I can find plenty of ways to recklessly endanger and possibly kill myself without needing you to tell me that my death will 'affect the world'…

I'm only saying, Max, that this girl's death is pointless…this will not bring you any closer to fulfilling your destiny…nor will worrying about boy problems…

I do not have boy problems! I denied quickly, but before I could speak to my Voice again, I was interrupted.

"Have you read it yet?' I heard Fang say, so quiet and smooth I barely saw his lips move. I shook my Voice out of my head and nodded.

"I've gotten through the first bit…sorry, my Voice distracted me" I told him quickly, trying to calm my temper before turning back to the screen.

-- but anywho, how r things with u and ur family? Tell 'em I say 'hi' and tell Max that if your parents ever let her get an e-mail addy to add m. I'd love to talk 2 her – she was always so sweet and I wish Id gotten to talk 2 her more b4 you guys left skool and b4 you left in Texas…
My stomach clenched guilty as I read Lissa's words.

Hehehehe…me? I was always so sweet to Lissa?...hehehe…right, of course -- I did it all the time. (Which in reality, was once. Maybe twice?)

Why did Lissa have to be so nice? So utterly perfect that I couldn't hate her for very long because she was just too…sincere about everything.

If only she knew what I had really been thinking of her, she'd probably hate me for it. I wasn't quite as nice as Lissa seemed to think I was.

I quickly pushed those thoughts out of my head, reminding myself that I was supposed to keep reading.

-- me, I'm alright I guess. But im really sick and I don't know what happenend that made me get it. its actually kinda scary…
I tensed and inched closer to the computer, realizing that this must have been what Fang mentioned.
-- its so very very weird. I've got this horrible rash on my arms and legs and it burns really bad – like someones lit me on fire type of bad.

And I keep getting these chest pains and I can't breathe properly or anything.

I actually think it must be something that's going around the skool, cause I was takin 2 my ex-boyfriend greg the other day online (since im out of skool cause of it), and he said that hes got the same thing 2. weird huh?
Ive been in bed for almost a week now and even when my mom took me 2 the doctors, he says he has no clue what's wrong with me. I'm on a puffer and everything and its majorly scary cause I don't know what to do or when it gonna go away. Anyways Nick, I really really wish u were here –I could use you for comfort right now -- but I hope to talk 2 u soon. I miss you, but don't worry bout me, I'll be okay sooner or l8er .LOL. I hope you like ur home in Cali!!


--Princessa Lissa--

I turned to look at Fang in disbelief, only to see him looking back at me with a solemn expression.

"I don't believe this… so not only Lissa, but other people have it too!?" I said in confusion, and Fang nodded in response, his brow furrowed in concentration.

There was a moment of silence and I could tell that Fang was thinking hard about something. Finally Fang looked up at me and ran a hand through his hair, sighing in frustration.

"I think she accidentally spread it" Fang told me and I nodded.

"But how would she have done that?' I asked him.

"She could've kissed her ex-boyfriend and spread it" Fang suggested. "At least, that's what I think. Maybe once the bloodlust is given to human, they can spread it before they become…too sick to function" Fang muttered, although I knew her meant 'died'

I tensed in worry and mentally turned to my Voice. Before I could ask though, My Voice had already spoken.

Correct… it whispered smugly to me.

Oh snap – we're in trouble.

Fang must've seen my expression change because he frowned.

"I'm right, aren't I?" he asked, and I could only nod at him.

"Umm…this is going to sound weird.." I said to Fang, "But did Lissa tell you if she's kissed anyone else?"

Fang frowned in confusion, but before he could respond, a little screen popped up onto the computer, reading 'Princessa-Lissa' has just signed in. I looked between Fang and the computer in surprise.
"Well...she just signed in" Fang said, pointing at the screen. "We could just ask her online…it's easier than flying back to Washington to ask her."

"You have an online account too!?" I said in surprise. Fang just shrugged at me.

"Okay then Mr.Techo-Supremo…" I muttered, seeing Fang smirk at the corny nickname. "Let's talk to Lissa and see what the heck is wrong with her… and if she's been kissing any other guys while we've been away."

Fang just nodded and signed in, and I held my breath -- for the first time, hoping that Lissa hadn't kissed anyone but Fang since we left…

Hey guys!

The third chapter will be up soon! And speaking of chapters, I just thought I should quickly thank everyone who commented on the first chapter...since the response to it was incredible for a first chapter (in my opinion anyways. LOL)

Niffty One -XXX- --CK joins in her happy dance-- YAY!

angelz on edge -XXX- Hehehe, sorry about the wait. And I'm glad I made you hyper. LOL.

Talon - Wings and a pulse -XXX- Thanks for the compliments. I'm really glad you liked the first Bloodlust and I hope this sequel can measure up! And thank you for telling me my writing is wicked...I seriously think that compliment had me grinning all day... (:-D)

socksE-B4ev - XXX- LOL. I'm sure there are other good stories on here, but thank you for the major compliment of calling my fic "finally, a good one". LOL

Adam's Song-182 -XXX- Yup! I keep forgetting to mention my fic is here and on the MR boards. Just don't let any future chapter-spoilers slip on here! I still have to update both to the same chapter ...

Priestess Kohana -XXX- LMAO. Yup, Lissa is back...unfortunately...but not for long if I have my way! --wink wink--

megzee gurlie -XXX- Wow...'Bloodlust' is the best fic on the site? Umm...thanks. LOL. And I really hope you like this sequel just as much!

SunsetofDusk -XXX- LOL. Here's hoping this fic is "da bomb".

Katie-3llen -XXX- YAY! Excuses to re-read Bloodlust all over again! Woot woot! LOL

God-Lover -XXX- Hooray indeed.

Callie Noelle -XXX- I'm so excited too! I'm also majorly nervous...which is one thing you don't need to worry about but still, BAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! LOL

Weasleygrlz07 -XXX- I hope you like it so far!

twilightluvr456 -XXX- Yes, I'm serious. LOL. I really hope the sequel doesn't disappoint 'cha! It'll only get weirder from here on in. LOL. And by the way, I love the book, 'Twlight' !!!! Edward is such an indescribable guy Fang...LOL

FantasyFan5 -XXX- Are you serious!? --blush-- I'm honored that my fic was the first MR one you read. And that you liked it so incredibly much. LOL. And it's finally up, so I hope I can bring you just as much joy and spazzing-out(ed-ness) as Bloodlust the first did. LOL

O' Future Ruler Maria Larry -XXX- I'm glad you like it. And of course I forgive you! (:-D) Just re-read the thing I posted in the first chapter about borrowing stuff, but it's no biggie -- you did it by mistake and you said it was two completely different situations. So, no problem! LOL

Paradox-Barbarian-Princess -XXX- Anya...why do you make me smile so much every time read your reviews? LOL. I hope you liked these two chapters, and the third is coming soon! Hope you like 'em!

Mew-Sahara -XXX- Short, but sweet. I loved your review. LOL. Stay tuned for more soon! And I hope you like it so far.

cherrychick -XXX-Woohoo! Chocolate and soda and hyperness! You definitely can't go wrong with that. LOL. And I agree...I wish they would at least just spell her name "L-I-S-A" and spare us the trouble of having to call her "Lissa" instead. It sounds like a a short version of "Melissa" or something... -- CK shrugs --

Ari Ochli -XXX- --CK spazzes out with her-- YAY! I'm back!, that was weird to say... LOL

CrimsonScarz -XXX- Thank you! LOL. And yay for Faxness! (:-D)

AnonymousChic14 -XXX- Ooh! I like that alot!...You're not a "Lissa-hater", you just "dislike her with a passion". Well, I do too! And so does half of this fan-base apparently. LOL.

luz -XXX- I'm glad to know the thought of Lissa dying made you happy.

Fang's lover -XXX- LMFAO! "OMG!YAY BYE BYE STUPID LISSA.THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR GETTING ALL UP ON MY MAN!" DEFINETLY the best review of the entire fic. LMAO! (:-D) You're my hero for that, girl!

Lauren -XXX- I hope you liked this chappie as much as the first! The next one is coming soon!

Bittersweet Smile -XXX- Thank you! I hope I can continue to write just as well throughout the fic!

The Midnights Sun -XXX- Yeah, too bad Fang feels bad about kissing her, even though she was the one who kissed him. Anyway, I hope you like the fic so far!

maximum-calories -XXX- LMAO. Yes, you can come to Lissa's funeral and turn it into a party. Judging by the reviews I've gotten, ALOT of people would love to join that party. LOL

XIII Dragon -XXX- You want me to make Lissa suffer before she dies!? Umm...sure, I'll try... LOL

Raikou-Neko -XXX- Thanks for the heads up on the spelling mistakes, I try to keep everything spelt right, but I occasionally miss a few. --blushes—

XxLillyxX -XXX- Thanks for the compliment! And I hope this chapter was just as good for you as the first!

superbeaner-XXX- I'm glad you like my fic so much! I'm flattered. And trust me when I say, you are one of many Lissa-haters here...bask in it...LOL

EndlessHope -XXX- WOOT WOOT! Here's to being hyper! (:-D) And it's Lissa dying good or bad? Who knows?...except possibly me... --wink wink--

Supergirrl-XXX- Stay tuned for more Faxness and other good stuff! And thanks for the compliment!

twilightjunkie1313 -XXX- Spilt-personality much? But I love both sides of you -- the one that hates Lissa and the one who likes how I portray Max. I'm so glad you like my style of writing! LOL

LittleItaly565 -XXX- I'll be sure to check out your fic...Faxness fluff is always good. LOL. And I'll have more on Lissa -- and her impending death -- soon!

geldragon -XXX- If you're planning on having a party if Lissa might wanna talk to 'maximum-calories', who has the same idea you do. LOL

Flying-High-9020 -XXX- --CK does a double take-- There's a group of Lissa-haters in Connecticut? Cool. LOL. And I'm glad I could inspire your 'Lissa-is-dying' happy-dance.

Ellie -XXX- At least you're honest about not being a nice person and that you hate Lissa. LOL.

summer-flower-girl -XXX- I'm glad you loved it! And I hope you liked your...err...sugar-free, salt-free, caffeine-free, keylime flavored carbonated water.

Faxness forever!! -XXX- --CK keels over in flattery and blushes so red her face looks like a lantern--. Umm...WOW. I honestly don't know what to say...LOL. THAT IS THE NICEST THING ANYONE HAS EVER SAID TO ME. I'm honored and flattered all at once and I wish I could hug you through the computer. LOL. Wow...I love you...LOL. And sorry I'm laughing so much...I do that when I don't know what to say. --CK blushes again before glomping her -- Thank you, thank you, thank you! And I hope you liked this chapter (and this fic) just as much as the original Bloodlust.

Dreamer948 -XXX- As you wished, here's your new chapter!

3. How To Tell The Flock ?

Hello, hello my duckies!!!! (:-D)

(LOL. My friend has got me saying that now, and I love it! Duckies...heehee! Sorry, A.D.D moment there...)

In any case, here is the third chapter, and I hope you'll find it satisfying!

And again blow me away.

Another wonderful (not to mention, HILARIOUS) three pages of reviews from you all. about a pride-booster. LOL

Enjoy the chapter guys!

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 3

The screen popped up as Lissa signed into her account and Fang did the same, but before I could ask Fang to do anything, I was interrupted.

"Max!" a tiny voice behind me said quietly yet excitedly.

I winced on the inside as I turned to look at a beaming Angel.

"Look at this picture! Isn't it pretty!?" Angel said holding up a colourful painting she'd found in a book. I nodded at it distantly and smiled at her.

"It's err….great!" I told her. Angel smile dropped to be replaced by a small frown.

"You didn't look at it…" Angel complained.

"Of course I did" I told her, turning slightly to try and peek at what Fang was doing.

"Then what was the picture of?" Angel asked haughtily, her little hands on her hips.

Oh man…

"Umm, it was…" I hesitated, knowing I'd just been caught by a seven-year-old for lying. "Ummm, a rainbow."

"No" Angel responded with a deeper frown.



"A bird?"


"A sunset?"


"A pretty girl?" I suggested hopelessly, watching with regret as my baby sighed in disappointment.

"Yeah…it was a pretty girl" Angel muttered, her blue eyes filled with hurt. I felt like the biggest jerk in the world, but before I could apologize, Angel turned away from me and walked off.

I reluctantly turned back to Fang, only to see him gazing at me with his dark eyes. I felt a shiver of desire go through me but quickly shrugged it off.

"You should've just looked at it, Max" Fang said, as I opened my mouth to speak. I just left my mouth hanging in surprise.

Great, now Fang thinks I'm a jerk too…

"I'm sorry" I told him. "I just thought that Lissa and her ex boy-toy dying because of us might be just a little more important than looking at Angel's picture…but I'm sorry, okay?" I confessed, sincerely.

I really did feel like the biggest jerk that ever lived. I might as well have had my picture in the Guinness book with a huge neon sign over my head, saying, 'This girl is a jerk. She was rude to a 7-year-old mutant kid and refused to look at her pretty picture! How cruel is that! That monster!'

Fang just continued to gaze at me with his dark, deep brown eyes and I shifted under his scrutiny.

"So anyway" I said, running a hand through my hair. "What's Lissa saying so far?"

"We're done" Fang said calmly, and I did a double take.

"What?" I asked him.

"We finished" Fang repeated, still gazing at me.

"Wait, you're telling me that in the twenty seconds that I wasn't looking, you asked Lissa about kissing other guys then you just signed out on her?" I said, waving my arms at him.

A smirk graced itself on Fang's lips as he shrugged casually.

"Actually, she signed out on me. Apparently, she's under mom's orders not to use the computer while she's sick, but snuck on…only to hear mom coming up the stairs and told me she had to run" he explained.

I just gawked at him for a moment before groaning and smacking my hand against my forehead.

(As quietly as I could, of course. I always obey library rules…che! Yeah right…)

"And she said?..." I asked, dreading the answer.

"No" Fang said, and I peeked out from my hands in surprise.

"She hasn't kissed anyone else?" I said, and Fang shot me a 'what-type-of-girl-do-you-think-Lissa-is?' type of look. I flushed in embarrassment.

"I mean, I know that Lissa doesn't go around kissing every guy she sees!" I quickly said. "But umm, she just seems so…so uhhh….so…so attractive!" I summed up, trying to look believingly at Fang.

"She's just so pretty I'm surprised she hasn't been with any other guys lately. I mean, with a kind, cute girl like her, I thought all of the guys would be, you know, just itching to go out with a nice —"

"Ri-ight…" Fang muttered, raising a disbelieving eyebrow at me and smirking at how much of an idiot I'd just made myself into. "I'm sure that's what you meant…"

I blushed in embarrassment and quickly turned away, pretending to double check on the younger guys.

I knew Fang could tell I had lied for every second of that description.

(One of the many things, I love and hate about him. But trust me; I'm a wonderful liar when needed! I just can never seem to lie to Fang…bummer, huh?)

"You know that we have to go to her" Fang said from behind me, his voice calm but serious. I nodded at the opposite wall, still unable to shake off my blush and guilt at being so doubtful of Lissa.

"Yeah…I know…" I told him. "But how are we going to explain this to the younger guys?..."

Fang was silent for a minute. "I don't know…" he confessed. "But we can't just leave Lissa and that guy Greg to die off. We caused this and so, we have to fix it…."

I nodded in understanding, silently mulling over what I was supposed to say to my Flock. I knew that I couldn't just walk (or fly) away from this.

I had to fix this.

But I couldn't just waltz up to my Flock saying 'Hey guys! Great job flying all the way from the School to here in New York these last three days! Now, guess what? We get to fly over to Washington to go save Lissa and her old boyfriend because Fang and I accidentally started killing her. Whoops, my bad…'

...Somehow, I doubted that would go over well.

I heard a stunned gasp echo through the library, and I turned on instinct to sweep for Erasers.

(To my surprise and relief) there was no-one there…well physically, not there…

"Lissa's dying!?" I heard Angel gasp out in surprise, her loud, surprised voice cutting through the quiet air of the library. Immediately, my Flock's eyes glued to me in surprise and I groaned mentally.

"Angel sweetie…what have we discussed about reading peoples thoughts?" I asked her, knowing there was no point in denying what she'd heard.

"Sorry Max…" I heard my baby say sheepishly, but an underlining tone of hurt was still in her voice. I hoped Angel wasn't using her powers to make me feel this way, but I really wanted to run over and scoop her into my arms and apologize over and over again to her.

"Hold up….Lissa —as in Fang's stalker, Lissa— is dying?" Iggy asked, his sightless blue eyes widening slightly.

"Unfortunately, yes" I told him.

"From what?" Gazzy asked.

"Our bloodlust..." I told him slowly, feeling just a little guilty. "Cause she kissed Fang and accidetally got it...and it's killing her..."

"Seriously!? Oh my gosh! What do we do? there anything we can do!?" Nudge asked worriedly. "She was so nice to us that time in Texas. She took us to that carnival and everything! Oh, Max! Can we do anything?"
"I don't know" I told her truthfully. "But we're going to try. But that means that we're going to have to fly to Washington to see her and see if we can –"

"You know where Lissa lives?" Iggy asked. I hesitated, realising the flaw in my plan.

"Ah…" I said, at a loss for words. "Ummm, not really. But we—"

"We'll fly around all of Washington till we find it?" Iggy questioned skeptically and I frowned at him, hating that he was right.

"The phonebook" Fang responded coolly from the corner. "We know how to get into that general vicinity, so any phonebook near there will state her address and we can go from there…"

"Yeah, but to find her address, we need her phone number" Iggy said. "Unless Lissa happened to have slipped you her number during one of your 'outings', I doubt we'll find her fast enough."

Fang frowned at this, (realising just like I had) that it was true. I struggled to find a reasonable, logical answer, but couldn't think of a single thing. Finally, I gave up on it and just told them straight out what had been echoing in my head over and over.

"We can't just leave her to die…" I told my Flock, hoping they would understand. "We'd be killers…murderers…and there has to be something we can do to stop this. My Voice might know, but until it starts speaking to me again, since it never seems to talk to me when I'd like it to…we have to go to Washington to try and save her and her friend--"

"There's another person dying too?" Gazzy said in surprise. I nodded solemnly.

"Lissa's ex-boyfriend, George—"

"Greg," Fang corrected quietly, and I waved it off.

"Yeah, whatever. Her ex-boyfriend has it too because she kissed him. So we're really, really hoping that the two of them haven't kissed anyone else. Look, I know it sounds crazy and rough, Ig, but we can figure out how to get to Lissa's doorstep later. Right now, we need to get as close to her as we can and then think up our next move to find her house."

Iggy seemed reluctant about my crazy idea, but nodded firmly at me in agreement. I relaxed a little. That was one person who was willing to go.

"If you're going, I'm definitely going!" Gazzy said looking at Fang, Iggy, and I as he also gave me 'the nod.'

"Yeah, me too" Angel said sweetly.

"Me three!" Nudge said, quickly. "I mean, duh! I'm not getting left behind on this!"

I smiled thankfully at them all for doing this, seeing them smile right back was too relieving to even describe. It was like one of those cheesy movie moments where everyone suddenly realises that through thick or thin, better or worse, we were a Flock and we always stuck together no matter what. Friends forever and a family for life. Aww…

(Now get Steven Spielberg to cue the cheesy, inspirational music and fake tears, and maybe get me a large popcorn too while we're at it.)

"Excuse me…umm, miss?...hey girlie? Yo!..." an awkward voice echoed down the rows of bookshelves to our ears. I tuned in confusion to see the guy who had let us into the library standing at the top of the stairs, pointing lazily down.

"The library's closing now. You gotta leave, okay?" he said, wearing a look that clearly read 'get-out-of-this-library-ASAP-because-I'm-bored-out-of-my-mind-by-being-here.'

I grinned warmly at him, motioning for my Flock to follow me as I walked towards him, still grinning.

He took a step back, either because he somehow had realised we were human-avians (not likely), or because he wasn't used to seeing a strange girl in ratty clothing being followed obediently by a bunch of young kids and two-teenage guys everywhere (more likely.)

I saw Fang smirk darkly at him as we reached the staircase, nudging Iggy and Iggy smiled darkly at the guy too, creeping him out even further just for the fun of tormenting him.

I shot them both a warning look, even though I knew they were only joking, before turning to see the library guy scoot nervously out of our way as we descended the stairs. I grinned back at him as we left.

"It's okay…" I told him, still grinning and watching with amusement as he starred after us dazedly. "We were just leaving!" I called back, thinking ' if he only knew how true that was... '

And we all couldn't help but start laughing.

And the adventure to save Lissa (and her ex boy-toy)...begins!!!

WOOT WOOT! Who's as excited for this as I am !?

And just as a heads up...lots of Faxness, sarcasm, and twists are coming up in the next few chapters!!!!

...and some torturing of Lissa (for some fun. (:-P)

4. Stealing Phonebooks And More, Oh My!

Hello hello, my duckies! (:-D)

This chapter is a good one!!! I can't wait!

Needless to say, things get... --cough cough-- interesting, in this chapter.

Max becomes...well, let's say "different" than usual, and there's the one thing my MR fics always have, listed in this chapter just for you!

...namely, a shirtless Fang. LOL

Enjoy guys ! ( especially the girls! --wink wink-- )

- Love from, CK

Chapter 4

Although flying to Washington hadn't been on my list of things to do that day, it was a surprisingly cool flight.

The weather was good, we were all happy to be alive, and we hadn't been attacked by Erasers for a few days.

Everything was good.

We even ran into a flock of gulls on our way over.

We stopped and talked to them (with us doing most of the talking, they just squawked), and had fun dipping and diving around them.

Fang even made up a game of trying to copy their movements when the entire flock moved and dove up or down (similar to the techniques he and Nudge had taught us from the hawks.)

But I'm talking too much about the gulls.

We got a couple burgers for dinner in a fast-food place (And by now, you should understand how many a 'couple' is for us.)

It was cool, pretending we were normal for a bit -- and even when Gazzy accidentally got ketchup all over Fang's shirt, it was cool because Fang didn't get mad at him.

He just took one of Gazzy's burgers and took a huge bite out of it, and then they were fine.

Like brothers (or at least, to me) would do, you know?...

In any case, it wasn't as horrible as I thought it was going to be, and we managed to get there just as dark set in.

Talk about good timing.

We landed in a deserted area just a few miles way from the large town we all recognised as where we'd gone to 'school ' for the first time.

We walked the rest of the way into the town, distantly recognising a few places, looking for a pay phone. We found two as we were looking, but finally find a third one that had exactly what we'd been looking for -- a phonebook.

As casually as six bird-kids could, we pretended to be making a call and watched as Iggy's nimble fingers grabbed the phonebook sitting beneath the phone, and stuffed it into the backpack Fang had been carrying.

….Okay, I know what your thinking.

We'd stolen the phonebook.

But technically it's not 'stealing' .

We were going to put it back just as soon as we found Lissa's phone number, and no-one would know that we'd taken it.

After we'd grabbed the phonebook, we decided to find a hotel to sleep in for the night.

(And the 'we' I was talking about would be me saying we couldn't afford it, Iggy suggesting that we could always go back to Anne's, and the other four outnumbering us both to get a hotel.)

I reluctantly asked for five rooms and it was only after Angel gave the receptionist a charming smile (and messed with her head) that we were given our five rooms.

"Enjoy!" the receptionist called to us as we walked away as fast as possible and into the elevator before anyone got suspicious.

"Max" Nudge said, as the door closed. "How come we only got five rooms? I mean, three rooms is okay, 'cause I don't mind sharing and stuff, but if we could have gotten six rooms then why didn't we? Is it because you're worried about money or something? Cause if you are, its totally okay! We can go back and ask for just three rooms, even though now asking for five—"

"It's because Angel and Gazzy don't need their own rooms" Iggy told her, seeming to know exactly what I'd been thinking.

"Huh? But why?" Nudge asked in confusion. Iggy grinned at her.

"Okay, maybe I shouldn't have said 'need their own rooms', it's just that Angel and Gazzy aren't old enough to yet to stay in a room alone" Iggy said.

"And I am?" Nudge said, her eyes lighting up excitedly.

"Yup, or at least Max thinks so" Iggy said with a grin, and before I could respond Nudge and jumped on me and hugged me.

I smiled lightly at her, not knowing what to do, as Nudge squealed happily.

I turned to Angel and Gazzy apologetically, but they both shrugged up at me.

"It's okay" Angel said, smiling at me. "I understand. You're worried that we might hurt ourselves or run up a bill in our rooms."

I nodded sheepishly in agreement, and I saw Gazzy's face twist in confusion for a second.

"Wait a minute, is Iggy going to safe on his own in one of these rooms?" Gazzy asked.

I hesitated as the thought struck me.

Great, now I really feel stupid…

I'd forgotten that Iggy couldn't see his way around the hotel room.

I looked to Iggy for confirmation just to see him laughing at Gazzy's words.

"Don't worry, I'll be fine" Iggy insisted, his smile cheerful, but I could see he was slightly depressed at the thought hit him as well.

"But if you do hear any crashes in the middle of the night, you might wanna check on me" Iggy teased.

I put a reassuring hand on Iggy's back, hoping he wasn't too depressed about all of this, but before I could speak, the door opened in front of us.

I looked out at the hallway in confusion before dropping my hand and glancing at the door card I had in my hand then back to the hallway.

"Angel…did you?..." I asked, but didn't finish as Angel and Gazzy rushed past me cheering. I saw Nudge grab Iggy's hand and run with him out of the elevator and down the hall. Fang walked up beside me and shot me a look.

"We really need to talk to Angel about controlling people" he muttered and I could only nod in agreement.

The hallway was huge.

Practically Hollywood huge.

There could only have been eight rooms or so, and everything was decorated in rich, vibrant colours.

I looked around the floor in wonder before looking back at Fang.

He was smirking casually, but I knew that he was just as surprised as I was.

I turned back to my Flock, seeing Nudge attempting to do a cartwheel in the hallway, Iggy and Gazzy having races up and down the halls, and Angel twirling around and watching her skirt and hair fly around her, giggling.


I quickly walked over to Angel after gawking at the huge, fancy floor and knelt down to her level, trying to look stern.

"Angel..." I said, catching her attention. "Look, I know that controlling people is fun and that sometimes it's necessary, but we can't afford to stay on a room this expensive…"

"Oh, don't worry, Max!" Angel said brightly.

"I made the lady give it to us for free! So we can stay here for as long as we want and not pay anything! Isn't that smart of me?" Angel said, practically beaming with pride.

I didn't now what else to say.

"That's…wonderful! Good job, sweetie" I told her and she smiled at me before dashing off to join Nudge, who was chasing after Iggy and Gazzy.

I looked back at Fang as I stood up.

"Yup, we definitely need to talk to her about controlling people" I said to him. Fang just smirked.

"So I guess these are our rooms for the next little while" I said.

I walked over to the middle of the hallway and my Flock quickly gathered around me excitedly.

I saw that we had three rooms on one side of the hall and two on the other.

I pulled the rest of the cards out of my pocket, only to have them gone from my hand before I could blink.

I raised an eyebrow at Fang and Iggy as the younger guys took off running to find which rooms were theirs.

"Anxious, I take it?' I joked, both boys smirking at me.

"Hey Fang, can you give me a hand?" Iggy asked, dangling his key. Fang nodded and put his arm on Iggy's shoulder leading him off to find his room.

I looked down at the little, plastic, white card that lay in my hand, scanning the floor and immediately caching sight of my room just across from me.

I walked over to it, trying to look unimpressed and calm, but on the inside I was bubbling with excitement.

It is not every day kids us like us get to stay in fancy hotels, on the top floor, and in the most rich-looking places we've ever laid eyes on.

I slid the key into he door, watching the light turn green and the door 'click' open.

I peeked inside.

And I was not disappointed.

….Everything was gold.

Gold bed, gold flooring, and little gold things everywhere in the room. Not to mention the room on its own was almost bigger than our entire house with Jeb had been.

I just stared, thinking about whether or not I should try to pinch myself.

I briefly looked around, (resisting the urge to jump on the bed or grab a pillow and attack whichever Flock member had the door next to mine) before strolling out, making sure that everyone had gotten into their own rooms okay.

Seeing the hallway was clear, I decided that now might be the perfect time to see if Iggy was okay.

I hate it when he gets depressed (not that I blame him for getting depressed, we all do at times) and see if he was feeling okay about the whole 'not being able to see his room' thing.

I turned to look at the rooms across the hall, remembering that one of my older guys had gone there so he could watch out over Angel and Gazzy, who were next door, but I frowned as I realised I didn't know which room Iggy was in.

Is he across the hall? Or on my side of the hall?...oh boy…

Not knowing what else to do, I guessed. Assuming that Fang was probably next to Angel and Gazzy on the hall that had only two rooms, I used my ever-reliable form of "eenie-meenie-miny-moe!" and chose one of the other two doors on my side of the hall, going with the one on the far left.

I knocked on the door and waited for a response.

There was none.

I knocked again, a little harder this time and heard a muffled shout of "The door's open, genius!."

I grinned to myself, recognising that as a typical Iggy-phrase.

…And my next thought happened to be, 'I am so glad that tonight is my last night of bloodlust…'

All I saw when I walked into the room was Fang's bare upper body and his ketchup-stained shirt being tossed over his head as he looked to the door calmly.

I turned around and looked to the floor so fast it could've been a world record.

My face was probably bright red and I could hear Fang shuffling around behind me, muttering quietly under his breath.

"Shoot…" I heard him mutter awkwardly, just loud enough so I could hear it.

"Sorry Max, I thought it was Iggy at the door..."

"I…uhh, yeah sorry…" I stumbled out, sounding like an idiot.

Dang it! Why does Fang have to be good-looking to me, anyways!?

Couldn't I have liked blonde guys or something instead!?...

Then that would leave you and Iggy in a very unfourtunate predicament… My Voice said, surprising me as it came from out of nowhere.

Well, hello to you too, I told it, rolling my eyes.

And where may I ask did you run off to? Hmm? I asked my Voice, sounding like a parent scolding their child.

A dull ache spread throughout my head.

This is no time for foolish games, Max…every day that you spend wasting your time, the destruction of the planet draws nearer…

So I've heard before...

"Max? can turn around now if you want.." Fang said from over my shoulder, snapping me out of my thoughts.

I sheepishly turned and smirked at him, trying to loosen the tension between us now.

"Sorry…I probably should've told you it was me" I said.

Fang smirked back at me, wearing a different, black shirt without ketchup stains.

"I think you've seen me shirtless more times in this last month than ever before in my life" Fang muttered raising a questioning eyebrow at me.

I blushed in response, not knowing what to say.

"Umm, oops?" I volunteered.

Maximum… My Voice said, bringing my attention back to it.

I'm sorry, are you feeling neglected?... I teased.

Maximum, I do not wish to hurt you, but if you refuse to listen then I'll have to punish you. And I'll have to make sure you do things properly to make sure you understand the importance of what is at stake…

Wait? You're going to punish me?!... I shot at my Voice in surprise. How does that--

I didn't have time to finish my thoughts.

Suddenly, blinding, white-hot pain took over me.

I heard a pitiful cry and realised a second later that it had come from me.

I collapsed instantly and hit the floor hard as my knees buckled without my control.

"Max!" a groggy voice seemed to shout through my semi-consciousness.

A consciousness that was currently filled with fast, blurry images of buildings, people, signs, and numbers.

It was making me so dizzy and so confused…I couldn't think!...

A high wail of pain sounded in my ears and I realised with horror that I'd screamed.

The pain continued with the seemingly never-ending flashes of images, until eventually I felt my body become numb, seeming to feel like a completely different part of me.

The pain slowly began to lessen, feeling like an aching stab of pain, but the images continued at their fast, blinding pace.


Suddenly, the images cut off to be replaced by a vast darkness.

I was dizzy at the sudden nothingness I my head, except for the pinpricks of light that danced in front of my eyes as the darkness continued to loom in front of me endlessly.

"Max! Max!!! Are you alright!?" the voice said again, louder and more worriedly this time.

My mouth felt dry and thick, but I forced myself to open my mouth and respond.

All that came out was a low, keening groan.

I heard a sigh of relief come from above me and a pinprick touch on my sides and back.

I groaned again as the little pinpricks stung on my skin, and felt myself being pulled gently upwards, my head falling back as I realised I didn't have enough strength to lift it.

I felt a warmth go through one side of my body and I forced my eyes open, ignoring the sing of the light in them, to see Fang looking down at me, his dark eyes bright with worry.

Fang had me in his arms, I realised, that's why I felt so warm and my skin was prickly from where he'd been touching me.

I was laid on the bed by Fang, who immediately sat down beside me, leaning down to look at me with his eyes wide (which was a rare thing for Fang).

He was so close to me that I could see his pupils – they were big and round and I could see my reflection in them.

Numbly, I felt myself giggling childishly as I looked at my contorted reflection in Fang's pupils.

I saw his eyes widen slightly at this, but narrowed again in concern a moment later.

"Max…" Fang said, a tone of deep worry in his voice. "Are you okay? seem out of it…did your Voice do something to you?..."

I didn't move my gaze from his eyes, and found myself shaking my head at him, smiling and giggling lightly when I caught my reflection doing the same.

I looked funny – like a blonde, smiling Barbie who wasn't as pretty as Barbie…

Wait…that makes no sense at all! I thought to myself, then found myself laughing at my own thoughts. Fang's eyes were even wider now.

"Max, something's wrong with you…" Fang told me. I shook my head at him again.

"No there's not" I said, my tongue feeling thick as I talked quietly after screaming. "I just need to clear my head…it feels funny…but I'll be okay…just gimme a sec…"

"Max," Fang's hard, worried voice said, "We need to get the others. Something's wrong."

"No..." I shook my head again.

"Max…" Fang said demandingly, deep concern ands worry lacing through his voice, and my name sounding wonderful coming from his lips.

His lips.

I moved my gaze from his eyes to lips, dazedly noting how pink they were —I giggled again to myself at the word 'pink' – and the way they were parted, so he could breathe through his mouth as he opened them to speak again.

Fang said something to me, I don't know what, but I could only stare in childish fascination at the way his lips moved when he spoke.

They looked funny, but also…

What's the word when you want something?... I thought dazedly.

Oh yeah! Teehee! Tempting….Fang's lips are tempting…temp-a-ting…

I giggled against my own ridiculous thoughts, only to have Fang grip my shoulders and then tilt my head upwards so I was looking at him.

Fang tensed at something and I just starred at him, not knowing what else to do, as a tingling, warm feeing spread throughout my body and made my head pound gently.

"Max…" I heard Fang say again, but his voice was starting to sound thick and groggy to me.

"Max….you're pupils are thin…and they look like cat's eyes…I need to get you away from me…"

I distantly felt myself mutter something to him, but it was like I was underwater and couldn't understand myself.

I felt Fang quickly remove his hands from my shoulders and I found myself missing their warmth.

The feeling in me grew stronger but something whispered urgently at the back of my mind -- a tiny, meek little voice telling me that I needed to 'snap out of it and run away from him.'

But what did a little voice know anyways?...

Stupid voices are always telling me what to do…their not my mommy…and I'll do whatever I want to, you meanies ! Teehee!...

And then, I pulled Fang onto the bed with me.

Oh my... (o-0)

Things are about to get HOT UP IN HERE!!!!

LMAO! (:-P) Just kidding...

...or am I !?

--evil smile--

5. DumbBlondeValleyGirlBarbie Max ! ? AHHH!

Hey guys! ( :-D)

I was feeling really good and happy today, so here's another chapter! YAY! Score!

I'm not gonna type much here because it's late...and it's CANADA DAY! Ye-ah!!!!

LOL. Sorry, I'm Canadian (And lovin' it!). And we've got fireworks and stuff out back.

Anyway, this chapter is dedicated to FantasyFan5, The Midnights Sun, CrimsonScarz, Paradox-Barbarian-Princess, hawkiesbaby0703, skyflyer81310, XIII Dragon, amsrule, Dino12345610, Invisible Love, Shadowform, EndlessHope, geldragon, O' Future Ruler Maria Larry and AnonymousChic14 !!!

All of them reviewed on Chapter 4 so quickly I actually thought my computer had accxidentally put reviews in by mmistake. LOL. No to mention all of their reviews were so funny and so enteraining to read.

This chapter is for you 15 wonderful people !!!! ( :-D)


-- Love from, CK

Chapter 5

I felt Fang's surprised, warm lips on my own.

All I could feel was this urgency to kiss him and have him close, and it felt so wonderful even though I knew I had no control of my actions.

To be truthful, I didn't want to have control right now.

I felt Fang's grip tighten on my shoulders and I was suddenly pulled away from his lips.

I heard myself whimper and my eyes fluttered open, seeing Fang looking at me calmly.

Everything that had just happened suddenly snapped back into focus like I'd been slapped.

"Oh gods…" was all I managed to say quietly, not trusting myself to say anything else.

What the heck had just happened to me!?!?

I'd become an airhead! And I am not an air-headed girl! I'm smarter than that – I swear!

Fang touched his fingers to his lips before focusing a calm, steady gaze on me.

"First off…you could have at least bought me dinner first" Fang muttered sarcastically, and I couldn't help but laugh sheepishly (partially from embarrassment, and partially because it was a good line.)

Fang grinned at this -- which unfortunately made him look all the more attractive -- and I quickly looked to floor and counted to '10' in my head, waiting for the rush of bloodlust to fade.


"I'm glad to hear you laugh – it's pretty…" Fang said quietly, making me secretly flush at the compliment.

It wasn't everyday that a bird-girl like me was told she was pretty, and it still sounded unnatural and strange to my ears.


"Max, I know what you're thinking…Relax. You can't control the bloodlust, remember? So don't beat yourself up for losing control for once…."


"I hate it when you do that….you're too way stubborn…"


"This coming from the guy who pinned me to a bed when he first went into bloodlust... and then jumped out a window because he felt so guilty for losing control that he refused to stay in the same room as me?" I shot back at Fang, finally daring to look up.

Fang was only a foot away from me. (Whoa! Hel-lo!)

He has really deep eyes…and I – no, Max! Don't look at him!

I quickly looked away at seeing Fang so close (which wasn't helping me at all, contrary to whatever Fang was thinking.)

"Thank goodness tonight is my last night of bloodlust" I muttered, touching my aching head gently with my fingers.

The pain was gone but my head was still throbbing from everything my Voice had shown me.

I stood cautiously up from the bed and walked away a short distance from Fang, just in case I flipped again.

"I need some air…." I told him, pointing to the doorway.

Fang nodded once in understanding and a moment of silence passed between us.

I couldn't help but feel my chest tighten when I looked at Fang.

I had just gone valley-girl-Barbie on him and kissed him, and he managed to calmly push me away and had been responsible about making sure I didn't hurt myself or drive both of us into bloodlust.

Oh god, what am I? I thought to myself in embarrassment and disgust. And what the heck just happened to me?

Can we say 'awkward-relationship'?

I looked to Fang again, trying to see if I could read his face to see what he was thinking.

Finally, Fang spoke up.


"Huh?...oh, yeah?" I asked him.

Fang raised an eyebrow at me.

"Do you still want to go get some air?...You're still standing here. Do you want me to get the door for you?" he asked, talking to me as if were a four-year old.

I flushed in embarrassment and scowled at him.

"I'm fine, thanks" I told him, turning on my heel to quickly leave the room.

I need to find things to do to fill my time…I thought in disbelief.

This was probably the first time since Jeb had left us four years ago that I found myself having nothing to do.

Then, like a bucket of water being dumped over my head, I realised that I did have something to do.

Save Lissa and her ex-boyfriend.

A wave of guilt wash over me.

Here I was, supposed to be Max-the-Invincible who was off to save Lissa, and I'd ended up to making out with Fang instead.

Note to self : Prioritize goals.

-XX- . Fang's POV. -XX-

I watched as Max walked out of the room, her face in a frown at being caught in a weak moment and her face flushed after kissing me.

I couldn't help but smirk at that thought. (And no, I'm not smirking because I'm a pervert. Get your heads out of the gutter.)

It wasn't like that at all…

The reason being that Max had no idea how…how…how can I put it?...How unique she tasted and how much self-control it had taken for me to pull back.

My first reaction had been to shove her off – Max is tough.

She wasn't going to cry if I shoved her away from me – but my stupid conscious wouldn't let me.

She wasn't herself and I could've hurt her if she wasn't as reactive as usual.

So instead, I had to use all of my willpower to grip Max's shoulders and pull her off of me gently.

And it had been a lot harder than I'd made it look for me to push her off like that.

My head, my heart, and my body had all been telling me to kiss her back.

She was warm, she smelled like a pheromone, and her brown eyes with slit pupils looked…alluring, to put it simply.

And yet Max still never believed me when I told her she was pretty.

She thought she looked like a stick -- she had no clue that girls her age would kill to be that thin.

But I agreed with her, I didn't like Max being so thin and unhealthy, or any member of the Flock for that matter.

Max hated her clumpy, knot-filled hair which never seemed to stay the same colour.

It was a dirty blonde now with lighter highlights (maybe from the pink highlights she'd gotten a few months ago, I dunno) instead of her usual brown, but she had no idea that girls her age spent hours every morning trying to get their hair to go thick and wavy like hers naturally did.

But it was true – her hair was always stuck in mats of knots, but hey, she looked fine to me.

And I'll save you the boring details of me ranting, but trust me when I say that Max is beautiful (as cheesy as it may sound. And if you tell anyone this, I will deny it. Then hunt you down and hurt you ...possibly...)

…well, she was beautiful in her own teenage-mutant-girl-with-wings-and-a-chip-in-her-hair-and-a-freaky-voice-in-her-head type of way.

But that's beside the point….

She's beautiful. Period.

And if you doubt that, I dare you to see her yourself one day.

And if you still don't agree after that, I'll change your mind the hard way. Got it?

There was a loud noise from next door to me, the room I recognised as where Nudge was staying.

I rolled my eyes, assuming that she'd tripped over something or was jumping on the bed.

Until I heard a feral snarl echo in the same room.

"AHHH!" I heard a yell and immediately tensed into a fighting stance, sweeping my eyes over the room, the doorway and the windows for any sign of an Eraser attack.

"Ar-ri! Get your hands off of me! You stupid, brick-headed wolf!"

I tensed even more and shot up from the bed in disbelief.

That was Max's voice.

But she'd only left a second ago…had Erasers really shown up that fast?!.

I heard a wheezing choke and recognised it as Nudge's voice, and my blood boiled.

If any Eraser had their hands around Nudge's neck, I was going to skin them alive….

I heard another gasp and a deep, Eraser laugh.

Without thinking, I acted on instinct, going out into the hall and pushing hard to open Nudge's door.

It didn't budge and I realised that it was locked and that I hated technology on doors.

They made trying to save your Flock and escaping way too hard.

I heard a muffled female scream, and kicked at the door hard with my foot.

THUD!...nothing….THUD!...still no sounds inside….THUD!...

"Open you stupid thing!!!" I swore under my breath

THUD! My foot connected strikingly hard with the door and it flew open.

"Ahh! Fang, please save me! My love!"

I faltered in complete surprise and my anger and adrenaline dropped in shock… then rose even higher when I saw what was going on.

There wasn't a single Eraser in the place --

Just Gazzy, Nudge, and Angel all laughing in a circle.

And as much as I loved those kids…all I had to do was give them one glare, and they all knew that I was completely furious...

Gazzy and his voice tricks were in for a serious lesson on what not to do...

Uh-oh...Gazzy and his voice tricks just got BUS-TED!

LOL. ( :-P) Oh Gazzy...

I hope you all liked the Faxness at the beginnig of this chapter, and I hope Fang's POV was okay too. ( :-P)

I never realised how awkward it was to write in multiple P.O.V's before ... especially in a P.O.V of a guy like Fang. LOL.

Anywho, more to come soon! And there's an interesting little twist in the next chappie!


6. Somebody's A Liar Liar, Pants On Fire

Hey again everyone! ( :-D)

Again...I love you guys. seriously...I love you guys. LOL

.You're all amazing. You always review and you're all just so damn funny!

Anytime I read any of your reviews or coments I always start laughing and my sisters stare at me like I'm crazy.

...which maybe I am, so it doesn't really phase me. (;-P)

Anyways, here's the next chapter guys!

I hope you like it!

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 6

---- Max's POV ----

All I caught was the sound of Angel shrieking from inside Nudge's room and I was immediately at the door.

However, once I got there, I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes in frustration.

But everyone was safe and unharmed at least.

Well, minus Gazzy being knocked upside the head by Fang….but I had done the same to Fang after he'd hit Gazzy, so everything was good again.

Fang and I both re-warned Gazzy about fooling around with his voice (for the who-knows-how-many time) and Iggy managed to drag Fang out into the hallway to chill out explaining that (although they'd been through more things in life than most adults) Gazzy, Angel, and Nudge were still "just kids" and they were "just having fun."

Unfortunately, Fang didn't seem to have found it as funny as Iggy did.

I ended up getting the whole story from a highly-amused Iggy since Fang was still sulking (as I like to call it) about the whole thing.

Apparently, Gazzy had decided to put on a theatrical performance for Nudge and Angel, consisting of a story where we all fought Erasers, I got kidnapped, Fang saved me, and then I call him my hero, blah blah blah.

A typical storyline.

And Fang had accidentally heard the part where Gazzy (pretending to be me) had screamed out to be saved, causing real Fang to rush in to save "me" and causing him to have snapped the hinges on Nudge's door.


And it now looks like I'm going to have to empty out half of my credit card on that door, all because of a misunderstanding.

Oh joy.


Fang and I both went out into the hallway after that, deciding that we both needed a minute or so to calm down and re-focus on what we were doing here in the first place.

We were here to save Lissa.

Just relax, Max… I told myself, trying to stop from groaning at the fact that everything seemed to be going wrong today.

Gazzy's tricks are unimportant…what is important is to find Lissa and her ex-boyfriend, find a way to cure them, and still stay as far away from the Erasers and the school as possible….you can do this no sweat….you've been doing it for the past 4 years of your life, remember?...

"Almost 5 years, isn't it?" I heard a voice pipe up from behind me.

I turned to find Angel standing beside Fang, her blue eyes flicking over my face cautiously to see if I was angry with her for reading my thoughts.

I sighed in a sudden depressing realisation, and nodded at her and Fang when he caught my eye.

"Yeah, that's right. I'm almost 15 now….I fogot about that…and that means I've wasted 5 years of my life running…"

"They weren't wasted" Fang said. "You've been protecting us for five years, and I'd hardly call that a waste of time."

I looked at him in surprise and admiration before I found my voice again.

"I hate it when you sound right" I told him. Fang shrugged at me and I could tell he was trying not to smirk.

He was obviously feeling much better about Gazzy's trick now that he'd had time to clear his head.

I looked to Angel who smiled back, as if silently agreeing with Fang, before looking past them both.

The others were still in Nudge's room, the door swung open loosely from where Fang had broken the hinges.

"Max?" I heard Angel say curiously, "Can I ask you something?"

I turned to give her a quick grin. "Sure, go ahead."

"How did Lissa get bloodlust?" Angel asked.

I caught Fang's eyes for a moment before I took a deep breath and told her all about how Lisa had kissed Fang at the carnival we'd been to in Texas.

Angel nodded vigorously at this but then twisted her face into a confused look.

"But you said that Lissa's ex-boyfriend has it too right?." I nodded.

"Did Fang kiss him too?" she asked. I couldn't help but let out a little laugh and I shook my head at her, seeing Fang grimace from the corner of my eye.

"Did you kiss him?" Angel asked, looking positively horrified. I looked at her like she was crazy and told her 'no' again.

"Well, how'd he get it?"

I shrugged at her in response. "I'm not entirely sure, but it's apparently because Lissa kissed him."

Angel's blue eyes widened a little more as she voiced what I had first thought when I'd heard the news.

"Has Lissa been kissing more of her ex-boyfriends?...Max! What if she's been kissing a whole bunch of boys and then they've been kissing more girls and –"

I put a hand on her shoulder to slow her down.

"Relax, sweetie. We've already covered that. Fang asked Lissa if she'd kissed any other guys and she said no, and apparently her ex-boyfriend is sick in bed like her, so that can't go kissing anyone else."

"But how do you know that!?' Angel asked worriedly.

I smirked.

'I just told you…Fang already asked her about it."

Angel looked at me and scrunched up her nose confusion.

"No, he didn't" Angel said, her voice filled with confusion and innocence.

I smirked reassuringly at her again, but as she continued to give me that confused stare, my gut began to twist awkwardly.

I couldn't help but start to tense as I felt a strong emotion twist its way through me.

"What?" I asked her quietly, hardly trusting my voice to go much louder.

That made no sense.

Fang had talked to Lissa while I had been talking to Angel back in New York---back in the library when Angel had been trying to show me that picture she'd found of a pretty lady or something.

"Fang never asked Lissa that. I could hear your thoughts and Fang's when I was that close to you and he didn't ask her. He just—" Angel began.

"That's enough, Angel…" I heard Fang say gently, but I could hear something else in his voice.

It was then that I recognised the emotion that was causing my heartbeat to pound in my ears.

Oh yeah… this is what it felt like to be tricked by someone I trusted.

"Fang, you lied to me!?" I asked him in disbelief, turning on him furiously but his head was looking off the side, refusing to meet my gaze.

"W-wait…no, I was wrong!" Angel quickly piped in, standing almost protectively in front of Fang.

I looked down at her and gestured for her to move aside.

"Please don't fight" Angel pleased, her voice quiet and her blue eyes guilty and fearful.

She thinks it's her fault now….oh Angel…

I forced myself to relax at the sight of how worried she looked, and felt my heart tighten as I walked towards them both and ran a hand gently through Angel's curls.

"Angel, I'm not going to hurt him" I told her, continuing to play with her hair.

"I just want to know why he didn't tell me the truth in the first place. Shh…its okay, I just want to talk to him. That's all" I muttered softly, watching as Angel relaxed, biting her lip anxiously.

"You promise?" she asked. I gave her a curt nod and a soft smile.

"I promise"

Angel was silent, as if debating what I'd said (and probably reading my thoughts to see if I was lying too, which never hurt.)

"Okay…" Angel said finally, before turning quickly to Fang (who was still refusing to meet my eye).

"And I'm sorry Fang…I thought she knew…I didn't know that...really…I'm sorry…" Angel said, looking up at him with guilty Bambi eyes.

Again, I couldn't help but smile at her, knowing that Fang could never say no to Angel's Bambi eyes.

Fang just touched her head tenderly and nodded at her in understanding, no anger or hostility felt towards her at all.

"Fang, can I talk to you just for a minute in the other room?" I asked him, and he nodded emotionlessly at me.

Angel slipped out from between us timidly, but her gaze was sturdy and it never left our faces.

"Promise that you won't yell at each other. Please?..." Angel asked us both again, worriedly.

"We promise."

"Of course."

Angel seemed hesitant to leave, but Fang nodded at her gently and she nodded back in understanding.

Fang was telling her that it was alright for her to go.

I saw Angel walk slowly away from us both as Fang and I slipped into my room.

I saw Angel give us one last embarrassed look over her shoulder before the door closed behind us.

The instant I closed the door, I shot Fang a glare with as much anger as I could muster, seeing him approach me from the corner of my eye.

Seeing that I was not all "sunshines and rainbows" like I had been with Angel, Fang took a step back from me and crossed his arms over his chest, leaning against the wall.

This was a typical Fang-pose when he knew I was about to rant at him—which I was going to do now.

Smarty-pants… I thought to myself.

"Back in New York, you never actually talked at all with Lissa, did you?" I asked him bluntly, trying to sound intimidating, which I apparently failed at, because Fang didn't move a muscle.

Fang gave me an almost apologetic look -- "almost" being the key word there -- yet remained calm.

"No" he admitted, looking at me as calm as ever and awaiting my reaction.

I tried to stay as emotionless and as unreadable as Fang, even though that familiar sting of anger and hurt at being betrayed was creeping through my blood again.

"I see…" was the only response I could think of. There was a tense, thick silence between us for a minute before I had to speak again.

"So, for all we know, all of Washington could be infected with bloodlust now? ... Assuming that Lissa could have kissed more than one guy….or maybe her ex-boyfriend just so happened to kiss one girl, who kissed her brother on the cheek, who kissed his girlfriend, who later kisses her mom who kissed her husband who — "

"I get it, Max" Fang said, calmly as ever.

I could only stare at him, trying to stop from yelling furiously or punching him to show some sort of emotion besides being creepily calm.

"Was the e-mail Lissa sent you even real? Or did you make that yourself?" I shot at him, still trying not to lose my temper.

All Fang did was continue to stare at me...


...and that's all the detail I'm gonna give you.

For now. (:-P) LOL

7. Lissa The Flirt and Pencil Pusher

Hello my duckies!!!


So, how are you all ? Happy? Sad? Depressed? Angry? Blah?

Well, I've got somehing that just might help! A NEW CHAPPIE!!

-- CK randomly starts throwing out confetti and streamers at her reviewers, most of whom stare at her like she's crazy --

LOL. Sorry, I couldn't resist. But anywho, the streamers and stuff may be just a tad overdone, but read the chappie and then tell me what you think of the ending.

-- hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge --

That is what the confetti and stuff are for mainly -- the new twist! Which will play an important role in upcoming chapters.

Oh, and before I forget -- this chapter is here thanks to EndlessHope (who promised me as many clones of hot, fictional guys as I wanted if I wrote this chapter and posted it ASAP. So...when can I make my order? LOL.)

So sit back in your computer chairs, get your scroller/mouse ready, and...


Love from, CK

Chapter 7

Fang frowned harshly at this.

"The e-mail was from Lissa," Fang told me, his voice as cold as ice. "I would never do something like that."

I could tell I'd offended him – big time.

He deserves it… I muttered to myself, trying to make myself feel like less of a witch.

He lied to me about the whole reason we're here! To save Lissa and her ex-boyfriend! That was it! Not to save all of Washington from a bloodlust outbreak!

This thought brought back another wave of anger through me, which I tried to suppress.

Before I could speak, however, Fang fixed me with a steely gaze and spoke in a tone so quiet but sure I almost didn't hear him.

"Look, even it's more people than just Lissa, we can't leave her. And we can't leave those others to die either. This is our fault Max—we have to fix it."

Truth be told, this is actually all Lissa's fault…. My Voice whispered evilly in my ear.

Stay out of this! This between me and Fang -- no-one else… I told it firmly, and thankfully, it didn't speak again.

But my Voice's words seemed to echo in my head for a moment before regret went through me.

This was not Lissa's fault.

She may have kissed Fang but she hadn't known that he was infected with bloodlust when she kissed him.

She hadn't known that he was a mutant bird-kid on the run either, but that's beside the point….

"We have to help her as soon as opssble Max" Fang insisted. "Just witing around isn't going to do us any good."

"I know!" I told him, trying to calm myself. "But I'm not a genius! I don't know her last name, her address, her phone number, or even where she goes to school anymore. I'm trying me best here!"

"Well, your best is failing us" Fang retorted.

I froze in disbelief.

Did he just…he actually…

A new wave of frustration and anger went through me as I cracked my fists at him threateningly.

Okay, new plan for finding Lissa…find her, and then spite the heck out of Fang-the-Pompous-Git !!!

"Fine!" I fired back. "You know what, let's jut go then! Let's go find her tonight, Mr. Happy-pants and then you can show me your best at finding Lissa!"

Without waiting for Fang, I stormed out of the room and into the adjoining one where The Flock was waiting for us.

"Okay guys!" I told them. "Flock meeting in my room, now."

Hesitantly, I saw them all get up, and I spotted Nudge holding our backpack and told her to bring that as well.

She nodded quickly and everyone followed me out into the hallway before going back into my room.

"Okay guys!" I said as they all shuffled in. "Here's the plan. Lissa is getting sicker and sicker as we speak we need to go see her ASAP. So the plan is that tonight—"

I was suddenly cut off when Angel yawned and made a tired squeak in her throat.

Immediately, all the anger and all the tension I had been feeling moments ago, slipped away when I saw my baby yawn.

She was exhausted….and the others were too.

I looked around and realised with guilt that everyone was completely exhausted. I couldn't make them go on a wild goose-hunt for Lissa tonight.

Not like this.

"Max?" Nudge asked, her brown eyes confused. "What was it you were gonna say?"

"Oh, right..." I muttered, snapping back into reality.

"Well, tonight, I want…I want you all to get a good sleep, and then tomorrow morning we're going to go find Lissa."

"Ok-ay…" Iggy said suspiciously. "I thought that was the plan the entire time."

"Oh." I flushed at this when I realised that it was true. "Of course it was, I just thought I'd umm…tell you guys that again so you wouldn't forget."

Iggy raised a quizzical eyebrow at me but said nothing.

Note to self : Become better at lying to Iggy.

I noticed as Nudge walked over to us almost tentatively and I tried to grin reassuringly at her.

She grinned back, seeming relieved, and I spotted that a pair of jeans was dangling out of the side of the backpack, close to hitting the floor.

"Nudge, can you just tuck those in ?" I asked her, gesturing oddly with my hands at it.

"Oh! Right" she said and quickly shoved them inside the bag, along with everything else we had crammed in there.

"But we don't have Lissa's phone number, or her last name, or anything, Max." Iggy interrupted. "So how do you think we should find her?"

A quiet silence fell over us all as I thought about that. It was true we had nothing to find Lissa with…

… and then Nudge shot up from her seat squealing excitedly.

"Wait! Fang has her number! We can use that to find her!" Nudge said excitedly.

I whipped to face Nudge so fast I almost got whiplash.

"He does?" Iggy said.

"WHAT!?" I yelled.

" Sweet!" Gazzy said, and Angel just smiled knowingly at no-one in particular.

"How we're only noticed this now?" Iggy asked, bringing all of us to another confused silence.

"Good question" I told him and then turned to Fang expectantly.

He'd better have a really good explanation for this….I thought irritably.

"It was Fang's jeans that I put into the backpack!" Nudge exclaimed excitedly.

"Meaning?" Gazzy asked.

"Well," Nudge continued, "I know that it sounds really crazy, cause I mean, like I saw it with my new powers and even I found it crazy! But I saw Lissa slipping her number into Fang's jeans that time we saw her just before we left Texas and she—"

"Wait, wait" Iggy said, waving his arms to halt her as a sly grin spread over his face.

"You're telling me that Lissa snuck her phone- number into Fang's pocket when we last saw her, and Fang's never noticed?"

We all instinctively turned to gaze at Fang, who looked completely dumb-founded for a spilt-second before returning to his usual, emotionless gaze. I smirked at him, and released a tension I didn't know that I'd been holding.

Fang hadn't known about having her phone number.

"Yeah!," Nudge said beaming with pride, "isn't it crazy? I mean, all this time and Fang's never noticed…he must have a really short attention span or not be all that smart to have --- oh, I mean with...uhh…he…"

Nudge suddenly flushed in embarrassment and stumbled over her words when she realised that she'd just insulted Fang.

I grinned at Fang as he shot me a 'don't-even-start' look.

"It's alright Nudge" Fang told her quietly, silently reassuring her. "I wish I had noticed earlier, and then we could've been over to check on Lissa earlier and not wasted any time."

I'm not going to lie, my grin slipped a little.

I mean, when Fang said that, he obviously meant that he felt bad we'd wasted all day looking for a phonebook and her last name when we could've just grabbed her number from his pocket.


A horrible feeling in my gut was creeping in that Fang had meant it the other way—that he'd wished he could have gotten to Lissa faster than this.

Well, Maximum…she is dying…getting to her as fast as possible is a rather smart idea... My Voice told me, coming out of nowhere and making me jump a little.

I saw Fang's gaze turn to me when he saw me jump.

"I'm fine" I muttered under my breath to him.

"Voice?" was all he asked, and I nodded. He nodded back before turning to the others.

Well, I know that she's dying obviously! I retorted back to my Voice. I just meant that ---

You're jealous, Maximum…and it's clouding your judgement… My Voice said calmly.

I bristled at the insult.

"Oh no!" I heard Nudge moan, snapping me out of my thoughts.

I turned to her as she held up a piece of paper from Fang's jeans and I immediately spotted her problem.

The ink was smudged everywhere and half the numbers were missing.

There was no way we could get Lissa's phone number from that.

I silently groaned to myself, feeling defeated that we'd lost another chance to find Lissa.

When it comes to his girl, Lissa, you seem quite bi-polar ... My Voice mocked me, before disappearing again.

I watched as Iggy took the paper from her hands gently, then ran a finger over the mess of ink.

His brow furrowed in annoyance at something and I suddenly watched him with more interest as he ran his fingers over the paper again and again in small circles…like he was casting some spell, but on the paper.

"Anyone got a pen and paper?" Iggy asked.

Gazzy quickly jumped up and faithfully ran to Iggy's side with a piece of scrap paper and a pen in his tiny hands.

"Got 'em!" Gazzy told him excitedly, Iggy nodded before turning to address Gazzy.

"Write this down, Gasman….9…0-5….9-3-6….9-6…1…" Iggy's brow furrowed again.

We all just gawked over him in amazement.

"Did you just sense those numbers from the page Iggy!?" Nudge exclaimed in happiness. "Oh my gosh! Guys! Maybe Iggy and I have the same powers! We can sense –"

"Sorry, Nudge, not quite" Iggy interrupted, laughing lightly.

We all just gawked over him again, and although Iggy couldn't see, he must've sensed our gazes on him.

"What?" he joked, shrugging at us. "We got lucky, that' all. Lissa's pencil-pusher."

"A what?" Angel asked him confusion, which left us all confused as well.

"A pencil-pusher -- you know, she presses down on the pencil or the pen really hard when she writes. It leaves a dent of the writing on the paper. Make sense?"

"So you just skimmed your finger over the paper to find out what the dents were, and what the numbers were" I concluded and Iggy nodded.

"Yup! The only thing being that I don't know what the last number is. But it's either a 2 or a 7, I think." I couldn't help but smile at him, and then patted him on the back.

"Iggy, you rock" I told him.

"I know" he fired back, grinning like a fool.

"Ooh! Ooh! I got it!" Nudge cried as she carried the open phonebook over to us proudly. "I found the houses! See? So if Lissa's number end with a '2', then we're going to…"

"144 on Oakville Drive" Angel finished as she read over Nudge's shoulder.

"Cool! Let me see!" Gazzy chirped, eager to see a phonebook, as I realised that he had never seen or used one before.

It was kinda depressing, but then again who would we ever need to call?

Ari? To ask him where he was?

Che, I doubt it.

"Oh! if it's a '7' them Lissa's house is at…umm… 18 Metcalf Avenue!"

"Great, now e know where to look tomorrow" I told them all. "But for now, sleep –"

'But I'm not tired" Angel interrupted. I gave her a skeptical look.

"We just took an 8 hour flight to New York, then flew here to Washington, and we've spent all day running around looking for a phonebook…and you're honestly telling me that you're not tired?"
Angel giggled and bit her lip coyly.

Maybe just a little…" she confessed.

"Exactly" I said as I picked her up, realizing that she was way too light for a 7-year-old.Angel lay her head on y shoulder and I felt complete calm wash over me.

Angel has a way of doing that to you.

MY Angel, that is.

Angel gave me a quick peck on the cheek. "Don't worry Max, she told me quietly so only I could hear. "I'm only light cause you're super-strong."

I shot her another sceptical look but she only smiled.

I put her down gently and then made us all stack fists as our usual bed-time ritual. Afterwards, Iggy took on the role of putting the kids to bed.

"Okay, let's go guys!" Iggy cheered, making them giggle as he herded them to bed like a sheepdog.

Before he left though, Iggy paused briefly and whispered something to Fang.

It was so quick that I almost missed it but it made me tense a little in suspicion.

As I've said before, Iggy and Fang together – especially when they're planning something – is never a good thing.

Fang turned back to me, as we both realised that we were alone in the room.

An awkward silence hovered over us both as neither of us spoke or moved.

Finally, Fang pushed himself off of the wall and turned to the door, muttering a quick "G'night, Max".

'G'night Fang" I told him, but he had already left.


After visiting house 144 on Oakville Drive, it was obvious that it was not Lissa's house.

We'd been greeted by an elderly woman with three pre-teen …ahem, "darlings" (for lack of a better word) zooming around her like pink race cars.

"Ok-ay…house 144, definitely not Lissa's" I muttered, after we'd walked a good distance away from the house.

I was still trying to shake the horrible images granny teeth and three blurs of pink, pigtails, and make-up out of my head.

I was really hoping Angel wouldn't grow up to be like that --- I knew that my little girl liked wearing pink, but having her dressed from head to toe in pink would blind me.

Plus, we would never be able to afford make-up let alone wear it while we we're on the run…

"Could I at least keep wearing pigtails? I think my pigtails are cute, but don't worry, Max. I won't wear make-up when I'm older or anything. I'll be pretty without make-up, just like you!" Angel said suddenly, smiling sweetly at me from my side.

I realized a second later that she'd been reading my thoughts and tried to look upset at her, which failed.

Another note to self: Starting re-monitoring Angel and her mind-powers.

"Okay, so now we trying the other one?' Gazzy offered.

'Yup, that's the plan" I told him.

And hopefully this one will be right... I silently prayed.

Making sure we were out of sight, we took flight and after a few minutes, landed in a nearby alley where no-one would see us.

"Okay, 18 Metcalf Avenue…" I muttered to myself, "Please don't let us down… please…" I quickly added.

I took a deep breath, swallowed hard, then knocked on the door.

There was silence at first, so I reluctantly knocked again.

This time, I heard a slight noise from upstairs, and then I could distinctly hear footsteps coming down the stairs from somewhere with the house.

I turned to The Flock nervously, but no-one looked any more relaxed than I did.

There was the sound of a lock clicking open and then the door was pulled open by a pair of pale hands.

A thin but strong body was leaning against the opposite wall as her hands were still on the door, protectively blocking our path into the house.

A pair of brown eyes looked over us all with amusement as someone behind me gasped.

My eyes widened in surprise, even as I felt Fang and the others take on fighting stances.

There's no way…. I thought in disbelief.

"Took you long enough…" the girl muttered, seeing us all on the doorstep.

My clone was standing in the doorway.


LOL. ( :-D) I love my job.

...okay okay, it's not really my job, but I still love it.

Oh, and I forgot to mention -- sorry! -- that this chapter is dedicated to fifteen lovely people whose reviews made me smile and laugh--

O' Future Ruler Maria Larry (who got down on her knees to beg me for more. LOL. That can do wonder for a girl's pride in her writing abilities...)

Niffty One (who actually had enough nerve to slap Fang at the end of the last chapter -- which I found hilarious. But beware : the girl has a mean right hook...)

Ari Ochli (who's been begging me to have her make-out with someone -- cough cough -- Fang ! -- cough cough -- for a while now, so I'm working on that for her...)

XxLillyxX (who actually took the time to review on each, individual chapter -- which I admire, cause I don't even do that on other people's fics.)

Solo1234 (whose apparently just as crazy -- I mean, as "sane" as I am, and has finally revealed to me that normal people are actually the scary, insane ones.)

twilightjunkie1313 (who -- like Niffty One -- had enough nerve to abuse Fang after being such a jerk. Except she kicked his rather attractive butt all the way to Alaska!...(8-o) Da-ang, don't mess with her! LOL.)

Invisible Love (who actually fainted because I made Fang such a jerk...umm, I'm sorry? LOL. )

Stealthkiller5653 (who just really wants me to make Lissa suffer and die...or just suffer...or die, but painfully. LOL. You are not alone!)

The Midnights Sun (for always posting reviews and for always finding a way to compiment me in each one. LOL. Like I said before, it does wonder for a girl's pride in her writing abilities...)

Raikou-Neko (who's pretty muich become my beta for spelling mistakes. LOL. How you find 'em all, I'll never know...)

CrimsonScarz and Mew-Sahara (who both -- oddly enough -- noted that Fang is a "stupid bird-boy". Both using those eact words, which was so cool! LOL)

ffgirlmoonie and anony-mouse (for constantly reviewing -- since Chapter 1. Plus, I just really like their names ...teehee!)


EndlessHope (well...see above A/N before the chapter for that whole thing. LOL)

8. My Clone, In Lissa's House, WHAT ! ?

Okay! Here it is my lov-er-lies!

Chapter 8!!!! (:-D)

After ending on a major cliffie and leaving you all hanging, I've received a couple threats if I don't post, a large number of reviews where people want Max II to be beaten into the ground, and everyone pleading that I post ASAP and end the evil wrath of the Max-II-on-Lissa's-doorstep-cliffie.

So, here you all are! And thank you so incredibly much for all of the reviews guys!!!


-- CK kisses everybody (in the most friendly way possible) –

LOL. Tell me if you like it!

Chapter 8 : …I need a reality check!

My clone raised an eyebrow at me quizzically.

"What?" she asked, seeming confused at us -- like we had surprised her by suddenly showing up on the doorstep.

Out of instinct, I took a defensive stance and felt the others do the same behind me in case of an attack or if she tried anything funny.

I need a reality check soon… I thought to myself humorlessly. I've escaped from a psychotic science lab, lost Fang, gone through having a blood-lust, realized that one of the few normal people I know is dying, and now my genetic clone is standing in front of me on the doorstep in downtown Washington….

…that's gonna have to be one really big reality check.

After a moment of this going through my head, I suddenly snapped into focus and turned to give her a harsh glare in warning.

My clone obviously missed the clear mistrust and anger in the glare though, as she continued to look over us all in boredom -- our knees bent, our arms held up in a defensive stance, and unreadable looks on our faces.

I tensed at her eerily calm expression, waiting for her to jump forward or unfurl her wings, or for Erasers to suddenly appear behind her, or…or…

…or for her to invite us in?!

She smoothly stepped aside and removed her arms from blocking the doorway, opening the door wide for us to step inside the house.

"Well, do you wanna come in or not?" she asked. I'll admit, I was thrown off guard for a second, but I refused to let it show.

"What are you doing here?" I asked her, making my voice hard and leaving no room for anything but a real answer.

She turned to shoot me a sarcastic look.

"I'm making brownies and apple pie. Want some?" she retorted back, a sadistic smirk playing at her lips.

"We don't take candy from strangers" I heard Nudge fire back from my side, trying to be brave. Inwardly, I beamed with pride at her remark -- I had been rubbing off on her -- but outwardly, I made sure to keep my face as unreadable as ever.

My clone faked being hurt by Nudge's words.

"But Nudge…sweetie, it's me Max! She's the fake!" she said, pointing to me briefly. "You can't listen to her! She's nothing but a liar and a crude copy! Don't you believe me?…" my clone mocked, faking hurt.

At this, my fists tightened and I had to force myself not to move forward and punch her hard in the face -- right then and there, in broad daylight, and on the doorstep.

Before I had a chance to do so, however, Fang got there first.

He had a hand around her throat and the other held in a tight fist, inches from her face, before I could even growl out a response.

"Say that ever again" Fang hissed in an ice cold tone that made me hesitate, "and I swear that I will punch you out. I don't care that you're a girl either, I won't hold back …"

My clone seemed surprised at the threat and that Fang had managed to grab her throat so quickly. But suddenly, her face relaxed and a sly smirk spread over her face again and seeing this, I tensed in anticipation of whatever was going to happen next.

"I don't doubt that you'd hit me, even if I am a girl" my clone said, practically spitting at the word girl like it was an insult.

I did a double take when I heard this, realizing that when people told me I had exceptions because I was 'a girl', it was an insult to me.

And the same applied to her now?!

She's copying me! I thought in irritation. She's copying my thoughts and emotions and pretending their hers…why that little –

She is your clone, Maximum…of course she will seem to act and think as you do... My Voice chimed in.

I mentally glared at My Voice as it reappeared.

(Or I tried to at least. Is it even possible to glare at a voice inside your head?...wait, never mind, don't answer that)

Shut up… I muttered to it, and then focused my attention on my clone again.

"…but I doubt that you could hit me since I look like Max" my clone finished, still smirking at Fang knowingly.


Go back, then replay.

Fang wouldn't dare to hit her just because she looks like me!?...

1) This is Fang we're talking about. If you're an enemy, he'll punch you out, no matter what your gender…or what your DNA pattern is…

2) Fang should have no problem attacking my clone. He's shoved me around more than once and I highly doubt any of those shoves were "accidental" or "gentle". Unless you count "gentle" as being that he didn't use more than an average human's strength when he shoved me….

3) If Fang was unwilling to punch my clone, then I would more than willingly do it for the sake of the Flock -- that being the only reason I'd ever punch her…or so I would tell the others…

After this accusation, Fang (doing his usual I'm-too-tough-and-cool-to-have-emotions- part) didn't seem to move an inch as my clone grinned knowingly at him.

"We-ll…" My clone said, waiting for a response. When she didn't get one, she looked only a little disappointed before turning to us.

"Well, your not exactly deny it just by looking at me bird boy. Talking would help, you know…"

Fang's fist tightened in front of her warningly.

"Well he …he didn't say 'yes' either!" Gazzy shot back, determined to outsmart her, or at least try to.

"Yeah" Nudge and Angel said, joining in, but then Nudge suddenly seemed to freeze in her thoughts, and she hesitated.

And then, at the worst possible time, the Nudge Channel turned on.

"Actually, come to think of it though…" Nudge continued. "That is weird for Fang. I mean, usually he at least 'hmph'-s or something…you know, like when he grunts out a response but it only comes out as this 'hmph' noise? Yeah, but he never actually answered this time, so does that mean Fang knows it's true but wont admit it? Or that Fang knows that he could punch her – if he wanted to—but doesn't want her to know that he knows that?..."
Iggy then spoke up suddenly.

"But wait, wait….slow down guys. I mean this is Fang we're talking about, and if he says he'll punch her out, he'll do it" Iggy concluded, ending the pointless conversation...or so I thought.

"I mean, think about it…" Iggy continued. "It's not like Fang has never hurt Max before – the real Max, I mean. Fang's never actually hit her or punched her in the face or anything, but he's shoved her around before – he's shoved her playfully, shoved her hard, shoved her into the wall, onto the floor, into glass or other breakable items –"

"WHAT!?" Angel and Gazzy squeaked out, sounding horrified at the thought.

…Honestly… if my clone had not been standing directly in front of me throughout this entire thing, I would've whipped around and smacked them all over the head.

"Guys!" I called out. "Evil clone from Itex is standing in front of us! On Lissa's doorstep! Try to focus!."

"Oh right, oops…" Gazzy mumbled sheepishly, which unfortunately only lead to the younger kids snickering and giggling at their mistake.

I had to resist the urge to tell them to be quiet and focus, but the words died in my mouth when I saw my clone.

She was snickering, too.

But, it wasn't an evil snicker, or an evil chuckle, or even an evil laugh.

She wasn't laughing in a way that read 'I'm-going-to-get-you-my-pretties-and-your-little-dog-too', and it wasn't the type of laugh that made you think 'she's-going-kill-me-then-eat-me' either.

She was just…laughing.

And it was normal.

…And it was weird seeing it on the face of someone I didn't trust and someone that had my face.

Finally, she stopped and looked between me and the Flock expectantly. Lastly, she turned to Fang, grinning cheekily.

"Umm…can you take your hand off of my throat now, emo-boy? I'm getting tired of having to hold my head up like this so as not to have you choke me."

Fang didn't move, but I caught his glance as he shot me an
'I-don't-like-any-of-this-but-can-we-really-trust-her?' look.

I nodded once at him, subtly, and he let her go, returning back to looking emotionlessly back at her and having his hands in his pockets.

"Hehe...thanks" she commented, rubbing her neck lightly before turning back to me expectantly.

"Well, are you all coming in or not?" she asked, motioning with her head to the open door. I frowned at her, still unsure as to what to do.

She seemed frustrated and tired at waiting for us to decide, so she folded her arms over her chest and stuck out one hip (something I knew I did when I was irritated at someone in the Flock when they were being too stubborn. Not that I would actually admit to the Flock that I thought they were being stubborn…)

"Look" my clone began, sighing and looking at me bluntly. "You can either come inside and trust me for a minute – a whole, scary 60-second period inside a stranger's house with me, the big-bad Max the Second….oooh! – or, you can stay out here on this porch and draw attention to yourselves because of your fighting stances on the doorstep, and you can leave Lissa alone in the house with me, without even bothering to see if I've "done anything" to her. Your choice, girlie."

I glared at her as she called me 'girlie', but also because I knew she was right.

We had come here to check on Lissa and to see if we could cure her, and no-one was going to stop us from doing so.

My clone looked at me impatiently and I tried to make myself stand taller, more authoritative.

"We're coming inside" I told her, trying to make it sound like an order rather than a reply. "We're going to see what's wrong with Lissa, and if you've done anything to her at all…anything…than you're –"

"Yeah, yeah…I know…" My clone muttered, rolling her eyes at me as she stepped inside again.

"Don't hurt the redhead or else I, Maximum Ride, fearless and immortal leader of the Flock, shall avenge her by kicking your butt, yada yada yada…the point being, can you all come in now? It's way too hot out there…"

My threat died on my lips in outrage as my clone sarcastically mocked me (in front of the Flock) and then had enough nerve to look at me like she was irritated.

…although it was a good comeback, I'll admit, it still ticked me off.

Oh! That little…little…oh! I can't even think of a name for her! I thought, feeling my temper flare.

On the contrary… My Voice said slyly in my ear.

Oh great you again… I thought hopelessly.

I was only going to say….that you thought of quite a few names for your clone Maximum…but none would be appropriate, since by calling her a name, you apply the same title to yourself…

Thank you, Captain-Obvious…and why do you always have to call me 'Maximum'?... I asked it.

It is what you were named, what you are, and what you will be… My Voice answered.

Ok-ay, and in English now?... I said to it.


A voice at my side snapped me out of my thoughts and into the present, seeing Nudge looking at me curiously and the others looking at me from inside the house.

I flushed in embarrassment when I realized I'd gotten distracted.

"Oh…thanks, Nudge" I told her sheepishly, then followed her into the Victorian-style house that belonged to Lissa.

My clone grinned and closed the door behind me as we all filed in.

"Daydreaming?" she teased. I shot her a 'don't-even-start-look' as Iggy ran his hands along everything, mapping out his location in the house.

Suddenly, Iggy tensed, turned his heads from side to side and then groaned in frustration.

We all turned to him worriedly as he dropped his hands before they clenched into tight fists.

"Ig, what's wrong?" I asked him quickly, tensing when I saw his livid expression.

"As of now, I hate your clone" Iggy muttered, suddenly striking a defensive stance.

"What's wrong?" Fang repeated swiftly, immediately taking the same stance as Iggy while the younger ones and I looked between the two in tense anticipation.

"Your clone set us up" was all Iggy managed to grumble out.

And that's when the Erasers leapt out at us….

AHHH! (8-o)

Err, I mean, did I end on another horrible cliffie???

-- CK does shifty eyes before giving off an evil smile –-

Hehehehehe… oops… my mistake…


9. Lissa Falls Down The Stairs, Oops

YAY! New chapter!

Sorry this one took a while...but trust me, it's doing a lot better than my other stories.

-- nervous laughter --


-- cough cough, shifty eyes --

Unfortunately though, it hit me today that SCHOOL IS ALMOST HERE AGAIN!



-- sobs dramatically, falls to the floor, still teary-eyed before blowing nose into tisuue --

Anyways, moving on!

Here's the newest chapter and I really hope you like it!

And enjoy the summer while you can!!!

Love from, CK

Chapter 9

"You little liar!" I hissed out at her, before I had to dodge a hairy fist aimed at my head.

I looked up into the eyes of my attacker only to realize that it was Ari. Yet again. (Seriously, the boy needs an actual hobby or something to keep him from constantly stalking us.)

And as I thought all of this, it hit me.

...There were no other Erasers attacking us.

I did a quick 360-scan and realized in shock that…wait…what?

Ari was the only Eraser here.

What the heck?

I dodged another punch from him, as he growled viscously at me – more so than usual. And his aim was way off too, I couldn't help but notice.

"Here, little birdie!" he hissed, seemingly teetering with anger for whatever reason.

"Aww, did someone miss their nap time, Ari? Or are you just moody cause you have no friends anymore?" I shot at him.

"Ari?" my clone said in surprise, drawing both of our attentions to her.

Ari turned my clone coldly, then froze as a look confusion and shock took over his hairy muzzle of a face. Apparently, he hadn't been expecting to see two Max's starring at him.

He looked between us both in confusion, and I cold see frustration building on his face.

He doesn't know who's who… I realized. To my complete surprise, as I took on another fighting stance, my clone did the same.

Okay... now I was really confused...

The last time I had seen Max II had been when she'd tried to kill me, she'd been working for Itex, and had been all buddy-buddy with Ari.

Now she shows up claiming she's here to help and she's willing to fight Ari to help us?...

…Did someone give her some kind of 'Extreme-Makeover : Genetic Clone Edition' while we were gone, or am I crazy?

My clone seemed to catch my eye as I looked at her hesitantly.

"I swear to you, I didn't know he was here!" she quickly defended. I could only scoff.

"Like you wouldn't notice a giant wolf-man with wings the size of a small-car following you into the house" I retorted.

My clone just shot me a look.

Ari was still debating over which Max he wanted to attack, both of us returning to our original fighting stances.

Suddenly, Ari seemed to be able to tell the difference as he grinned in a sickeningly satisfied grin spread over his face and he growled at me. My clone suddenly (and out of the blue) steeped protectively in front of me.

Again, Ari seemed suddenly to hesitate and he looked just as confused as I felt.

Okay…now I'm majorly confused about my clone – is she truly willing to help us? Or is she still with Ari and this is some crazy confusion technique to get us back to the School?

"Let .Me. At. Her !" Ari hissed, his sudden (and random) anger-management problems arising again.

"You can have here as soon as you go through me" My clone suddenly said, in perfect imitation of my tone of voice when I addressed Ari.

He seemed utterly furious at my clone (with good reason, I guessed), yet even as he growled I could see him hesitating to attack.

I felt my Flock suddenly flank both of us from behind, Fang on my side and Iggy on my clones as the younger ones filled in around us.

Even now, with the numbers 7 to 1, Ari was still looking between me and my clone expectantly.

…Sheesh, talk about a slow learner. I at least hoped he could count up to 7 – because it was obvious that even he did try to go after me, he was going down – hard – either way.

Suddenly, someone groaned airily.

The seemingly weak, light, and girlishly-pained sound stunned me for a moment – truth be told, I think it stunned everyone, yet the guys refused to show it – as I turned to where the noise had come from.

"Oh (insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here)" I said, catching Fang's gaze as he looked to the stairs from the corner of his eyes and seemed to simultaneously know what I had implied.

...Lissa was half-consciously stumbling towards us from the top of the stairs.

I heard Fang curse under his breath, and then everyone else seemed to notice.

Lissa groaned again, shielding her eyes from the sunlight as she approached a lodging at the top of her stairs.

"I know" I mutter, agreeing with his curses, "We are in deep --"

"Not that," Fang muttered angrily. "Ari's gone." I whipped around and saw with horror that he was.

But how?...he'd been standing only seconds ago...I didn't see him …I never heard him move either!…

Lissa groaned again.

"No time for him" Fang muttered at me, seeming to read my thoughts as he snapped me out of my stupor and into leader-mode again. "We've got to somehow make sure Lissa—"

"Alright! Hang on, let me think for a sec!" I muttered at him, panicking slightly.

"Max?..." Lissa moaned out questioningly.

Her voice was timid and pained, and I saw her grip the railing for support as she trembled on her feet. She really did look horribly sick I realized with a jolt, and the way she was trembling just to walk meant she must've been incredibly weak too.

Even though she was at the top of the stairs, I could plainly se she was pale as a sheet and flushed with an unhealthy dose of red and a sickly-yellow.

She looked haggard and worn – like she aged a lot within the few months we'd seen her last and that she been barely sleeping.

"Hide your wings! Now!" I ordered them all, suddenly realizing just how much trouble we were really in.

And then, before we could stop it, three things seemed to happen simultaneously…

The first… Lissa opened her bloodshot, tired green eyes and saw all of us standing in the entranceway of her house, looking at her in surprise and disbelief ….

The second…. all of us desperately tried to hide our wings behind our backs when we spotted her, muttering curses under our breaths….

And third… Lissa suddenly seemed to realize what was going on -- that she was starring at two Max's and a collection of dirty, messy kids with wings looking at her with mock innocence, and then her eyes rolled back into her head as she collapsed on the stairs.

And I'm not going to lie, when girls faint, it's never as pretty as it seems in the movies.

Lissa literally crumpled to the floor (not elegantly fell to the side) and the dead-weight of her body made her slide down the stairs.

Before any of us got to her, I'm pretty sure she smacked her head off of a stair or two, and I winced as she fell, feeling a horrible knot of guilt at knowing that I had done this to her.

I ran forward, but before I could reach her to stop her fall, Fang had her effortlessly up in his arms, supporting her from falling any further, and he'd grabbed Iggy and the two started back up the stairs swiftly.

Gazzy obediently followed Iggy and Fang, with Nudge and Angel hesitantly but quickly following behind. I made a move forward, but my clone's hand stooped me.

"We need to talk" she said as our gazes met. I raised an eyebrow at her.

"You're not going to leave me to go love someone else, are you? I can change for you, honey…" I said.

I could see my clone resisting the urge to roll her eyes.

"Haha…very funny…" she muttered.

"I'm serious. You need to know what's going on so you don't make Lissa feel like even more is wrong with her than what's already been happening. And if you do, you'll be the one who'll have to explain everything to her. So listen up…."

Despite not being sure if I could trust my clone or not – she had tried to kill me, which is not something you forgive easy – I could tell she was serious about whatever she was gonna say.

"Max?" I heard a timid voice call out, interrupting our conversation, and I turned to see Nudge looking between my clone and I nervously.

Apparently, she was just as confused as Ari over who was who.

"Yeah?' we both chorused, and I shot a warning look to my clone afterwards.

"Umm…Fang and Iggy want you to come up and…" Nudge suddenly froze as her head tilted upwards. I heard her stomach growl and I knew what was coming.

"Ummm…and Max?"

"Yeah?" I said.

"Umm…I'm hungry…and I think I smell—"

"Brownies?" my clone offered, a slight grin on her lips. It was then I realized that I actually did smell brownies...I wasn't fantasizing.

I looked to my clone as she finally let a grin loose.

"I told you, I have brownies and apple pie in here. They're in the kitchen on the table – first left after that hall" she said, pointing past my shoulder and directing for Nudge to go there if she wanted to.

I just cocked an eyebrow at her, torn between laughing, crying, or groaning.

"What?" my clone said, shrugging at me. I just shook my head, beginning to walk upstairs.

"And I thought I was the weird one…." I muttered to her.

LOL. I just love brownies...and oddly enough, apparently so does The Flock.

(;-P) Conicidence? I think not!

Anywho, more coming soon!

And, anyone want a brownie?...

10. The Return of DBVGB Max

Hello again my duckies!


Sorry that I haven't posted in a while but I've been busy getting ready for back-to-school.

-- CK rolls her eyes --

Anywho, thank you to Raikou-Neko and O' Future Ruler Maria Larry for becoming my betas and for editing this chapter.

-- big smile and huggles --

I apologize in advance if there are any spelling mistakes because y computer went crazy when I got the chapter back from them and put strange symbols in the place of some words and punctuation marks.

Hehe, oops… ( )

Anyways I really hope you like it!

--- Love from, CK

Chapter 10

As my clone and I walked into Lissa's room, I could see Fang and Iggy over her in the bed, checking her for injuries I assumed, while Gazzy was simply were looking around the room and looking at all of the stuff.

I was surprised to say that Lissa's room was a lot different than I thought it would've been.

But since I had little-to-no insight on teenage-girls bedrooms, I'll admit I was pretty much expecting to see how Angel's room had been decorated way-back-when --- pink, filled with junk, and well…..okay, pretty much just pink and filled with junk.

But what it ended up being was more of my ideal room.

Which was startling in a way.

Her room was a deep blue and silver patterns were everywhere, the room was clean apart from a few scattered CDs and clothes thrown over chairs.

I saw that, like me, Angel was looking at everything in her room with wonder in her little blue eyes.

A brief stab of guilt went through me at this remembering that she and Nudge had once had a room of their own, but it was long gone now.

Heck once, we had even had our own house, a dad that looked after us, and we had food, and shelter, and security.

so much for those necessities… I thought with wry humor.

A firm hand on my shoulder suddenly pulled me out of the room until I turned to stare in irritation at my own face, my clone, who was mirroring the same expression.


"Like I said, we need to talk. Now." She said. I rolled my eyes at her, but listened attentively.

She smirked and seemed to relax, knowing that I was going to listen to her.

"I'll make this quick and simple – for the both of us" she began, taking a deep breath.

"I've been pretending to be you for the last few days. Lissa doesn't know the difference and he thinks that the others are still back in California, Chicago, wherever you guys are pretending to live now---"

"Whoa! Hold up!" I said, raising my hands at her and frowning deeply. "You've been pretending to be me!? For how long!?"

My clone just sighed an shot me a quizzical look.

" I was getting to that. Now listen up…"

"Umm, excuse me, Miss-Me-Wannabe, but I –"

"Lissa thinks that I…well, you, have been taking care of her for the last few days while her mom and dad are at work. The others are back in wherever-you're-pretending-to-be. Her mom and dad are already acquainted with you –"

"Acquainted?" I said, raising an eyebrow. "Have I had tea and biscuits with them recently? Or did their meeting with the President and his charming wife disrupt our arrangements?"

My clone took another deep breath, huffed at me, and shot me a stern glare before continuing.

" You're going to have to cook for her, give her medicine – despite the fact that we both know it's not gonna do anything – and take her temperature every six hours so she won't realise that we've switched off."

I blubbered in outrage, but was cut off by Max II before I could complain.

"I'm doing this for your sake AND hers, so you better not screw this up, got it?" she said.

"And if I do screw up, accidentally?' I shot at her.

"We're both gonna be chewed out by swarms of Erasers, whitecoats, and mutants you do not want to meet and ones you probably have no chance of surviving against. Trust me when I say this –"

I'm risking my butt by being here, so you screw this up, and if I get caught…I'm taking you and your Flock down with me" She said, cold determination in her voice.

I felt my instincts kick in and resisted the urge to try and back away from her to go warn the Flock.

" better not be messing with me…." I warned, trying to make myself sound threatening.

Trust me, Maximum….your clone may carry a separate burden from you, but the honesty in that truth is that you both still carry a burden, no matter what it is… My Voice said.

That's great, but what does it mean? I shot at it.

You already know…. Was the only reply I received.

Ri-ight, thanks for that…not!

Maximum, your concerns are beyond this human girl or your clone being trustworthy…I assure you, your clone is a greater ally than you may think, and you will need her soon…

I froze in surprise at this.

So, you're telling me that Max II is 100-percent trustworthy? She's not going to try to kill me or rat me out to the School... or Ari... or Jeb... or kill any of us while we're sleeping?


I let go of a tension I hadn't realised I'd been holding.

But she is gonna torture me by forcing me to cook…for Lissa….everyday….until we cure her?!...

You better cure her quick then Maximum…because she hasn't got much time left…

I stiffened again and groaned inwardly.

Great…no pressure…

"Hel-lo! Can a girl at some attention around here!"

I snapped out of my Voice-talking daze to see my clone looking at me haughtily.

"You done ignoring me yet?" she asked.

I rolled my eyes and muttered a brief "yeah."

My clone nodded. "Good, cause I'm gonna have to teach you now how to cook…no offence, but from what I've heard from your Flock, your cooking abilities suck worse than a Hoover vacuum."

I bristled in irritation and tried to suppress a flush of embarrassment.

"What do I look like? A housewife!?" I shot t her, gesturing to me torn, dirty jeans and overly-baggy sweatshirt.

"You need to learn – fast" my clone insisted. "Or else Lissa is gonna –"

"I'll get Iggy to cook" I told her shrugging it off.

My clone shot me a quizzical, disbelieving look.

"You let the blind guy…cook?"

I nodded, secretly loving the shock I could see she was trying to suppress.

"Yup" I replied.

She raised an eyebrow. "Has he killed anyone yet?" she asked sarcastically.

"Not with my cooking!" I heard Iggy say from behind me as I turned to see him approaching us with Fang by his side.

"But I'm pretty sure Max's cooking could kill someone" Iggy continued, grinning brightly.

"You didn't see her last creation….I actually think we opted to eat moss rather than eat your…black lump…" I glared at him, even though he could see it.

"Traitor…." I muttered teasingly at him.

"But all jokes aside……you seriously need to learn how to cook. I'll teach you the basics now, before Lissa wakes up! And you're…"

My clone looked over Iggy and Fang briefly.

"…your boy-toys can look after her – if she wakes up, just say you decided to join Max in visiting her, hope she gets well, and all that jazz…."

I snorted in a very unladylike manner.

"And I'm serious when I say that Iggy's gonna cook. I'm not learning" I told her.

My clone frowned.

"You will."

"I won't" I shot back.

""You need to! If Iggy cooks, she'll know something is up?'" Max II argued.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Fang asked, tense and still beside me.

I ignored it and raised an eyebrow at her.

"I'm serious!" Max II insisted, her face a mask of truthfulness and honesty.

"Ri-ight…" I replied, still debating about whether or not I trusted her.

Suddenly, a sharp throbbing pain exploded into the back off my skull. I realised I was having another brain-attack, but I hadn't had one in so long the pain had surprised me.

I had no doubt that my stupid Voice was doing this.

I couldn't see, couldn't hear, and could barely keep myself conscious as a whirl of fast-paced, illuminated, and repetitive images flashed behind my closed eyelids in a dizzying pattern that would've made me faint if I had been anyone else.

But I'm not.

So I pretty much hung on to my sanity for as long as possible and waited for it to pass.

Thankfully, after what felt like ages later (but could've been anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes) the images suddenly stopped on one frame and slowly began to blacken – like a TV that had been unplugged and was slowly loosing the picture.

It was of a girl – beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, and busty (to put it simply.) She looked to be the same age as myself, Fang, and Iggy or a year older, but she was beautiful in just about every way.

…but what on earth she was doing inside my head was a complete mystery to me.

Slowly the image faded out, and I could hear voices again, mumbling in a funny way above me – their voices all high…then low…and deep and some were even squeaky!
I grinned to myself at the thought and suppressed a giggle.

Squeaky! Like a mouse….or when you take a bath…

...which reminds me, I haven't bathed in….forever-ever! I should do that soon, I must stink by now! All icky and sweaty and dirty and…bleh! No wonder Fang and Iggy stay away from me…I'm probably the most unbeautiful-lulest girl on the planet now! Teehee! Beautiful-lulest….that's not even a word! HA!



I turned my gaze to meet a pair of concerned yet calm brown eyes.


"Max? You okay?" he asked.

I cocked my head and just smiled up at him, laughing at his expression.

"Of course! Stupid! Teeheehee! I'm grrrrrr-eat! Like…like that Tony guy on the Frosted Flakes commercial! Haha! I'm super-good! SUPER!..."

I couldn't help but break-down in laughter, as Fang just looked down at me with a seemingly horrified look.

I giggled again, noticing that everyone was looking at me the same way Fang was.

Boy, they sure look goofy! Haha!

"What?..." I asked, still giggling. "I made a funny! FUNNY! You know, about Tony the Tiger!...but I wonder, is he really a tiger!? GRR! Hehe!"

Iggy was the first to speak, saying only two words, but describing the situation perfectly.

"...Holy (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here)…."

Hehehe...I turned Max into a bimbo.

-- evil smile --


...and I've probably just mentally-scarred half of the MR fans reading this...

11. Snap Out Of It Max !


-- CK runs into the room, zooming past surprised people to jump on the computer and start frantically typing and posting --

A lot of you sent me e-mails in response to my "Sorry A/N", and I really appreciate it guys. Thank you!!!

And freaky as this sounds, but EndlessHope was one of those who sent me an e-mail about my post of not finding the chapter, and she sent me a yell to say to my computer in her P.M.

She said that when she does this yell her computer usually spits up the chapter and I thought it was funny and figured 'what the heck? I've tried everything else so I might as well try it…'

And so I tried it, and my computer actually OBEYED!!!

... (o-0)

-- CK swiftly bows before EndlessHope --

Thank you for lending me your magic spell! THANK YOU! And thank you to guys for being patient! Your support and patience helped make the chapter appear! YAY!

-- glomps –

LOL. Of course, wouldn't you know that the reason I couldn't find it was because my sisters changed the name of the chapter so I couldn't find it when I searched for it …

-- glare --

And they added their own random comments to the chapter, so I had to delete those before I could post this….

--another glare--

Now, on with the chapter!

Enjoy it guys! And the next one will be up much faster than this one. LOL. Especially since the MR Boards are down now….

--grumble grumble—

I hope you guys like it! This chapter has Faxness, humor, and violence -- oh my! LOL

--- Love from, CK

Chapter 11

As Max sat, giggling at herself on the floor, there was a moment of completely stunned silence throughout the room.

"Ho-ly smokes…" Iggy muttered aloud, breaking the silence. "Ok-ay, who drugged Max and turned her into…to…to…to –"

"Paris Hilton!" Nudge said, pulling a face of utter disgust and confusion.

Gazzy and Angel broke out into timid smiles at her expression, but to Fang, it was anything but funny.

….okay fine, maybe it was a little funny. But he could laugh about it to himself later, right now, he had to fix Max.


This time, without kissing her (preferably.)

Kissing in front of the Flock was just….wrong.

To be honest, the two of them just kissing was still weird – which could be due to the fact that the only times they'd kissed had been when they'd been seriously injured, in bloodlust, or Max had been high off of something he had yet to figure out. But he had an irritating feeling that it was something to do with her Voice….

So… he decided mentally. No freakishly weird kisses to snap her out of it, which means we need a plan for Max.


He watched Max gasp dramatically on the floor and try to push herself to her feet.

We definetly need a plan fast, especially since Max is stumbling towards Lissa now, which is bad, even when she's normal…

"Nudge, Ig" he said, taking over the leadership role that usually belonged to Max. "Stop Max from doing anything – get her sit again, then see if you can talk her into being normal again."

"Umm, okay..." Nudge said, helping Iggy to find his way around Lissa's bed and to Max.

"If that doesn't work" Fang said, sighing to himself. "Just hit her –"

"What!? We can't hit Max!" Nudge shrieked in disbelief, looking at Fang pleadingly.

"She needs something to jolt her out of it – " Fang began.

"How do you know that?' Iggy asked, quirking an eyebrow.

Fang rolled his eyes silently.

"Just do as I say" he told Iggy, not wanting to go into details at this particular moment.

Max II raised her eyebrows from the corner of the room at him.

"You sure Max isn't just this air-headed all the time?" she said, a snicker in her voice.

That earned her a 'don't-mess-with-me-right-now' glare from Fang as he walked past her to open the door, fixing his eyes on her again.

"Out" he said.

Now, she fixed him with a glare.

"What did you say to me?" she all but hissed at him, her brown eyes flashing.

"We need ice. Go" he said, this time adding a few more details so she'd stop arguing, but only resulted in getting an outraged look from Max II.

"Puh-lease! She didn't get a headache that bad, did she!?"

"For Lissa" Fang said in frustration, gesturing to the still unconscious redhead passed out in her bed behind him.

"What am I!? Your housemaid!?" Max II said mockingly.

"Right now… yeah…" he shot back reflexively, pointing out the door. "Now go."

Her face flushed the same way Max's always did when she was angry, a hard glare on her face as she opened her mouth to shout at him.

But Fang didn't give her the time.

"Thanks" he muttered to her, shoving her bluntly out the door and closed it swiftly behind her.

A muffled yell of " (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here)!!!" came from outside of Lissa's door just as Fang found the lock and clicked it shut.

He rolled his eyes as Max II let out an angry sigh through the door, before turning back to the rest of the Flock, whom he saw were all gawking at him like he'd suddenly turned pink.

"What?" he muttered, getting them all back to the problems at hand.

" Come on, we need to get Max back to normal and find out what we're doing when Lissa wakes up to find us all here…"

"I am normal, you silly-willy!" Max said from the corner, drawing everyone's attention back to her. "I'm fine! I'm super! Teehee!, like, oh! Like that whole, "I Am Canadian!" thing -- Ye-ah! Hehehehehe! Except, I'm not Canadian!...or am I? I dunno, actually – cause you know, we don't know where we came from, so I could be Canadian! Or Mexican! Or like, Chinese or something! How am I supposed to know? But it could happen! --"

Fang suddenly moved to her side and gripped her tightly by the shoulders before giving her a hard look and shaking her gently.

"Max, get a grip" he told her simply.

She looked at him airily and scoffed.

"Get a grip on what!?" she said back." There's nothing to hold on to! Du-uh! Hahahaha-ha!"

She laughed manically, waving her arms at him as if it was just too funny to describe.

"How about getting a grip on ...say, your sanity?" Iggy muttered under his breath to the others, who laughed nervously.

Suddenly, Iggy seemed to freeze, starring ahead in seeming disbelief before a wide grin spread over his face.

"I just thought of something..." he said, still grinning. "Hey, Fang! Throw me the backpack!"

Fang did so swiftly and silently, watching as Iggy caught the bag with ease -- not bad for a blind kid, hey? -- before immediately tearing it open.

After rummaging around, he pulled out Fang's prized (expensive, important, valuable, and irreplaceable!) camera and motioned for Gazzy to take it from him.

"Gaz! Quick -- point the camera at Max and take a shot!" he told him.

"Oh! I get it! I get it now!" Angel said, suddenly bouncing around happily. "You're hoping that the flash from the camera will act as a cat-umm-lee-ast --"

"You mean catalyst?" Nudge offered, surprising everyone at her use of such a scientific word.

"Yeah, that!" Angel agreed, nodding her head. "And Iggy'll use the flash to break-up whatever is happening to Max and snap her out of…out of ...well, whatever she's in!" Angel said, grinning at her own intelligence.

Iggy smiled sheepishly. "Actually, I just wanted a picture of her like this so we can use it as blackmail in the near future --"

"IGGY!" everyone chorused.

Iggy stuck his tongue out and grinned devilishly.

"I was gonna share the blackmail..." he said teasingly. "I was gonna post it on Fang's blog so we could all use it, as well as those girls that keep posting on your blog that wish you would ditch Max and date them –"

"Ig, not the time" Fang said, rolling his eyes. "Can we focus now?. "

He gripped Max's shoulders tightly again, and shook her violently this time.

"Max!" he shouted, making everyone jump." Snap out of it!!"

Max just continued to giggle at him and he could only watch in frustration as her head simply lolled side-to-side with the force of his pushes, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Fang was looking like he was ready to snap her arms in half unless she stopped giggling like that.

Fang found himself getting incredible mad for no reason at all as he looked sat her acting so stupidly.

"Wake. Up!" He ordered her in a voice between a hiss and a shout. She just stuck her tongue out at him and bounced energetically in her seat.

"Wake up!" he said again, feeling the younger guys tense and start to worry about him losing his tempter behind him. "Wake up, you stupid… ignorant… dumb…air-headed… blonde… fake… childish… immature… idiotic… pathetic...weak... girly...bimbo of ---"


Fang found himself momentarily stunned as he suddenly found himself looking at the wall instead of Max's face. The entire left-hand side of his face was burning and stinging from where Max's hand had struck him, and he felt something suspiciously like blood dripping down his cheek.

He didn't dare to move or turn his head, knowing that if he did he'd probably get another fist to the face, but as he inhaled deeply, a metallic and easily recognizable smell reached his nose.

Yup, he was definitely bleeding.

And while the feel and smell of blood were familiar to him and he was nowhere near caring if Max hit him again, his gaze still remained on the wall in slight surprise.

Because this was the first time Max had ever slapped him.

She had definitely kicked him, elbowed him, pushed him, or even occasionally punched him in the side or the arm when she was in a bad mood and he'd made it worse.

But Max never slapped – it was "too much of a sissy move that girls only use cause they don't have enough guts to actually punch a guy in the face, tell him he deserves it, than take the consequences."

……Or so she claimed.

But despite that, he could feel the imprint of Max's hand burning his cheek and could feel the blood swelling and dripping down the side of his face.

He grinned to himself at the feeling, savoring it – despite how sadistic that sounded.

Because he could also feel the anger that was radiating off of Max's frame besides him and he could practically taste how furious she was at him for calling her those names. He could also feel her stiff shoulders under his grip, shaking with the self-restraint to not hit him again, and her hard-as-ice brown eyes glaring unwaveringly at him from his side.

Cautiously, he raised his hand to his face to wipe off the dripping blood before turning to look at Max calmly, trying to ignore the worried, tense silence of the other Flock members around them.

Clearly, Max was ready to kill him, but he could see – after years of being with her through everything they'd had to endure – that she was surprised at herself underneath the anger.

However, Max had never been good with conveying more than one emotion at once, so the anger was easily overtaking her surprise judging by the way her eyes looked cold enough to freeze anyone's blood.

She looked absolutely murderous.

…and sexy as hell… Fang thought appreciatively to himself, letting his eyes flick over her stiffened form with blatant desire.

Surprised (and slightly startled, though he'd never admit that), he immediately dismissed the thoughts.

Where the heck did that come from?! He thought to himself. I'm out of bloodlust now, so there's no reason why I should think of her that way…even if we are kind-of dating...but still, that's ridiculous...Max has never looked good when she's angry…she just looks …well, angry…

"So, I guess the bimbo comment got through to you" he finally said, breaking the silence.

"Call me it again, and I'll break your face – not just make you bleed" she warned, still angry as ever. He nodded, seeing her do the same and some of the anger fade.

"So if I call you Barbie, do the same rules apply?" he asked, keeping his voice expressionless.

Her eyes flashed as she lunged to punch him, which he easily avoided this time, knowing that it was coming.

"Fang! So help me, I'm gonna—" Max began, but was interrupted by a loud, angry rap on the door.

"Let me in!" Max II said, banging on the door again.

"Fang! You stupid emo-bird-boy, let me in or so help me, I'm gonna –" Max II was cut off by Iggy.

"Fang, I think you've hit a new record" Iggy said, laughing lowly.

"Somehow, you've gotten both Max and Max II mad as hell at you in less than three minutes. And your alive – which is a miracle in it's own right."

"Shut up!" Max and Max II both shouted at him, hearing Iggy laugh through the door.

But, unable to stop, Iggy just kept on laughing…..

Hehehehe…I just love it when Max and Fang fight – they are such an old, married couple….

Next chapter is coming soon!

And umm….here's a spoiler for the next chapter, just because I'm so nice (or evil, you decide)…

-- CK gives a sweet, evil smile --

SPOILER FOR CHAPTER 12 !!! : Fang kisses someone.





…..It's not Max.

















... it's not Lissa either.

12. The Kiss xxx Part I

YAY! The next chapter is here, duckies!!!

Just so you know, this is the 1st part of a 2-part chapter, and this chapter may seem a little weird and confusing, but the second part will explain EVERYTHING!!! So please -- you wonderful, patient, super-cool, and Faxness-loving people -- please read and review so I can POST PART II !!!!! I can't wait to post that chapter!

It's the chapter to change EVERYTHING!

EEEK! (X-D) I'm so excited for it!

So please read and review and then I'll post the second-part of this chapter, and then the fun really begins!

-- CK bounces happily around the room, passing out cookies and treats galore to everyone—

Enjoy guys! And thanks for everything you've done to help me with this fic!

--- Love from, CK

Chapter 12

After Max II had placed the ice on Lissa's forehead and Iggy had put some funny lotion on her bruises, Max II finally told the Flock the whole story.

"So wait, you're telling me that the School somehow knew that Lissa had kissed Fang and gotten the bloodlust-thing, and so they sent you to monitor her? And they get you to tell them what happens to her so they can find out more about the bloodlust thing?" Nudge said, eyes wide and curious.

"Pretty much," my clone said. "I volunteered to it though, knowing that if anyone else did it, it would seem weird. Lissa's parents are work-a-holics and are rarely home, so she takes care of herself.

I've been pretending to be you Max, saying that our family is back in town for another missionary-thing and that I wanted to help take care of her until she gets better. I know, it's a brown-nosing thing to say, but her parents bought it, so we're set. Like I was saying before, since I'm switching out with you, you'll need to cook –"

"Iggy will cook" I re-stated.

My cooking would only make Lissa worse, I knew that for sure.

My clone seemed revolted by the idea of Iggy cooking, but nodded silently.

"Right, well then, Iggy will cook and someone needs to give her these four pills a day -- two after breakfast, two before bed. We all know they're useless on the bloodlust, but it makes Lissa feel reassured that she could get better, so don't actually mention the little fact that she could die, aright? Good."

"So wait, are you working for The School?" Iggy asked suspiciously.

"No" my clone said. "They don't know that I'm escaping their little club as soon as I can and I've been feeding them fake information about Lissa's condition so they can't read anything from her or the bloodlust-virus."

"Read her? How do you read someone?" Angel asked curiously.

My clone frowned harshly, her eyes flashing. "They're using Lissa as a lab-rat. They were definitely surprised when they found out she had bloodlust, but then thought it would interesting to….study her, and to see how bloodlust affects humans and...Well, to put, it simply…"

"They want to see what Lissa's symptoms are and how long it'll take her to die" Fang said, his voice hard and cold.

I felt a wave of anger and hate go through me at the thought of the whitecoats treating Lissa – who was innocent – like a simple, worthless experiment.

Like they had treated us.

"Yeah" Max II agreed, still frowning. "Anyways, before I leave tough, I need to make sure you guys know what you're doing – Lissa can not know that anything has changed. You have to act just like I've been doing for the last few weeks. Okay?"

"Fair enough" I admitted.

"Perfect. Okay then…well, Iggy, you can come with me and I'll show you the kitchen, Max, I need you to keep an eye on Lissa, and Fang…"

Max II grinned evilly at him.

"…I need you to get groceries for tomorrow, here's the list" she said, handing him a ridiculous long list folded over a dozen times or so.

Fang just shot her a glare and raised an eyebrow silently.

"Consider this payback for locking me out" she said. "Have fun! And don't be too long! We need those groceries for dinner in an hour!"

Max II chucked him a thick brown wallet, and Fang caught it with ease. He looked over the list before tucking that and the wallet into his pocket and silently walked out the door.

Well, this is gonna be interesting… I thought to myself, turning after Fang had closed the door to survey the house.

I never thought I'd be taking care of Lissa of all people, but hey, it can't be that bad, right?

And of course, that was when I heard Gazzy blow something up in the next room.

Scratch that, this is going be brutal… I admitted.

--- Fang's POV ---

Stupid list… I muttered mentally, finally grabbing the last thing on the list – cereal.

I threw it in the cart, feeling ridiculous for wandering around a way too big supermarket with way too many isles and way too many smiling employees.

I ignored the fact that the cart was piled at least two feet higher than the sides of the cart with random foods I had thrown in there, glaring as I saw yet another employee try to approach me, smiling sweetly, to tell me that I needed to get another cart.

The guy quickly backed away and his smile disappeared as he turned around to bug someone else, leaving me and my pile of food alone.

I couldn't help but smirk a little to myself.

Who knew that my dark clothes and dark hair could be good for something other than hiding from Erasers? Scaring off annoying store employees was a bonus.

I approached an empty register, seeing the woman look around nervously as I approached her.

Then again, maybe the dark clothes are a little too intimidating sometimes, I don't blend very well…

I saw something from the corner of my eye and stopped on my way to the register.

Chocolate-chip cookies -- the make-at-home-in-the-oven kind.

And they had "extra chocolate chips" apparently.

Max would love those.

I immediately grabbed two packages.

Then again, Max could probably eat these on her own...

I grabbed three more.

That might be enough…for Iggy and I…but the rest of the Flock will want some too…

Making up my mind, I grabbed nine more packages before going to the register.

Here's hoping Lissa's parents don't mind spending money on chocolate-chip-cookies…

After paying, I quickly left the store as people started to give me suspicious second-glances.

But of course, being a mutant teen who was forced to grocery shop by the revenge-bent clone of your 'not-really-but-sort-of' girlfriend/ Flock mate, I made the brilliant discovery that when you grew up like I did, you don't learn how to drive.

And the revenge-bent clone of your Flock-mate never bothers to volunteer to drive you either.

So I was forced to carry 16 bags of groceries.

On my own.

Back to Lissa's house.

Which was a quick flight, but a long walk from the grocery store.

My strength is 10x better than that of a human's, so carrying the bags wasn't a problem, but since I couldn't fly back (like I had flown to the store) the walk was going to be brutal.

And I was going to get Max II back for this if it killed me.

Growling in irritation, I walked quickly but smoothly, thinking of little things on my way – like how I needed the perfect plan to get back at Max II…

…what Max's reaction was going to be when she found out I'd gotten so many cookies…

…what Lissa's reaction was going to be when she woke up to six of us in her house…

… whether Angel had been using her mind powers to manipulate people lately --

I collided with something suddenly, dropping two bags, and heard a surprised noise come from in front of me, only to find a girl sitting on her butt in front of me.


"Sorry!" she muttered sheepishly and quickly kneeled to pick up some of the fallen groceries.

I knelt down beside her, throwing things back into the bag and seeing with irritation that some of the cookie packages had fallen out.

One was already open and cookie dough was smushed into the sidewalk. I glared at the cookie dough as if it were the cause of all of this, muttering curses under my breath. It was then that I realised the girl was starring at me intently.

The girl just continued to look at me, seeming surprised as I met her gaze.

I looked her over quickly for any possible sign of Eraser-morphage, but there were none.

She looked pretty ordinary – bright blonde hair, medium-height, slender build, and no sign of a sudden wolfish muzzle appearing on her face.

"Sorry" she said again, snapping my gaze back to her face.

She smiled sheepishly at me, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear as she handed me a fallen package of chocolate-chip cookies.

"I didn't mean to run into you, it was an accident."

I just nodded at her and took the package from her, preparing to turn and leave, but her voice stopped me.

"It was nice though, running into you Fang" she said.

I turned back to look at her calmly.

Inside though, I was going through possible escape routes, wondering if I had ever seen this girl before, and how on earth she knew my name.

As if she could read my thoughts, she suddenly spoke again,. Tucking her hair from her eyes and standing as she flashed me a smile.

"I'm Ari, just so you know" she said, still smiling.

You have got to be kidding me... I thought.

"Ari Ochli " she continued, "Well, my real name is Arianna, but I like Ari better."

Inwardly, I relaxed and nodded at her, not trusting myself to speak, and then turned again to leave.

"Well, at least I'm hoping your Fang…" she quickly continued. "I've been reading your blog for a while now and I'm behind you and The Flock 100. Its amazing what you guys have been through and best of luck with everything in the future."

I was surprised to say the least, but turned back to her again and nodded once more, muttering a brief 'thanks', and watching her smile at me eerily.

She looked like those employees back at the store -- too polite and too sweet to be sincere.

"Nice to see you in person Fang. Good luck with everything!"

And then out of the blue, the most random, unexpected, crazy, and unpredictable thing happened.

She yanked me forwards and smashed her lips to mine.

Kissing me.

I was momentarily stunned by her sudden weight on me – despite the fact that she weighed practically nothing compared to an Eraser -- and yet, I hesitated.

Don't ask me why, but I hesitated.

She was human after all, and weak and scrawny compared to me or Max, and if I gripped her or pushed her off to hard I could snap her arms by mistake.

But in that spilt-second that I hesitated, she slipped her tongue between my lips.

Screw it. Broken arms can heal.

I shoved her off hard and she stumbled backwards, falling onto her behind as I quickly wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, looking down at her, my eyes blazing with anger.

She looked up at me in fear, whimpered, and quickly looked away. I almost growled but suppressed the urge.

I could still taste watermelon lip-gloss she was wearing and smell lavender perfume all around me.

I wanted to gag.

But again, suppressed the urge.

"What …the hell… was that?" I hissed, my voice cold and chilling as ice.

She was blushing a dark-red and stumbled for words.

Don't you dare ignore the question… I thought to myself angrily

"I uh…well, I umm…just… I uh…"

She practically jumped to her feet and stumbled to stand upright in her panic.

"S-Sorry, I gotta go!" she said quickly, running past me.

I wanted to chase her, spin her around and demand she give me an answer, but I was still too stunned that I had just been kissed by a random girl named Ari and that I was still holding a slightly-deformed package of cookies to try and grab her.

"Forget this" I muttered to myself, and began to walk again, mumbling to myself all the way.

Hehehehe...this is only the first part of this chapter, the second part explains EVERYTHING!

And I'm so excited for it! This is finally where the plot picks up and the danger and Faxness really begin !!!

My creation is once again alive! ALIVE!!!!!


--CK bounces around, giving off an evil but overly-excited simle --

So, please review so I can post the next chapter!

I really really want case the yelling and screaming didn't give it away...

Teheehee... YE-ES!

Scream if you want the next chapter up !!!! I do, so please review !


( :-D)

13. The Kiss xxx Part II


I've been waiting patiently to do this (this is my favourite chaptrer so far!) -- and now I can finally post it !!!! YES!!!

I really hope you guys like this chapter as much I liked writing it!


Enjoy guys!

And keep up the amazing comments! You guys inspire me write this stuff, so thank you!

(:-D) -- CK gives everyone another glomp --

(And you know, an extra thanks to all those who gave me brilliant plot ideas and Faxness ideas...which reminds me, I never did tell you guys who you were...I better start on that. LOL, oops.)


-- Love from, CK

Chapter 13

--- Fang's POV ---

It was gross.

As I kept walking, that girl's stupid watermelon lip-gloss kept ending up in my mouth, making me gag and wipe it off my lips repeatedly.

Yet no matter how many times I ran my hand over my mouth, the taste stayed there. And it became weirder, like there were other fruits in there besides watermelon…

After a point, I started tasting oranges as I walked, except it didn't really taste like an orange -- it was sweeter somehow...

Peaches… I realised randomly. But why the heck would someone make a peach-watermelon lip-gloss? Is that even a real fruit combination? Weird…

but Max tastes like peaches, and I don't mind her taste so much…the taste of her lips and her tongue are so much sweeter than real peaches… or that stupid lip-gloss…

her taste is less sugary, more real…with more an underlining spice to it…and kissing her is much better than any--

I stopped walking and shook my head in disbelief.

Did I just?…no… you're losing it Fang, get a grip on yourself!... I mentally scolded.

But as I kept walking, the reminder of how sweet Max tasted and how she tasted like peaches just kept coming back.

I couldn't get rid of it.

To be honest, I didn't think I wanted to be rid of it…

To make things worse, I was starting to sweat in the sun, which meant the food was getting hot too. That meant that the cookie-dough was going to melt and that some of the food might melt or spoil too.

Oh crap... I thought, realising another bad thing about the groceries.

I had bought fruit – including peaches.

And in the heat, I could smell them more than anything. And I could swear I could almost start to smell Max after a while, I could smell her scent…hear her voice…picture her face…

It was so stupid and so random, but why was she in all of my thoughts!?

Because it's Max…I told myself. She's always in your head…she's too unforgettable to leave your head…and you like her in your head, you can't deny it…

I stopped, looking over my shoulder as I could swear I heard Max's voice call my name. I shook my head again, cracking my neck and forcing myself to focus.

"You're really losing it, Fang..." I muttered, and started to run for Lissa's, knowing that if I didn't, I really was going to go crazy thinking of Max.

->- Max's POV ->-

"Great…" I muttered to myself in frustration, wandering down the street and looking for any sign of Fang.

My clone had gotten picky and wanted Fang home fast so she could teach Iggy how to cook "properly" (as she called it) and then told me to go find him and get him to hurry up.

I reluctantly left the rest of my Flock back at the house (but not before mentioning that Iggy could kick my clone's butt in cooking any day and calling her a few names under my breath that didn't belong in PG movie.)

I saw movement from the corner of my eye and instinctively focused in on it, only to see a dark haired guy throwing his arms around and shaking his head ridiculously a short distance from me on the sidewalk.

Who let the crazy guy out ? I wondered to myself, watching him and grinning to myself at his actions.

Until I realised that the crazy guy was actually my crazy guy as I suddenly recognised the dark hoodie he was wearing.

I swore under my breath and ran forward towards him, causing Fang's head to snap up to meet mine when he heard my footsteps approaching him.

"Max?' he said, seeming stunned and way out of it.

I opened my mouth to give him a smart reply but he cut me off, blinking and looking away, muttering to himself.

"I'm definitely going crazy…or hallucinating, yeah…"

"Do hallucinations do this ?" I asked, clipping him over the head lightly with my hand.

He turned to re-face me so fast I almost jumped back (almost being the key word there -- Fang's not that scary. We all know he's a softie…at least we think so, we just never tried asking. We value our lives, thank-you-very-much.)

"Max? Wait, you're here?" he said. I raised an eyebrow at him, wondering when he had started talking so much and making no sense at all.

"No, I'm not here" I shot back, "I'm actually back at Lissa's but decided to use my Jedi mind powers to send you a hologram of myself…of course I'm here, Fang!"

He seemed stunned, but a familiar calmness settled into his eyes as he walked forward to me, relaxing himself into his usual lazy stance.

"So, why are you here? Miss me that much?" he asked.

"You wish!" I scoffed back, watching him smirk.

Well, he seems okay now… I thought. But something seems weird about him…not just the random talks he keeps having with himself…

"So, what happened to you?" I asked sarcastically, looking over his dishevelled appearance (ignoring the fact that we always looked dishevelled covered in dirt, sweat, grime, and baggy clothes.)

A good question, Maximum… after all, what you don't know is always something that you may soon need to know …

You're back !? Oh man…for goodness sakes, quit it with Dr. Seuss rhymes and just spit out what happened! I know that you know the answer already... I muttered mentally.

Then it hit me like a brick to the face.

I pulled back from Fang immediately, glancing over him with suspicion and confusion as I suddenly realised what seemed so weird about him.

What the !?...

"Fang, why the hell do you smell like…lavender?" I asked, wrinkling my nose as the smell invaded my nose again. It was weaker than when I'd been close to him, but it was still strong enough to smell in the air.

And it smelled gross, to be honest.

"It's nothing..." he muttered, moving closer to me again, his eyes low and bright with an unknown emotion.

I took two steps back to counter the two steps he took forward, causing him to frown.

And as he frowned, another weird thing about him hit me.

My eyes went wide and, in a very unladylike gesture (which was rare for me – yeah right -- ), and I let my mouth drop open and shoved my finger in his face.

"Fang…are you wearing lip-gloss!?" I said, pointing in disgust and openly gawking at him.

"Whoa…seriously Fang, I know that the new thing with boy-bands is to wear eyeliner and make-up, but seriously, you wearing lip-gloss – okay, scratch that…you wearing make-up-- is just weird, Fang- chesca…"

I chuckled at my own joke, knowing that Fang was likely to be irritated at me – but you have to admit, that was a great insult. I smirked devilishly at him and I was already prepared for a rude comeback or a glare from Fang, as I had already thought of a good comeback.

A moment of silence passed between us, and it remained there. It stretched on and on until my cheeky smirk faltered and slowly fell from my face, my emotion going from humoured to nervous as the silence became thicker.

"Umm…Fang? You do realize I just called you a drag-queen right? " I said, raising an eyebrow. "So unless you deny it or you know, call me an idiot or something, then I'm gonna get a little creeped out ..."

Fang looked over me, eyes flickering over different parts of my form, meeting my eyes with a smoky, calm glance but he made no sound and no movement to glare or scoff at me.

"And now I'm officially creeped out…" I finished, looking around hesitantly.

Ok-ay, what's going on with Fang?...

What do you think is going on?... My Voice asked silkily.

Either Fang has suddenly decided that men wearing make-up is an okay thing – which, I really doubt, since both of us have agreed that any guy that wears eyeliner is denying something about his sexuality…

Very funny and very mature, Maximum… my Voice said.

Gee, thanks… I shot back.

Think harder, Maximum…

You're not just going to tell me why he's wearing lip-gloss?...

Silence answered me.

Great, I didn't think so…well fine then, some saleswoman attacked him with lip-gloss and told him that he had to buy it for his mother?

Maximum…the Voice hissed warningly. I grinned (just a little) to myself.

Fine, fine…she wanted him to buy the lip-gloss for his sister?... I volunteered again, just to piss off the Voice.

I was rewarded with a sharp throb of pain in my temple as proof that I had, indeed, pissed off the Voice.

"Are you hurt?" Fang asked, suddenly appearing at my side in that weird, 'dark-shadow-silently-appearing-behind-you' way of walking he had.

"I'm fine" I said quickly, relieving a little of my tension at hearing Fang talk again. He sounded normal at least.

"I can help with the pain……don't want you in pain……no……won't be too long. …..…too rough……I'll be careful.. …….be good……careful……yeah……very good, very careful... … … I will………promise…"

Ok-ay, well he had sounded normal a second ago...

"What the heck are you taking about? You sound like that creature off of Lord of The Rink or Ring, or whatever it's called" I told him, shooting him a quizzical look that clearly told him I thought he was crazy.

My next sentence was forgotten and my expression died on my face.

It can't be…there's no way…he and I…oh come on! You have got to be kidding me!.

Fang was starring at me with passionate, slitted, cat-like pupils.

Bloodlust pupils.

Which meant Fang was in bloodlust somehow.

I swore out loud, still not moving in confusion as Fang suddenly grabbed the back of my head and pulled me against his lithe, strong body.

I could feel his breath suddenly on my lips and acted on pure instinct.

I threw my fist back before slamming it hard into his nose and bolted away from him as he released me to clutch his broken nose in pain.

I swore loudly this time, running as hard and as fast as I could, knowing that when Fang realised I'd broken his nose he was going to hunt me down and show no mercy in kicking my scrawny butt.

VOICE! I mentally shouted, feeling my temper rise long with my confusion and my panic.

You screamed for me ?... my Voice responded smugly.


Correct…you were slow in your realization, but otherwise correct in your conclusion…


You need to think on your own…a person is only as strong as their will, and your will is what you're going to need more than anything in order to fulfill your destiny…

Oh yeah, well right now, I'm willing you to help me out of this and I'm willing to bet that Fang doesn't really care about what I want right now!

You cannot afford to constantly rely on myself or your Flock to save you at every bad situation…use your will to solve this problem, Maximum…it will not any easier when you have to save the world Maximum...

True, but somehow, when I picture myself saving the world and all that jazz, I highly doubt Fang will be trying to force me to French-kiss him while we're saving the planet!


Gee, thanks for that Sherlock! Any other comments you'd like to make?!

Move to your right…

Why the heck do—

And that when Fang side-swiped me.

My head the hit brick wall behind me and I muttered a low 'ouch', before feeling my hands become pinned to the wall by a pair of cold hands at the same time my legs were forced to the wall by another set of legs.

I looked up slightly to meet a slitted, hungry pair of brown eyes framed by wild, dishevelled black hair. A low growl escaped his throat as his gaze flicked over my form.

"Oh (insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here)" I muttered, jerking my hands forward suddenly to try to throw off his hold.

I could've tried punching the brick wall and gotten father than I did with trying to escape from Fang.

"Umm…heal boy?" I offered weakly in protest, trying to free my arms and legs while also trying to avoid Fang's freaky gaze and the panicked rate of my heart.

He snarled as if I'd insulted him, showing of a pair of fangs (oddly enough) and growled in warning from deep in his chest.

"Umm, sit boy? Stay? Roll over? Play dead? Release Max from being pinned to the wall before she gets really mad and beats the crap out of you…boy? "

"You wish" he breathed out, chuckling darkly, and I looked at him in surprise.

"You can talk during bloodlust !? Not just growl and hiss? But –"

And then a pair of hungry, warm lips shut me up before I could remember what I was trying to say….


Thanks for all the patience and amazing reviews/comments up to this point guys!

-- CK glomps everyone --

... But now, the real story starts !


After all, how the heck is Max supposed to save Lissa from dying, keep an eye on Fang, and watch out for any other twists all at once!?

Stay tuned if you wanna find out!

(LOL. I sound like a broadcaster on a soap opera. I love it! Hehehehe...)


First off let me just say, I'M BACK! AND I MISSED YOU ALL!!!

--CK glomps everyone--

As for me not posting in what feels like years, let me explain.

Long story short : my e-mail account on hotmail got deleted. It turns out one of those e-mails that gets sent around saying 'you must forward this to 15 ppl or your account gets shut down. Rawr.' was true. I found this out too late. XC

And because my hotmail account is my access to this account, I couldn't get into this account.

GRR! ( X-C) STUPID (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here) HOTMAIL !

--deep, calming breath. blows it out angrily--

And because of the above, I had to repost all of my stories on a new account. --sobs –

So I sincerely apologize to all of you because of that.

I am a lazy – as in Shikamaru (before the chunnin exams) lazy! -- when it comes to posting, but I've seen the error of my ways. X-C

And I know that I have a truckload of e-mails from people asking me why I wasn't posting on this fic and I felt like yelling :

" I can't!!! I'm trying but it won't let me!!! It keeps saying 'talk to the hand because I ain't listenin!' PLEASE DON'T TAKE AWAY THE COOKIES AND THE LOVE !!!"

--cries in a corner—

Finally, in a stroke of madness (that I still can't remember how I accomplished) I managed to e-mail one of the admins. to rant about how my account had shut down and wouldn't let me in.

And somehow, this person is a god/goddess in disguise as they did some kind-of magic mumbo-jumbo, e-mailed me back and said 'try it now', and my account works.






And once more, sorry about all the bad, bad, shamefulness I did of not posting and being lazy. And that i think I'm currently strung out on stressor relief. Or both.

-- Lots of overwhelming love from, CK

15. Sometimes Leaving Is For The Best

Hey guys! --hugs--

This chapter should please most of you -- seeing as how I want this to be an apology gift for all of my laziness on this fic. LOL.

I went through some writer's block and a crappy account-malfunction on this chapter, but I hope this works out.

--CK crosses her fingers hopefully--

It has Faxness (naturally), angst, mystery, lovers-spats, and heartbreak. It should be ... -ahem-- worthy of your liking.

... Or so I hope. XD

Anyways, let me know how it is guys! And remember, if you have any comments or criticism, I appreciate hearing them.

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 14

To say I was stunned would have been an understatement. But to be honest, that didn't really matter. All it took was Fang to force my lips to his,t and all my thoughts went out the window.

His lips were demanding on my own, but less savage than I expected. His wiry arms had me pinned to him, but it still felt like we weren't close enough, so I pulled roughly on his shirt to fix that. He made a low, husky noise of approval before his lips were back on mine. He nipped at my bottom lip playfully before I nipped at his in revenge.

The kisses became hotter, more teasing, and more aggressive after that.

Somewhere along the line, I felt myself slip into bloodlust like him, and realized that I didn't care.

Fang's lips were just like him -- dark but sweet. And utterly addictive.

I couldn't remember through the haze of kisses, why on earth I had gone so long without kissing these lips. Tasting them. Devouring them.

Fang's tongue slipped into my mouth and I moaned appreciatively, hardly believing that I was making such weird sounds. Normally, I would've pushed him off of me and yelled at him for this. But because of the bloodlust, I just gripped his shoulders even harder and did my hardest to make him emit some sounds too.

To my pleasure, he did, and the sounds were pure music to my ears.

I have no idea how long we stayed in that alleyway, kissing and pulling and pushing with our hands all over each other in a strange wave of bloodlust. But then Fang pulled his lips from mine gently, and I could almost hear the hiss of disappointment he uttered before he flung himself back from me.

I was tempted to whimper, but as my senses returned to me, I bit my tongue to silence it. I wanted to ask why he stopped, but then saw for myself why he'd stopped and I felt myself blush a dark crimson.

Somehow, without me recognizing it, my sweatshirt had been tossed off and shirt had been pulled up to the top of my ribs. I could feel that my hair was standing in a messy array and realized I was gripping something thin and black in my hands.

Fang's shirt.

I let out a very uncharacteristic yelp and yanked my own shirt down to it's usual position, blushing darkly in complete embarrassment. I made the mistake of looking up at Fang, and had to grip the edges of his shirt with white knuckles in order to not slip into bloodlust again.

He was shirtless, which I assumed I had done, but couldn't remember. His pale, flawless chest was heaving with deep breaths, and almost unwillingly, my eyes were drawn to the defined planes of his chest. I was entranced, watching the muscles in his chest and abdomen as they expanded...then contracted...expand...contract...expand...

I quickly drew my eyes away, but still caught sight of Fang's dark blush and thick messy hair standing off to one side. Somehow, he still looked completely controlled and sexy as sin while standing there. I didn't have to look to the floor to know that his sweatshirt was laying somewhere in the dirt with my own.

He cleared his throat awkwardly, the dark red blush still staining his cheekbones and the bridge of his nose, standing out against his pale skin. I knew that my face probably looked similar. Trying to avoid any more awkwardness,I gently handed him back his shirt.

Our eyes met and we both nodded in silent communication, picking up and rearranging our clothes till we both looked like we had before entering the alley. Quiet murmurs of "thanks" and "sorry about that" were the only real word spoken at this time as we took in the damage we'd done.

Somehow, my nails had raked across through Fang's shirt, leaving five long slashes from his shoulder to his waist. The shirt was pretty much a rag now, but he threw it on anyways. My own shirt didn't look any better, having been ripped up both sides to my ribs, making it look more like a baby-doll shirt than the hard-rock shirt it was meant to be. The zipper on my sweatshirt was gone, and the large pockets in Fang's had been ripped through.

Once we were both "re-dressed", I turned to Fang in order to tell him exactly why I'd come down here for him.

Except, embarrassingly enough,I couldn't remember.

"I'm leaving you and the Flock again" Fang said, breaking my thought.

There was a split second of silence.

"Hell no! You are not leaving again, bird boy!" I shouted at him, feeling my temper suddenly flare. Screw why I had come down here, wast mattered now was that Fang was not going to leave us again.

Especially since he owed my a new shirt.

Fang just looked back at me coolly, his eyes both apologetic and determined.

"I'm leaving. Look, don't try to stop me --"

"Fang! Are you even listening to yourself – you sound like a bad Leo DiCaprio. And if you leave, then you better believe I'm stopping you. If I have to break a few of your bones in the process, oh well, you'll heal. After all, you're tough like that, right?"

I could feel the words coming out of my mouth venomously, but it sounded like a completely different voice coming from my body.

I ignored the swell of worry in my stomach that had been growing since he'd said he was leaving, opting to yell at him instead.

(What? It made sense to me. The whole 'If you can't say anything nice, then don't be nice', and all that moral stuff…)

"I'm. Leaving." He told me again, his tone angry and cold now. Which only made me angrier.

"Look here, I'm the leader Fang!" I hissed at him threateningly. "Not you. If I say 'do a U and A', you do a U and A! If I say 'jump', you ask 'how high?' If I tell you to 'get your brooding-butt over here and to stay', you will 'get your brooding-butt over here and stay'!"

His dark eyes met mine as they flashed defiantly.

"Try me" he challenged lowly, and my entire body tensed to do just that. But I held back for the sake of a group of people I say walk past the alley where we were hiding.

Suddenly, as the group was directly in front of our hiding spot, Fang pulled the zipper down on his jacket and unfurled his wings.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, you idiot!?" I snapped at him as quietly as I could while still getting my angry tone across. I dove forward to hit him, but he quickly side-stepped me.

I turned, stepping with him.

"We're barely out of sight and it's broad daylight, Sherlock! What are you gonna do, just fly up and wreck everything we're been trying to hide?"

"They know what we are here, Max. Remember when we left school? Normal school."

I briefly flashed back to when the six of us had taken off from the school Anne had enrolled us in. That one freaky teacher and his Eraser friends had tried to kill us (like that was new) and we'd been forced to fly off with the entire school watching.

"Of course I remember! But that doesn't mean you have to –"

I stopped as a thought struck me. I froze in place, not daring to move or think in case the thought left me.

I was thinking about Lissa, lying in bed back at the house. It was so…odd. But perfectly so. Like it was planned --

I could see Fang looking at me still, and distantly saw his eyes begin to narrow in worry when I didn't move for a long minute.

"Fang, how many times have you e-mailed Lissa?" I asked suddenly. A raised eyebrow was my only answer. A silent 'why-are-you-asking?' was clearly etched on his face.

"Did Lissa ever ask you about that?"

"About what?"

"The day we took off from the school!" I said, feeling impatient. "She saw us take flight right in front of her at school, so I want to know did she ever ask you about it? Ask you how or why you suddenly sprouted a pair of wings and flew off?"

Recognition flickered in Fang's dark eyes.

"No" he said. I almost grinned, but suppressed it.

"That's my point! Doesn't that seem odd to you? I mean, how many people, after seeing a group of kids sprout wings and fly off into sunset, would just sit there and not ask any questions? Why hasn't she asked us anything about it yet?"

I saw Fang's eyes turn hard as if I'd offended him.

"Maybe because she didn't want to be rude. Plus, she's currently unconscious, which would explain that" he defended. I felt my stomach sink at his tone.

He was taking Lissa's side over mine.

Fang always took my side.


"Fang, but what if she – " I protested.

"Max, have you ever thought about the fact that Lissa is sick and alone right now?" he growled out. "You heard your clone -- her parents are gone all the time. Did you ever stop to think that maybe she's glad to have someone there to help her? Even if it is someone with wings?"

"Fang! Just stop for a sec, okay? Are you even hearing yourself!? –"

"Max! Enough!" he barked suddenly, wings expanding in anger and making hi look like the angel of death. "

I've had enough of you accusing her of every little thing that goes wrong! She's human, Max. She's normal. She's not going to attack us! So get over yourself and stop being so jealous just because you'll never be as good as her!"

I inhaled sharply, gasping before I could stop myself.

My ears were ringing and my gut was tight like I'd been stabbed. I wish I'd been stabbed … the pain couldn't possibly have been worse than this.

I saw Fang's eyes widen as soon as he realized what he'd said. I was turned away from him before he could say anything else though. He was not going to see how much pain I was in. He was not going to have the pleasure of seeing me cry.

Not now, or ever again.

Especially not over that.

"M-Max – "

"I'm going back to the house. Feel free to take off if you want to. No-one cares."

My words were icy, controlled, but sounded confident and like that of a leader's.

Still, I refused to let Fang see the tears welling up in my eyes as I extended my own wings, not giving a damn about anything anymore. I took off into the air, blocking out all sounds but the ringing in my ears and the painful thudding of my heart.

"By the way, I think this little 'relationship' we have, needs to end" I spat at him, my voice still (thankfully) sounding icy and commanding.

"We aren't 'boyfriend and girlfriend', Fang. Who are we kidding? We never were. So let's stop pretending, and if you want… you can have your precious Lissa all to yourself."

Without another word, I sped away from him and out of sight.

My pride wouldn't let me look back.

So, yeah... That's how this chapter ends.

Thank you guys for all of the support and love throught the fic!

I hope this makes up for my lack of posting.


Just don't kill me for breaking up Fang and Max.

16. Beauty, The Beast, and The Angel

Hi guys! I'm back once again. No more laziness, as promised.

-- A halo appears over CK's head for being so good as to follow her commitment —

LOL. I'm far from being angelic, but moving on –

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who welcomed me back to my account and to everyone who reviewed on the last chapter. --hugs--

And I know that this chapter is kinda short and a little dull, but trust me, there's a reason for it. Honest.

--shifty eyes--

Anyways, enjoy guys. : D And please review!

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 15

I'd used my newest ability to take a quick flight over to the Whitehouse. I'd circled the giant building at least six times, naming off every shade of white I could think of as I looked down at it, but it hadn't done any good.

I stalked into Lissa's house, hardly loking at where I was going or who I was walking past because of how depressed I was feeling. I felt sick to my stomach and completely lost in depression.

All because Fang was being –

Don't even think about him, I warned myself. He's not worth it. The traitor….

"It's not my fault I'm not like your little 'beauty' upstairs" I muttered bitterly. "Not my fault that she's beautiful, wonderful Belle and I'm stuck as the ugly, horrible Beast."

I kicked a random object as I stormed past, not caring as I saw it sail cross the room to hit Gazzy square in the back where he was innocently watching TV. But then I felt guilt flood into me, catching Gazzy's eyes as he rubbed his back and mouthing 'sorry' when he looked my way.

I sighed, feeling immature and childish now. But no matter what I did – no matter how many names I called Fang and Lissa in my head (I can tell you right now, that none of them were names used in Sunday School) -- the depressed feeling came back. Again and again.

… Okay, so maybe 'feeling depressed' was a huge understatement.

But I dare you to summarize 'I'm-pissed-off-and-tired-not-to-mention-neurotic-over-the-fact-that-my-ex-boyfrend-who-also-used-to-be-my-best-friend-and-my-only-support-in-the-Flock-just-told-me-that-he-thinks-I'm-useless-and-apparently-too-much-for-him-to-handle-and-he'd-rather-have-a-pretty-redhead-and-I'm-still-hurt-by-it-even-though-I-could-see-this-coming-like-a-trainwreck..'

In two words or less.

Just so we're clear, (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here) Fang and (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here) me, don't count.

…yeah, I didn't think you could figure something out either.

(Don't get offended. Some things just can't be done.)

I looked around, smelling Iggy cooking something delicious and hearing Gazzy laugh along with whatever was on TV. Nudge and Max II were talking about something in excited voices.

My heart leapt into my throat at having my Flock so happy and carefree. But I felt horrible, like I didn't belong now that I was depressed. I couldn't even remember why I returned.

"I need more air" I told myself, heading for the back door. Suddenly, two big blue eyes and a blonde head of curls stepped in front of me.

"Where are you going?' Angel asked, looking up at me. I sighed, knowing that she'd get the truth out of me sooner or later. The girl was a mind-reader after all, it's not like I could hide anything from her…especially when she was using her Bambi eyes….

"I'm going out. I'm getting away for a while."

"What? But why?" she cried out. I patted her head without actually feeling it, walking past her.

"Let's just say that Fang and I… had a fight. It's kind-of like when you and Gazzy fight – rare, but really bad. "

I saw her walk up beside me, fidgeting and dying to say something. I quickly kept going to avoid hearing her say anything else. I could never say no to Angel when she used her Bambi eyes and when she pleaded with me. Right now, I knew both were in full effect and could be used at any time to stop me.

But I had to leave, I had to breathe. If only for a little while longer…

"But hey, we'll get through it. No worries. I just need to get away from here and away from Fang. I'm just gonna take another flight, Angel, to get some air – "

"B-But! Y-You're not gonna leave us, are you?' Angel suddenly cried out, tears threatening to spill over her cheeks.

I whipped around to face her in shock. Leave the Flock ? Where had she gotten that idea ?

"NO! Of course not! I'd never leave you guys – ever. You guys are everything to me. Duh."

I saw the tears in Angel's eyes increase, and I flitted around her nervously, not knowing what to say or do to stop them.

"You promise?" she asked desperately.

"I promise."

I leaned down to tug at her pigtails and pat her head softly again. This time I felt it, the soft strands of her hair under my palm and the tension in her small neck. She grinned at me sheepishly, relaxing, and I was relieved to see the tears fade back into her baby-blues.

Crying crisis : Averted.

"Well….okay…" she said quietly, watching me head towards the back door. "Oh! But wait, take this with you, Max!"

A folded, waxy piece of paper was roughly shoved into my hand.

"What is this?" I asked, looking at Angel curiously. To my surprise, she blushed and just smiled, pushing it further into my hands.

"Open it" she said softly.

I nodded, recognizing that she was embarrassed about whatever it was. I unfolded the paper and smoothed it out, my eyes locked on the image.

I couldn't deny it – the picture took my breath away.

It was a painting of a beautiful girl flying – an angel. She had pure white wings flecked with grey, and her carefree face was surrounded by a pile of golden hair. She looked so alive. So free.

"That's the picture I wanted to show you!" Angel said insistently, still looking bashful. "I found it in one of the books I was looking at in the library, and I thought she looked just like you. So I umm…"

Angel fidgeted nervously, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear and biting her lip as though ashamed.

"So I….I ripped it out. And I know I shouldn't have but she just looked so pretty and perfect and just like you! I kept it in my pocket all the way from New York and it's not even damaged! And I know that ripping it out was wrong, but are you … happy with it?"

I couldn't even speak I was so happy.

There was no way I would ever look as beautiful as this winged-girl did, but the fact that Angel saw something about her that was similar to me was amazing. Not to mention, it was a huge compliment. I didn't know what to say – I mean, just saying 'thank you' was way too lame for something like this.

So I hugged her as hard as I could, hearing her laugh at my enthusiasm, then kissed the top of her head as I cradled her to me. My little girl always knew what to say to make me feel better.

"How'd I end up with such a perfect little angel like you?" I asked aloud, watching said angel smile cheekily at the compliment. I grinned back.

"Thanks sweetie. I'll keep it with me when I'm gone and I'll bring it back to you in perfect condition too. Then, I'll come back, we'll eat some of Iggy's amazing food, then, you, me, Nudge, and maybe Max II will have some 'girl time' where we throw things at the boys and talk about how we kick their butts at everything. Oh, and I'll tell you guys all about why Fang is going to bekissing my feet for the next six years of his miserable life. Sound good?"

"Sounds good" Angel replied, still smiling. "But are you and Fang? – "

"We'll be fine" I told her, ignoring the painful clench of disappointment in my stomach.

I hadn't lied to her – per say. Fang and I would be fine, just like I told her.

Except that I didn't know when we would be okay – tomorrow? Next week? Next year? The instant before we both go 'kaput'?

And when we were okay, we would be okay as two broken up, no longer best friends, and Fang would have a non-avian girl to hang all over him.

But I couldn't let Angel know that. It would've crushed her.

So I just smiled reassuringly and shrugged off my jacket go prepare for my flight.

"That's good" Angel said in relief. "And, Max, I'm glad you like the picture. She really does look like you…"

I laughed, smiling again. Angel really did know exactly what to say to make me feel better about everything that had happened today.

"I wish I looked like her. But I can tell you one thing right now – I bet this winged-girl doesn't know how to do corkscrews in the air."

Angel giggled and I gave her a wink before reluctantly letting her go. Then I stepped outside, closing the door behind me. I unfurled my wings, inhaling the cool, crisp air from the sun setting as I took off into the wind, and towards the sun.

The next chapter will be longer, but I thought I should post this for now. I left you all on a mean cliffie at the end of the last chapter, so I thought I'd give you a break with this.

…cause the cliffie at the end of the next chapter is horrible. And that picture will come into play...

--mysterious smile--

Anyways, I just wanted to give a special thank you to everyone who wrote reviews on the last chapter that I especially liked. (:D)

Whether it was because you called Fang a funny name, twitched the entire time you reviewed, made me laugh, made me smile, and/or made me feel horrible for breaking up Max and Fang.

So a huge thank you to : ffgirlmoonie, O' Future Ruler Maria Larry, BiggestMRfan, PrincesSarah, goldeneyezebonywingz.X, Sigh-Head, sugarbear, flyinhigh, lankancurry12, WANNABE-AUTHOR92, Paradox-Barbarian-Princess, plainlyironic, redfeatherz, LittleItaly565 PoLkAdOtFeAtHeRs, Mew-Sahara, Ari Ochli, sunshinerosesandDEATH, CITCAT826, IssytheWriter, wishIhadwings, cRzYmAn676, demon's lil' angel, WitherWings357, Wings of Water- SKYE, Fang's Stalker, Bookworm365, EndlessHope, soccerchick, 9417, CrimsonScarz, NotToBeMessedWith, Weasleygrlz07, magicmehome, JFW1415, Angelz on Edge, A Rose in the Night, ISing4Him, SilverwingedSacrifice, superbeaner, BlackWingsRainbowTips, Taeniaea.

--hugs everyone--

17. Emotions, Errors, and Everything

Oooh!... I'm a very bad author. XP. I just realized that Total no longer exists in my stories.

If you go back to Bloodlust #1 – he's in the first chapter. After that, he's never spoken of again. Even here, in the sequel, he's disappeared. Shame on me! Aww…

But in any case, I hope you're all happy. I had tons of crazy (but fun) conversations with some of you over enormous chocolate chip cookies, bribery, reviews, threats, Faxness, whether or not Lissa should die, etc.

I apologize for the fluffiness and some of Fang's un-Fang like behaviour. I think I've turned him into an emo in this chapter, despite the fact that he's not supposed to be in the original MR books. LOL. But hey, he's supposed to suffer and without Max he's going insane because he's a dork.

-- Fang glares at CK –

Umm, I mean, without Max, he's…err, less … cool ? –shrugs--

Anyways, enjoy! And you have been warned!


Fang suffering.


Cruel cliffies.

Ridiculous twists. You know, all that fun stuff!

Anyways, this is a long chapter and it doesn't need to be longer, so I'll end my ranting there. Tell me what you think of it guys!

--/-- Love from, CK

Chapter 16

Only three minutes later, the door to Lissa's house was roughly thrown open. Fang flew in (literally), sweating and breathing hard, but didn't seem to notice or care. He skidded to his feet and scanned the room with his raptor-vision.

"Where's Max !?" he immediately demanded to no-one in particular. The walls seemed to be the only ones listening to him.

He had dumped the groceries back in the alley without a thought, spreading his dark wings and flying U and A. He didn't care who was watching or who saw him. His emotions were so jumbled and clouded it was like he was trying to read his fortune from the patterns in an oil spill.

But two things were concrete in his head –

1) Max had left him.

2) To make things even more complicated, he was back in bloodlust.

Fang swore loudly, not knowing how else to describe how he was feeling.

He'd been meaning to leave – to fly away from the Flock like he had done only a mere month ago. He'd been out of sight from the Flock (hell he'd been out of Washington!) before he'd immediately turned around.

He couldn't stand the guilt or the thought of Max hating him, so he flew back to Lissa's house where he knew the Flock would be waiting. He knew that he was being stupid and irrational – he could kill the Flock without a moment's notice if he slipped into bloodlust.

But still… he had to get Max back. It was the only way to make things right and to make sure he didn't do anything stupid to himself, The Flock or any innocent by-standers.

Hence, where he was now.

"Where's Max!?" he repeated, only louder this time. The walls still seemed to be the only ones listening, but he was rewarded by the sight of a small blonde head peering down at him from the indoor balcony a few seconds later.

Fang gazed at Angel's expectantly, only to be taken aback by the fiery emotion in the 7-year-old's eyes.

She was starting to look demonic again, despite her angelic features. Her expression was eerily similar to the one she'd used on Ari the first time he'd taken Celeste from her. That bear had meant everything to her, and Fang clearly remember how Angel had, literally, suffocated Ari for taking it away.

If she was any crueller, and Fang hadn't been Fang, he guessed that Angel would have been suffocating him right now. But what he couldn't understand was why she looked so mad at him --

It took a second, but he recognised that Max must have talked to her. That meant that Angel knew about the fight, about them, about everything. That was the problem with having a mind-reader in the Flock. But that also meant that she knew where Max was.

And that was all that mattered to Fang at the moment.

"Angel, where's Max?" he demanded. Angel didn't respond, just looked at him and shrugged innocently. He suppressed the urge to swear under his breath, knowing that Angel would hear it if he did.

(The Guide to How to Properly Reprimand Your Children – Rule #1: Always be the mature and bigger person in the situation.)

"Angel, don't you dare look at me like that. I let you keep Celeste and Total and a number of other things from Max. You owe me."

(Rule #2: Be polite, calm and respectful when explaining to your children why you are reprimanding them.)

"Angel, I'm ordering you to tell me where she is. Right. Now."

"No!" Angel said defiantly.

Fang distantly hoped Angel's attitude didn't worsen once she grew into a teenager. He didn't even want to imagine how much trouble that was going to be.

(Rule #3: Threatening your child is NEVER the answer.)

"Angel, so help me! You are going to tell me where Max is, or else I am going to –"

Suddenly, shrill beeps sounded throughout the house. He heard Iggy cursing from the kitchen and heard Nudge and Gazzy saying something inaudible. But Max II's voice was easily heard among the noise.

"I knew it!" she yelled. "I KNEW IT! I told you guys we shouldn't have let the blind guy cook! Ha! "

Fang just ignored her, rolling his eyes. He didn't have time for all of this crap! He needed to find Max so he could explain! It had all come out wrong --

However, he was cut off from speaking to Angel again as Max II dragged Iggy out in front of him, a pair of scissors in one hand. She stopped and did double take upon seeing him.


"Fang?" Iggy repeated.

"Geez, what took you so long, Fang!? We've been waiting for those groceries forever! Wait, where are the groceries!? – "

"Where's Max?" he demanded, cutting her off. Iggy shrugged at him, wiping black flakes of something off of his nose.

"Dunno. Didn't she find you? We sent her out to –"

"She found me, but now I need to find her." Fang said, his tone impatient and direct. "It's important" he added a moment later after receiving no response.

"What's so important?" Max II asked, snipping the scissors in the air to test them. Fang glanced at her briefly, noting her hair was burnt and singed at the ends.

"We had a 'blind-boy-wanted-to-turn-the-oven-into-a-bomb' accident" she growled out, taking a long strand of hair and cutting it off. Iggy snickered behind him and he distractedly watched Max II cut off chunks of hair until it was standing out in uneven layers.

It reminded him of when Max – his Max—had gotten chunks of hair dyed pink during their 'makeover.' She'd looked so surprised the first time she glanced in the mirror and saw herself covered with pink. It was the first time in her life she'd ever worn pink.

Still, she'd looked every bit as authoritative and as striking as she always looked. That was just the way Max was --

His Max.

"Look, enough. I NEED to find Max" he insisted, then ran into the dining room without another word. Just then, realization dawned on Iggy.

"Fang? Oh man… Don't tell me you and Momma Max had fight?"

A flowered vase narrowly missed his head, whooshing past his ear. Max II dropped the scissors and caught the thing with the tips of her fingers.

"Hey!" she shouted. "Watch it! Don't get pissy at us just because you screwed up."

A black remote control hit the wall this time, narrowly missing her head. She scoffed in his direction, sticking out her tongue before putting the vase down by the coat closet.

"Geez, look like Mr. Emotional needs some anger management classes" she muttered sourly. Iggy just frowned.

"Yeah…Fang gets pretty angry when he's freaking out. I'm worried" he confessed. "Fang and Max hardly ever fight – and I mean, ever. If he's this mad, to the point where he won't even insult us back, something must really be wrong. Max must have done something huge to get him this upset –"

"Max!" they heard Fang yell from deeper into the house.

"Whoa, whoa whoa! Since when is this Max's fault !?" Max II said with surprising defence. "If anything went wrong between your two little lovebirds over there, its cause Mr. I've-Got-Sunshine-On-A-Cloudy-Day screwed it up."

"Fang would never –"

"Meh! Fang would never!" Max II mocked, then gave Iggy a rough shove towards the stairs. "I honestly don't care. Just don't have them fighting while I'm within a hundred metre radius. I can't stand it when two idiots fight. Ugh."

"Then what does that make us?" Iggy teased.

"Hey, we're not idiots. We don't fight," Max II defended, "We debate. Over important issues like whether or not to use garlic. Therefore, we are intelligent and mature. Your friends Max and Fang, however, are complete idiots."


"Anyways, you! Blind boy! Upstairs, now. Since you tried to turn the oven into a bomb, you can look after sleeping beauty upstairs while I finish cooking! Remember, it's the bedroom at the end of the hall on your right."

"Yeah yeah" Iggy said, and then headed off. Fang yelled out Max's name in search of her again.

Said dark-haired teen came running past Max II barely a second later, and she stuck out her foot in hopes of tripping him, but he easily jumped over it and continued running.

Fang didn't notice the way Gazzy had stopped watching TV to stare at him with wide eyes, or the way Nudge was hovering by the wall nervously. She wanted to ask him what was wrong, but she knew better than to ask a question that Fang wouldn't answer. Still, she'd never seen him like this…it was starting to scare her…

Fang didn't acknowledge any of them as he fled up the stairs.

Angel stood at the top of the stairway, blocking the path to Lissa's room. Seeing this, he felt outraged and swerved in the other direction to search the other bedrooms.

He didn't want to go see Lissa! Couldn't Angel understand that!?

He wanted Max.

He needed Max.

But he couldn't find Max.

She has to be here…Fang concluded to himself silently. She would never leave the Flock – ever. I know that for a fact. She's smart, and she wouldn't take my stupidity out on them…but where the hell is she?! ARGH! Angel has to have seen her, but she won't tell me! Why can't anyone see what I'm trying to do and that–

That was it, he realized.

He needed someone to see how he really felt.

He ran back towards Angel, seeing the seven-year-old look up at him with plain fury and hurt in her eyes. He could see that she was going to cry, yet she was holding it in.

It's not what you think! He said mentally, knowing that Angel could hear him. And then Fang opened his mind, and for the first time –

He let his emotions spill out.

All the tension, all his thoughts, all his reserves that he usually kept bottled up for the sake of the Flock flooded out and into Angels mind.

He wanted to hang himself. No, not hang himself – he decided -- he wanted to get on his knees in front of Max, if only so that she'd stop to listen and let him explain.

And Fang DID NOT kneel at anyone's feet.

Not even on the threat of death.

But all it took was the threat of Max leaving him, and he was forced to admit that he'd kneel before anyone who wanted him to.

He'd willingly give up his dignity, his pride, and his life for Max.

He regretted that he'd never told her that.

Tears were creating thick flood path down Angel's cheeks as she cried silently, feeling Fang's pain and regret and all of his heartfelt emotion seep into her mind.

To have Fang of all people show her something so intimately private about his thoughts made the tears come even harder. Silently, she thanked whatever God that was out there that she had been wrong.

He really did love her.

Fang hadn't meant to hurt Max, it had been an accident. And what he had meant to say was something completely different, something sweet…and really loving…

His words had just come out in the wrong order and now Max hated him for it.

"She doesn't hate you!" Angel told him hurriedly wiping her tears and trying to appear brave and apologetic. "Honestly, she doesn't. But she…she's!--"

"I know" Fang soothed, and Angel scooted out of his way.

"She went out flying to get some air" Angel said, forcing herself to stop crying. She could feel Fang's emotions piling up again, more guilt added now that he had made her cry.

"Oh. Thanks" Fang said, moving steadily towards the room before he suddenly stopped. Angel looked up at him through tear-blurred eyes, wondering what was going on.

Without a sound, he turned around and knelt down to Angel's level, looking her in the eyes but not making any movement towards her. He looked like a talking statue in her opinion –solid, intimidating, and unmoving except for his mouth.

"Really, Angel…thanks…" he said, trying to appear as cool and collected as he always did. Angel nodded in understanding, not trusting herself to speak again. Fang was gonna make her cry all over again just from how he was looking at her.

As if he had sensed this, Fang took her into his arms in a sudden, unexpected gesture. Angel didn't even realize she was crying again until she hiccupped loudly, breaking the silence between them. She buried her face into his dark shirt in embarrassment, but it only made the tears come down harder and faster.

Fang didn't say a word, but Angel could feel – without using her mind powers— his guilt and pain for causing all of this.

She could feel how sorry he was for making her cry and getting her involved in this and how sorry he was for flooding her mind with his angry, emotional thoughts just to get his point across. He had pushed her thoughts and feeling outs of the way to express his own, and in doing so, he'd thrown her around like a rollercoaster that she had never wanted to be on in the first place.

Not to mention, she now knew all of Fang's deepest secrets and how his mind worked. It was scary for him, but he knew it had to be even scarier for her. She wasn't ever supposed to see his thoughts and how dark, cruel, and unsympathetic they were.

So Fang just held her, feeling that he'd already said and done enough damage today.

He had no idea how many minutes they both stood like that, with Angel crying into his shirt, but once she pulled away, he felt a little stronger. At least he'd made peace with one member of the Flock…

But he still felt like he had a piercing, painful hole in his chest.

He needed to get Max back -- that was the only thing that could help.

"She said she needed to get away for a while." Angel piped up. Fang looked to her and she blushed sheepishly through the tear-stains on her cheeks. "Sorry, I won't read your mind anymore… but Max headed out towards the Whitehouse last time I saw her, so she –"

"She'll probably head that way again. "Fang concluded "Thanks, Angel"

Angel smiled despite the awkwardness between them a few moments ago as he stood up from his crouch.

"You're welcome."

Fang held out a fist and she stacked hers on top, looking thrilled at Fang's special treatment towards her.

"So, do you have a plan to get Max back?" Angel asked. She knew that Fang wasn't going to give up on Max ever, so that meant that they had to get back together, right?

"What do you think?" Fang asked, raising an eyebrow before heading towards Lissa's room. Her window would be the closest one to the general direction of the Whitehouse. If he jumped out of it, he was sure to spot Max at some point…

Fang kicked the door to Lissa's room open, fully intending to jump out her large bay, only to stop dead in his tracks.

Everything he'd just released with Angel -- the anger, hurt, worry, fear and pain-- suddenly came back with full force to torture him again. He felt like a knife had been lodged deep within his ribs, cutting him wide open and flooding his body with pain and horror.

Whether he had actually been stabbed, he couldn't tell, but he knew for a fact that his heart wasn't beating and that he was in pain all over.

Max was kissing Iggy.


-- CK grabs Iggy and protectively throws him behind her –

There is a good explanation for all of this!!

And it's not Iggy's fault! I SWEAR!

Iggy: Wait, what's my fault? What's going on?

CK: Err… nothing!! NOTHING'S GOING ON!! --shifty eyes—

18. My Max or Yours ?

Dundadudadadun! New chapter! Filled with crazy twists, threats, and a whole load of Fang being emotional and going through mood swings like a pregnant woman. LOL.

But still, after everything he's been through, can you blame him?

I also wanted to say thank you all the reviewers on the last chapter. Mucho love to all of you! (:3) LOL. And, get a load of this, here are the reviewers who predicted that it was Max II kissing Iggy :

O' Future Ruler Maria Larry, not ur bismuth, plainlyironic, LilyMarieEvansPotter,Fang's Stalker, ISing4Him,sunshinerosesandDEATH, ShaeShae96,magicmehome, Eskimo,freexflyer, xxApocalypsexx,7thAngel, A Rose in the Night, Mew-Sahara, MRACR,Jayde3, PoLkAdOtFeAtHeRs,LuvEdwardC, CrimsonScarz,Weasleygrlz07, MaxRideObsessed,Acavoo, Transfiguration,Skylania,kanpai7440,turquoise.seas,MellaIsie,Katielaine, QuickStar,BabySuni, soccerchick9417,CJ, EndlessHope,Eclipsevampire, Wings of Water- SKYE, LittleItaly565, Anna, SplatteredEggs,ffgirlmoonie, NotToBeMessedWith, Ruler of Black Hearts, Kizzi-Moo, vampiregal01, pixieindisguise39, and maxridefreak.

And here are the reviewers who didn't think that it was Max II (or if you did, it wasn't in your review. LOL.) :

Angelz on Edge, CITCAT826, Bite Me.You Know You Want To, Paradox-Barbarian-Princess,wishIhadwings, BiggestMRfan,xXbookwormXx, Beefcake the Mightly,Twilighties, Taeniaea,BlackWingsRainbowTips, JFW1415,x.Skybreaker.x, PrincesSarah,goldeneyez-x, ScarlettFayte,superbeaner, Fourth in Command Cixalea Jwan, poohbearjess, andXxxpuppyxxx.

The first list is over twice as big as the second! LOL. And maybe it is Max II kissing... or maybe it's not... --shrugs innocently--

In any case, you'll have to read this chapter to find out. Until later guys, toodles! XD.

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 17

Fang wanted to flinch. He wanted to scream. He wanted to punch Iggy and Max until they were both bleeding and bruised.

But more than anything, he wanted to know what the (insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here) was going on.

His life had just gone from hell, to something worse than hell and the School combined.

Somehow, through the haze of pain, he realized that he hadn't moved. Angel stood silent beside him, clutching his arm tightly in what he knew was shock.

Then, a spark of hope hit him. Maybe it wasn't Max in front him, maybe it was Max II. She'd been very close to Iggy when he'd seen them downstairs, flirty even. So maybe…just maybe…

"Oi! Iggy, have you checked on the redhead yet?' came Max II's unmistakable voice from behind him. He glanced at her from the corner of his eye, and felt his heart clench again.

Max II was behind him. There was no doubt of that – her recently-cut hair was still hanging in awkward chunky layers around her face, the pair of scissors still in her hand.

The Max in front of him still had full-length, thick hair. The same hair his Max had…

Max II suddenly seemed to realise what was going on as Fang heard her choke on her words once she saw the scene with Iggy.

"What the – !? IGGY!"

Max and Iggy pulled away, both looking to the door and its visitors in shock.

"Whoever is there, please, get Fang's girlfriend the hell off of me!" Iggy yelled, trying to shove himself away, yet her grip on his arms held.

Fang heard himself make some kind of sound, one he never imagined he'd ever make.

It was somewhere between a sigh of relief that Iggy hadn't been trying to stab him in the back, and a noise of agony that Max had purposefully stabbed him in the back.

At the sound, everyone in the room turned to stare at him in disbelief and panic.

Fang – the rock, the shadow, the emotionally-untouchable Fang who never broke down, had just let out a whimper.

A pathetic whimper.

Fang briefly recollected on what he'd said about giving up his pride for Max, knowing that now was as good a time as any to start.

Even if he was never going to live this down, it was for Max. If he could get her back, it wouldn't matter that Iggy was going to be making jokes about that whimper for the next twenty years of his existence.

"MAX! What are -- !? What the hell are you doing!?" Max II shouted, being the first of the group to speak.

"Guys?" Nudge's voice said from downstairs, floating up to them. "Is something wrong?"

"Nothing" Fang called back, surprising himself when his voice came out cool and controlled like it always did. He knew that Nudge and Gazzy did not need to see this. Angel didn't need to see this either, but the damage was done in her case…

"M-Max?" Angel stuttered out, sounding faint.

"Wait, Max?" Iggy said, "What the hell does Max have to do with this?"

Fang's cool composure shattered like ice for a moment. There had to be an explanation for this. Max would never have gone this far just to spite him.

"What does Max have to do with this? YOU'RE. KISSING. HER" Fang said, pure venom lacing his words.

Iggy went paler than sour milk. Then he promptly gagged, and shoved away from Max as hard as he could.

"WHAT!? B-But I just!? – she? I thought it was Lissa that had jumped me! Ugh! Oh man… Fang! I swear to you! She just -- ! And I was trying to – Oh god, I think I'm gonna be sick..."

Fang grunted angrily in reply, not trusting himself to speak in case his words lead to him punching someone or something. And he didn't doubt that Iggy would be sick, judging from how pale and horrified he looked.

He hadn't meant for Iggy to get dragged into this.

"Look, Fang, it's over between us. Stop bugging me and get over yourself, I don't need you" Max said, her voice cold and hard.

Fang found it strange, but her voice didn't hurt the way he thought would. The words stung, but Max didn't sound like Max. And in an odd way, this helped to ease the pain.

But still. She seemed….

"Now, Fang – "

"Where's my picture !?" Angel shouted suddenly. Max and Fang both looked to her briefly.

"What picture?" Max said. Then Angel did something no-one expected.

She screamed and hid behind Fang.

Fang shushed her rather ungracefully as she clung to his belt, before he turned to look at Max in accusation. Then, out of nowhere, he suddenly realized why Angel was crying. It wasn't out of agony or pain, but she was overwhelmed with confusion and just couldn't take anymore.

It was like he was suddenly looking into Angel's mind instead of the other way around. And he recognised again that something wasn't at all like Max in the girl standing before him.

Angel had recognised it too, and now, she was frightened.

"What's his name?" Fang accused Max, suddenly pointing at Iggy. Max shot him a frustrated look, as if he was insulting her

"Iggy. Why are you pointing like that at him? – "

"Where did I take you for our one year anniversary?" he accused again. Max did a double take, eyes wide and disbelieving.

"How should I remember?!"

"Where?" he demanded

" I dunno… why are you asking me this now? Look, wasn't it someplace near – ? "

"I knew it."

Fang began laughing lowly to himself, almost sounding hysterical.

But even scarier, he sounded completely at-ease through the hysteria, as though Max's opinion and her words no longer mattered to him. His dark eyes shot up to visually pierce straight through her frame, eyes hard and cold just like Max's voice had been only moments ago.

"We've never had a one year anniversary -- Max and I haven't even been dating for a year. You would have known that… if you were really Max. Now, you're going to shut up, cut the act, and tell me who the hell sent you and why you're parading yourself around as my girlfriend" Fang commanded.

Three pairs of human-avian eyes widened in disbelief, only to widen even further as an unexpected feral smile crept over Max's face.

"Wait, wait! Did I just hear you right? There's THREE Max's now!?" Iggy said.

This Max III before them just grinned even wider, and everyone could only watch, entranced, as her form suddenly started to change…

And then where Max III had once stood, there was now a blonde girl that looked eerily familiar to Fang.

It suddenly clicked in his mind who she was -- she'd been the bumbling blonde who'd kissed him while he was carrying the groceries back.

"Ari Ochli" he said, earning another eerie grin from the girl before him.

"Is that what I told you my name was? Hmph. Not bad a name. I might use it again… But you have to admit that this is a good disguise, right Fang? Heh, I always knew you were a sucker. If you really want to see something cool, watch this…"

Her form changed again suddenly. Now, one of the many employees that Fang had run into at the grocery store stood before them with a devilish grin on his old, wrinkled face.

"See ya!" he called and then there was a blur of movement and a shatter of glass. Fang pounced but he was too late. Lissa's bay window had shattered as this shape-shifter leapt through it, Fang's hands narrowly missing her face as he lunged.

Fang looked through the shattered glass and down to the pavement, looking for any sign of a crumpled body or blood on the pavement. To his slight surprise, there was none. He gazed around with his raptor vision, flicking his gaze everywhere in search of her.

Then he saw the hawk -- it was squawking loudly over the rooftops as though it was laughing at him.

No, he corrected, it is laughing at me.

His fists clenched on the windowsill as the squawks grew fainter as she disappeared. Angel appeared beside him, looking out at the hawk with him timidly.

"She can change into animals too" Angel stated, looking stunned. "I thought that was impossible. No one should be able to change or morph that fast."

"Angel, in case you forgot, we have wings. Nothing is impossible" Fang said, forcing himself to reign in his temper.

That girl – that Max III, that copycat -- was going to answer to him. Now or later, it didn't matter, but he was going to get answers out of her.

Just how long had she been close to him? And how long had she been pretending to be Max? The whole incident he'd been through with the alley and the fight, had that been with Max? Or with her?

I mean, he would have immediately noticed if it wasn't his Max. It would have been obvious, right?

right? He thought, feeling a sliver of doubt go through him.

He shrugged off his jacket and prepared to dive out the window. Only the tiny hand on his belt and the thought of real Max returning to the house stopped him from following up on this desire.

"Can someone please tell me what the heck just happened !?" Iggy yelled.

"Shut up" Max II said, looking just as dazed as everyone felt. "Iggy, look, was Lissa here when you came in?"

"Umm, hello! Some creepy chick who was pretending to be my Flock leader just kissed me! And you're asking me about Lissa ? —"

"Iggy!" Max II demanded, silencing him. "Was Lissa here or not !?"

"How should I know ? That girl grabbed me and planted a wet one on me before I could check on her. Why?"

"Because Lissa's not here" Max II said.

Silence descended upon the room as everyone turned to the empty bed with varying emotions. The sheets were thrown back and crumpled, but a clear imprint of Lissa's form still on the sheets.

"Oh – " Iggy began.

Fang finished his sentence.


Lissa was missing. And, knowing their luck, it was more than likely that she'd been kidnapped by the shape shifter they'd just met. So now, they not only had to find Max and her copycat, but they had to find Lissa as well.

Fang, unable to take any more frustration, punched the wall as hard as he could. His fist connected with a thunderous sound and he felt more than saw his fist go through the plaster and wood, feeling pain dance up his arm and blood begin to trickle over his knuckles,

Can't I ever get a break in life? He asked silently. To whoever's up there, that's all I'm asking for...just one chance to get the girl that means everything to me back. Preferably, without having to fight off an army of Erasers or an army of clones that look like her. Just this once! God -- or whatever your name is up there-- that's all I'm asking for …

Biting his tongue to stop from making a sound, Fang yanked his fist out of the wall, noting with an odd sense of pride the gaping black hole that he'd left behind. Behind him, the door to Lissa's room was thrown open to hit the wall with a loud 'thud.'

"Hey guys I just – Fang?... Wait, Fang, what are you doing? Oh great job, you stubborn idiot. I hope you know that you're bleeding…."

Fang's head snapped around so quickly he could've sworn he broke his neck.

His breath caught in his throat, and he suddenly was overcome with the urge to smile like a two-year-old.

God, forget what I said before, you are 'The Man' and I'm going to start praying everyday and going to church whenever I can …I owe you big-time for this…

Standing right behind him, in all her authoritative, sweatshirt-wearing glory, was Max.

His Max.

The real, one and only, incredible, indescribable Maximum Ride.

She'd finally come back.

Ooh snap! Now what?

Well, I don't know about the Flock but I'm headed off to physiotherapy. XP. I sprained my ankle again (this is the 6th time I've sprained said ankle.) So my parents have condemned me to my room, which is actually a good thing because now I have tons of time to write. YE-AH! –does the happy dance—

But I know one thing about the Flock – Faxness is definitely coming up in the next chapter. LOL. YE-AH! –happy dances again--

I hope you liked the chapter guys! Thanks again for all of your incredible reviews. They make my day, so thanks again!


19. Who Needs Lissa When You Have Love ?

... I'm re-posting this as I forgot some beautiful changes made by my beta... hehehe. Oops.

--shifty eyes--


throws off fireworks and sparklers—

So, how has everyone's weekend been? It's a long weekend here! (Woohoo! We get today -Monday- off! –dances-- )

I was going to post this chappie on Friday, but I had a dance/drama dress rehearsal Friday and shows Saturday and Sunday night. My legs are planning on leaving me now because of all the pain I've put them through. LOL.

In any case, here's the newest chapter and all hail Fang and his ever-complicated, emotional rants! LOL. I'm so bad… Teehee.

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 18

After my flight around Washington, I returned to Lissa's house and immediately went to find Angel. Somehow, my little girl always found a way to make things seem better.

Nudge told me that Angel had gone upstairs, so I checked every room I could find until I finally came to the dreaded door that belonged to Lissa. I took a deep breath, and then opened the door.

Needless to say that when I did, I was met with a whole load of confusion (and I'm talking a monster-truck load of confusion.)

The first thing I noticed was that Fang and Angel were standing by the window.

Wait—Fang!? When did he decide to come back? I wondered. The second thing I noticed was that Lissa's big window was smashed to pieces, there was a hole in her wall that looked eerily similar to the size of Fang's fist, and that everyone was staring at me like I'd grown a second head.

"I hope you know you're bleeding, you stubborn idiot," I told Fang, pointing at his fist, hoping to divert everyone's unnerving attention over to him. Sadly, it didn't work.

"What?" I said, trying to shrug off all of the uncomfortable attention I was getting. "Do I have something on my face?"

"Max," Fang breathed out, his eyes alight with some emotion I couldn't place. Whatever it was, it was making my stomach flip and flutter in a way that only Fang could manage. I quickly cast a glance at him, his bleeding fist, and then turned my attention to Angel.

"What happened in here? Angel, you should get away from the glass before you cut yourself." I strode forward but was stopped in my tracks by Angel screaming at me.

"NO!" she shrieked, causing me to take a step back. "Show me my picture! Prove that you're really Max!"

"O-okay," I said, stuttering in a rare case of surprise. "Just relax, Angel…what's wrong? Did you not want me to take the picture?" I reached into my jean pocket, digging around until I felt the cool slip of paper. I pulled it out, keeping eye contact with Angel in case she freaked out again. I realized with a tremor of guilt that the picture was wrinkled from being in my pocket, but I hoped that Angel would forgive me for that. I shot her a sheepish look and hoped this wouldn't upset her.

To my horror, it did. Angel burst out crying and the sound gripped my chest like I was being strangled. I wanted to apologize despite not knowing what I had done to upset her, but before I could try anything, Angel had thrown herself into my arms.

"M-Max! Th-thank g-goodness you're back!" she sobbed. At a loss for words, I patted her head soothingly, stroking my fingers through her hair. Angel hiccupped loudly and then muttered something so quietly that I almost didn't hear it.

"Fang has so much going on in his head, "Angel whimpered. "So much…it hurts…and he's hurting… Max, stop hurting him, let him apologize, please…he hurts so much…so much…" And then, my little girl went limp.

"Angel!" I cried out. "Angel! Wake up! Angel, what happened?" I checked her pulse, releasing an enormous amount of tension when I heard her breathe and felt her pulse fluttering under her skin.

"Is she okay?" Max II asked from where she stood.

"Fine," I answered, "I think she just fainted."

I turned my gaze to Fang only to see that he was staring back at me with so much emotion plain on his face that it stopped me in my tracks. It was el creepy, but oddly enough, also el flattering. At least he was looking at me instead of Max II or Lissa --

Oh no -- Lissa! I realized, turning back to the bed as it hit me that Lissa wasn't there. My gaze snapped back to Fang's instinctively.

"I'm guessing she's not in the bathroom," I said.

"Nope." Fang replied.

"Outside?" I offered.


"Ah, I see…well, that's not good." A sudden thought struck me and I cocked my head to look at Fang more closely. It was a crazy thought, but then again… with the bloodlust…

"You didn't… hurt her, did you?" I asked quietly. Fang's eyes widened as he quickly assured me that he hadn't. I grinned sheepishly at him.

"Hey, I'm just checking. I mean, part of the reason we fought was because of her, but I didn't want you throwing her out of a window or something because of it." A hint of a smile twitched at the corner of Fang's mouth and I found myself beginning to smile in return. I always had liked seeing Fang smile.

No! Snap out of it, Max! I scolded myself. You're supposed to be angry with him! He's a jerk. A stupid jerk. A stupid jerk who's going to be kissing your boots for the next few months unless he can think of a really good excuse as to why he shouldn't be.

Quickly, I composed myself and pretended to still be mad at Fang. (Oh, who am I kidding? I can't stay mad at Fang. Luckily, he doesn't know that. Hehe.)

"What happened?" I demanded. Fang's gaze seemed to fade off for a moment before it snapped back into focus. He blinked for a second to clear his vision before he spoke.

"Long story short – there was a shape shifter here and I'd bet you anything that she was sent by the School. If I understand correctly, she came into the house, kidnapped Lissa, pretended to be you, kissed Iggy, pissed me off, and then jumped out the window and escaped." I let my eyes widen in response. Fang nodded solemnly.

"Yeah, tell me about it, but she's not important right now. What is important is that right now, Max – we need to talk." My chest clenched painfully and I forgot how to breathe for a second.

We. Need. To. Talk. -- the most dreaded four words you could ever hear in a relationship.

Plus, if Fang's tone was anything to guess by, it was going to be bad – really bad. To be honest, I didn't know if Fang and I still had a "relationship", but if we did, it was in serious trouble. Then again, this so-called "relationship" was nowhere near being like any other relationship I'd ever heard of.

A sudden thought occurred to me and I mentally replayed Fang's last sentence.

"Wait, did you just say that I kissed Iggy?"

"No, but a shape shifter who looked like you did. Max, look, I need to talk to –"

"Eww! Gross! No offense, Ig."

"None taken. Trust me, you are definitely not my kind of girl and – also, no offense -- but I'm going to be having nightmares for weeks now. Ugh." Iggy visibly shuddered and I nudged him with my elbow.

"No offense taken either. Still, what do you mean I'm not your type of girl? Do you even have a type?"

"Yeah – tall, blonde, and curvy," he said with an impish grin and a wink. I punched him on the arm, hearing him give a satisfying whine of pain.

"You're a pig." I told him.

"Yeah, you are," Max II agreed, promptly punching him on his other arm.

"Oww! Stop picking on the blind guy! Fang, help me –"

"Iggy, could you and Max II just get out already?" Fang asked, pulling the door open. "I need to talk to Max. Now."

My chest tightened again and I knew that there was no escape from Fang and me talking. Fang had 'that look' again. His arms were taut, his fist was still bloody, his jaw was clenched, his eyes were cold and authoritative, and his wings were spread out menacingly behind him so that he looked like the Angel of Death.

Needless to say, even though Iggy couldn't see him, Fang's 'get-out' vibes were strong enough to send him the message.

"Okay, just take it easy. I'll take Angel and see why she fainted. She's not injured, is she?" I could tell that the question was directed at me, and I shot Iggy a sarcastic look that he couldn't see.

"How would I know?" I asked. "I just got back and you're the ones standing in a room with broken glass on the floor and a hole in the wall. You tell me if she's hurt."

"Hehehe, good point."

"Okay, let's get outta here Iggy. We'll leave Momma and Poppa alone to talk." Max II snickered, catching Iggy's elbow and nudging him towards the door.

"Call us that again and when I'm done with you, you won't be able to talk," Fang warned in a calm voice. Somehow, his even tone only made the whole thing sound that much more threatening.

"You wouldn't hit me. I look like Max!" Max II taunted.

"You want to test that theory?" Fang challenged, obviously beginning to lose his temper. "Both of you, out. Now."

"Fang, take it easy. Sheesh," Iggy said, waving his hands at the Angel of Death carelessly. "I know you've been freaking over trying to get to talk to Max, but she's here now and –"

"Iggy, leave now or Max II finds out what you call her when -- "

"And we're gone with the wind! " Iggy interrupted, suddenly sounding much more enthusiastic to leave. He tugged on Max II's arm and swiftly dragged her out the door. I gave Fang a quizzical look but he was too focused on shoving them out of the room as to notice.

Once they were out, Fang slammed the door closed, locked it, and then held his full weight against it to test its strength. I swallowed nervously and couldn't help but take a few steps back. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I don't like being caged in by anything or anyone, Fang included.

"Whoa, Fang…" I said through a dry mouth. I chuckled nervously. "I thought we were just talking. What kind of male chauvinistic – "

I didn't have time to finish as Fang strode over, wrapped his arms around me, and crushed me close to his body. That was all he did – hold me – but the action spoke 1000 words (so I guess that old saying is true.) Fang's grip on me wasn't tight or protective and it wasn't apologetic or soothing either, but it stunned me.

Fang was trembling.

His entire body, as though it were humming, was shaking in small spasms against me. I could feel the warmth of his breath on my hair, but it wasn't like Fang's usually even breathing at all. It was quick and almost panicked. It felt like he was trembling so much that he couldn't even hug me properly.

Call it maternal instincts, call it an act of friendship or love, but I grabbed Fang and hugged him back. I made sure my grip was firmer and stronger than his. It seemed like he needed me to comfort him more than I needed to be comforted.

It was strange too, because somehow this felt like… it just fit. And remember the whole 'I don't like being caged' thing? Yeah, well, even though I had Fang's arms locked around me and no chance of breaking the door to escape, I was calm. I leaned into Fang rather than trying to back away.

What else was I supposed to do? This was Fang.

"Fang," I finally dared to breathe out. "You're starting to scare me. Are you -- ?"

"I'm sorry," he whispered. The two words struck chords within me I had forgotten that I had. "I'm so sorry, so very sorry, Max… just please let me explain..." his hoarse voice in my ear caused goosebumps to shiver up and down my back.

Hearing those words, I knew I had a good reason to be worried. I forgot how to breathe for a moment and felt Fang's arms become a fraction looser around me as he felt my uneven breathing. Dizzy from the emotions going through me and not wanting him to leave or let me go, I started rambling.

"Fang, you just apologized, said please, and begged. I'm really worried. What's wrong? Are you on drugs? What are you taking? Did you take Lissa's medicine? Did you eat my cooking and not tell me? Oh my gosh, you did, didn't you? Fang! I told you that my cooking is – " A shaky, breathless laugh cut me off.

"Max, I'm trying to apologize and you think I'm on drugs? That isn't doing much anything for my pride, you know. Max, let me explain --"

"Fang, you don't need to apologize. It's okay. We're okay."

"No, Max, we're not. You're still mad at me, aren't you?


"See? We're not – wait, what?" Fang pulled back from me and I saw that pure shock was etched onto his face. He was still trembling slightly and his mouth was parted as he inhaled shakily. He looked so lost and so dang cute that I couldn't help it – I snickered. I was trying to be serious (honestly, I was!) but Fang just looked so funny with his face like that.

"You – " Cue the unladylike snort and a stifled laugh. "You look like you just smelled Gazzy passing wind," I managed to say, before I completely broke down laughing.

I could feel that Fang was still as stiff as a board in my arms. But, as I kept laughing, I felt Fang slowly relax until, to my happiness, I heard Fang laughing lowly alongside me.

"Are you serious?" he asked. I nodded and heard him huff in frustration. "That sucks…I was trying to give you a serious apology, not make you laugh at me. But, I'll take what I can get…" I shrugged weakly at him and saw his eyes change again to become serious once more.

"Honestly though, Max, I thought I lost you. I never wanted that – ever. I'm a selfish guy and I want you with me all the time, so don't leave. Stay with me. Stay with the Flock. And let me explain what I was trying to say back in the alley…"

I nodded in understanding, and bit my lip to suppress anything sarcastic I might have wanted to say. I knew that commenting on Lissa or Fang or myself would only make things worse between us right now.

Fang sighed deeply, preparing himself to speak in a way that he rarely ever did. I saw him inhale shakily again, and I suddenly realized why.

"You're nervous, aren't you?" I asked.

"More than you'll ever know…" he murmured against my neck. It was so soft that I almost didn't catch it. He looked me dead in the eyes before continuing, his voice stronger than before.

"Max, I don't want to hurt you – ever. How many times do I have to tell you that before you'll believe me? But, despite what I want, I'm a guy… and an idiot… I'm bound to make a lot of stupid mistakes and to say a lot of stupid things -- "

You got that right, I thought to myself, but bit my lip to stop from saying it aloud.

"—but I don't mean any of it. Listen, back in the alley, all of that stuff I said about Lissa, I didn't mean it the way it sounded. I think it's time we got this whole Lissa thing sorted out between us, so I'm going to just say it bluntly..." I nodded again, biting my lip with more force so that I could prepare for the worst.

"Lissa drives me insane," Fang said flatly. I stared at him for a moment and then nodded. Fang frowned in confusion, as though this wasn't the reaction he had expected.

"I get it," I said. "Lissa drives you insane and you want to be with her –"

"HELL NO!" Fang shouted so forcefully that I was taken aback and almost tripped over my own feet.

"Max! How thick is your skull!?" he asked in exasperation. I gave him a mock glare.

"You know, this doesn't sound like much of an apology," I told him.

"Max, I said Lissa drives me crazy. You are the only one who drives me crazy enough that I like you for it. Lissa drives me crazy to the point where I just want to grab her by the hair, shake her, and tell her that her falling all over me is becoming repulsive. I'll put this in simple words so you can understand –" I scowled up at him, wondering what had happened to the sweet, nervous Fang I had just seen moments ago. This one just seemed like an arrogant --

"Max," Fang began, "I. Despise. Lissa. How's that for being clear on my feelings for her?"

My jaw dropped and I'm pretty sure my eyes became as big as plates. Fang smirked, obviously pleased with my reaction.

"Good," he said, "now that we have that out of the way, let me explain – when I said that you should stop trying to be like Lissa because you'll never be as good as her? That came out all wrong. I was trying to tell you that your obsession over Lissa is worse than her obsession over me."

At this, my jaw snapped shut and I glared at him in fury. I opened my mouth to yell at him, when I realized – in horror and deep mortification -- that Fang was right. I had been obsessing over Lissa – for the past year, it was all I had done. I was paranoid that Fang liked her better than me, that she was prettier, smarter, more desirable – As if sensing my negativity, Fang interrupted my train of thought.

"Max, I was trying to tell you that Lissa is nothing compared to you. When I said 'you'll never be as good as her', I was trying to show you that you're always trying to be like her because you think she's better. Who has ever told you that Lissa is better than you?! Max, you're brilliant, you're brave, you're strong, you're going to save the world, and you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen – the most beautiful thing that anyone has ever seen. You're an angel – in more ways than just the fact that you have wings. You may be an angel with a dirty, sarcastic mouth, but an angel nevertheless.

And, in case you haven't realized this yet, when something is precious to me, like you are, I protect it with my life. You can count on that. Max, the only time I would ever hurt you or leave you would be to protect you. Even then, I wouldn't forgive myself --"

"Fang…" I breathed out, unable to remember any other word except that.

For once in my life, Fang was the one doing all of the talking and I was utterly speechless. Usually, it was the other way around but this was so surprising that I found I couldn't say a word. In a way, it was nice to hear about what went on in Fang's head but at the same time, it was scary.

I wanted the old Fang back.

I wanted My Fang back.

"I also wanted to tell you about us no longer being boyfriend and girlfriend too," Fang continued, tilting my head up to meet his, his long fingers gently brushing my chin. My breath hitched in my throat as Fang's dark, warm, loving eyes filled mine and his breath caressed my face. I wondered hazily when we had gotten so close. "Max, I realized that we –"

"Max!" Gazzy yelled worriedly through the door.

In that instant, the entire moment was completely crushed. Fang seemed to realize just how open he was being and politely pulled away to give me room to breathe. JHe pretended to be fascinated with his injured hand while I had to resist the urge to whine for him to come back and kiss me.

"What is it Gazzy?" I asked through clenched teeth. "This had better be good!"

"How do you know if someone's in bloodlust?" he asked. I froze and saw Fang do the same. A tense silence built as I tried to think of something to say.

"Why are you asking?" I finally said, feeling dread build in the pit of my stomach.

"Because Iggy's eyes are all cloudy and stuff – a lot more than usual – and he's sniffing Max II and telling her that she smells delicious. Oh, and his teeth look like fangs. Is that supposed to happen? Like, is it normal?"

I immediately met Fang's eyes and saw them widen, like my own, in response to Gazzy's words.

"The shape shifter kissed Iggy," Fang began. "You don't think she -- ?"

Suddenly, there was a crash, a scared yelp, and then my clone's scream. Without another word, Fang and I were out the door and flying down the stairs.

Umm…hmm…I forgot what I wanted to say here... Oh! Now I remember!

READ turquoise.seas, FantasyFan5, and O'Future Ruler Maria Larry's FICS!!

They will blow your mind with their incredible works of Faxness. They're mind-blowing! LOL. And the fact that I'm ecstatic over having a long weekend has nothing to do with the fact that I'm using so many exclamation points!!


Plus, if anyone has any awesome Faxness or Flock stories they want to recommend, I'd love to hear about 'em! I'm trying to put together a collection of great MR fics but I can't find all of them ( FF. net is HUGE!), so please recommended them to me! Especially if it's your fic! I'd love to read it!

Anywho, bye for now and cheers to everyone who got Victoria Day off like me!

20. Things Go Bad , , ,

Hi guys! I'll make this short and sweet --


--waves an American flag--

I hope you guys have a great weekend too.


-- Lots of Love from, CK

Chapter 19

Fang and I were at the bottom of the stairs within seconds. I heard Max II swear from the kitchen, only seconds before I was tackled to the floor by a brown blur. Instinctively, I kicked the blur off of me, only to wince as I saw what I had kicked... or (to be more specific) who I had kicked.


Oops, I thought sheepishly, My bad...

"Max!" Nudge said, her eyes wide and relieved. Behind her, something crashed loudly from within the kitchen.

"Sorry," I muttered quickly. I helped her to her feet before placing her behind me as Gazzy came running.

"Max! Iggy is --" he began, but was interrupted by another crash from the kitchen.

"Dude, this isn't funny! Oi! Iggy get off of me!" Max II yelled from inside. I looked to Fang.

"I'm on it," Fang said, reading my mind. He disappeared into the kitchen just as there was an ear-splitting shatter. Max II came barreling out of the room barely a moment later.

"You!" Max II yelled, promptly moving towards me. "Get your blonde bomb boy to stop looking at me like I'm his four course meal!"

"What happened?" I asked, putting Gazzy behind me protectively. Max II raised an eyebrow at me.

"How should I know? He just got all creepy and --"

Something snapped loudly, causing us all to wince. Max II looked to the kitchen before quickly turning back to me, her eyes worried.

"Look, I don't know what happened. Whatever it was, the only reason I haven't killed Iggy yet is because he's blind and can't find his way out of the kitchen. Seriously, he looks like he wants to eat me!"

"Max!" Fang called out, immediately grabbing my attention. There were a few grunts and I could tell he probably had Iggy in a headlock (And Iggy in a headlock is never a good sign.)

"Apart from kissing," Fang said, "is there any way you can remember us getting out of bloodlust?"

I quickly thought back to the few times I remembered being in bloodlust. Nothing came to mind. I quickly focused my attention to the one person who might have known something -- My Voice

Hey, Voice! I'm drawing a blank here? Any help? I asked, but only silence greeted me. Seriously, I need your help here. How do you get out of bloodlust? Apart from waiting it out or doing the whole…you know, 'mating' thing? …

… There was no response (Of course). I growled irritably and rolled my eyes.

Gr-reat, you disappear when I actually want to talk to you! …

"I've got nothing!" I called out. From the corner of my eye, I spotted Gazzy looking at the floor strangely.

"Gazzy, you okay?" I asked. He looked up quickly and nodded, but scrunched up his face as though in pain. "Gaz, seriously bud, are you hurt? Did Iggy get you? Speak now or face my wrath when I find your blood on the clean, shiny floor."

"No, I'm fine," he said, "Just … Fang said that you and he kissed to get out of bloodlust. Eww."

My worry deflated faster than a balloon.

"Oh," I said, feeling my stomach clench awkwardly. I mean, what else was I suppose to say? Kids Gazzy's age weren't even supposed to know what kissing was, let alone see Fang and I kissing. I scrunched up my face at the thought of being in Gazzy's place.

"Yeah, it is kind-of 'eww,' isn't it?" I admitted. Gazzy nodded his agreement.

"I think it's romantic," Nudge murmured. A loud crash and the sound of someone having the breath knocked out of him almost drowned out her comment. Still, it was audible, but I chose to ignore it.

(I mean, what was I supposed to say to that? 'Romantic' and I were two words that were not to be used in the same sentence! It was just...wrong. 'Kick-butt' and I, however, were two words that fit together very well.)

"Max, I think you should come see this..." Fang said, his voice oddly calm despite all of the noise that was echoing from the kitchen.

"Umm, okay," I said, shooting a glance to my clone who shrugged unknowingly. "Keep the others here for a sec," I told her.

"Fine. Just don't come running out when Iggy attacks you!" My clone said, shooting a nervous glance to the kitchen. I rolled my eyes, but tensed my shoulders and clenched my fists. I didn't want to fight Iggy, but I would if I had to.

I'd seen first-hand just how dangerous bloodlust could be from Fang's attack back in the School. That seemed like ages ago to me, but it didn't change the fact that it had happened.

Nor did it erase the fact that Fang had run off afterwards and left me and the Flock to worry about him for almost a week! (because he was a stupid pansy who was afraid of hurting me or the others…that jerk.)

"Max? You coming?" Fang shot, snapping my out of my thoughts. I did a double take as I heard him. Fang had almost sounded...bored as he said that.

Ignoring Fang's strange mood-swings, I strode forward cautiously after signaling to the Flock to 'stay put'. Suddenly, there was another crash from within the kitchen. I quickly moved into the kitchen as worry began to build. I had never dared to imagine that Iggy would go into bloodlust, but now that he was, I had to stop him before he --

I froze in my tracks once I entered the kitchen. My jaw dropped and I quirked an eyebrow in disbelief.

I'm pretty sure I stayed like that for a full minute before speaking. Needless to say, my words weren't exactly threatening or leader-like towards Iggy.

"What the hell!?" I said, still gawking with an open-mouth.

Iggy was giggling.

... Yup, you heard me -- giggling. Like a schoolgirl (Not that I've ever met any school girls who giggled like Iggy, just... not that he... whatever, you know I mean!)

He wasn't laughing like he usually did (I had heard his annoying, teasing laugh more than enough to recognize it) or chuckling or snickering (both of which were a sign that he had just blown something up).

Iggy was giggling and looking at me like someone who had inhaled too many bomb-making fumes. He looked … well, completely out of it, to be honest. I'm pretty sure I think I saw drool at the corner of his mouth but I was too weird out to double check

"What happened to him?" I asked warily. Fang was leaning against the wall and he shot me an 'I'm-too-cool-for-this' glance over his shoulder as I spoke.

"I dunno, but it looks like Ig isn't as dangerous as we thought," He teased. Iggy just giggled dumbly as he tried to find his way out of a corner he'd run into. I continued to stare in mild horror (and humour) as Iggy tried to find his way around the kitchen.

I tried to speak, to form a sentence that was Max-like and completely authoritative. A sentence that would reassure everyone and that I had a plan to fix Iggy.

... But there was no plan, so the only thing that came out of my mouth was "He looks like Ari after I knock him out! Fix him!"

Iggy's head turned in my direction.

"Maxie?" he cried, sounding completely and utterly stunned. He started giggling again and tried to find his way over to me.

In the process, he hit a vase by the sink and it crashed to the floor. It was only then I noticed all of the broken pieces of plates, glassware, and china on the floor. Iggy continued to stumble around while I looked between him and Fang warily.

Finally, Fang caught my eye.

"What?" He said. I raised a finger to Iggy and then cocked an eyebrow at him accusingly.

"Aren't you going to help him?" I asked. Fang shrugged at me.

"Maybe," He muttered, a dark smirk making its way to his lips, "But watching him like this is more fun."

I scowled in response.

"Maxie?" Iggy said, causing me to jump as he appeared at my side. Obviously, he had found his way to me across the kitchen. His pale fingers reached out as he touched my face, tracing the line of my nose, my eyelids, cheeks and lips. A dumb grin spread over his face as he giggled and made some strange noise in the back of his throat.

"M.C?" he said.

"Uhh, yeah?" I began cautiously, turning to Fang to mouth the words 'M.C.?' Fang just shrugged at me, mouthing the word 'nickname?' back to me.

"You're really really pretty," he told me, giggling to himself. I raised an eyebrow and began to lean away from him. I shot a look to Fang before turning my attention back to Iggy.

"Uhh, Ig?"

"Uh –huh?"

"You can't see me."

"Uh –huh."

"So… yeah."

"Uh –huh."

"So, if you can't see me how do you know I'm pretty?"

"I dunno," Iggy said and began to laugh. "But you feel pretty. Really really pretty. Teehee."

Ok-kay. Note to self : Describe to Iggy what I look like when I wake up in the morning. That should clear up the whole 'pretty' thing.

"I wanna kiss you," Iggy said, leaning in suddenly. My eyes went wide in pure shock.

"WHAT!? Whoa!" I yelled, putting my hands on Iggy's chest just as Fang's pale arms grabbed him from behind. "No, you don't! Just, go kiss …. Something else! Anything else? Anyone but me, buddy! I don't… okay, you know what? Fang, just knock him out before he says more stupid things. "

I saw Fang's lips tilt up in a smile. I gave him a half-hearted glare as I pushed Iggy off of me.

"Buu-uut M. C-eeee!" he whined childishly. I took three cautious steps away from him.

"Why are you calling me M.C?" I asked. Iggy shrugged. "I thought you liked it. We made it up together, remenemember? Teehee! I said remenemember instead of remember! Haha!"

I gave Fang a 'help-me' look.

"Iggy, why do you call her M.C.?" Fang asked in a harsher, more demanding tone than I had used.

"Cause that way I can tell you and the original Max apart? Original Max is Fang's Max. Fang told me no-touchie on his Maxie… hehe, that rhymes! So I called you M.C. for Iggy's sake cause you're Max's Clone and now you're my Maxie! Teehee!"

I turned to Fang in disbelief. I was pretty sure that my stunned expression was what was causing Fang to smirk so evilly.

He's probably trying to stop himself from laughing at your face… I thought to myself.

"Iggy thinks you're your clone," Fang voiced. "And apparently, Iggy has a crush on your clone."

I gawked for three seconds…four…five…six…

Or Fang is just a big jerk who likes to laugh at other people's pain.

"EW! THAT IS SO WRONG!" I yelled, wincing and jumping and shaking as though Iggy had just infected me with disgusting germs. "Ew, ew, ew! That was way too much information! Ew… I'm going to be having nightmares for weeks now. Ugh!"

"Well, at least now we know why he wanted to kiss you," Fang offered, a taunting grin on his lips. I chucked a random object at him.

"Shut up!" I yelled, resisting the urge to shudder again. "Ew. Geez, so that's both of my guy Flock members crushing on me. Who's next? Gazzy? Ugh…I mean, I'm not that good-looking am I? "

Fang just raised an eyebrow at me. "Was that rhetorical?" he asked. "Because I don't think I'm qualified to answer." I rolled my eyes and quickly moved to the other end of the kitchen.

"That's it. As of now, I'm coating face in mud and…and those face-mask thingies that make your face go blue… and stuff that will make me ugly." I sighed dramatically. "Who knew being this beautiful was such a curse!"

I heard Fang huff rudely behind me as I turned in mock anger to see his face turn up in a teasing smirk.

"Oh, don't worry, Max. You'll always be an ugly bird-girl to me," He reassured me. I threw at dish towel at his head.

As I did, a sudden thought struck me.

"Wait! If Iggy's acting like this, does this mean that he's not in bloodlust?"

Fang gently shook his head.

"Nope, Iggy's definitely in bloodlust. I saw his eyes and his teeth. He's definitely in bloodlust, or at least some weird and possibly harmless version of bloodlust…"

Hearing this, I swore in frustration.

"You know," Fang continued, "Iggy almost reminds me of..." he trailed off, and for a spilt second I saw Fang's eyes go wide. Then, he was back to his normal composure as if nothing had happened. He opened his mouth to continue, but I quickly cut him off.

"Tell me what you were thinking," I demanded, before Fang could try to protest. He just looked at me over his shoulder again.

"I was going to say, when he's like this, Iggy reminds me of you... when you were all Barbie-ish and giggly."

My stomach dropped like lead.

Ummm... I don't know what to say here...

--shifty eyes--


--runs away--

21. , , , And Then Get Worse

... and here's second chapter to celebrate! WOOT WOOT!

Oh, and this chapter is dedicated to kashiena (she read all 26 chapters of the original Bloodlust in an hour! LOL) and Nova Ride (for her uber-flattering review and because I don't want to pay for her medical bills --shifty eyes-- LOL )

--shifty eyes--


--runs off again--

-- Lots of love from, CK

Chapter 20

My stomach dropped like lead as the memory flooded back to me.

Oh, Gods … please tell me this is a joke... I wasn't that bad, was I?... WAS I!?

I swore mentally before turning back to Fang.

"You don't think they're connected do you? Me becoming …" I winced and shuddered, "… Barbie and Iggy becoming an airhead?" I asked in horror.

Fang didn't say anything, but I saw confusion swirling in his eyes and the stern line of his mouth.

"I can't say. I don't know much about this bloodlust stuff."

"Well neither do I!" I snapped.

"True, but your Voice does," Fang reminded me. Eyes wide, I nodded in understanding as I quickly turned my attention inwards again.

VOICE! I bellowed. I want to talk to you! NOW! And don't pretend like you don't hear me, you jerk! I know you can! And stop ignoring me when I need your help!

There was nothing but silence inside my head. I waited, hoping that maybe, just maybe -- this one time! -- My stupid, know-it-all, smug Voice would just --

You know, you don't need to shout to gain my attention, Maximum...

I breathed out a sigh of relief.

Good! Now, about Iggy --

His behavior is but a minor nuisance... this 'phase' he is going through will fade in time... I did a double take and stumbled for words.

He… but… How did you know that was what I wanted to ask you about? I could've sworn I heard My Voice chuckle darkly.

I'm in your head, Maximum... I know everything ... came my snarky reply. I tried to glare at My Voice (if that was possible.)

Shut up... anyways, how do you know Iggy will be fine?...

Trust me, I do...

Yeah, but how? ...

Don't be so childish, Maximum --

If you call me, Maximum one more time I'm going to stop coming to you for advice!

You may do so if you wish... but no matter what you do, I will still have your attention, Maximum...

I scowled at nothing and tried to tune my voice out.

.. And besides, you need me... unless of course, you don't want to know about how Itex is involved in all of this?

My ears tuned in to the Voice without my permission.

... Or how Iggy's actions are related to your own when you went through a similar phase? They are both complex locks but they are connected ... you just haven't gotten the key yet...

There was silence in my head as my Voice finished and I processed what I'd just been told. After a long moment, I sighed and pushed up the sleeves on my sweatshirt.

You have my attention... I admitted grudgingly. What exactly do you want me to do? And how is Itex involved?

I suggest you ask your new friend … or Fang's, I should say …

What 'new friend'? I demanded. Max II?

No, Experiment 312041… She paid you a visit I believe… and used the name of Ari Ochili …

My head snapped up.

Ari who?

Ari Ochili…If you're confused about her identity, perhaps you should ask Fang… he seems to know her quite well…

Ok-kay, so this isn't Jeb's son Ari, right?... it's a girl named Ari... So, you're talking about a female experiment named Ari but not like a female Eraser-Ari, right?

In a way, yes… yet in a way, no…I rolled my eyes irritably.

Enough with the riddles! Can't you just tell me a simple 'yes' or 'no'?

There was no reply.

… Great, I didn't think so.

I quickly turned my attention to Fang, watching in mild fascination as Iggy tried to spin across the kitchen like a ballerina. Shaking my head, I turned my attention back to Fang.

"Hey Fang, do you know a girl by the name of Ari Ochili?"

I saw Fang visibly stiffen at the name.

Immediately, all of my instincts went on high alert. (Trust me, if Fang gets tense at something, you know it's bad.) I did a routine 360-sweep just to be sure that there wasn't anything in the room that was causing Fang to stiffen.

"Where did you hear that name?" He asked, whipping around to face me. "From your Voice?"

I was taken aback by how strict he sounded, but I nodded at him.

"Yeah… and how do you know her?"

Fang immediately avoided my gaze. Jealously and realization flared up in me.

"You kissed her didn't you?" I said. "While she was disguised as me, right?"

"… not exactly how I would put it," Fang said.

"You kissed her as Lissa!?" I fumed, feeling my temper flare up suddenly. I was going to strangle that dark-haired – Argh! Fang was such a jerk! And a player! Telling me all that crap about how he despised Lissa when he –

"Hi, Miss-I'm-Obsessed-Over-Lissa?" He retorted, immediately earning a furious glare and a hiss from me. "No, I did not kiss her when she was disguised as Lissa. Geez, I mean, didn't we just have this conversation?"

I felt some if my temper die out to be replaced by embarrassment. Fang eyed me firmly, as though reminding me that my accusations were ridiculous and of what we'd talked about in Lissa's room.

"Oh," I murmured, clearing my throat and trying to keep my composure. "So, you didn't kiss her?"

Fang frowned and made this strange motion with his head before looking me hard in the eye.

"In all honesty, she kissed me," He admitted. "She told me her name was Ari Ochili, but I think now that it's a fake. Anyway, she bumped into me on my way to pick up groceries. She helped pile stuff back into my bags and then just kissed me and ran off."

Her real name is Camille, better known to Itex and the labs as Experiment 312041… but you'd probably know her best as the copycat who jumped out of the upstairs window…

Wait!? Her real name is Camille? She's the chick who broke in, kidnapped Lissa, and pretended to be me!? She works for Itex!?

In a way, yes… yet in a way, no…

Great, more riddles!... I thought irritably.

Suddenly, a hard realization hit me. I froze, swearing mentally and turning to Fang with hope that maybe…just maybe she hadn't…

"Fang," I began. He turned to me as soon as I spoke. "You said this Ari girl kissed you and then ran off right?" He nodded solemnly. I felt my stomach drop and twist sickeningly.

"So she kissed you and ran in the same way she kissed Iggy and ran?" I asked hoarsely, already knowing (and dreading) the answer.

Fang's eyes widened for a split second before he quickly hid the worry I saw in his eyes by turning away from me. He swore to himself and that was all the unfortunate confirmation I needed.

"Yeah, now that you mention it," Fang said, "it was exactly like the way she got Iggy –"

"You don't think that you're going to flip out like Iggy's doing now?" I asked. Fang didn't reply, just starred at me intently. It was all the reply I needed.

"Oh man, this isn't good," I said. "We need to... umm… you need to... no! Since she kissed you both, you and Iggy need to isolate yourselves. I think. Kind-of like the way you did the first time you lost control and …"

I couldn't finish the sentence, but felt the air grow thick with tension as both Fang and I remembered how he had disappeared after hurting me in the School.

"Yeah," Fang said quietly. I saw him shrug as though he could ignore the awkward tension in the room. "It sounds like a good idea. Besides, I refuse to let any of you see me if I turn out like –"

Iggy pressed his cheek up against a cabinet and tapped on it, causing him to laugh.

" – that," Fang finished, eyeing Iggy with embarrassment. His dark gaze quickly turned to me.

"But," Fang stressed, "that still doesn't explain why you went into Barbie-mode. You haven't been kissing around have you?"

"No!" I said defensively. "Please, I've only kissed you and – oh no…" My heart hammered in disbelief.

"You don't think that Camille chick can change into guys do you?" I asked hurriedly. Fang frowned.

"She changed into an old man before she jumped out the window. So, I think that's a yes."

I felt my stomach turn in disgust.

If I kissed Fang, but it wasn't Fang, I would've known, right?… I mean, right!?... RIGHT!?

"But, Max, I don't think you need to worry. The only time we've kissed while down here was that kiss in the alley where we ripped each other's clothes to shred."

I blushed darkly at the memory and quickly pushed it out of my mind.

"So," Fang continued, "Unless you kissed 'me' some other time, you're safe." I quickly went through my memory and breathed out a huge sigh or relief when I realized that what Fang had said was true – I hadn't kissed him apart from then. I was safe from turning into a dumb-blonde-valley-girl-Barbie again.

… or so I hoped.

"But if Ari didn't cause me to become an airhead, what did?" I wondered. I looked to Fang for inspiration, but he just frowned again and shrugged as if to say 'I-don't-know.'

"And how does Ari turn people into airheads?' I continued. "I mean, is she in bloodlust too? Because Iggy sure wasn't before she showed up! And if she's the one who gave you two bloodlust, does that mean she gave it to Lissa and her boyfriend too? I mean, you said it yourself Fang – she can become guys or girls."

"It's possible," Fang said, nodding once at me. "But why would she spread bloodlust to Washington? And to Lissa and her ex-boyfriend?"

I flashed back to what my voice had said.

"She's involved with Itex. I'd bet anything that they're the ones controlling her. Itex is probably picking on Lissa and her boy-toy to get to us!" Fang's head snapped.

"That sounds just like them," Fang agreed, eye narrowing harshly. "Those (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here). If that's true, that means they've been planning this all along!"

I nodded at him.

"And if they're planning this, then who's next? The rest of the Flock? Max II? All of Washington!?"

"The president," Fang said suddenly. I snapped my gaze to him just as his dark eyes met mine. They were bright with unspoken realization and horror.

"Max, remember? Your Voice said that bloodlust kills normal people. It kills humans. Itex wants to destroy the world. If they want to do it subtly, why not send out a mutant with a life-threatening disease that's untraceable and can kill humans within a few weeks?" I stopped breathing and I could've sworn my heart skipped a beat.

Please, no…

"With a disease like bloodlust, everything looks like an accident and like a work of nature. There would be no questions asked. It would be like a plague – especially if people spread it from one person to another without realizing it."

The room spun sickeningly and I wanted to throw up. My stomach felt like lead and my hands were shaking. I swore softly to my self as the full weight of the situation hit me.

"It would be completely perfect," Fang continued, "Flawless. They could destroy all of the humans except for themselves, and then, the only ones left on the planet would be us. Mutants of their design. Their creations."

Gods, no! No, no, no, no, no! NO!

I felt my heart jump into my throat and the world spun in horrible ways. I couldn't breathe, couldn't speak. I caught Fang's eye and that was the only thing that stopped me from collapsing to my knees. (That and my stubborn pride.)

"We have to find Camille," I said breathlessly. Fang nodded once.

Then, to top it all of, in came my Voice (when I did not want it there!) to taunt me, oh so smugly and oh-so cheerfully in my ear.

It's time to save the world again, Maximum…

Dun dun DUHHHHH!

Will Iggy be cured?

Is the Flock in danger?

Can Max and Fang save the world again while ignoring their own bloodlust?

Find out in the next installment of 'Bloodlust : Queen of Hearts' !!

... hehehe, I've always loved doing that.


22. Note To Self


……… (0-0) !

--CK gawks with a wide open mouth and wide eyes at her computer screen--

This fic has almost 1000 REVIEWS and close to 30 000 HITS !!


I'm…speechless. And feeling horrible.

I'm so lazy and slow with posting these chapters so to see those stats was….mind-blowing. And incredibly flattering.

So, this chapter is dedicated to all of you who've read this fic and reviewed so generously.



I will confess that I wasn't prepared for such stats so I don't have anything extra or special to give you in thanks. Sorry.

--goes into her emo corner—

But I hope you enjoy the chapter! It's funny and (kind of) Fax-y. Woot woot.

And Iggy is a completely crazy, mental 5-year-old. What's not to like?!

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 22

As all of this began to sink in, my head swimming in a haze of possibilities and options and threats, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Well, this sucks."

Fang cocked an eyebrow at me.

"Gee, you think?" he said. I sighed heavily and tried to clear my head.

There was a crash from behind me and I whipped around to see Iggy crawling on his hands and knees over the tiles. He was giggling and chuckling. I took that as a sign that Iggy was fine.

I sighed again before deciding that, if anything, we had to tell the others what was going on.

"Guys! Come in the kitchen for a sec!"

"Really?" Gazzy cried, running in and immediately turning his eyes to Iggy. It would've been cute, if Iggy hadn't been drooling and could actually acknowledge that Gazzy was worried about him.

"NO WAY!" I heard my clone shout. I rolled my eyes.

"Scaredey cat," I muttered under my breath.

"I heard that! And I'm not scared! He tried to eat me! I'm not going near anyone who thinks that I'm edible! And I don't care if it's an Eraser or one of your Flock members –"

"Just get in the kitchen. He's fine." I insisted.

"Is it safe to go in?" I heard Nudge ask as she rounded the corner, eyes flicking over Iggy and the room carefully. "I mean, Iggy's not gonna go ballistic on us and spaz out or anything is he? Cause I totally trust Iggy, it's just that he's –"

"Iggy is fine, Nudge," I reassured. "He's trying to give himself ballet lessons. He and his ballerina moves are harmless. Come on in."

Max II and Nudge slowly rounded the corner, looking doubtful. As soon as they saw Iggy though, both seemed to relax.

"Well, that's…new," my clone said as Iggy tried to spin on one foot and wobbled dangerously.

"Maxie?" Iggy said, immediately perking up as he heard my clone speak.

"Err, yeah?" she replied.

"MAXIE-KINNIES!" Iggy shouted, laughing and moving her way.

My clone turned over her shoulder and muttered, "What the heck did you guys do to him?"

"What do you mean?" I asked, frowning.

"He wasn't like this when I was in here," she said. "He was creepier…darker... and he wanted to eat me."

I rolled my eyes at her.

"Ri-ight, because Iggy actually wants to eat you. Just relax, it's a harmless version of this thing Fang and I had called –"

"Menemie-max?" Iggy said, poking Max II's cheek.

"Yeah?" she said, turning to him as he continued to poke her cheek.

"Your cheek is squishy."

"I know."

"And soft and splooshie."

"I know."

"And prr-rretty."

"You can't see it, dumbo."

"But it feels pretty."

"You can't feel 'pretty'."

"Ya-huh, I can!"

"No, you can't."

"Ya-huh times one hundred million bagillion! I know it's pretty cause it's yours and you're pretty pretty pretty! And soft and squishy and splooshie just like your chicken! HAHA, I said chicken! I meant your cheek. Ah coochi-coochi-coo cheekie-poo! Haha, that rhymes! Teehee…."

I had to bite back a snicker at my clone's shocked expression. Now this was entertaining. Maybe Iggy being crazy wasn't all bad.

He sure is funny when he's crazy …

"You smell soooooo goo-ood too, Maxie," Iggy said, sniffing over dramatically before flopping his forehead to her shoulder. She winced at him.

"Mmm… You smell good and pretty and Max-like and tasty… makes me wanna just eat chu! EAT CHU!" Iggy suddenly yelled, startling everyone (except Fang, of course) and causing my clone to jump. She pushed him off of her shoulder and took two cautious steps away.

Iggy didn't move from his abandoned spot, he just swayed side to side as though listening to a song in his head. He looked up drunkenly, before looking around the room with a sudden calculating gaze.

Years of being a leader held in my gasp of surprise as I saw that Iggy's usually sightless pupils were slitted and darker in colour.

"Mmm, it really makes me want to eat you," he said, suddenly sounding completely serious and not at all like the crazy drooling guy who had just momentarily been dancing around the kitchen. He looked frustrated and agitated.

No one spoke for a second until Max II finally turned to me and said, "See?! This is what he was like when I first got here!" Iggy's head swiveled in her direction as he quickly began advancing towards her. For every step he took, she took three back, but he never saw this, so he continued on obliviously.

"You sound delicious too, Maxie… like dinner before you break its neck and bite into it… and the blood runs down your chin…"

His voice was low, controlled, and husky, as though he was actually craving her blood now. In short, he sounded nothing like Iggy.

And I was spooked out of my wits. (Not that I'd ever let anyone see that of course. I had a reputation to up keep.)

"Max? MC?" he called, moving forwards with a sudden grace and control that he hadn't possessed before. "Where are you? I'm hungry and your neck smelled so good a second ago… makes me wanna bite into it… where are you my Maxie? You're mine, so don't run away from me. My Maxie…"

I forced myself not to stare at this bloodlust-Iggy.

The little guys were looking at me, I could tell, and my Flock-leader instincts along with my pride wouldn't let me show my worry or that I had no idea of what to do.

"You're mine, Max," Iggy hissed, his voice growing louder and more agitated. "Now, where are you!? You're mine! Where are you?!"

"See, he's trying to eat me!" my clone wailed as she inched towards Nudge. Iggy's head snapped in her direction as soon as she spoke. A feral growl ripped from his throat.

"Mine!" Iggy hissed, diving at my clone with the ferocity of a wild animal. She dove out of the way with a yelp and I heard Nudge cry out in surprise as Iggy flew past her shoulder.

And broke the table in half.

There was a stunning 'crack!' as I saw Iggy pull his fist back, from where Max II had been standing only a moment ago.

As he pulled away, I saw a thick, spider-web like crack down the center of the table.

The table was still held together, but barely. I had a feeling that if I had whistled as I walked by, it would've collapsed into two rough chunks.

"What was that!? I thought you said he was safe! You call that safe!?" my clone yelled at me. Iggy turned in her direction at the sound of her voice.

I eyed the table warily before turning back to Iggy, just as he spun on his toes and dove for Max II again. I hurriedly pulled her out of danger.

Iggy landed with more grace than I thought possible for a lanky guy his size and turned effortlessly on his toes again. The tiled kitchen floors gave a loud squeak of protest before Iggy once more dove at Max II.

"Okay, maybe I was wrong," I muttered aloud, jumping apart from Max II as we both ducked out of reach. "He's not safe and Iggy's ballet practice in the kitchen may actually be a problem." I ducked under Iggy's arm and narrowly missed having my hair snatched.

"You're mine!" Iggy snarled, and dove in my direction. I swore mentally and ran, letting Iggy tumble over a chair and land in a heap on the kitchen's shiny floor.

I felt guilt twist in my stomach but tried to push it down.

Note to self: Don't talk unless you want Iggy to kiss you and scratch you.

I jumped over a chair and landed on my feet, my sneakers squeaking as I landed.

"Max!" Fang warned, nodding his head to my left. I quickly glanced over just as Iggy jumped on me.

He may have been blind but his hearing was tops.

And, being the brilliant leader that I am, I'd momentarily forgotten that.

I yelped as Iggy dug his claws – when the hell had he'd grown claws!?—into my sides as I squirmed and tried to shove him off.

I had to bite my lip to stop my making any sound as his claws pierced the skin of my sides and began to tear up and down. My struggling wasn't helping much either.

"Mine!" Iggy growled fiercely and forced his head down to kiss me.

"Whoa! No, I'm not!" I shot back instinctively, trying to shove Iggy off of me. (Who knew he weighed so much for being such a skinny guy?)

I hurriedly pushed my hands over my face and turned my head to the side. Despite my efforts, he continued to push against my hands, his snarling lips coming disturbingly close to my ear.

Having no other choice, I did what any other girl would've done.

"Sorry, Ig," I muttered quietly. I quickly moved my hands from covering my face to grip Iggy's shoulders and bent my knees to my chest.

Apparently, I wasn't fast enough, as Iggy's lips and tongue grazed my cheek right before I kicked him in the gut and sent him sailing over my shoulder.

"Max! Are you okay?" Gazzy asked. I shot to my feet and nodded, giving a little shudder as I did so.

"Ew, Ig just licked me."

"Max, you're bleeding!" Nudge said, pointing to my shirt. "Oh my gosh! Did Iggy do that? It looks painful! Are you okay?"

I looked down, being careful to be as silent as possible as I moved away from where Iggy was shakily scrambling to his feet a few feet behind me.

Of course, Nudge was right. My shirt was ripped up both sides and now resembled a collection of streamers from the ribs down. I was bleeding through the fabric and four long marks could be seen clearly on both my sides.

"Great! That's the second shirt this week!" I complained.

"Max! Duck!" my clone yelled. I turned in time to see Iggy moving towards my voice, but he froze for a second as my clone spoke.

He turned towards her as she put her hands over her mouth to quickly stay quiet. Hearing nothing, Iggy then turned back in my direction.

That was when I suddenly thought of a plan.

I whistled lowly, ignoring the way Iggy's ears perked at the sound. I caught my clone's attention and motioned for her to move to the far end of the room. I pointed to myself and motioned the other way, hoping she would catch on.

Thankfully, she did. (What can I say? Great and cloned minds think alike.)

We ran to opposite ends of the room, and I watched Fang spin Iggy so he crashed into a wall. I winced despite not wanting to. That was going to hurt Iggy a lot in morning.

I caught Max II's eyes and she nodded once at me. I nodded back and then we simultaneously began yelling.

"Iggy, over here!"

"Iggy, I'm over here!"

"Ig, I said I'm over here!"

"No, over here!"







My gut churned guiltily as I continued calling out random phrases. I felt horrible for doing this to him (After all, we were teasing a blind guy for goodness sakes! And not just any blind guy, it was my tall, lanky, huggable, pyromaniac blind guy!) But the plan worked none the less.

Iggy recovered from his meet and greet with the wall quickly and turned to attack again. Then, he froze and began cocking his head to the side in confusion.

The voice of the person he wanted to catch was coming from two directions at once and he didn't know which one of us to run towards.

Mission accomplished.

Suddenly there was a loud 'twang!' that caused me to jump in fright and a frying pan was sitting on top of Iggy's head.

… And yes, I'm serious. There was a frying pan sitting on Iggy's head.

And I have to give him credit – I'd toughened him up pretty well. He was still standing for at least two… three… four seconds, before he finally crumpled as the pain got through his thick skull.

Only then did I see that the frying pan hadn't smashed itself over Iggy's head – Nudge had done it.

Her arms stayed in the air, hovering where they had been on top of Iggy's head. She was trembling, her brown arms shaking and her brown eyes wide and teary.

I didn't know whether to thank her or scold her, but I went for the former. (I thought it was appropriate considering Iggy was trying to eat me.)

" Uhh…thanks, Nudge, " I said, trying to force some enthusiasm and appreciation into my voice.

I'm pretty sure Nudge knew I was faking though, because she dropped the frying pan and immediately began freaking out.

"Oh my God! Oh my God, oh my God, oh MY GOD!" she cried. "I can't believe I just did that! I totally can't believe I just hit Iggy! Oh my gosh! I feel horrible! He's probably going to hate me when he wakes up and he'll never talk to me again! I'm so sorry, Iggy. I know you can't hear me but I'm sorry I just didn't want you to hurt –"

"Nudge," Fang said, silencing her immediately in a way that only Fang can pull off. "Thanks..."

Nudge's eyes began to clear of tears and she looked at him dazedly for a second before timidly asking, "Really?"

"Yeah," I insisted. "I mean, it's not what I had in mind for stopping Iggy, but it did the trick."

Nudge nodded in understanding. I smiled at her when she looked my way and that seemed to reassure her more then my words had.

"Whoa! That was close!" my clone breathed out. I turned to see her pinning herself to the wall as though Iggy could still jump up and try to grab her. Once she noticed that I was looking at her, she shot me a glare. "You call that safe!? He nearly ate us both!"

"Well, he was safe until you walked in," I defended weakly. She glared at me again.

"And just what the hell was that!? The thing…that made him want to eat me and stuff?"

"Bloodlust," Fang answered coolly, as he dragged Iggy's body over to a chair and helped sit him up.

My clone turned to him and then me before muttering, "Bloodlust? Like vampires get?"

"Not really," I said, feeling my cheeks flush. "It's more like… err…"

"An unstoppable attraction and craving for another human-avian," Fang said, not bothering to even look back at us as he sat Iggy upright. "It's dangerous and deadly to humans, and it'll last for about 12-14 days. You can't control it, but you can try to suppress it. Iggy's never felt it before, so that's probably why he went for you."

Max II blushed a light red and I stared at her in shock. I mean, I don't look that girly and dorky when I blush, do I? I?!

"So, Iggy attacked me because he… likes me?" Max II said slowly. Fang shrugged as he turned to face her.

"That, or you were just the closest female human-avian around." My clone and I both glared at a smirking Fang.

Che, typical guy -- going for the closest girl he can get his hands on.

Max II suddenly pointed a finger at Fang.

"Hold up," she said. "You said Iggy's never felt it before, but how do you know what it feels like?"

Fang raised an eyebrow as if to ask 'are you seriously that dumb?'. Max II's eyes widened in realization.

"You're in bloodlust too?" she yelled. Fang just shrugged.

"I was. I don't know if I still am."

"AHH! Stay away from me, freak! I don't want you trying to kiss me too!"

Fang's eyes narrowed warningly.

"Trust me, you're not the one I'd go after if I were looking," he muttered icily. I thought that might have been a compliment to me, but I wasn't sure. Fang was too confusing sometimes.

although he is pretty sexy when he gets possessive.

I shook my head to scatter my thoughts and I felt a light blush coming to my cheeks.

Okay, I have no idea where that came from, but moving on …

"Gaz and Nudge?" I said. "Can you guys get some ice and wrap it up to put on Iggy's head? You gave him one heck of a whack, Nudge." Nudge laughed sheepishly, unsure if it was a compliment or insult before moving to the freezer to grab some ice.

Gazzy touched the bump on Iggy's head cautiously.

"Guys," I began, "Max II, Fang, and I are just going to go into the other room to talk about this bloodlust stuff. If Iggy wakes up and he's normal, tell him about what happened. Warn him that he might still be in bloodlust too. If he wakes up and he is in bloodlust…"

I thought for a moment.

"… err, hit him again and call us."

"Okay," Nudge said, nodding alongside Gazzy. I nodded back at them, and then motioned for Fang and Max II to follow me. They followed me out of the kitchen and into Lissa's entry way, but that was where my clone stopped suddenly.

I gave her a quizzical look over my shoulder. She pointed a finger at Fang.

"There is no way I'm going into a room with him," she said.

Fang snorted and shot her a look.

"Are you scared of me?" he asked.

"No!" my clone said defiantly. "But since you can't keep your hands to yourself—"

Fang's eyes darkened suddenly.

"Excuse me?" he hissed. I gulped warningly as I felt an electric current of a fight brewing in the air. Fang and my clone glared at each other darkly,

"You heard me," she said. "You can't keep your hands to yourself."

"Where the hell did you get that idea?"

"Guys, guys," I began, waving my hands. "We need to figure out how Iggy got bloodlust - "

My clone pointed at me.

"Her ripped clothes are in the garbage and she has hickies on her neck! I'd say that's a clear sign that you can't keep your hands to yourself! Around her or me!"

I blushed furiously.

"I do not have … those!" I screeched, wincing as I came out sounding like a squawking bird. (I blame the avian genes.)

"Where on earth did you - " I began, but was silenced by my clone.

"Look at your neck!" my clone insisted.

I glared at her venomously and willed the redness in my cheeks to fade as I stomped over to a mirror hanging from the kitchen wall. I shot a second glare at my clone before pulling down the high neck of my sweatshirt.

Then my colour doubled as I saw my neck.

"Oh," I said dumbly, suddenly realizing that there were visible purple spots and clear bite marks on my neck and that, also, my bottom lip was slightly swollen.

Wow, did Fang and I really kiss that roughly in the alley!? I thought in mortification. Then, an even more horrifying thought struck me.

Oh God! Gazzy, Angel, and Nudge all saw me like this!

I wanted to grab a rock and smash my head into it, to kill myself before the redness from my face did.

I was embarrassed beyond belief. I really wanted to die. Right now. Or sometime within the next few seconds.

What on earth do the little guys think of me!?

My clone whipped around to Fang, smirking victoriously.

"See? Ha! You can't keep your hands off of her so there's no way I'm going anywhere near you when you're crazy like Idiotic-Iggy is! Especially if you try to eat me too! Or do that to me," she said, nodding in my direction.

Fang just glared at her and cocked an eyebrow.

"One, I'm not drooling and calling you 'Maxie', so don't compare me to Iggy," he told her calmly, a warning edge in his tone.

"Second, don't insult Iggy. He's my best friend and I won't hesitate to kick your butt for it, M.C." he spat out, smirking as Max II flushed at the nickname.

"Third," Fang continued, "it's Max I can't keep my hands off of, not you. You have as much appeal to me as an Eraser in a dress."

My clone scowled angrily while I just stared at Fang in disbelief. My jaw must've been hanging because I could feel air passing through my open mouth.

Did Fang just say that he can't keep his hands off of me?

I had to replay his words in my head before I realized that … yeah, he had.

Which was really weird.

What is the world coming to!? What happened to the good old days when I was just another ugly bird girl that no-one cared to look at? I want those days back! This being attractive thing is horrible! It only causes trouble. Ugh, why do girls even try to do it?...

"And lastly," Fang continued, waking me from mental shock. "You may look like Max, but you're not her. And if you make another comment like 'I can't keep my hands off of you' then I'll break your teeth. Then we won't have any problems with you running your mouth. Got it?" he hissed. His eyes were hard and his tone was serious.

My clone huffed and put her hands on her hips. "Oh yeah? Well, I thought we already talked about this, bird-boy." She stuck out her tongue and smirked back at him. "You won't hit me and we all know it. I look too much like your darling little girlfriend, Max."

I scoffed. "I thought we already decided that Fang could punch you no matter if you look like me or not--"

"She's not my girlfriend," Fang monotoned suddenly, interrupting me.

The sudden change in mood making the room go dead silent for a long, tense moment.

I saw my clone's eyes widen in surprise before she looked to me for confirmation, then back to Fang, who was now staring straight ahead like a soldier, eyes focused on nothing.

"I…but… oh," Max II said, sounding unusually quiet. There was no sound for a long time. "My bad."

Fang didn't reply and upon feeling my clone's eyes on me, I quickly ignored her stares and developed a sudden fascination with Lissa's walls.

I'd forgotten that only hours ago, Fang and I had broken up and were no longer 'together'. Just the thought that we had once been 'together' was odd, but knowing that I'd actually been through a 'break-up' with the one guy who meant so much to me was even weirder.

I felt normal and human and heartbroken all at once.

It wasn't an experience I wanted to feel. I hated feeling human.

Feeling human meant feeling vulnerable.

And being vulnerable always lead to bad things.

So, Note to Self: Fix things between you and Fang… before things get too awkward and you lose him. I added as an afterthought, feeling my gut do somersaults at the thought of ever losing Fang.

"… if you're so scared of me you can stay here, near Iggy," I heard Fang say. His voice had returned to normal and that snapped out of my thoughts.

He looked casual, as though nothing had happened but I could still see that his eyes weren't focused and that his posture was stiffer than normal.

My clone was frozen and I could see her flicking her eyes between Fang and the kitchen where Iggy was. She was trying to choose what to do.

Finally, her eyes met Fang's.

"F-fine," she stuttered out, sticking out her tongue. "I'm not afraid. I'll stay here with Iggy while you decide what the heck is wrong with him. He's your bomb boy anyways."

Fang nodded once and I did the same before walking awkwardly into the living room of Lissa's home. It was directly down the hall from the kitchen, but it was a long hall so I knew we could talk here without worrying the younger guys.

"So…" I began quickly, tying to stop the silence from creeping in. This was getting way too close to sounding like a talk with an ex-boyfriend than a talk with Fang, and that was the last thing I wanted.

So I talked like it was Fang, not my old boyfriend in front of me.

"What should we do now, Mr. Know-It-All? You seem to know a lot about bloodlust, so any clue why Iggy suddenly morphed on us? He was fine until MC came in."

"Hm," Fang agreed, nodding quietly.

"So, what do we do now? How do we get him out of it? Cause I'm sure as heck not kissing him and I doubt MC wants to. Are you gonna be the one to pucker up for Iggy?"

I heard Fang chuckle and the sound warmed my chest. His dark eyes met mine, all awkwardness gone.

"No, but before we make anyone suffer by kissing Iggy, I think there's something we need to do."

"What?" I asked. He gave me a 'what-are-you-dumb'? look.

"We need to talk to your Voice again. It's the only thing that knows about bloodlust. And as of now, it's the only thing that can help us."

Ah, sugar! I forgot to praise my beta in the opening A/N. Oops.

--bows before her all-knowing, godess of a beta / --

Ooh! I just realized that although I said I don't have anything "special" to celebrate this HUGE milestone, I do have a teaser!

Does that count at all ? (X3)

Either way, the next chapter is loaded with Faxness (Literally, thats the only thing the chapter's composed of. ;P Well, that and humour.) This teaser is unbetaed so please forgive any horrid spelling/grammar mistakes you find.

So, I give you, a teaser of your "Faxness/barely there M-content/Fang fangirls are going to attack me for this full-scene later" moment!

--throws off a black curtain to reveal the chapter-- TADAAAA!


I was shocked out of my daze by The Voice in my ear. Through the shock, I realized that I was no longer by the window.

In fact, I was at the other end of the room.

I sat up, only to lose my balance as something moved under me. I looked down and just about blacked out into bloodlust again.

Fang was under me.

On the bed.

I dared to look more closely, breathing shallowly through my nose so as to not inhale his scent too much.

Of course, that didn't help much when I saw that his shirt was wide open and concealing nothing.

I swore with every word I knew and tried to force my body to move.

How the hell did I get onto the bed!? With him under me no less!? I screamed.

Oh no, this was bad. Very, VERY BAD.

Move, Max! MOVE! Just don't think about Fang under you on the bed!...

… Mmm, Fang under me on the bed– NO! I shouted, hurriedly jolting myself out of slipping into another bout of bloodlust. NO! No no no! Focus, Max, focus! Get off the bed!

I used every bit of willpower I possessed to push myself off of him and stumble away from the bed.

Then, it took every bit of my willpower not to jump back on him.

Because, hot damn, if he didn't look good lying there on the bed!

Propped upon his elbows with his dark hair hanging in front of those equally dark eyes… Mmm…

..Those pouty lips parting and closing as he talked…

… Tall, lithe body laid out on the bed and just waiting for me…

… How could I resist that? It was practically an open invitation…

… Mmm, especially with his open shirt like that…

… To see that flat, muscular chest…

… To see that pale, hard stomach ...

... Mmm... and his chest was warm under my hands ... it felt so –

I did a double take as the warmth under my palms seeped through the blind lust of bloodlust. By the time the feeling in my hands had reconnected to my brain, I had regained my senses again.

Oh (Insert-swear-word-your-choice here!) I LOST CONTROL AGAIN! I realized in self-fury.

And once again, I was on top of Fang. On the bed. With his shirt open.

And I had ripped the buttons of his pants off now.

Oh... hel...lo...

My thought process died after that.

I swallowed hard as I caught sight of his black boxers winking up at me from the waistband of his equally dark jeans.

I couldn't swallow this time. I couldn't stop staring either.

The bloodlust wouldn't let me. The control it had over my body was too strong. And I had to admit, I wasn't sure if I was fighting it anymore... because right about now, giving in sounded a lot, and I mean A LOT, more tempting than trying to say'no' ...


Baaaaaahhh! (X.X)

--Ck blushes and hides her face--

I'm horrible. Sorry! I've probably scared off any boys from reading this story and now given all the fangirls horribly perverted images of what comes next.

But it's not as perverted as it sounds!... really...

--shifty eyes--

23. Bloodlust and Faxness

WOOT! An uber late but uber enjoyable chapter! Delivered to you between bits of Calculus and a Biochemistry carboxylic acid review.

And, this chapter is dedicated to the lovely, crazy-cool, and super sweet Owl of the Night -- a.k.a. JILLIAN! (Sorry it took so long. --throws cookies at her (because cookies solve everything! And they're drelicious too!)--

Now - onto the faxness! (:D) I hope you like it guys.

-- Love from, CK

Chapter 23

Voice… voice? Hel-lo? You there? You better not ignore me again! I'm looking for help, so now that I'm looking for help I wouldn't mind you coming in and interrupting my life…

How noble of you, Maximum…

I let out a short sigh of relief at hearing the Voice.

Good, now that you're here, I need to ask you about –

Bloodlust, I knowI'm in your head, remember, Maximum? I see and hear everything you do…

Oh, right… in that case, why is Iggy –

Acting so unusually?

Stop cutting me off! At least let me finish before you go all high and mighty on me, geez!

Iggy is nothing more than a minor nuisance… his bloodlust is not true bloodlust, but merely an ineffective short-term virus passed to him through Camille's transfer of salivary amylase… she spread her strain of the virus to him during the period she was masquerading as yourself…

I knew it! So that's where Iggy got it from!

In any case, her transfer of the mild bloodlust strain she possesses is what explains Iggy's, as you so aptly put it, 'loopy' behavior…

So, Iggy's okay? He doesn't actually have bloodlust? It's just some cheap rip-off version… I said quickly, looking for confirmation and feeling relieved.

Yes, and he will be alright shortly … until then, keep him isolated so he does not infect another with his strain of the virus…

How long is Iggy gonna have this?

His strain of bloodlust will not be nearly as long as your strain or Fang's…

So, less than twelve to fourteen days. Okay. So that means he's stuck like this for …err, a week? Three days? A few hours?...

I cannot say…

I scowled darkly at my Voice (if it were possible).

You mean you don't know!?

There was no response. I rolled my eyes.

Perfect, just perfect! Well, fine! Why the heck didn't Fang go into bloodlust or go loopy like Iggy? I mean, that Chanelle girl … you know, kissed him too… I said, feeling a streak of jealousy burn in at the thought that she had kissed my Fang.

Fang did go into bloodlust upon meeting Camille, Maximum… I believe the effects of this can best be remember as him dragging you into an alley and resulting in a loss of your favourite sweatshirt…among the destruction of some of your other clothing…

I flushed bright red, remembering the incident a little too clearly to be comfortable. I also remembered that my sweatshirt (along with my other 'torn beyond wearing' clothes and Fang's, I assumed) were now in the trash.

I soon had to suppress a growl when I thought about Fang kissing that Camille girl, though! I mean, how dare she kiss my guy! My Flock member and my Fang and he was… just mine!

The only one who should have ever touched those lips was me! Not Lissa or that wretched clone or any other girl ever —

I cut off my thoughts as they began to turn violent.

Whoa…where the heck did that come from? I wondered.

I warned you, Maximum… during the last days of bloodlust things can get violent... the disease sees those last few days as an essential reproductive attempt to force your body to retain the bloodlust through extreme cravings of heat by making it extremely hard not to mate or –

Okay, I get it! I said quickly, feeling my cheeks begin to burn. Jeb had never given us 'the talk', but I was old enough now to know bits and pieces of it.

However, I did not want to learn everything about it from a Voice in my head. Especially not one who had a tendency to make me do stupid things.

Stupidity is a title only the perpetrator may wear, the genius cannot be blamed…my Voice said.

So what you're saying is that you think you're some I'm-better-than-you-genius and I'm stupid for listening to you? I beg to differ on that … I shot back. A sharp, agonizing burn went through my head. The room swayed slightly and I felt a wave of nausea go through me.

Watch your language, Maximum… my Voice said threateningly. I will remind you that since Experiment 312041 kissed him, Fang is once more in bloodlust… however, after recovering from it once, his reactivity is much more controlled than your own…

My head snapped up in realization.

Camille spread bloodlust and she had given it to Fang. Again.

I swore mentally.

And I'll enlighten you , Maximum… the only thing stopping you from 'going loopy' as you put it, is my control over you… therefore, do not test my patience… unless you'd like to become an 'airhead' as you call it, once again…

You're the one who turned me into Barbie!? I yelled, feeling completely furious as raw anger washed through me.

You… you!? ARGH! You let me act like an airhead and then let me gain control again?! You've been toying with me and my bloodlust all this time?!

Are you sure that's a question you're prepared to have answered? came my snarky, smug reply.

Now, I don't know if you know this, but I don't do well with being caged, controlled, or made fun of. It comes with the whole package of being in a cage since I was born. So, in this case (since I couldn't physically slam my fist into my Voice's face and beat it bloody) I went with Plan B.

I called him as many swear words as I could.

(Which may not have been smart, but it felt really good to do.)

Until white-hot pain exploded behind my eyelids.

I heard a scream that sounded like someone crying for bloody murder. (And trust me, I know what it sounds like when someone is literally screaming bloody murder.)

Then suddenly, images flashed through my head. Ones of me, Fang, and the Flock, buildings, trees, eyes, numbers, letters, words…. All of them were moving at such a dizzying and head-pounding pace that I could barely see them.

I realized I was getting a brain attack from my Voice, but the last time I had one seemed like ages ago. The pain was sharper than I remembered, and everything was so blurred and rushed that I felt nauseous.

I couldn't see, couldn't hear, and could barely keep myself conscious as a whirl of fast-paced, illuminated, and repetitive images flashed behind my closed eyelids in a dizzying pattern that would've made me faint if I had been anyone else.

After what felt like ages later (but could've been anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes) the images suddenly stopped on one frame and slowly began to blacken – like a TV that had been unplugged and was slowly losing the picture.

It was of a girl – beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, and busty. She looked to be the same age as myself, Fang, and Iggy or a year older, but she was beautiful in just about every way. And I suddenly realized that I'd seen her before – the last time I'd had a brain attack.

Something seemed to pull at me when I saw her, but before I could think of anything else, my head went dark.

"Max?" a deep voice said. I giggled a little as the voice repeated my name, low and husky and deep….

"Teehee, deeee-eep," I said, laughing at my own voice. Above me, Fang was staring at me with wide, dark eyes.

Heat flooded through me as I looked up at him.

Oooh, I can see down your shirty, Mr. Fang-fanger-rangger! Haha…

I grinned up at him.

"Helloooo handsome! Ow ow!" I teased, laughing at his expression. I thought I heard him mutter something that sounded oddly like "you can't be serious".

"You're weird, Fang. I'm not serious because being serious is a bad bad thing! Ahaha! I'm happpyyy! Not serious or grumpy-pants like you, just happy and snappy and pappy! Wheeeee! Haha, I said 'pappy'. Pappy! S'not even a word! Ooh! I said 'snot'! I'm so bad. Baaa-aaad, like a sheep."

I snorted at myself. Man I was funny!. I burst out laughing as my snorts got louder and my laughter became too much to hide. I sounded like a piggy! Besides, who wanted to hide their laughs anyway?

"Laughing is fun! Eeeee-i-e-i-o. A-oooooo!"

Roughly I was hauled to my feet. I saw Fang glare at me furiously and shake me by my shoulders. I stumbled and tried to stay upright.

I couldn't understand a word he was saying! His voice was loud and low though…but sometimes went high! Then went low… low low loooowwww… heeehee.

Distantly, it clicked why Fang sounded so weird.

I'm in bloodlust, aren't I? Ooh, I'm in trouble now. Fang is yelling and huffing and puffing at me but I can't hear him! I can't heeeaar youuuu! Dun dun duuuhhh!!

He shook me again as his voice got loud one more time. I stumbled as he pushed me and ended up doing a somersault and falling on the floor.

Oopsie daisies.

I looked up as Fang as I tried to get up, only to see him still glaring down at me with a big, scary, mean face. Grr!

Mmm, on second thought, his big scary face is actually a pretty sexy face too... Me like-ee…

I caught him opening his mouth to say something, but luckily, before that could happen, I silenced him by kicking his legs out from under him. For a guy with wings, he fell pretty clumsily.

He gritted his teeth at me, muttering something under his breath. And before he could start saying more stupid things I wouldn't care about, I crawled into his lap and pressed my lips harshly against his own.

Hehehe, he tasted so sweet when he was surprised. His lips were softer this way too…

I felt Fang pull away a little, no doubt feeling a little confused at the whole situation.

Nun-uh, no pulling away! I want kisses and I want them now!

He tried to say something, but I silenced him once again with my lips.

I loved the taste of Fang's lips. They felt so soft and warm. I ran my fingers through his hair, burrowing my fingers into it and tugging on it a little so that he would tilt his head back and give me more to kiss.

Parting, I could see confusion and a little bloodlust creeping into Fang's eyes. Ooh, goodie! Trying to see if I could get Fang's bloodlust to come out and play, I skimmed my lips down his cheek and to his neck. His neck was almost as sweet as his lips, just a little saltier. But the taste of his pulse fluttering under my tongue as I licked his neck more than made up for that.

Mmm, I wonder what other parts of Fang taste this sweet ? Guess I'll have to find out…

I let my tongue flicker over his tense neck and strong jaw before reluctantly bringing them away to travel up to Fang's lips once more. I could feel him hesitating as he kissed me back and I whined low in my throat to tell him that I was not happy about the hesitation.

Kiss me, I silently urged. Kiss me…come on…you know you want to, just let go and show me what your lips can do…

Fang suddenly and gently pushed me away, breaking the kiss and locking his arms as he pushed me away, preventing me from getting any closer. I just about whimpered, until I saw the way he was eyeing me like I'd just confessed my dream was to win the Miss America Pageant someday.

Then, as suddenly as it had disappeared, my sense of reality came back to me like a T.V. channel being switched from 'off' to 'on air.'

I blinked once…twice… and then looked down at myself and Fang.

Oh (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here)!

Voice! I am so going to get you for this! How dare you make me into… into a… ARGH! I'm gonna kick your butt so bad you're going to wish you were –

"Max? You back to normal now?"

"F-Fang!" I began quickly, stuttering over his name in a very un-Max-like way. "I didn't mean … it wasn't… you… and I…err..."

"Max," Fang said, raising his hands slowly as he moved a little closer to me. "It's okay," he cooed (or at least he sounded like he was cooing).

I kept backing up to the window, not wanting to get too close.

Yet, I couldn't deny that his voice was so low and calm that it relaxed me. He sounded so concerned, yet so controlled…. So worried about me, although he hid it in undertones of his voice… but his voice …

Mmm, it was the type of voice I could melt into… the type of voice that made every inch of you heat up when you heard it before breaking into goosebumps of anticipation …

… It was so sweet and reassuring it made you want to throw him on the bed and bury your hands into his thick hair…

… Kiss those pale full lips…

… It was such an alluring voice…

…. it sounded so much like the way you would talk to a lover in bed…

Or talk to someone who's about to throw themselves off a building …My Voice mocked.

I was shocked out of my daze by The Voice in my ear. Through the shock, I realized that I was no longer by the window.

In fact, I was at the other end of the room.

I sat up, only to lose my balance as something moved under me. I looked down and just about blacked out into bloodlust again.

Fang was under me.

On the bed.

I dared to look more closely, breathing shallowly through my nose so as to not inhale his scent too much.

Of course, that didn't help much when I saw that his shirt was wide open and concealing nothing.

I swore with every word I knew and tried to force my body to move.

How the hell did I get onto the bed!? With him under me no less!?

Oh no, this was bad. Very, VERY BAD.

Move, Max! MOVE! Just don't think about Fang under you on the bed!...

Mmm, Fang under me on the bed– NO! I shouted, hurriedly jolting myself out of slipping into another bout of bloodlust. NO! No no no! Focus, Max, focus! Get off the bed!

I used every bit of willpower I possessed to push myself off of him and stumble away from the bed.

Then, it took every bit of my willpower not to jump back on him.

Because, hot damn, if he didn't look good lying there on the bed!

Propped upon his elbows with his dark hair hanging in front of those equally dark eyes… Mmm…

..Those pouty lips parting and closing as he talked…

… Tall, lithe body laid out on the bed and just waiting for me…

… How could I resist that? It was practically an open invitation…

… Mmm, especially with his open shirt like that…

… To see that flat, muscular chest…

… To see that pale, hard stomach ...

... Mmm... and his chest was warm under my hands ... it felt so –

I did a double take as the warmth under my palms seeped through the blindness of bloodlust. By the time the feeling in my hands had reconnected to my brain, I had regained my senses again.

I LOST CONTROL AGAIN! I hissed in self-fury.

And once again, I was on top of Fang. On the bed. With his shirt open.

And I had ripped the buttons of his pants off now.

Oh... hel...lo...

My thought process died after that.

I swallowed hard as I caught sight of his black boxers winking up at me from the waistband of his equally dark jeans.

I couldn't swallow this time. I couldn't stop staring either.

The bloodlust wouldn't let me. The control it had over my body was too strong.

And I had to admit, I wasn't sure if I was fighting it anymore... because right about now, giving in sounded a lot, and I mean A LOT, more tempting than trying to say 'no' ...

More Faxness coming up in the next chapter! And it's slightly more descriptive than this stuff. Or at least, I plan on making it more descriptive -- just a little. LOL

… I hope that's okay for this fic being "T-Rated".


24. A New Flock Leader ?

Okay, two things :

1) The "possibly more descriptive Faxness" I talked about in the A/N at the end of the last chapter? Forgive me, but that epically failed. (=C)

2) **This was taken from a PM I sent to gypsyprincess94, and I'm reposting it here so you all know whats going on**

Believe it or not (and I don't blame you for thinking 110% NOT!) I really am trying to finish Bloodlust 2, but school and work have REALLY dragged me down. What I'm trying to do is write the remaining chapters -- all of them, from here until the end of the fic-- and then post them all at once. That way, I can once and for all end this thing. Its been causing me a number of problems.

That is all. And I'm sorry. I will post all the chapters to end this fic once life stops beating me black and blue.

~ Love from, CK

Chapter 24

I could feel him under me, and what a feeling that was. His whole body was a wreck…his muscles were tense and his skin felt hot to the touch. Feeling him writhing and moving under me, my body went into sensory-overload .

It wasn't until Fang grabbed my fingers so hard I heard one of them break that I realized I had my fingers hooked around the waistband of his boxers and was trying to pull them down.

His voice broke through my bloodlust so suddenly it was like glass shattering.

"Max, I said ENOUGH!" he bellowed. His grip tightened and I heard two more sickening cracks come from my fingers. Then, as the bloodlust flooded out, the realization and pain of having my fingers broken came flooding in.

"OW!" I yelled, suddenly aware that Fang was strong and could deal out a fair bit of pain when he wanted. I was partially proud and partially miffed at this, seeing as how the jerk had just broken my fingers. Ow!

I tried to glare at him, only to realize that if there was anyone in the room who deserved to be glared at yelled at it definitely was not the guy who had chivalrously tried to stop the attemped rape on him by his lust-crazed ex-girlfriend-who-he-was-never -technically-never-dating. (Hey, we hadn't ever had an actual "date" so was the way I saw it. Or tried to. It hurt less that way. And shut up! You did not just hear me confess that I hurt without Fang!)

I cast him a look, and reeled in my pride. I think I owed him an apology. But before I could utter a sound, the bloodlust hit me like a rubber ball bouncing off the wall.

Fang still looked sexy. Way too sexy for his own good, or for me to be held responsible for my actions.

God, Fang! Why does he have to be so… there. So right there and half-naked. And staring at me like that, with those dark eyes. And have I mentioned the half-naked part?

Just to kiss him… just once more won't hurt…

Mmm… and to sink my teeth into that neck…

rip through the skin of his throat with my bare hands…

feel his hot, thick blood running down my hands…

. taste his hot, metallic blood on my tongue as he screamed in agony…

and sink my teeth in deeper…

Deeper… deeper…

Right down to the bone and brake his neck…feel it crack under my teeth…

Mmm, feeling the vibration of him screaming …

Doing all of that to Fang would be so…so…


"Mmm….yes!" I heard myself all but moan.

Then, the rubber ball of bloodlust was chucked out the window as sanity came back at me, screaming. I flung myself backwards as hard as I could.


"Max!?" Fang said worriedly, not bothering to hide the fear in his voice. He took two rushed strides towards me and I cried out in warning. I threw the closest thing I could grab at him. He swiped it away without a glance.

"STAY BACK! GET AWAY FROM ME!" I yelled, looking around the room and moving backwards like a woman possessed.

"Max!" he yelled, moving forwards again. I cried out and that seemed to shock him enough to stop him from moving any closer.

"I'll... I'll kill you! Fang, get out!"

"No," he said stubbornly, his jaw set and eyes dark and calculating.

Realizing that I was staring at him, I hurriedly looked away.

Don't look at him… don't look at him… whatever you do, don't look at him…

I ran to the door, throwing it open as I threw myself into the hallway. I tripped in a very un-Max-like way and started scrambling on my knees to get away from him.

What was wrong with me? I felt so scared. And I never got scared! Or this out of control! I didn't want to hurt him, but I couldn't help myself. I was going to… I am going to…

Then, I saw it – there was a window above the staircase. It was there, right there, and it was open.

The breeze hit my nostrils and then I could almost feel the wind all around me, the air getting cold as I flew higher, higher, higher…


I had to escape, and that window was going to help me do it.

"Max!" Fang said, following her quickly. She tripped on her feet and started scrambling away on her hands and knees. The sight almost made him choke.

Strong, determined Max was running away from him – futilely trying to get farther away, as if he were some horrible monster who was going to kill her.

Like he was something worse than an Eraser or a whitecoat.

He reminded himself it was only the bloodlust making her act this way and continued towards her purposefully. Then, she suddenly got to her feet and ran to the stairs.

His first thought was, Please don't fall down the stairs. He didn't know if he could jump the rail or get to her fast enough if she were to trip.

Then, he saw her jump on the windowsill, and all he could think of was the one word : No.

Then, in the same way he had left her on his first night of bloodlust – at a time that seemed like forever ago, when they had been staying in that little hotel room in Florida -- Max unfurled her wings and jumped out the window.

There was the telltale 'fwap!' of her wings unfurling, then the steady, powerful beat of wings pushing off, followed by a 'whoosh' of air. Then, there was silence.

Fang stood, staring at the window, like a man witnessing the Titanic sinking.

Then, he ran at it, jumping out and up in a single smooth motion.


He looked east, west, up, over, but there was no sign of her. Anywhere.

He swopped above the house, using his raptor vision to pierce for even the slightest speck that could be Max on the horizon. Seeing nothing, he swooped to ground level, ignorant if there were neighbors outside or if he could be seen. He checked the ground hurriedly, looking for shed feathers, a dropped shoe – but there was nothing. He knew Max would

never be so careless as to leave a trace of herself behind.

He listened attentively, but only silence greeted him.

Max was coming back. She had to.

…. Right?

More silence.

"MAX!!!" he screamed as a last effort, but knew that she was beyond hearing. In his head, the logical part of him had already accepted the truth, but the stubborn side of him refused to believe it –

Max had abandoned them.

He swore under his breath, flying around the house once more before returning in the same window he had jumped out of. There was a click of a door latch down the hall. He whirled around, only to see Angel waddling out of Lissa's room, rubbing her eyes sheepishly and looking every bit as adorable as a child her age could.

Her tired blue eyes blinked up at him owlishly. "Hi Fang. I fainted, didn't I?" she started plainly. "And I've missed a lot. But, are you okay?... No, you're not. I can tell. You're panicking because Iggy's downstairs… giggling and twirling?... and you think Max II has gone 'mental' and you and Max just –"

"Angel! Enough!" he shouted, silencing his thoughts from her. He'd forgotten Angel could read his thoughts so easily.

You idiot! He cursed. Don't ever forget that Angel is a mind-reader! Especially if she finds out about Max –

He quickly cut off his thoughts again.

"Angel, leave!" he barked.

He saw her flinch at his tone and watched in horror as Angel's blue eyes widened in hurt and mild fear.

He almost did a double take but stopped himself.

That wasn't really fear in Angel's eyes, was it? Not directed at him. Maybe at an Eraser or Max being injured, but never because he'd yelled at her. He wasn't that terrifying to her

….was he?

"Go downstairs with Gazzy and Nudge," he ordered. Angel ran to the stairs without a complaint. He could see that her shoulders were up by her ears in an attempt to make herself smaller.

He turned away from Angel to return his gaze to the window. Max was going to come back. She would never abandon them. NEVER. It wasn't in her nature.

Then, a horrible and sudden realization hit Fang harder than any punch to the gut ever could. He felt his breath catch and his heart stop momentarily, every inch of him tightening and refusing to move.

He was the leader of the Flock now.

He was the oldest. He was also the only one with a sane mind right now.

Iggy was twirling and giggling like an idiot and obviously not himself.

Max II was terrified of stepping foot near himself or Iggy.

Meanwhile, Nudge and Gazzy were downstairs and probably more confused than they had ever been in their lives.

Plus, he had almost made Angel cry.

He was supposed to be The Flock leader until he could find Max.

I'm not a leader. Max, didn't you see that!?

Max would come back because it was just what she did. But The Flock was going to crash and burn without Max around.

It wasn't "The Flock" without her.

Max held the Flock together.

And unless Fang found her soon, he was going to be the one who tore the Flock apart.

OOH! Cliffie!...Again.

So, I have to say, I cannot believe that some of you were still faithful enough to still watch this fic and review and comment on it through the MONTHS of me not posting a drop of ANYTHING. (O_O) It breaks my heart and I feel horrible. So right now I'm going to say :

Do yourself a favour and don't hope for anything.

Please? Stop reviewing and posting beautiful comments cause I feel like a kid stealing a bible off an altar while the church is holding a bake sale to help poor, starving, illiterate children! I open my mailbox and see I've got 300 reviews I've yet to open or read from his fic and I feel bad for you -- not me, YOU. Cause I really do want to finish this, but I can't right now. So focus on other fics and come back in a while to see the ending if you're still interested.

But, despite that, thank you. Truly. Thank you.

Oh, and to my beautiful, wonderful, sweet, and ever patient, too-good-for-me betas -- RUN AWAY FROM ME AND DONT EVER LOOK BACK!!! RUN SIMBA, RUU-UUNN!

I hope I havent discouraged you from beta-ing ever again, because you really were amazing. And you deserve a better authoress than me to beta for. Heck, your fics are better than mine so stop being a beta and kick-arse with your own fics. =D (If you havent done do already.)

And everyone, I realize this chapter sucked, but I'll try to make the ending of Bloodlust 2 worth all the crap.

Its going to be sweet and romantic, I can tell you that. =P And there will be a death, and some Faxness, and a solution to the Bloodlust craziness. Coming eventually.

25. Show Me What I'm Missing

-- A window opens and a breeze rolls in. Max, Iggy and Gazzy swoop in through the window and land on the floor --

Max: Uhh, hey guys! So, we've got this new chapter for you on behalf of CK.

Iggy: She's studying for her Senior exams somewhere.... or crying because of Senior exams... or both,

Max: AH-EM! So, we wanted to give you guys this, since she probably won't post anything for who knows how long.

Gazzy: We stole it off her desk! It was awesome!

Iggy: Hey, we didn't STEAL it, per say. We just ...borrowed it and left her something in return.

Max: We did? What did we leave her with?....Hey, wait... oh no, you didn't!... MY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!?! 0_0 !!!

Gazzy: Anyways, we hope you like it! Cause we're awesome and stuff!

~ Love from, CK plus the The Flock

Chapter 25

\\*\\ Max's POV \\*\\


I had to get away. But it hurt so much. Everything hurt. My wings, my body, my eyelids… so heavy…

I had given up flying minutes ago, but it felt like hours with the way I was walking. Everything hurt. It was so heavy. It was so hard to lift my feet to take another step.

It had gotten to the point where my wings felt like they were made of stone. I had to walk, because I thought I was going to fall from the sky and crash. Why did my wings and my body feel so heavy?...

And – AHHH! Gods why did it hurt so much!? And it was so hot out in the sun, with no shade nearby! The stupid field I had landed in was so open and empty, despite the green grass and that weird white powder that was all over the ground in front of me.

… wait, what was that white powder? It was only a few feet away… Why couldn't I see it clearly?! NO! I have raptor vision so why the hell was my vision suddenly worse than an old woman's!? …

What's wrong with me?...I'm so…so…

My legs crumpled and I fell onto the white powder, ripping skin from my cheek and hands as my feet twisted awkwardly in the grass behind me.

Grass that gave way to a giant white-powdered triangle…where had I seen these?...

My eyelids were so heavy now, and everything hurt… even breathing hurt…

My eyes slid shut, and distantly in my mind, I pictured the green grass meeting this white triangle where I knew I was going to pass out…

But… it wasn't a triangle… it was a diamond…

A baseball diamond.

Hmm, I hope no-one has a game today…

Then the weight of my body, my wings, and my lungs all collapsed. Darkness swept over me like a blanket, and I felt a surge of bloodlust and desire go through me like liquid fire before, suddenly, I was numb. I fell into a dreamless sleep… and... and...

//// Fang's POV ////


"Fang? … Fang? ... FANG!"

I turned and saw Iggy climbing the stairs towards me.

"Yo, Fang, what's going on?" he said.

I said nothing in response, but eyed Iggy suspiciously. He sounded normal enough. There was no slurred speech and his eyes looked normal. (Well, as normal as they could get.)

As if seeing the glare I was sending him, Iggy raised his hands in surrender.

"Yeah, it's me. And I mean the real thing. No more dancing on tiled floors for me, or giving Max II nicknames. I like being alive, thanks."

I allowed myself to believe that Iggy was normal and I let him move up beside me on the top of the stairs. Silence spread between us as I tried to think of what to say; how to explain to Iggy what had just happened.

Should I tell him? He was my best friend but still, there were things Max and I hid from everyone except each other. We were the oldest so we often kept Iggy out of the loop. We hid our doubts, fears, and weaknesses from everyone else. Still, without Max, could Iggy be strong enough to replace that and –

"Fang, what happened to Max?"

Ice water took the place of blood in my veins, making my entire body momentarily numb and horribly cold. Then as fast as it had come, warm, pulsing blood regained its place and I shook of the cold feeling silently.

"What are you talking about?" I replied, glad my voice sounded neutral albeit slightly irritated. Iggy frowned at me.

"I may be blind, but I could feel your tension in the South Pole it's so obvious. Something's wrong, clearly, and the tension started as soon as I told you Max would kill me. So obviously, this has to do with Max….wait, I'm not already dead am I?"

It was an overly obvious and overly bad attempt to make my smirk. Heck, I would have smirked and punched him if Max had been here.

But she wasn't, and I wasn't exactly in a smirking mood.

I made up my mind and tried to straighten my shoulders – look taller, broader, more leader-like. I ignored the fact that Iggy wouldn't see it, but maybe he could feel it, just like he'd felt my tension.

"She left," I told him.

There was a flickering moment where Iggy seemed to take in my words and analyze them, before there was a "For how long?" from Iggy.

Just from the tone of his voice, I knew he understood what I meant.

"I dunno." Maybe for good unless we can find her.

"Oh, okay." We'll find her Fang. She would never leave us.

"….." We can't let the others know. This is just between you and me.

"So, you wanna grab something to eat and then go see if we can find that girl? You know, the Camille girl who kidnapped Lissa?." Lets make a plan and then go look for her. As a Flock, even if the little ones don't know, one of us is bound to spot her.

"Yeah, we should probably do that." Right, we need to find Lissa and her kidnapper too. Damn.

I inhaled deeply, feeling my chest rise as I reluctantly pushed aside my pride for the sake of being a 'leader'. I was smart enough to know that I needed help. Serious help.

"Hey Ig, what do you think Max would do right now?"

Iggy pursed his lips, and ran a hand threw his mess of hair before giving me a shrug.

"Uhh, make a list?" Iggy offered with a scratch to his head. I didn't reply but I thought back on what he'd said.

Yeah, a list sounds like something Max would do…

Another thought wormed it's way into my head and I turned to Iggy again. There was no way, but still... maybe…

"Hey, you remember what happened when you went into bloodlust right?"

"Uh, kind of. Why?"

"Did you have top force yourself out of it? You seemed like you had no control."

"That's because I didn't. I couldn't really make out anything. Heck, I only know that I was dancing because Gazzy made fun of me for it. But hey, I thought –"

"So it just ended for you. You didn't have to force yourself out of it or control your actions." I almost felt optimistic. "Do you still want to attack Max II right now even though you're in control?"

"…no. Why?"

I narrowed my eyes and resisted the urge to smirk in relief. Iggy suddenly seemed to interpret my thoughts and he pointed a finger at me and his eyes widened slightly.

"Fang, was your bloodlust like that with Max?"

"No. I was aware of everything I was doing, but not what I was saying or hearing. Plus, I still wanted to jump her even when I had control of my body. I… Gods, Ig, you have no idea how badly I wanted her…her eyes, her mouth, her body…just to taste her was a want so strong it nearly drove me insane every night…"

"Uh, okay. In the nicest way possible, I'm gonna say – !" Iggy made a melodramatic gagging noise, but I ignored it.

"The urge lasted for days the first time I had bloodlust, but it's gone now. Even though I got bloodlust again when Max and I went looking for groceries..."

Iggy's eyes widened further and his finger was suddenly jabbing at me excitedly "So you're saying – "

"Our bloodlusts were different."

The sentence rang in the air, and hope suddenly seemed possible.

"The bloodlust I had with Max back near the coast," I told him, "and the one Camille gave you aren't the same one. The one Camille spread to us lasted only a few minutes. The one from Max's blood lasted for weeks."

"YES! So maybe what Lissa has isn't as serious as we thought! If Camille's bloodlust is 'fake' or something, than it's not the legit stuff that can kill humans!" Iggy cried out, grinning in triumph.

I wanted to grin in return, but another troubling thought hit me.

"But, it's been almost a month since Lissa contracted it, and her boyfriend has had it for even longer."

"So what? Maybe it takes longer to work itself out of human bodies than human-avian bodies?" Iggy suggested.

I doubted that was the case, but hey, anything was possible. (a.k.a. Note the fact that we have wings.)

"So, now what do we do?" Iggy asked. I was about to say something sarcastic, but paused as I realized he was seriously asking me what our next plan of action was.

Damn it! Planning was what Max did best. Not me.

I thought back on our discovery and what Iggy had told me before. What would Max have done in the situation? Make a list. And probably hunt down Lissa and her kidnapper.

Max had never failed me before – ever – so I figured she wouldn't start now.

Fang's Mental To-Do List

* Find Max.

* Don't let Angel, Gazzy, or Nudge realize we need to find Max.

* Find Lissa and the shape-shifter, Camille.

* Figure out how long it takes for Bloodlust to spread between humans.

* Find a cure for humans for Bloodlust

* Tell Max she's the dumbest person on the planet and then make her pay for being so stupid as to think I don't need her.

"Ig, go get the little guys and tell them we're going to look for Lissa and Camille."

Iggy saluted and obediently turned to head back downstairs. Distantly, I heard Max II shriek something but I ignored it. I moved swiftly to Lissa's bedroom, and spotting my black laptop in its faded dark casing, I hurriedly pulled it out and logged in.

The keys met my hands with a familiar ease as I logged onto the internet and began typing. I had admitted to myself that I need help. And, as a man, I thought this would be a good a time as any to stick to my word...

Fang's Blog.


Okay guys, here's the deal. We – The Flock and I – need your help.

We don't need you to trash whiteouts offices or stop the adults from ruing everything this time. Save the dangerous stuff to us; the people who actually know what they're doing. Besides, I don't want your mom e-mailing me, complaining that you failed your Biology test because I told you that you had to save the world. (Nice job, Dylan Mrazick from Toronto, ON. Tell your mom I say 'hi')

But you guys said you wanted to help? Fine. If you really want to, here's what you can do for us :

Find Max.

If you've read anything I've written, you already know who Max is and what she is to us. She's gone. She had a moment of safety-awareness (for once) and thought that by staying with us, she might somehow hurt us. Call it PMS or whatever.

The point is – she's gone.

We're in Washington right now, so keep an eye out. I'll post more later, but let me know if you find any sign of her. (And yes, a trail of half-eaten chocolate chip cookies counts as 'a sign of her'.)

~ Fang.

"Fang?" Gazzy called as he entered the room. "Iggy said you wanted to see us all up here."

I flicked the computer shut, and turned to the Flock who were standing in doorway. They were waiting for orders. My orders.

"Were going to hunt down Lissa's kidnapper," I told them.

Nudge and Gazzy look surprised. Angel didn't even blink. Nudge opened her mouth and blubbered for words while Gazzy just nodded at me in blind, trusting acceptance.

"What? But shouldn't we…" Nudge began, but paused at seeing that we were lacking a certain someone. Confusion bloomed across her features as I saw the invisible gears in her head churning. She opened her mouth, but I cut her off.

"Max has already gone out to do her own thing to find Lissa," I said. It was a half-truth, so no-one could ever say I wasn't thoughtful of the younger guys.

"Oh." Nudge sounded almost disappointed, but she seemed to have bought my words.

"So, where do we start?" Gazzy said, already extending his wings and moving for the shattered window in Lissa's room.

Right, good question, LEADER. Where do they start?

"Hn. You should know." I told him. Gazzy eyes widened in a mixture of concern and confusion.

Nice job, I thought to myself.

"Uhh…I should?..." Gazzy said cautiously, as though afraid I would yell at him if he said the wrong answer.

"The water tower," Angel said in a positive tone. I didn't comment. She sounded like she thought this was a guessing game that she already knew all the answers too. But then again, Angel probably would know all the answers if this were a game.

"Camille should be at the water tower," Angel repeated. "I can hear her thoughts. She's angry and scared and worried. And she's injured too, so we should be able to beat her, especially with all six of us."

I chose to ignore the fact that Angel's mind reading abilities seemed to have expanded again, and the way my chest tightened for a moment as she said 'six'.

Max wasn't here to make us a Flock of six.

"You're coming with us, right M.C?" Angel said, as if reading thoughts about person number six.

Max II just raised an eyebrow.

"Uhhh, no? And don't call me M.C. I'm not going anywhere with your freaking blonde bomb boy who wants to eat me or that…" She cast a dirty look at me, "… guy, who's been in bloodlust twice already and will probably try to kiss me because I look like his girlfriend."

"Haven't I already told you not to say that I'm attracted to you? To me, you're nothing more than an Eraser in a dress. And secondly, I have no girlfriend, remember?" I spat out viciously. I was getting sick of having to tell her this. I was beginning to think she was doing it just to spite me.

Suddenly, there was a stunned gasp from Nudge.

Reason #413 Why Fang Should Not Be The Flock Leader : He reveals information to the younger ones that they would have,otherwise, been naively blind to. Because of this, the younger ones will now spend all their time worrying, panicking, blaming him, or pitying him.

"You're not with Max anymore?" Nudge cried out. To my horror, Nudge's brown eyes filled with tears and she looked at me with something akin to blame. I knew that she was silently asking what I'd done to hurt Max.

Hell, it was the other way around! Did no-one realize that Max had hurt me!? Max was just too stubborn to stop and let me fix everything!

I love her. Why could no-one –even Max herself – see that?

"No, but we're going to be together. Forever. Max just hasn't accepted that yet."

The words flowed from my lips before I really knew what I was saying. They were true though, however unexpected, and Nudge seemed satisfied by them as she blushed a dark pink and gave me a look that was either pity or adoration.

I chose to look away from her before she could say or do anything else to mess with my emotions.

"You guys should go," Max II said. "Who knows where that Camille chick is headed and she might already be on her way to somewhere other than Washington. I think I'd rather just chill out here. If I hear anything though, I'll let you know."

Gazzy let out a wet couch.

"Chicken!" Gazzy coughed out before smiling angelically at Max II. She just stuck her tongue out in response.

"Let's go," I ordered.

In a swift movement, I jumped out of Lissa's broken window, extending my wings, feeling them tug at my shoulder blades as I was pulled upwards and began flying towards the sun. I didn't have to look back to know that Max II and The Flock were right behind me.

"Huh? What happened?..." Angel suddenly muttered to herself.

We were almost to the Washington District water tower, soaring through the violet and pumpkin coloured skies of sunset, when Angel spoke.

I turned to her over my shoulder, studying her frowning face and pouting lips.

"What's wrong, Angel?" Gazzy asked his sister worriedly, before I could.

"Camille's thoughts. They just stopped," Angel said. "But not 'stopped' like she knows we can hear her. They just…stopped. Like she died or something."

The water tower came into sight as she finished speaking and I quickly analyzed it for any sign of Camille, Erasers, or blood in general.

It was a massive pale blue sphere on top of four beams that seemed thin as thread in comparison. Peeling and faded light blue paint were visible around the just as faded 'WASHINGTON" engraved in bold, black along the water tower's side. It was clear to see why this water tower, Nudge had all too cheerfully told us, was the main supply of all of Washington districts bathing, drinking, and football-field sized pool water. ( Nudge had discovered this after reading a pamphlet she'd picked up at our only rest stop for food between Lissa's house and here.)

Gazzy thought it looked like a big beach ball.

To me, it just looked like a blue long-legged spider.

Then suddenly, I saw a glint of movement, barely noticeable out of the corner of my eye and I focused in on it with my raptor vision. I heard Angel gasp as she caught sight of it too.

There was a girl standing on top of the water tower.

"Oh my God, she looks like she's trying to kill herself!" Nudge cried. Iggy was explained the situation by Gazzy mid flight, and all of us slowed our flight pace to thoroughly see what was going on.

"Fang?" Nudge said, her tone trembling, "you said that Max went on ahead. You don't think…? What if... if she… is she the one up there do you think? Is she trying to kill herself?! Oh God, is it the bloodlust!? Oh my gosh, it is, isn't it? No!--"

I'll admit, I was only half-listening to Nudge rant. Most of my attention was on the girl standing dangerously close to the rounded but steep edge of the water tower.

No. There's no way in hell that could be Max.

Nudge turned to me with wide, hopeful brown eyes.

"But how do you know?" she asked quietly. I tried not to let my surprise show. Had I said that out loud?

"Because she promised me," I finally told her.

The rest of the Flock were all looking at me by now. I tried to stand taller again, more confident for their sakes. Still, there was no doubt in my mind that the girl was not Max. I was positive.

"Promised you what?" Nudge braved to ask.

"To never try to hurt herself again. Ever. Not after what happened in Florida." At those words, an immediate and solemn darkness seemed to surround us. I knew they were recalling what had happened in Florida, just like I was.

The everlasting and horrifying sight – one more shocking than anything we'd endured at the school – of Max digging that shell unto her arm and letting herself bleed freely, dripping crimson puddles and patterns onto the sand like chalk drawings on the pavement. The sand had begun to turn dark with her blood by the time we got there…

As the moment relived itself for all of us, I saw Nudge shiver violently and Gazzy bite his lip as if to stop from crying or gagging. Maybe both. Angel just looked like she was moments away from tears and Iggy looked fearful.

Realizing the deep pit of doubt I'd put the Flock into, and forcing back my own horrified reactions, I began to clarify.

"After that incident, I made her swear she would never do it again, and she did. She said she only did it because of the chip in her arm and I believe her, don't you?..." I let my words sink in. "Max would never do such a thing to herself. She's too strong for that."

My words were nowhere near being reassuring, but I was glad to see that the doubt was gone from their eyes. They nodded amongst themselves and I saw Nudge flash a smile at Angel, almost as if they were silently laughing how strong and stubborn Max could be at times.

Max…My Max…

The thought put new determination into my blood.

"I believe you," Gazzy clarified with a firm nod. I nodded back a little and the Gasman's smile lit up.

I hid my surprise well behind my determined expression and turned back to the water tower.

Was that all it really took to make someone respect you as a leader? A small nod of acknowledgement? Geez, no wonder we'd all fallen for Max so hard.

If all I had to do was nod at the Gasman to make him smile that, Max's jokes and grins and teasing remarks must've been enough to make the kid want to explode with happiness.

Which probably explained why Nudge was always so cheerful and chatty.

… Or why I had started smiling when I realized I loved Max.

I shook the thoughts out of my head and pushed away all that soft, bird instinct that made me want to croon and think about how much I missed Max.

I didn't need to miss Max.

I was going to get her back.

Actually, we were going to get her back. Starting right now…

I angled myself towards the water tower and immediately felt a burst of speed as I sliced through the air. The hawks had taught us all this move, thanks, and it was really was handy in times like this.

As I got closer at an alarming speed, I confirmed that the person on the water tower wasn't Max. She was too thin and wearing pink.

However, even though she wasn't Max, she was covered in blood, which meant she had either fought with Max or knew something about Erasers and mutant kids.

Blood like that didn't come from a fist fight.

Nor did it leave you standing precariously on the edge of a water tower high enough to kill a human before they hit the ground. (Snapping your neck because of pure speed sucks. Enough said.)

Then, something caught my eye – a flash of red that had nothing to do with the blood on her body. It was rapidly fluttering behind her, like a scarf or …

I was close enough now to see the fluttering red hair and the face of the person who owned it.

"Lissa!?" Nudge cried from behind me. Almost as if she had heard us, Lissa turned suddenly to look over her shoulder and glance all around her in clear paranoia.

Something metallic and silver flashed at us as it caught the light, although Lissa seemed oblivious to its glare at us as we hovered above her.

It was clearly a silver dagger in her hand.

Not a kitchen knife – a dagger. Cold, jagged, and beautifully crafted.

And what was the most confusing, was that she had it poised over her stabbed and blood-covered chest, as though she meant to drive it into her heart one more time …

Gazzy : Oooooh! Another cliffie for an ending. That's a big surprise.

--Max swats him over the head--

Max : ... ^_^

Iggy: This thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Oh well, I'm sure CK has a plan for it all. --shrugs--

26. AN : I'm Sorry, FUNERAL

I'm really sorry to say this, but I just found out on the 12th that my granddad died. It was not a peaceful death in his sleep and so I'm still kind-of recovering from the shock of it all. I'm going to be gone to the funeral tomorrow in Newfoundland.

I remember that the final Bloodlust chapter was supposed to go up today, but I hope you can understand why it's going to be delayed for a while.

Sorry for any inconvience,

~ C.K.

27. AN : Damn Trojan Virus but SNEAK PEEK!

Sorry to disappoint, but this is another A/N.

So, I just wanted to say thank you to you all for your kind words bout the funereal. I got back from Newfoundland last Wednesday and then had to dive straight into midterm review.

And now, my computer has a Trojan virus. –glares at her computer so furiously that it bursts into flames—

So, I told myself 'Oh (Insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here) no! I am NOT losing this final chapter to a virus wipe AGAIN!!! Ahhhhh!!!',

So the final chapter is now in my e-mail waiting to be edited and then posted. =)

I will have it up as soon as I'm able between midterms and sneakily using the computer lab when there's no classes in it (Which I'm secretly doing now. Shhh! No-one needs to know! –shifty eyes--)

Sorry again for the delay but I swear the chapter is coming!!! Just as soon as life stops trying to drown me in assignments and Trojan viruses. --sigh--

Much love! And HERES A SNEAK PEEK TO TIE YOU OVER! (See below)

Again, the full chapter should be up soon-ish. --glares murderously at laptop again--

--- Lots and lots of love from, CK

********** I AM A SNEAK PEEK! (XD) *************





* ^ * Fang's POV * ^ *


"You can't hurt me!" Chamille spat, laughing, her eyes wild. I whipped around, only to freeze as I saw she had taken on Max's form.

She looked exactly like Max did when fighting, her fists raised in the same way and her tawny and white flecked wings extended exactly the way I imagined Max's would be… Yet she was grinning widely through Max's mouth, the expression to wide and unearthly for Max. Especially when her eyes were that panicked and reckless.

"See?!" Chamille cried, laughing again as she noticed I had paused during our fight. "You can't hit me! No—you wouldn't dare hit me! Not when I'm her. You would never hurt her, even I know that!"

I paused at this, taking in her words and her grin, all while staring at Max's brown eyes.

And I had to admit it to myself, though I would never, on pain of death, say it outloud – Chamille was right.

I could never hurt Max. I wouldn't forgive myself for that. Hell, that was why I'd gone so far during my Bloodlust to avoid her. (Although dehydrating myself and leaving myself weak and defenseless in a cave probably wasn't my most brilliant moment.)

I refused to let Max get hurt because of me.


I dropped my fists and strode gently towards her. Chamille's grin widened impossibly as she too dropped her fists to point at me, opening her mouth to speak.

I moved quickly, grabbing the front of her jacket and yanking her harshly towards me. She stumbled forwards and flapped her wings widely, clearly not sure how to use them when her balance was off.

I twisted her shirt in my fist, ensuring he was unable to move away from me. I caught the glimpse of panic in her eyes.

And I cocked my fist back and punched her as hard as I could.

And despite that she was a girl, the crack of her nose breaking was the most satisfying thing I'd heard all day. (She deserved more than that though, considering the hell she'd put us through.)

Her head flew back and then rebounded harshly, her expression in one of unresponsive shock as she braved to look at me. I released her shirt, and she crumpled like a doll, blood beginning to form a steady flow down her chin.

She landed on her back and scrambled backwards on her elbows, starring at me in horror. She gingerly touched her face and then unexpectedly let out a low, keening wail of pain – a noise Jeb had taught us to hold in and keep fighting through – as she began to get tears in her eyes and curl into herself on the water tower's steel floor, whimpering as though pain was a foreign concept to her.

Hell, maybe it was, but I really didn't care. She'd cost me Max, and I wasn't about to forgive her for that.

Before she could react, I strode forwards and gripped her windpipe, maneuvering her to her knees. I made sure to pin her legs with my foot so she couldn't try to escape.

"First off, you are not my girlfriend and I don't give a damn what you look like. Just because you or her clone look like her, doesn't mean I'll hesitate to beat you into next year!"

I made sure she could hear the hiss in my voice and see the sincerity in my eyes as I glared at her. I was both pleased and a little sickened to see fear spring into her eyes.

"Now, where are Max and Lissa ?" I asked, gripping her neck to make sure we were face to face. The rest of the Flock had gathered around us at this point, and I could feel their eyes on both of us.

"…Y-y-you…" she choked out.

I loosened my grip on her windpipe just enough to let her breathe before squeezing again warningly. I felt like a monster with the way her pulse increased against my palm, but this may have been our only chance to get Lissa and Max back.

"I was…you…attack…diamond…" she struggled out, breathing heavily and weakly clawing at my arm. Her shape suddenly shifted into the first one I'd seen her in – that of a blonde teenager no older than myself.

"Speak up," I said. She threw her head up, gulping down air before her tear-stained eyes looked over at me.

"I was… you… your … shape…" she confessed.

I tried my hardest not to let her see how much this surprised me. Why would she take my shape?

"Went to…kill… Max…" she choked out.







28. AN : Last one! I swear!


The FINAL CHAPTER IS ALMOST HERE! It's in the hands of my beautiful, wonderful, hard-working, funny, PATIENT (which I do not deserve) beta, FantasyFan5 !!! Once she's done working her magic, I'll post it. =D

In any case, just an update as to why I took so long delivering the last chapter to my beta --- that Trojan virus I got on my computer? Yeah, it's cause my computer is crap.

It got infected with 3 TROJAN VIRUSES IN ONE MONTH. Grrr. I had to spend a small fortune on the thing to get it fixed and re-fixed and re-re-fixed.

--beats her lapop with an ugly stick and then lights it on fire--

--turns back to smile politely at her readers--

So, needless to say, I'm getting a new computer. Thankfully, the bits of the chapter I typed between viruses, I (luckily) e-mailed to myself .

--beats her computer again--

In the meantime, I hope you all had a pleasant Easter and good, warm weather. Bye until the next post, when Bloodust 2 ends!!! --sniff sniff--

--- Love from, CK


29. Our Ending

10 000 words and 14 pages later, the final chapter is here! THE BIGGEST THANK YOU OF THANK YOUS goes to the incrediblly patient, hard-working, talented, devoted, far-too-kind-for-me-to-desrve-her-skills, FantasyFan5 -- my beta. :D THANK YOU. I worship you, your words, and your magic editing abilities.

A big thank you to Rabidfangfan too -- whose reviews and random conversations kept me smiling. :D Thank you.

FYI, here are a few, small warnings :

(A) Fang is OOC at times in this chapter (… I think.)

(B) Parts of this are lame and rushed because I wanted to write out the "good" parts (in my opinion. Lol. =P)

(C) There's a hint of M-rated material in here. (If you squint!)



It's been a great flight guys.


--- Fang's POV ---

"What's she doing?" Angel asked, her voice trembling slightly.

I made to reply, only to see Lissa's red hair morph into blonde and her form grow shorter, curvier –

"Chamille," Nudge gasped, meaning to tell Iggy who it was (or so I thought.) In any case, Chamille's head whipped into our direction and my raptor vision caught her eyes go wide as she spotted us.

"No!" she screamed. "No no no! I won't! I-I-I won't tell you where Max is ! Go away! I'll kill you if you come any closer!"

My eyes widened at her panicked tone and at the news. She knew where Max was?

I watched her eyes scuttle between all of us like a deer caught between a crowd of hunters, her dagger still raised high. I had never thought of us in that light (Besides, Gazzy and Nudge couldn't look scary if they tried) but something about us was making her panic.

No, I thought, something she's trying to do is making her panic.

As if sensing my thoughts, her eyes flickered to me again. She started running, yet I dove after her, feeling the Flock follow immediately between the whistle of wind between my feathers. She may be able to suddenly morph and fly, but we were faster in the skies.

Then suddenly, she stopped. Her feet scrambled along the water tower as her hands gripped her head as if in overwhelming, heart-stopping pain.

I halted only for a moment in mid-flight, instinctively drawing back as the enemy did, but pushed myself forwards until I had landed with a 'clang' atop the water tower. She appeared not to notice, still gripping her head as her chest began to heave with labored breaths.

I tapped my foot against the tower, anticipating the fight to come when she would turn around and I could get Max back.

… oh, and Lissa.

I shifted into a battle stance, hearing the sounds of my movements reverberating all around us. Yet Chamille remained hunched over, her hands on her now shaking head.

"Is she okay?" I heard Gazzy mumble, "She looks psycho and stuff."

I chose not to answer as, seeing how she wasn't going to do anything, I stalked forwards cautiously. Whatever was going on in her head was distracting her, so it was the perfect time for me to pin her and force out where Lissa and Max were.

She spun on her heel and threw a wild punch at me.

It was sloppy and panicked and I didn't have to try and avoid it, ducking slightly before meeting her gaze again. But she kicked out a foot that caught me square in the chest, and that one sent me stumbling back.

"You can't hurt me!" Chamille spat, laughing, her eyes wild. I landed on my back, but kick-flipped to my feet again. I whipped around, only to freeze as I saw she had taken on Max's form.

She looked exactly like Max did when fighting, her fists raised in the same way and her tawny and white flecked wings extended exactly the way I imagined Max's would be… Yet she was grinning widely through Max's mouth, the expression too wide and unearthly for Max. Especially when her eyes were that panicked and reckless.

"See?" Chamille cried, laughing again as she noticed I had paused during our fight. "You can't hit me! No—you wouldn't dare hit me! Not when I'm her. You would never hurt her, even I know that!"

I paused at this, taking in her words and her grin, all while staring at Max's brown eyes.

And I had to admit it to myself (though I would never on pain of death say it out loud) – Chamille was right.

I could never hurt Max. I wouldn't forgive myself for that. Hell, that was why I'd gone so far during my Bloodlust to avoid her. (Although dehydrating myself and leaving myself weak and defenseless in a cave probably wasn't my most brilliant moment.)

I refused to let Max or the Flock get hurt because of me.


I dropped my fists and walked slowly towards her.

Chamille's grin widened impossibly as she too dropped her fists to point at me, opening her mouth to speak.

Taking the opportunity, I moved quickly. Grabbing the front of her jacket and yanking her harshly towards me, she stumbled forwards and flapped her wings widely, clearly not sure how to use them when her balance was off.

I twisted her shirt in my fist, ensuring she was unable to move away from me. I caught a glimpse of panic in her eyes.

And I cocked my fist back and punched her as hard as I could.

And despite that she was a girl, the crack of her nose breaking was the most satisfying thing I'd heard all day. (She deserved more than that though, considering the hell she'd put us through.)

Her head flew back and then rebounded harshly, her expression in one of unresponsive shock as she braved to look at me. I released her shirt, and she crumpled like a doll, blood beginning to form a steady flow down her chin.

She landed on her back and scrambled backwards on her elbows, starring at me in horror. She gingerly touched her face and then unexpectedly let out a low, keening wail of pain – a noise Jeb had taught us to hold in and keep fighting through – as she began to get tears in her eyes and curl into herself on the water tower's steel floor, whimpering as though pain was a foreign concept to her.

Hell, maybe it was, but I really didn't care. She'd cost me Max, and I wasn't about to forgive her for that.

Before she could react, I strode forwards and gripped her windpipe, maneuvering her to her knees. I made sure to pin her legs with my foot so she couldn't try to escape.

"First off, you are not my girlfriend and I don't give a damn what you look like. Just because you and her clone look like her, doesn't mean I'll hesitate to beat you both into next year!"

I made sure she could hear the hiss in my voice and see the sincerity in my eyes as I glared at her. I was both pleased and a little sickened to see fear spring into her eyes.

"Now, where are Max and Lissa?" I asked, gripping her neck to make sure we were face to face. The rest of the Flock had gathered around us at this point, and I could feel their eyes on both of us.

"…Y-y-you…" she choked out.

I loosened my grip on her windpipe just enough to let her breathe before squeezing again warningly. I felt like a monster with the way her pulse increased against my palm, but this may have been our only chance to get Lissa and Max back.

"I was…you…attack…diamond…" she struggled out, breathing heavily and weakly clawing at my arm. Her shape suddenly shifted into the first one I'd seen her in – that of a blonde teenager no older than myself.

"Speak up," I said. She threw her head up, gulping down air before her tear-stained eyes looked over at me.

"I was… you… your … shape…" she confessed.

I tried my hardest not to let her see how much this surprised me. Why would she take my shape?

"Went to…kill… Max…" she choked out.

My eyes did widen this time and I had to bite the inside of my cheek to resist growling at her and crushing her windpipe again.

Max was not dead. She couldn't be. I didn't – no, wouldn't believe it. Everyone of us in the Flock would have felt it if Max was gone.

"She went… bloodlust… outside of… of…"

"Speak up!" Iggy said from behind me, surprising me with the volume of his voice. I mentally said a small-prayer to a God (that I was now starting to trust) that I wasn't the only one who was going crazy about Max's safety.

Chamille squirmed again in my arms, her shape changing swiftly into that of a black cat. My foot clanged against the metallic water-tower as Chamille's foot, which I had been pinning down, disappeared from under me. Gazzy shot forward like a dart and grabbed her tail, pinning her like I had been doing. I tightened my grip around her much smaller neck to adjust to her change in size.

She wasn't getting away from us.

I loosened my grip on her neck just slightly again.

"Why were you trying to kill Max?" I demanded. The black cat let out a hacking cough and a mewl.

"I was ordered to... to 'test her'… they told me that…."

That wasn't the least bit surprising, considering what the School and Itex were like.

"I thought she'd trust me...if I went as you, so…" Chamille's breath began to steady and I kept a firm eye on her in case she tried anything. "I found her outside of a baseball diamond a few miles from here. I didn't even get a chance to say anything… before she flipped…"

My eyes narrowed and I saw Nudge shooting me a confused look. It was the type of look she used to always give Max – the 'tell me what that means, leader'.

I had no idea, but I just nodded as if I did. Hell, Max did it all the time so I knew I could too.

"Flipped?" Gazzy finally asked, voicing all of our thoughts.

"I thought you two were close!" Chamille suddenly yelled at me. I tightened my grip warningly around her cat-like neck, but she shifted back into human form.

I was left scrambling to adjust my hold on her so she wouldn't escape.

"But as soon as I landed, that… that… she attacked me! Jumped on top of me, sunk in claws which no-one told me she had! And then she tried to bite me! In the neck! Like some sort of vampire and I barely dodged it, but she caught my shoulder blade and somehow bit down to what -- I swear --is my bone and it hurts! It hurts so much and it wouldn't stop bleeding!" she whined pitifully, her eyes filling with tears again.

Pain is definitely something foreign to her, I noted. She's not used to it. She's weak against it.

Iggy whistled lowly behind me. "Max's bloodlust must be intense if she saw 'you' and then jumped like that."

I cursed under my breath at the thought.

"Max is probably in the last stage of bloodlust," I realized, wanting nothing more than for us all to fly over to her. "Where did you leave Max?"

"There's a baseball diamond a few miles west of here. She was there, with her wings outstretched and everything… not very good at hiding. She said something about wanting water and being hungry before she attacked me! The ugly frea—"

"Finish that sentence and I crush your windpipe," I warned.

Chamille's mouth quickly snapped shut.

"If Max wanted water she's definitely gonna be dehydrated by the time we get to her," Iggy said, his voice thick. "We're gonna need a bathtub full of it to rehydrate her. If we don't, her body might shut down like yours did, Fang."

I winced at the idea and thought hard, searching for what to do. What was a leader-like thing to do here? What would Max have done?

Improvise, was my first thought, and I could practically hear Max saying it to me through a grin.

I went with it.

"Gaz, Angel?" I waited until I heard them reply before I continued. "After we're done here, we're going to find Max. Once we've found her, Iggy's gonna stay by her – Ig, when I was in Bloodlust you kept me alive until they got water, so I know you'll do the same for Max. You two, go back to Lissa's place and grab all our stuff. Nudge, M.C, and I are going with you to grab as much water as we can fly with. I'll rip out all the bathtubs in Washington if I have to."

I heard them all laugh behind me, relief and worry evident in the mixing of their voices.

"Now, why are you here?" I asked Chamille. "Why are you after us and on this water tower with a dagger at your neck, hmm?"

Chamille suddenly and surprisingly looked embarrassed. She turned her head away as a flush came onto her cheeks. She muttered something to herself that I barely caught.

'Spread my blood' was all I caught from her lips.

"What about your blood?" I demanded. She struggled to inhale deeply a few more times before she leveled wide hazel eyes on me pleading.

"They… the Voice… I don't know, whoever is in my head! They said I had to! They said I had to kill myself – they tried to make me kill myself! I had to do it! To spread my bloodlust to everyone here! They told me I had no choice. The Voice wouldn't stop the screeching in my head unless I did…"

My eyes widened again at the unexpected confession.

Max had mentioned white-noise in her head before. She'd told me those blinding pains, so intense she couldn't fly, were because of that white-noise in her head; the images and words that had lead us to the Institute and to where we were now. And in Florida, when Max had taken the seashell and… when Max tried to kill herself –

No, wait. She wasn't trying to kill herself, I hurriedly corrected, she tried to get the chip out of her arm. That's all it was. Is there a chance she did because her Voice told her to? Like Chamille?...

I knew one thing for sure now, if there had ever been any doubt:

Itex and the School were officially the biggest, most manipulative, life-ruining, egotistical, selfish, heartless, (Insert-swear-words-of-your-choice-here) I'd ever met.

"Please," Chamille whimpered, her eyes still wide and watery as they looked up at me. "Let me go. I promise I won't do anything. The Voice is gone now; I think. It's stopped. I just want to get away from Itex now, like you! Please?"

I just stared down at her, unblinking and untrusting.

If she thought she could pity her way out of this mess, she was wrong. (Plus, this shape-shifter's Bambi eyes were nowhere near as good as Angel's. If I could deny Angel ice cream in Los Angeles, I had no trouble denying this girl her freedom.)

"We don't want to kill you either, so we'll let you go," Angel said, giving me a quick look.

I narrowed my eyes in confusion but Angel ignored me, choosing instead to walk up to Chamille and stroke her hair gently – like she was one of Angel's stuffed toys.

"Plus, you told us where Max is," angel continued, "so thanks for telling us that. But there's one condition – you have to answer one question before we let you go. Where's Lissa?" Angel asked.

Chamille looked shocked at the conditions of her release (or maybe it was just the fact that a little girl was bossing her around).

"That's all you need to know? And you'll let me go?"

"If we catch you doing anything in our bodies, we will find you!" Gazzy threatened, the effect ruined by the fact that he was still behind Iggy's tall frame.

"Yup! That's all we need to know," Angel answered, " you were in her shape when we found you, so where did you hide her ?"

Chamille's expression suddenly fell into despair, her forehead creasing as she shook her head gently.

"I'm sorry, but I don't know where the redhead girl is. I swear. But please let me go!"

Angel looked surprised now, which I knew wasn't a good thing. This hadn't been part of her plan.

"What do you mean, you don't know?" I growled at Chamille, recognizing that Angel was scrambling for what to do. Chamille flinched at the sound and looked between Angel and I nervously.

"W-w-well, I just did as I was told. I never saw Lissa. Ever."

I glared darkly at her again, prompting her to keep talking.

"W-W-Well, Lissa was never in the house while you were there – that was always me. Then Max showed up at my doorstep and I was told to kill her that night, so I went to… but then she started asking why I was all alone in the house. Without any parents. When I was sick…"

"That was me, not Max," I heard M.C. say from behind me.

Chamille suddenly rolled her eyes and spat out an "Argh, I know that now! But no-one told me there was a Max-Max and a clone-Max!"

"Poor you. Keep talking," M.C. said, her voice ice cold.

"Anyways, you caused all sorts of problems for me because then I had to turn around and put Lissa in bed, then sneak back into the house as her dad and then as her mom and introduce myself to you twice and ask you the same stupid questions about 'are you Lissa's friend from school?' when all I wanted to do was … just… just… kill you Max, or whoever you are, and get the Voice out of my head!"

Behind me, I heard Nudge mutter to Iggy, "Do I talk that much? I don't talk as much as her do I? If I do, I'm so so so very sorry. That's more annoying than anything I've ever heard."

Iggy didn't reply.

"What do you mean, 'you don't know where Lissa is'?" I hissed again.

Chamille sighed, suddenly becoming submissive and eager to talk again. I was seriously beginning to wonder if the girl (if she really was a girl) also had some kind of split-personality in her.

"So, I'm hiding in the dining room and I'm all ready to kill Max, when suddenly you all showed up at the door with Max. Then Voice said there was a change in plans and that I had to attack you all as an Eraser, so I did. I was supposed to find the real Max during the fight, but you outnumbered me, so I ran! I didn't know what else to do! I had to go back to acting like the redhead chick and then spread the bloodlust to Iggy as Max and then--"

"LOOK! Where is Lissa!" I barked, losing all patience.

I wanted to get to Max. We had to get to Max. But we couldn't until she told us what had happened to Lissa!

I tightened my grip on Chamille's neck, making sure she felt the pressure slowly constricting around her until she started clawing at my hands in an attempt to breathe. I made sure she could see the fact that I was impatient and irritated before I let her breathe again. She swallowed hard and hurriedly began to talk again.

"I was told you'd never hurt Lissa. I mean, the Voice showed me how to take her form and her pictures were all over the house, so it was easy to become her, but… the Lissa girl was never at her house. Not before I got there."

"When did you get there?" M.C. said, sounding stunned. "I was taking care of … well, I was gonna say Lissa but, I was taking care of you for at least a week before they got here!"

"Itex handed me the keys to her house four days earlier. It was empty when I got in there."

Chamille looked sincerely apologetic this time, her eyes pained but free from tears.

I released my grip on her, but she didn't move. She just looked continued to look up me, shaking her head gently.

"I'm sorry," she whispered. "Really, but I don't know what they did with Lissa."

...............................................................................................… THREE HOURS LATER …......................................................................................................

** Max's POV **

I felt like I was on fire. Like someone had poured acid down my throat and all I wanted now was something to drink –something to douse this burning in my gut, my throat, my fingers and my toes.

There was a mumble above me, and a cool breeze caressed my skin. I groaned in relief at the brief touch of cold but hissed in pain as soon as the heat settled again.

Then, miraculously, there were cool hands dancing across my arms and my neck, and a constant cold settled over my forehead. It felt soft, like a … wet rag? A damp shirt ?

Cool fingers wrapped around the back of my neck, and though I tried to protest having someone touch such a vulnerable spot, I couldn't open my lips. Faintly, I recognized that the cool fingers on my arms hadn't faded. So there were ... two people here? Three?

Something plastic and cold suddenly touched my lips, and I let out a pleased, surprised groan. Water poured down my lips, dripping onto my cheeks and my chin.

"Come on, Max," I heard a muffled vice say before cool fingers pried my lips apart. The water poured into my mouth once more, and I felt someone stroke my throat, causing the muscles there to contract.

Forcing me to swallow, I realized.

I saw nothing but darkness, and realizing I had my eyes shut, I forced them open. The effort it took was ridiculous, and I barely got them to flutter open, my eyelashes blocking my sight and making everything a little fuzzy.

There was a dark form above me. After a moment of letting my vision set in, I saw the blob gave way to a face and a pair of long, olive-skinned arms. I noticed other faces behind that one, all smaller than the one above me. The damp cloth on my forehead and the cool fingers brushing hair from my neck had yet to fade.

Fang? I tried to say, but my voice cracked at the sound, letting only a wheeze of air pas through my suddenly dead-dry lips.

More water was poured down my throat and I eagerly swallowed this time, my hands feeling like lead as I weakly gripped onto the side of the cool cylinder that was pouring water to me. It was large, whatever it was, I realized dazedly.

After I had drunk all the cold water I could handle, I weakly tried to shove it away. Strong hands pushed it back against my lips.

"Drink more," a high voice said. I made a slurred sound of protest (it was not a whine. I don't whine.)

"If you fall asleep again, you'll need the water. Max, please just drink it now that you're awake again? Please? You're starting to freak me out, I mean, Fang were you like this when you finished Bloodlust, you know, slipping in and out of being awake – like, that's terrifying! What if she doesn't wake up one time?"

"She'll wake up," a firm, low voice soothed.

"Fang," I confirmed to myself, grinning. Only he could say so few words that meant so much.

There were soft noises from the people above me and the dark-haired face drew closer. "Max! Max? Open your eyes."

"Th're open," I muttered. Iggy laughed suddenly.

"Her voice sounds good," he said and I felt his hands brush across my lips as light as a feather. "Her lips are still dry though, so we're gonna need some serious lip-balm for mutants once she's up and moving."

"Max?" Fang called. "Seriously, open your eyes all the way. You're making Nudge and Angel cry."

"D'nt cry," I said, still trying to force my eyes open further. I blinked hard, and was pleased to see my eyelashes moved out my sight. I saw Fang smirk above me.

"About damn time, miss invincible."

"Shut up."

Fang smirked again, the expression making his lips curl and his eyes lower just that little bit. I found myself suddenly relaxing as it sunk in that Fang was here with the Flock – everything was going to be fine.

I twisted my neck while trying to work out the kinks I felt in it (how long had I been laying like this for?). I felt strength return to me and, in true leader-like behaviour, I pushed myself out from Fang and Gazzy's grasps to jump to my feet.

Before I could, though, Fang and Iggy were both lowering me onto the grass again. Fang's T-shirt puckered as he leaned down, and I was suddenly met with an eyeful of long, graceful, tanned neck and chest.

The Bloodlust filled hit me like an electric shock.

"Oh, (insert-swear-word-of-your-choice here) !" I cried, ripping myself out of their arms and stumbling back as dizziness overtook me. Apparently you shouldn't jump around after experiencing dehydration. Or Bloodlust.

I wobbled precariously on my feet, but was saved by two small sets of hands pulling me in. Angel and Gazzy both hugged my middle as soon as I was standing on my own. I felt warmth surge through me and the Bloodlust wash out.

"I missed you," Angel said, her blue eyes filled with tears as she looked up at me.

"I didn't," Gazzy mumbled, causing me to laugh. He gave me a brief watery smile. "Well, not that much. I knew you'd come back."

I was momentarily speechless, so I just hugged them both to me even tighter.

"It's good to be back," I said, right before I was attacked by Nudge and Iggy, leaving me choking for air as the rest of my Flock surrounded me.

The Flock lead me out of the baseball field and into a dense, too-small-to-be-called-a-forest area that extended far beyond the diamond's outfield. I was still wonky at walking, so Iggy and M.C. had been forced to carry me half way.

Having Fang carry me would've been like tempting myself with an ice cream sundae, which both of us knew, so I was glad he hadn't protested when Iggy had asked my clone instead of him for help.

After we were all seated beneath the shade (and I insisted that I didn't need more water shoved down my throat), I went back into leader-mode and asked how they thought we should take care of the Chamille problem.

Everyone except Fang grinned at me.

"You're gonna get a kick out of this," Iggy said, still grinning horribly at me. "You missed all the action, Sleeping Beauty. The fight's over."

I stared up at him, blinking as I tried to process what was going on. Then it hit me like a bucket of cold water.

"What! You fought Chamille without me?" I cried. "Why didn't you wait for me? I called dibs on her face-stealing butt!"

"You were in bloodlust and were sleeping," Gazzy supplied with a timid shrug. "Fang told us not to try and wake you. Plus, you're kinda… creepy, with blood on your face like that."

Blood? I thought to myself, reaching up to swipe at my cheeks. Looking at my hand, I saw it was dirty, but bloodless.

Seeing my confusion, Gazzy pointedly timidly at his own lips. I touched my lips and I felt more than saw the dried blood crumble off of the corner of my mouth. I scrubbed furiously with my sleeve around my lips before I dared to turn to Fang.

Memories of Fang, dehydrated and weak, confessing that he'd ripped apart a rabbit with his hands during bloodlust flashed through my mind.

"What did I hunt?" I asked him. Fang looked down at me and gestured with his head to the baseball diamonds outfield.

"When we got here, I found some rabbits on the outskirts of this diamond. I buried them. Also, there was an injured doe about a mile from here. I'm assuming you tried and failed to eat her."

His tone was teasing, but his eyes were serious.

I felt nausea and disgust at myself, the two feelings writhing in my gut as I realized I had actually killed something innocent. I had just killed something that had been alive, with a heartbeat maybe even a family –

Gods, I know how Fang felt about his bloodlust now. I can't even… I just… The Flock! If I had done this to them instead!—I feel like such a monster…

"You're not a monster, Max! We love you!" Nudge shouted, throwing herself into my chest again and hugging me tighter than a steel trap.

I blinked for a few moments before I realized that I must've said that last part aloud.

"So if you guys took care of Chamille, what ever happened to Lissa?"

There was silence and awkwardly exchanged looks between my Flock. Nudge pulled away and bit her lip sheepishly. My heart sank and the sickness welled up in me again.

Gods, please let Lissa be okay. I never thought I'd say this, but if she's okay I will –

"You can't get mad okay? But a few hours ago, after we found you, Fang sent Gazzy and I to go back to the house to get all our clothes and stuff," Angel said. "But, as we were coming back here, I suddenly heard Lissa. You know, with my mind."

"Is she alright? Chamille didn't hurt her too bad, right?" I asked, almost desperately. Even after all the crap I'd talked about her, Lissa was still human. And innocent. And didn't deserve to be dragged into our hellish world.

Angel shook her head at me, and I panicked for a moment over whether it was an affirmative or a denying shake.

"Lissa was in a car –"

Did the Erasers get her? I wondered.

"No! Just listen," Angel huffed, shooting me a 'be-quiet' look. I obeyed, making mental note to remind Angel (again) that listening to people's thoughts was wrong.

"Now then, as I was saying – " I rolled my eyes at her attitude, but let her continue on. "Lissa was in a car with her family. I heard them thinking about how their vacation to Florida had been over the last two weeks, and happy they were to be going home."

Angel's blue eyes stared knowingly into my realization-stricken brown ones.

"They won the tickets in a draw –"

"I'll bet the School set that up on purpose, made them win, you know?" Nudge chimed in. Angel nodded in agreement.

"Anyways, I told Gazzy we should watch them, and so we did. They got home and, lucky for us, thought they had been robbed. They called the police and so a bunch of them are over at Lissa's house now. But we got our stuff, so it'll be okay! I told Fang and Iggy and Nudge just a few hours ago, and I thought you should know now that you're awake. You don't need to worry about Lissa."

I nodded at her, not feeling reassured at all. In fact, I was feeling pretty guilty over the poor state of Lissa's house. Iggy began speaking then, drawing my attention from Angel.

"After Fang got Chamille talking, she told us she'd used the School's resources to get Lissa's address and e-mail to purposefully lure us here. We thought she kidnapped the real Lissa in the process and that her parents were gone on business. But-"

"The entire time, the house was empty," I realized. I found I didn't have the energy to get completely mad or start screaming. I felt drained after everything we had been through. "So neither Lissa or her family were ever in any danger?"

I had an unexpected flashback to when Fang and I had been in the alleyway together. Back then, it had clicked in my mind that Lissa had never questioned us about our wings, despite that we had taken off right in front of her when we took flight from her human school. I knew something had been odd about Lissa then, and having Chamille as Lissa explained it all.

I tried to tell Fang that, I remembered, but he took her side.

"Nope, Lissa was safe the whole time," my clone said. "But the town would have been in trouble, and eventually the entire country, if Chamille had actually succeeded in killing herself."

My head snapped around so fast that, if my bones weren't stronger than an ordinary humans, I was sure I would've broken my neck.

"WHAT? Chamille tried to kill herself!" I gaped.

I heard Iggy chuckle from behind me. "I told you that you missed all the fun."

I looked to Fang expectantly, hoping for a brief explanation. As if reading my thoughts, he gave me a quick jerk of his head. I had to resist the urge to stare at his eyes and drown in them.

Watching him talk is less tempting, I decided. Don't look him in the eyes. Just focus on his mouth and what's he's saying…

"Chamille was implanted with the same chip you have, and a similar voice. She was also injected with a temporary version of 'bloodlust' by the whitecoats. Her version is less effective but spreads like the common cold. The voice in her head, towards the end, told her it was –"

I was reminded that Fang's full lips were just as tempting, if not more so, than his dark eyes. The collar of his T-shirt was safest, so I quickly moved my gaze to that. Fang unexpectedly made quotation marks with his fingers.

"—Chamille's job, to kill herself and ensure her blood got into the town's water supply. If she'd done that, the whole place would get infected, who'd then infect more people, and before you know it –"

"Total global pandemic and chaos, which means, ding ding ding! We've got a winner! Itex runs the world," Iggy ended.

His voice brought me out of my Fang hypnosis and I scrambled to pull together what had been said.

"Uhh, oh. Okay," I said, nodding firmly. It took a second before it all sunk in, and as it did, a worrisome thought suddenly struck me.

"Our fingerprints are all over Lissa's house," I said aloud, turning back to my clone.

Her eyes went wide, and I imagined mine were doing the same. She cursed loudly, mimicking my thoughts as I mulled over possible options with the best one (no matter how I looked at it) being to 'Run before the whitecoats can track us down again.'

We had to leave Washington right now.

Then, unexpectedly, I saw Gazzy hesitantly raise a hand from my peripherals. The odd gesture caused me to crinkle my nose.

"Gaz, since when have you ever had to raise your hand to talk to us? Just say what you wanna say."

He bit his bottom lip. "It might sound dumb though."

"Ahh, don't worry. You'll always be smarter than Fang."

Gazzy beamed at this, laughing a little and smiling up at me. He looked so cute – Gods I sometimes forget how young Gazzy is! – before I looked over for Fang's reaction.

His dark, chocolate brown eyes were locked on mine, and the sight of them, half-lidded as Fang smirked at me was enough to make butterflies dance in my stomach and heat curl –

No ! I hurriedly told myself, turning away from him to swallow hard. Do not go into bloodlust. Do NOT. You're stronger than this Max…

"It's just," Gazzy began, thankfully pulling me out of a daze again, "I was just gonna say that our fingerprints are all over the house, but it's not like they can catch us with that, right?"

I had to use my years of being Flock-leader not to wince. How to explain something as complicated as fingerprint technology and DNA to a 9-year-old? (Actually, he probably would understand it, but I had the sinking suspicion he and Iggy would manage to make something 'bomb-related' from the technology.)

My thoughts must've been written on my expression as Gazzy continued with a small sweep of his hands.

"I know they could track us and stuff 'cause our DNA is in our fingers, but don't we not exist?"

"Wait," Nudge said, shaking her dark-brown locks, "slow it down and repeat. What?"

Gazzy shrugged innocently up at her. "I just mean that we don't exist in any of their databases do we? So they can't catch us. It's not like the regular government has our fingerprints on file or our umm, those weird social numbers, on file right? Only the School knows that we exist. "

I continued to stare at the youngest boy in my Flock, suddenly worried he was smarter than me. My clone got Gazzy's train of thought at the same time I did.

"So Lissa and her parents won't ever know it was us who broke into their house," Max II said, snapping her fingers at the Gazzy. "That way Lissa won't be after your butts like a bat-outta-hell. Good thinking, little dude!"

Gazzy smiled again, looking proud of himself. (Or maybe it was just the title of 'little dude' he liked.)

Meanwhile, I was wondering how the hell it was I hadn't thought of that. You know you're dumb when your 7-year-old and 9-year-old are smarter than you are.

"Okay, so Lissa and her family are safe, but what about Lissa's boytoy? He had all the symptoms and -- " I began.

"Him? He doesn't exist," Nudge piped in. "There's no-one named Greg in any of Lissa's yearbooks. I would know -- I checked them all, you know, for the sake of the mission. On a side note, seriously, the cheerleading team at Lissa's school has the cutest uniforms – they're blue and green and the skirts, are adorable! I mean, they look kinda short but they're cute thaty way abd you would need them short to dop all those tricks right? So I -- "

Then, for the first time I could remember, Nudge stopped herself.

As in, all on her own, without anyone glaring or telling her to, she stopped rambling. She gave me a quick, sheepish smile and I couldn't help but realize how much of a grown-up she was becoming.

When did that happen? I wondered, with a small twinge of remorse. All of my Flock-mates were getting older, and someday, they would leave me.

But for now, I reminded myself., they're mine and they're here. And I'm not leaving them again …

"Anyways, I was on the computer a couple times too, and if she talks with this old boyfriend of hers like she said, he wasn't in her contact book or on her messenger list or anything like that. I checked… again, just for the mission. Not cause I wanted to see what it was like to have an MSN chat or anything…"

"Ah, I see. 'Just for the mission.' Thanks," I nodded at her, grinning.

"Like I said before," Iggy said, "The School gave Chamille access to Lissa's e-mail and her home address to purposefully lure us here. I doubt Lissa's ex-boyfriend ever existed."

"Great," I said, my words lacking the enthusiasm I had wanted. "Well, that's good news. Now for the bad news – We should leave Washington ASAP. We can't sit around and wait here. If the School knew we would come for Lissa, it's only a matter of time before Erasers are swarming us. We need to take flight now, before they can catch up to us."

"Aww, really?" Nudge said, looking crestfallen. I ignored the apology welling up in my throat at her disappointed face.

"Yeah. So up and at 'em!" I said, jumping to my own (wobbly, not that I would admit it) feet. The water had, surprisingly, made me feel a lot better. I was craving some greasy food, but I figured we could grab something shortly after we'd taken flight. "So guys, since Angel and Gazzy already got all our stuff, we shouldn't stay here for longer than needed. I say let's take flight now, maybe we'll land in Wisconsin? Try some cheese and stuff –"

"We should leave ASAP, but not yet," Fang interrupted. The Flock and my clone all paused around me as Fang leveled me with a steely look. "We need to talk," he said, his eyes as dark and unreadable as ever.

At this, the entire forest seemed to get quiet. I could see Nudge and M.C. looking between us with their mouths open slightly. Silence reigned for a moment.

"Come on then," Iggy sighed out, his voice sounding too loud in the small space. He helped Angel to her feet with Gazzy following quickly. Nudge picked up the three backpacks our stuff had been crammed into and she hurriedly stepped to Iggy's side. "We should let Mummy and Daddy have their little talk," he said, winking at us.

I felt my face flush momentarily.

Mummy! What the hell is he thinking! I'm not 'Mummy' I'm –

"Max?" Fang said, snapping me back into reality. He appeared un-phased by his nickname as he gestured for me to follow him back towards the baseball diamond.

I knew I couldn't refuse.

But the two of us would be alone –

I turned to my clone, who caught my gaze before I could even open my mouth.

"Oh hell no. If you go into Bloodlust, I am not going in there to save either of your butts. He'll attack me!"

I heard Fang mutter irritably behind me, "Like I said at the water tower – not you. Not anyone else. It's her."

I turned to face him, trying to ignore the way he said he wanted me. Did that mean Fang might take me back?

Wait, 'take me back'? Gods, what am I, in a soap opera? Max, this is Fang. You don't deserve to have him love you again, I chided. My stomach felt full of lead at the thought.

"Wait, what about a water tower?" I asked. Fang quickly looked to me before he looked away without giving me an answer.

"Come on. We need to talk," was all he said. I turned to my clone for clarification, but she just shook her head and pointed at me to follow him.

Then, unexpectedly, my clone turned over her shoulder and cast a look at my Flock. It seemed… sad, almost. But she caught me looking at her and shrugged the expression off before I could question her about it.

"Bye," she said quietly, still keeping up her uncaring shrug. Then, she suddenly turned and ran off in the opposite direction. I watched her go, her back to me and the Flock before it hit me --- she was leaving us. And without a goodbye.

Granted, she'd never been part of the Flock, but this was the first time she'd ever been so … nice, to us. She'd helped us and fought with us. It was sad to see her go.

I wanted to call out to her 'we'll see you soon' or 'stay with us for a bit', but she was gone through the trees before I could think of what to say.


Fang's voice no longer held any patience. Swallowing hard, I let myself mutter a quiet 'bye' to my clone's long-gone shadow before I turned and walked over to Fang. Once I met him, he began walking again, forcing me to follow behind or get left behind.

We walked away from the Flock, until their voices had all but faded from my ears. Still following behind him, I felt like a dog who was about to be put down. Or a kid about to be abandoned at an orphanage. Or –

Fang turned to face me suddenly. I stumbled a step back as I realized we were face-to-face and probably too close for my Bloodlust to handle. The trees overshadowed us, hiding us among their trunks and out of the eyes of the Flock.

"You're not allowed to talk," Fang said, seeing me open my mouth to question why we were here. "You're not allowed to run or fly. Just let me talk," he said coolly, turning so his gaze rested out among the trees.

Again, I knew I couldn't refuse so I nodded silently. My heart was pounding against my ribcage and I hoped he couldn't hear it.

I wanted to apologize. I didn't care anymore if he liked Lissa – if she was prettier and more normal than I would ever be. I needed Fang more than he needed me. My heart was pounding in my chest.

"This is the second time I've said this, and it's going to come out right this time," he muttered, seemingly talking more to himself than me. But then his eyes met mine and I knew he was talking to me. That whatever he was going to say was important for him and would change me – for better or worse, I didn't know.

I was terrified. And not since I left Fang in the school had I been this terrified. It was a sick, gnawing, slimy feeling in my throat and my gut. I wanted it gone, and so I prayed that whatever Fang had to say, he said it fast.

I wanted him to tell me I was an idiot, but that he still … loved… me.

I needed him back in my life.

But I knew (without a doubt) that having him as a boyfriend was beyond my reach now.

… but having him as my friend and Flock-mate might still be possible.

But if he said he would never forgive me for what I'd done to him, I was going to run and hurl somewhere. I could feel it.

"Max," he began in a strained voice, and I swear I stopped breathing. My heart started thudding painfully against my ribs, so loud it almost blocked the sounds of Fang speaking. He began to speak, slowly, gently, all while never taking his eyes off me.

"Max, I don't want to hurt you – ever. But I'm a guy and I'm bound to make a lot of stupid mistakes and say a lot of stupid things, but I don't mean any of it. Listen, back in the alley, all of that stuff I said about Lissa, I didn't mean it the way it sounded. Again, I need to remind you that I do not like Lissa. At all. "

I soon recognized his words as exactly what he had said to me before, the last time we'd talked seriously together. He seemed to be on a roll, as he didn't pause or break or tear his eyes from mine as the words kept flowing from his mouth. This had to have been the longest Fang had ever talked. About anything.

But why was he repeating what he'd already told me? Before I'd destroyed any chance we had of being together? That was just cruel –

"And when I said that you should stop trying to be like Lissa because you'll never be as good as her? That came out all wrong. I was trying to tell you that you're more …. everything, than any other girl could ever be."

At this, I blushed despite myself and because I had no idea how to react. He was lying, of course. Right?... right?... Fang could never see me that way, not after what I'd done to him and how many times he'd seen me covered in blood and dirt and stuffing myself on red meat.

But hope sparked inside of me. Maybe, just maybe –

"And, in case you haven't realized this yet, when something is precious to me, like you are, I protect it with my life. You can count on that. Max, the only time I would ever hurt you or leave you would be to protect you. Even then, I wouldn't forgive myself --"

"Fang…" I breathed out, unable to remember any other word except that.

"No talking!" he said, his voice wavering slightly. Only then did I catch the fact that his fists were clenching and unclenching rhythmically as he spoke to me. It was a sign he was uncomfortable, I remembered.

"This is what I need to say, more than anything," he emphasized. His voice unexpectedly became softer, and he tore his gaze from mine to look over my shoulder. "Max, about us no longer being boyfriend and girlfriend too. I never got a chance to finish the last time I said this…"

I paused now, surprised at the non-rejection I had suddenly been given. Did that mean? -- Did he? –

"I think we're more avian than human on the inside, and so we're not supposed to do what humans do. We're supposed to be more. Not boyfriend and girlfriend, but… well…"

His dark eyes stared into mine again and I stared back, feeling hopeful and fearful for what felt like hours, time passing slowly as I waited for his next words. My heart was thudding against my ribcage, practically trying to escape.

Then, suddenly, he gave me the shyest, sweetest, briefest smile I had ever seen. On anyone's face. It was beautiful. My heart leapt in my chest.

"… we're soulmates," he finished, shrugging at me. He was clearly mortified and uncomfortable.

But, my heart jumped clean out of my chest with a feeling so wonderful I couldn't begin to describe it.

I rolled the word 'soulmates' around in my head and on my tongue, feeling it chime something deep within me that felt good and whole and just right.

"You'll take me back?" I found myself saying quietly, before my brain could even comprehend the words. I didn't dare to blink.

Fang smirked, just a little tilt of his mouth as he said, "That sounds like something out of a soap opera, Max."

And then I found my eyes watering and the mood went to hell.

"Of course it does, Fang, you idiot! What did you expect when you go around all… all… saying romantic, sappy, soap-opera type stuff like that!" I said, my voice shaky. "That's so cheesy I can't even laugh at it. Gods…"

I blinked back this weird feeling in my gut until a few painstaking seconds later, I felt Fang run fingers through my nest of hair. His dark eyes were bright and forgiving, even though after all the crap I'd put him through, I knew forgiveness was the last thing I deserved.

Feeling overcome, I pulled him into me and kissed him solidly on the mouth.

He returned the kiss immediately.

Even after I broke the kiss, I found myself needing to kiss his cheeks, his eyelids, his nose, all the while muttering 'sorry' and 'I'm an idiot' and 'I love you, you stupid birdbrain' and anything else I could think of to show how much I adored him. I punched his shoulder for good measure (before he got any ideas about me going soft) before kissing his mouth again.

I feel him grinning against my lips.

And I knew we were going to be okay.

…. Until the feel of Fang's lips got a little too nice and I began to feel the hot haze of Bloodlust settle into me again. Reluctantly I took myself from Fang's lips and forced (with so much effort now that I knew we were still strong) myself to walk backwards until his scent and his warmth had disappeared from my skin.

There was a big distance between us when I stopped.

"Stupid (insert-swear-word-of-your-choice-here) Bloodlust," I muttered, scowling to myself.

I gave a sincere sigh, running a hand through my very dirty, sticky hair (Note to self: Wash blood and baseball diamond dirt and unknown grease mix from your hair next time the Flock is near hot water.)

Across the distance, I leveled Fang with my 'we-need-to-have-a-serious-talk-face', ignoring the way his arm muscles were on display with the way he had his arms crossed, before I told him my thoughts.

"Look, now that we know we're not going to leave each other anytime soon –"

Fang shot me an 'If-you-try-to-leave-I-will-beat-you-into-the-ground-if-it-means-dragging you back' look. I tried to shoot him one right back, but only Fang has a talent for those things.

"Look, I want to get out of Bloodlust just as much as you, but let's look at the facts. From what I remember my Voice telling me, my only choices are to (A) continue to wait it out alone, (B) or wait it out alongside the Flock, which means (C) I could seriously hurt or (D) kill one of you. Then there's the issue of (E) that Bloodlust fix is only temporary because (F) we'll both go into Bloodlust again in 4 years and repeat (A)-(D) unless we (G)… you know, uhh…. sleep… with…each other…"

Fang made a small noise of understanding, a frown marring his face. Barely a second later, he turned to me and asked, "Well, what do you wanna do?"

I made a noise this time, one of hopelessness.

What did I want to do? I want this disease out of me! Gone! For good! But waiting it out would mean leaving my Flock again – something I didn't want to do. And even if I did wait it out, the stupid thing would be back again in 4 years to torment Fang and I again.

The only way to get rid of it as soon as it began, or before Fang and I were forced to run from the Flock and each other, was to … to… oh….

I had to clear my throat extensively, and even then I couldn't get the words out. I sounded like a cat growling or a choking victim, much to my joy. (Note the sarcasm.)

After a minute, Fang finally gave me an 'are-you-choking-or-just-plain-dumb?' look. I took a step forwards, but had to look to Fang's dirt-stained sneakers before I managed to breathe normally.

I knew my cheeks were flaming hot and probably the color of tomatoes.

Just for thinking of it, I wanted to die of embarrassment. Smash my head against a big, hard, painful rock and pass out. Or maybe bury my head in the dirt and just hide there for, I don't know, the rest of my mutant life?

My thoughts became words anyways as I braved another step forwards, testing the limits of my Bloodlust.

"Well, you know we're young, I mean…uhh, young in well…. human years…" I stuttered in a very (not so) leader-like way. Another step. "But you know, we're not all human… and you were the one who just said we're more avian inside than out so…I th-thought….we c--ccould…uhh…… y-yeah………"

My voice gave out after that point. My cheeks were now hot enough to rival the sun. I couldn't force myself to take another step or I was pretty sure I would melt in mortification.

Then, stupidly (considering the sight of Fang was painfully attractive to me), I looked up at Fang to see his reaction.

My breath stopped in my chest.

Fang's dark eyes were unusually wide and his cheekbones were dusted with a slight blush. The only Fang-ish part about him was his typical scowl, which he seemed to be having trouble upholding. He suddenly cleared his throat too, looking at the cuff of my jeans. He seemed more like a shy kid than the battle-ready Fang I had known since I had wings.

"We are more avain than human," Fang said, swallowing hard, I noticed. His voice caused shivers to race up my arms. "In terms of … experience. With fighting and being grown-up, I mean."

His eyes quickly looked up at me. They then quickly looked above me, to the Flock, whom I hadn't heard circling above us until now. His eyes were again back to me and then stayed there, staring into my own brown ones.

"So I think you might be right, Max. I mean, we're smart enough to… think for ourselves, so we're adult enough to … to … "

"Yeah," I agreed quickly, bobbing my head up and down. I had the unexpected urge to smile at him, so I did.

His gaze rose up from my jeans to my face, making my heart pound just a little harder. He gave a quick smirk before he immediately steeled his expression as much as possible while still looking flushed.

He took a step forwards this time. The urge to back away or to throw myself at him fought equally in me, leaving me frozen.

"So, Max … do you feel like a midnight flight tonight? You know, just because?" he asked, looking cool, confident, and relaxed.

I hoped he was faking it, because I was trembling like a leaf on the inside. And I was embarrassed to admit to myself, I think it was from anticipation.

I nodded solidly at him, my cheeks flaming with heat as I pulled off my infamous leader-face. However, I was unable to hold it for too long as a smirk found its way onto my lips. A mix of joy, excitement, fear, adrenaline, nervousness, and pride pumped through my veins.

"Yeah, just because," I agreed. "So, we'll let Iggy look over the little ones? And just, you know, fly for a while? Together?"

I was proud that my voice came out strong and unwavering.

"Sounds like an okay night to me," he said, still smirking. Another step forwards on his part, and our knees were touching, our chests and our faces just that small margin apart --

"Hey! Max? Fang?" I distantly heard Iggy shout at us. He was circling the treetops to our left, his wings making the top layer of leaves bend and sway with every downward stroke.

I could see Iggy from my peripherals, but found myself unable to take my eyes off of Fang to look at him properly. Fang was starring right back at me, not bothering to turn to Iggy as he called back a sharp, "What?"

"What's taking you guys so long? Come on! Everyone else has already taken flight."

"We're coming. We're just figuring out how to get rid of this stupid Bloodlust," I said, knowing I had to be blushing again. My face felt hotter than a fried egg.

Fang moved silently up beside me and we nodded at one another solemnly, but I caught the smile on Fang's face and in his eyes. I had a feeling my eyes held same light as his.

He offered a hand unexpectedly, and after a moment of surprise ( was he being chivalrous?) I let him take my hand in his own.

I squeezed his hand then, both of us leaping off the ground. As the two of us extended our wings and took off into the air, taking a moment to synchronize our wing beats, I felt the cool air rushing past my face and through my feathers. So, with a smile tugging at my lips, the two of us took flight after the Flock --- after our Flock.

The scene above is the drop of M-rated material, in case you were wondering. =) I hope I wrote this with enough subtle-clarity so that you get the hint as to what happens next.

THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL OF YOUR REVIEWS AND KIND WORDS AND PATIENCE. My second baby was harder to push out than the first, but she's here and I think she's a beauty. (Maybe a little less beautiful than her big sister ;P. Kidding.)

…. Okay, I'm officially talking about my fics as though they're real babies.

Good God, I need sleep.

Thank you all again. For everything.