My Secret by I Luv Captain Terror

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Drama, Romance
Characters:Fang, Max
Published:2008-01-15 17:25:41
Updated:2009-12-19 22:24:53
Packaged:2021-05-07 04:02:38
Summary:Max and Fang find comfort in each other one night, two months later Max realizes she is pregnant. Basically, this story is a totally fresh look on an overdone plot. You'll love it. Rating to be safe.

Table of Contents

1. How it Began
2. Food Strike
3. Aiding and Abetting a Liar
4. Time of Truth
5. The Flock Reacts
6. Stress Pains
7. Back to School
8. Old Enemies
9. A Different Kind of School
10. What's in the Woods

1. How it Began

Hello! This is a totally new thing for me. I'm trying some new things out, so I'll need lots of reviews to know if I'm doing well. The first new thing I'm doing is switching the kind of stories I write. I usually write an extension of the MR books, like you see in Prisoner and Coincide. I am also giving my chapters names and making all my chapters over four pages long, when usually they are about two. So I hope you like what I'm doing, let me know.

My Secret

Chapter 1: How it Began

It was my worst nightmare come true, well almost. I guess it could have been worse if they were taken by the School rather than by their parents. I'm talking about the flock, of course. All of them were gone, all except Fang and me.

First, we found Nudge's parents and then Gazzy and Angel's and surprisingly enough, Iggy decided to give his traitor parents another shot at parenthood. That really irked me. How many times do they have to screw up before he quits running back to them. Ok, bad Max, he is just trying to make things work between them.

That left Fang and I alone and I was nearing an emotional breakdown soon. I mean, I'd lost my family and now all I had left was Fang. If he left me… but he told me he wouldn't. He promised me as he'd held me, while I sobbed as my heart slowly broke.

"I can't believe this is happening." I whispered against Fang's shirt as he held my head to his chest. His arms were wrapped protectively around me, as if holding every breaking piece of me together.

He placed a kiss on my hair, tightening his hold on me. "We'll get through this, Max."

"How can you be so sure?" I asked, looking up at his face. "I hurt so bad, Fang. My head, my heart. I… I don't know how much longer I can go on like this."

"I know it is hard, but you can get through this. You have to."


"If I lost you too…" He whispered, sounding vulnerable. I studied his face, but it was blank like always. But his eyes shone a mask of fresh tears.

"I love you." It just slipped from my lips. Yes, it was completely true, but I'd never worked up the courage to tell him in the six months we'd been dating. I'm sixteen now, Fang too. Iggy's birthday was in a few days, well, his made up one anyway. Iggy… A spasm of pain hit my chest and I cried out in agony.

Fang's arms tightened around me as he whispered words of comfort in my ear. His warm breath hit my ear and neck, sending a chill down my spine. Goosebumps formed on my skin. My instincts told me to turn my face to his and I did, looking directly at his lips as he promised, once again, to never leave me.

I couldn't stop myself from pulling them to my own, I ached to feel the soft intensity of his kiss. I wanted to forget about the pain, I wanted the comfort that Fang offered me. I needed to keep my lips on his, because that is what felt right. Safe.

His hands moved to my face, stroking my cheekbones as he angled my face for deeper contact. His tongue hesitantly ran over my bottom lip, asking for permission to tangle with my own. I opened my mouth to him, moaning as his tongue massaged mine.

My hands found their way behind his neck, clasping him tighter to me. We were pressed so close, like we were one person, it felt right that way.

"I love you so much." Fang said as he pulled away. His breathing was ragged, his voice husky. I tried desperately to find my own breath.

"Prove it." I begged, looking into his chocolate brown eyes. In that moment I could see the confusion and the lust, but most of all… his love for me.


"I want to forget."

"Me too." He said with a sigh. I could tell he was conflicted.

"But?" I questioned, knowing where this was going.

"The time just seems so wrong." He explained, shaking his head.

"Maybe you're right." I did my best to make my brain work, but it was still fuzzy from Fang and mine's make out session just a minute ago. "I still want to though."

"Me too." He nodded, looking directly at my eyes. I could see the truth in them, all the emotion he must be feeling.

I couldn't stop myself, I brought his lips to mine, savoring his taste. There was a new passion in the kiss as Fang's lips pressed harder, bruising my lips. His hands moved to my hips, trailing his fingertips over the bare skin between my shirt and jeans. My breath hitched in my throat, but I never broke the kiss. I needed to feel him this way.

I was faintly aware of Fang's hands pulling my shirt slowly up, farther and farther until I mechanically raised my arms and allowed him an easier way to pulling the green material off my upper half. I followed his lead, yanking his black shirt off his toned body.

Within seconds we were kissing again, which brought more making out and eventually… Fang and I made love.


Yeah, I know what your thinking… You probably think I'm dumb and wondering if Fang and I used a condom. The answer is no. Neither of us planned to do… that, so why would us two sixteen year old mutants need one? We'd never even made out with that kind of intensity.

You're also probably wondering if I'm done moping around about the flock being gone. The answer to this question would be yes. That is because the flock is back with me, where they belong. Things hadn't worked out. Iggy's parents tried to convince him into revealing himself to the world… again. Nudge, well, she got a serious case of home… well, more like Max and Fang and flock sickness. Gazzy and my baby, they're parents didn't want them. They treated the pair like nuisances' and they left to find us the next day. I felt bad that things hadn't gone well for all of them, but I was ecstatic to have them back with us.

And Fang and I are good. Things were definitely weird at first, but we decided to be mature as possible in a situation like that and try not to let it come between us. We loved each other and that night wasn't going to drive us to splitting up. It's weird to think about, but I felt a lot closer to Fang now. So, do I have regrets? Not really.

We did, however, slow things back down between us. Which means, we aren't going to sleep together again for a very long time. Not until we're actually ready for something like that. Until then, we'll kiss and show affection in ways couples do, minus the sex. Gosh, saying that word made me blush. I still couldn't believe that Fang and I actually took our relationship that far. I thought about it a lot, which is embarrassing to admit.

"Max, I'm hungry." Nudge.

"That's shocking." I muttered under my breath. Fang gave me a smirk from where he was flying beside me. "Ok, let's land."

We flew into a patch of trees near a fast food restaurant and luckily, a convenience store. Why is that so lucky? Well, I left part of the two month summary out. The fact is, in those two months, I never had my period. Sure, my menstrual cycle isn't like clock work, I blame it on the stress of running from evil whitecoats and being told to save the world, but I had reason to worry this time. So I'm finally going to settle the issue once and for all and buy a pregnancy test. The only problem was getting away from the flock to buy one and take it. And of course there was keeping Angel out of my mind. She hadn't done it in awhile, mostly because she knew how mad it made me, but she might have a slip in judgment and catch up on a secret I am going to try desperately to keep.

I walked from the trees toward the convenience store. "I have to go buy something really quick. Fang has the credit card, so go with him and I'll meet you in McDonalds."

"What are you going to buy?" Angel asked curiously. As far as I could tell, she wasn't trying to read my mind.

"Um… just medical stuff." I called out, continuing toward the store. I snuck a glance over my shoulder to see them walking toward the restaurant, but the look on Fang's face showed he wasn't convinced. Gosh, I hated how he knew me so well. It was going to be a challenge keeping a pregnancy hidden from him, if the test comes out positive.

I walked into the small store, walking into the aisle with the pregnancy tests. The selection was a lot larger than I expected. How was I supposed to know which one is the best? I looked over my options and grabbed the most expensive one I saw.

When I went to check out, the old woman behind the desk was looking me over. I look like I'm eighteen, and if she thought that was bad…how would she look at me if she knew I was only sixteen?

"Is this it for you?" She asked warmly. All traces of scrutiny gone from her face.

"Yeah." I said giving her the money. When she gave me my change, her hands closed around mine in a comforting way.

She smiled at my expression. "Good luck."

I felt a faint smile cross my lips. "Thanks."

I wrapped the bag around the box inside of it, so the flock wouldn't be able to see through it. I carried the lumpy item in my fist and walked to the flock. They exited from the doors as I was walking across the parking lot. Bags of food were I their hands, as well as drinks.

"Let's take the food with us to a hotel. I saw one a little farther down the road." They seemed to be okay with the idea, which was good. The sooner I got the test over, the better.

We walked back to the trees we had landed in and took off one by one. We flew until we reached the nearest stretch of trees to the hotel. Luckily, that meant just outside the parking lot. There was no one to be seen except a person on a bench near the entrance, but they were reading something, probably a newspaper.

The hotel was pretty small, which meant cheap rooms. I got one, receiving a skeptic look from the man behind the desk. I hated that part of staying in a hotel room. I think I'll make Fang be the one to get it next time.

Our room number was 152, just a short walk away. The flock seemed exhausted and I could tell they were dying to eat. When we all went in, Fang sat at the table by the window, Nudge and Angel sat on one bed with Total lying toward the end, and Iggy and Gazzy were on the other one. All of them were digging into their food, except Fang. He kicked back the empty chair and gave me a look that said 'sit down'.

"I'm going to the bathroom." I said throwing my thumb back over my shoulder. His eyes lingered on me as I made my way to the bathroom, test still in hand. I could tell he was dying to know what I bought, but he wasn't prying and that was good. He couldn't know, that would just be awful.

I locked the door behind me, hastily unwrapping the box from the bag and opened it up. I read through the directions quickly and then followed them. The minutes seem to tick by slowly. I felt like I might throw up, I was so nervous.

A knock came on the door. "Max, are you ok?" It was Fang.

"Um, yeah… I'm just going to take a shower."

"Your food is getting cold."

"I just really need a shower."

I heard him sigh from behind the door. I could just see him running his hand through his dark hair. "Ok. Suit yourself."

I closed my eyes and turned around, preparing myself for the outcome of the test. Two blue lines means pregnant… I opened my eyes and looked at the white stick and there they were, two powder blue lines. I, Maximum Ride, was pregnant. A wave of nausea hit me, the reality of it all way too much.

Lifting up the seat of the toilet, I hunched over and released the contents of my stomach. I threw up everything, until there was nothing left to come up.

"Max…" I heard Fang call with a few gentle taps on the bathroom door. I sighed and did my best to hold back the tears. "Did you get sick? Let me in."

"Yes." I said grabbing for the test and throwing it into the bathtub. After shutting the shower curtain so Fang couldn't see in, I went to stand behind the door. "You don't need to be in here to watch my heave up the food in my stomach, if there is anything left that is."

"You don't need to be in there alone, so just let me in." He said sounding a little irritated.

"Why?" I asked moodily.

"Because you could pass out in there and I would have no way of getting you out." He said hastily.

"Fine." I said unlocking the door and opening it a little bit.

He pushed the door open and stepped in, closing and locking the door behind us. "Are you ok? You look pale."

"Just a bit nauseas." I explained with a wave of my hand. "I probably have the flu or something." Lie.

His hand moved to my forehead. "You don't feel warm."

I shrugged. "I'm feeling a bit better anyway."

"You should eat." He said in concern. "If you go too long without something in your stomach, you'll pass out."

I shook my head. "Food sounds disgusting right now, especially the kind of food that is waiting for me in the bag out there."

"Since when do you turn down greesy cheeseburgers?" He asked with a laugh.

"Since I just completely emptied my stomach into the hotel toilet, that's when." I offered him a weak smile. "I really do want to take a shower."

"Maybe you'll be hungry once you are clean."


He looked me over, seeming to debate whether to leave me alone or not. "Ok, I'll see you when you get out." He placed a kiss on my forehead and exited. I locked the door behind him and turned on the shower. The sound of the water covered up my sobs as I wrapped the test in a bunch of toilet paper and threw it in the garbage can.

How could this happen? How could I be pregnant? How could I tell Fang?

No… Fang can't know. I'm keeping this secret. My secret.

AN: Let me know what you think. I love reviews and I'm going to need them to know if I did well. I'm not use to writing these kind of stories. Thanks for reading. You guys are awesome!

2. Food Strike

Well, it seems you guys agree with me that this story is different from others with the same plot. Some of you are asking how Max could possibly keep this a secret and others are begging me to let Fang find out… Well, you will just have to read to find out what I decide to do. I'm mean like that.

My Secret

Chapter 2: Food Strike

It was morning now and I had no idea where we were going. Mostly, we were just moving from place to place to avoid the clutches of the Director and her evil posse of whitecoats. If we didn't know where we were going, how would they?

We had been roaming around for months without an eraser attack and oddly enough, Jeb hadn't decided to invade my head and give me lectures in awhile. He had picked a great time to make himself scarce, a week before Fang and I did the deed. Maybe if he had been inside my brain it never would have happened. Wow, never thought I would see the day when I wanted Jeb to be able to speak to me in my mind. I've officially gone crazy.

"Cereal bar?" Fang asked thrusting the food toward me to take. I shook my head, crinkling my nose in disgust. Food did not sound good. Hello morning sickness. Fang's impassive face moved into a deep frown. "You need to get something in your stomach."

"I'm not hungry." I pushed the cereal bar out of my view, but he moved it back in front of my face. "Fang, quit it."

"No. You eat it or…"

I looked up at his face from where I sat on the bed. He was standing in front of me with one arm holding the cereal bar toward me while the other rested at his side. "Or what?"

"Never mind that, just please eat." His eyes were pleading while the rest of his face stayed emotionless.

"I don't want to." I said looking away from him to scan my surroundings, looking for some way to get him off my back. Iggy and Nudge were playing war with a deck of cards they had found in the room. Gazzy was mocking the voices of celebrities and his new favorite person to impersonate, ter Borcht. Great, they had to pick now to actually start behaving.

"One cereal bar, that's all I'm asking for." Fang demanded, not giving up.

I shook my head. "No."

"Why are you refusing to eat?" He threw out his hands in frustration.

I stood up fast, a feeling of dizziness clouded my head, but it quickly faded. I stared Fang in the eye, trying my best to appear as nothing had happened. He was looking at me with scrutiny, obviously picking up on the fact that something was up. If he knew that I was feeling dizzy he would shove that cereal bar down my throat.

Swallowing my anger, I closed my eyes and admitted my problem. "I'm still feeling a bit nauseas."

His brow furrowed. "You still feel sick?" I nodded as he pulled me into the bathroom, closing the door behind us. "Why didn't you say so before?"

"Because it isn't a big deal." I played it off with a shrug. It took me a minute to realize I was hugging my middle, but I quickly took them away to rest at my sides. I didn't need Fang picking up on the small hints in my behavior. "I'm a little sick, that's it."

"Max, we don't get sick." His voice was straining to stay low. Neither one of us wanted the flock to know something was wrong with me, they didn't need to be worried.

"Well, I do!" I shouted in frustration.

His eyes closed, a sign that he was about to bring up something he didn't want to. "What if it isn't just a normal sickness like humans get?" He asked finally. "What if you're…" He may not have been able to state his cause for worry, but I knew what he was getting at. He was worried I was going to expire.

I felt terrible just then. I wanted to throw my arms around him and tell him everything, anything to take away the sadness etched on his face.

My hand moved to his cheek, stroking his cheekbone with my thumb. I stepped closer, so we were separated by an inch of open air. My other hand rested on the opposite side of the first, bringing his face closer to mine. Our eyes were locked on each other's, allowing silence to hang in the air as we spoke without words.

"I'm not going to expire, not yet anyway." I denied resting my forehead against his. I loved being this close to him, feeling his warmth surround me. "When Ari…" I trailed off, unable to stop the pain that came with this subject.

"You don't have to…" He started, about to tell me I didn't need to explain whatever I was going to say. He would willingly drop the subject to protect me from the pain I felt when I thought of Ari.

"Yes I do." My whisper was weaker than I intended. I needed to sound strong, so I could convince Fang that I wasn't going to expire and that everything would be fine. When did I become such an optimist? Oh right, I was halfway faking it.

I continued, "When Ari… expired. He… he never threw up or anything. He acted fine for the most part, enough so that I had no idea what was happening to him." I lifted my ponytail away from my neck and turned around so he could see the bare skin there. "See? No date of expiration. I'm ok."

I heard the rustle of his clothing as he moved closer to me. His fingers touched the skin there, making me shiver with pleasure. I loved his touch, it was so comforting and loving. Unlike anything I had known before. His lips pressed a tender kiss at the base of my neck, making goosebumps break out on my skin. His arms circled my waist and I turned, hooking mine around his neck.

I needed to think of something to make Fang feel better, just until I'm ready to give food a try again. It didn't take long to come up with an idea, I guess my mind enjoys being devious. "Maybe this is Jeb at work again. Last time he got in my mind and gave me those dumb brain attacks, I got nauseas."

He seemed to debate and I could tell he wanted to believe my supposed theory rather than his own. "But why aren't you getting brain attacks?"

I hugged him closer to me. "My body is getting used to the invasion and the nausea is still a side effect until it gets used to that part too?" Confusing, but I was just making things up as I rattled on.

He sighed and squeezed me gently. "Ok, I'll get off your back, but if you don't eat anything within a couple hours… I'm taking you to your mom's house."

I kissed his cheek. "Thank you."

"I don't want to lose you." He admitted, pulling me tight to his body as if trying to make us one person.

I looked into his eyes. "You won't." Little did he know, he was gaining a baby. I looked away from him on that note. I didn't want my eyes to tell him my secret. "Tell the flock to get ready. We're leaving in five minutes."

"Where to now?"

"I don't know yet."

"Knowing Gazzy and Angel, they're going to try to talk you into Disney Land again." His smirk took a huge weight off my chest. He was acting like normal Fang again, my Fang.

"How about a day at the park?" I said not realizing the words were coming from my mouth. It just felt right. A day of relaxation, maybe we would even stay in the same hotel. Not likely.

"Sounds… normal." He nodded, giving me a smile. I loved receiving one of his rare breath taking grins, I melted into him right then and there. "I'll go spread the word."

I watched him leave, promising him I would be right out. I caught sight of my reflection, trying hard not to care what I looked like, but my mind screamed at me that I was too obvious. No wonder Fang was worried, I looked really tired… and weak. Yuck. There were bags under my eyes and my complexion was paler than usual. I needed to eat, but I wasn't ready for the food yet, soon though.

I turned on the sink and splashed some water on my face. "Get it together, Max." My eyes lowered to my stomach and my hand involuntarily moved there. It was a shock to believe a baby was growing in there, more extraordinary… Fang's baby.

I wanted to tell him, but I still didn't know what I was going to do. Abortion was not an option for two reasons… One, what if my baby has wings? They would find out my secret and bad things would result. Two, I was pretty sure I would hate myself forever, maybe Fang too if he found out. I didn't want Fang to hate me and I didn't want to kill something that was a part of Fang. I loved him and I was pretty sure I was starting to love the baby too. That scared me more than I imagined.

Adoption was a definite no. If my baby lives, there is no way I could give him or her away, not when I had been so angry at my parents and the flock's for doing that to them. I didn't want to be thinking about my baby out there with someone else. And like I said before… what if my baby has wings? That possibility frightened and excited me all at the same time.

Guess that meant I was keeping it. And eventually I would have to tell Fang. What if he didn't want it. It's not like we planned this… and I was the one who pushed for us to sleep together. What if he blamed me? If Fang chose not to help me and be with me, it might kill me. I don't think I could make it on my own.

A knock sounded on the door before opening. I snatched my hand away from my tummy, wide eyed. "You coming?" Fang.

"Uh, yeah." I said leaving the small room with Fang behind me. We filed out into the hallway, keeping our eyes focused on the front door. Then we pursued it and left, without any kind of confrontation. Another stay at a hotel without blowing anything up or getting discovered by erasers. We were on a roll.

At the Park

"I call a swing!" Angel shouted, racing toward the swing set. Gazzy raced after her, claiming the second seat for himself.

Iggy and Nudge started up a game of hide and seek, eventually all of us joined in. We were hiding inside play buildings, under slides, in the gazebo. Anywhere you could hide was fair game. Unfortunately that meant the lake, but after the first two times she hid underwater, she stopped. Partially because she knew it still worried me and the other because I gave away her hiding spot both times. I would stare out at the water, so when the seeker found me they found Angel too.

"Tag! You're it!" Gazzy yelled as he tagged me.

"Since when are we playing tag?" I asked in amusement.

"Since now!" Nudge yelled running away. Everyone else ran too, even Fang. I smiled and took off after Gazzy, laughing along with the others.

He circled the playground as I slowly gained on him. I felt a kind of light, like I wasn't in control of my body. My head was fuzzy and I started to slow down.

"Come on, Max!" Nudge yelled at my inability to catch the Gasman.

I slowed some more until I was walking, my hand touching my head. I blinked a few times, trying to make my blurred vision become clear again.

"Max?" Fang walked over to me, concern contorting the features on his face.

I wobbled a bit. "I'm ok."

"No you're not." He said steadying me. "What's wrong?"

"Just… a bit… diz…zy." I managed before all went black.

Flock P.O.V.

"Max!" Angel shouted, sprinting over to where Fang and Max were. He had caught her before she contacted the ground. He sat, hugging her to him, whispering words to her that the flock couldn't quite make out.

"What's going on?" Iggy asked hurrying over. "What's wrong with Max?"

"She fainted." Gazzy explained with wide eyes, staring down at their leader in disbelief.

"Nudge, get a bottle of water and a cereal bar out of my bag." Fang ordered, not even sparing the young mutant a glance as she did what she was told.

Moments later she was by Fang's side with the water and cereal bar, pealing it open.

"Max." Fang said to the leader of the group, his girlfriend. "Come on, wake up."

Movement could be seen behind her eyelids and eventually her eyes fluttered open. "Fang?"

He smiled down at her, hugging her tighter to him. "I'm right here. Are you ok?"

"Got dizzy." She said sleepily.

"That's because you have nothing in your stomach." He whispered harshly. "Now, you're going to eat this cereal bar, even if I have to shove it down your throat."

A weak smirk played on her lips. "No need for that. I'll eat it."

He helped her sit up and handed the food over to her, setting the water next to her. Max had almost finished the cereal bar by the time he looked at her again. "Nudge, go get a few more bars." He sent a look over at Max and she nodded in agreement.

"Here." Nudge said when she returned, handing Max three more bars.

"Are you ok, Max?" Angel asked softly.

"I'm fine, don't worry." Max ordered the group.

Max P.O.V.

I couldn't believe I fainted. I just hoped my baby was ok. Only time would tell, because I wasn't about to go to a hospital to check things out.

AN: Hope you enjoyed. The response this story has gotten has been amazing. I love you guys SO much. I enjoy writing, but you guys make it that much more special. If you haven't done so, check out my story, Coincide. Please review!

3. Aiding and Abetting a Liar

I know that I should be updating Coincide, but I really wanted to write another chap for this story. I just love it with the fire of a thousand burning suns. That's not that much, right? Lol… I know, I'm playing favorites… sorry.

My Secret

Chapter 3: Aiding and Abetting a Liar

A week passed with me continuing my lovely routine of barfing every morning thanks to the lovely thing called, morning sickness. I swear, sometimes I just wanted to walk over to Fang and smack him upside his head. Being pregnant sucked and he it is half his fault that I have to deal with all this crap.

My fists clenched at my sides as I did my best not to reach out and strangle my boyfriend. Deep breaths. In and out. Ugh, I was dying to tell someone, anyone. I really needed someone to give me reasons why I didn't want Fang hurt at the moment.

Seriously… my nausea and hot flashes were telling me to just give him one good punch in the gut.

Ok, reasons I don't want Fang to be harmed: 1. He is my boyfriend. 2. He is the father of my unborn child. (It was really weird saying that…) I chanced a look at Angel to make sure her mind reading ability wasn't out on the prowl, which it didn't seem to be. She was jabbering with Total, whom she was carrying. I could have swore I heard her say something about Celeste, her old bear. I still felt terrible that she had to leave the dumb thing behind.

Back to reasons not to injure Fang… 3. It would slow down the flock if he got hurt.

Ok, my pregnancy hormones lose, he gets to remain unharmed.

"What's wrong?" Fang asked from beside me. "You still feel sick… or are you nervous about seeing your Mom again?"

About that… Fang had been so worried about my continuous throwing up over the week that he decided I would go see my Mom and get checked out or go to a hospital. So Mom it was. I know I'm supposed to be leader and Fang bossing me around wasn't my style, but if you had a unanimous flock vote against you, you would go to.

So now we were walking up to the house of my mother and half sister. And when we got inside, Fang would tell her that I am sick and I will have to inform her that her 15 year old daughter was going to have a baby. Please note my sarcasm when I say: oh joy.

"A little bit of both." I muttered to him, keeping my eyes straight ahead. I dreaded this and I was a bit peeved with Fang for making me go through this crap. Part of me wanted to just tell him, so he would get off my back.

Basically, what this came down to was, who would I rather tell? Mom or Fang? They would both have to know eventually, but I didn't want to have to say the words to them. Ugh. Mom would definitely be easier to tell. Yeah, she'd probably be disappointed and might want to tell Fang, but I think she'd respect my decision not to tell him for now. I hoped.

Telling Fang would be huge. I wasn't ready for that in the slightest. When I told him, he'd probably be shocked and confused and angry… just like I had been. And would he want to stay together? I knew he loved me, but I hear kids but quite a strain on relationships. Heck, we've already got four of them, five if Total counts (which I argue that he does, he definitely whines like one). I know Iggy is Fang and mine's age, but I'm counting him anyway, because I act like a Mom and shriek at him every time he tries to blow something up. Now a baby is added into this mix… a crying, diaper wetting, bottle drinking baby. We're gonna have to go shopping before it's born.

"Max!" Mom shouted as she slid the screen door open. "I didn't know you were coming."

I gave a half smile, trying to act casual. "Well, we're here…"

She frowned, looking me over. "What's wrong? You seem upset about something."

"She's sick." Fang spoke up, I turned and glared at him.

Mom's eyebrows drew together as she took in his words. I knew she would be worried, but she didn't need to be, I was fine. Stupid Fang and his stupid ideas.

She waved us into the house and we all followed obediently. She ushered the flock into the kitchen and supplied them with chocolate chip cookies to keep them busy while her, Fang and myself talked.

Fang sat down on the couch, waiting for me to plop down next to him. I eyed him and then decided to show my frustration with him (incase he hadn't caught on by now) and I sat in one of the two large red chairs on the other side of the table.

Mom came in with a small plate with cookies on it. When she offered me some, I declined and I saw the instant worry play on her features. "You never turn down cookies."

"She's been nauseas a little over a week now." Fang said before taking a bite of one. I watched with envy as he swallowed. If I thought my stomach could handle one, I'd so be shoveling them in my mouth right now. "She throws up every morning."

"Is that true?" Mom asked, turning her eyes to me. I nodded. "Have you had any other symptoms?"

"Not really." I answered guardedly. I needed to get her alone before she figured things out or before I blurted my news to her and Fang. I lifted my eyes to look at her. "Can I talk to you alone?"

Her eyebrows went up. I could feel Fang's stare on me, obviously wondering what I could possibly want to say to her that he couldn't hear. "Sure. Where do you want to go?"

"Bathroom." I replied, knowing perfectly well that the bathroom was the farthest room from the one we were in. She stood and walked with me following behind. I shot Fang a look that said, 'listen and die'. I thought that would get the point across well enough.

When we were in and I had the door shut and locked mom spoke up, "What's going on?"

"Fang can't know." I blurted out in a hurry.

"Know what?" I was silent, mentally kicking myself for having no filter between my brain and my mouth. I captured my bottom lip between my teeth, keeping quiet. "Max? What can't Fang know?"

I closed my eyes. "Don't get mad…"

"Uh oh, do I need to sit down for this?" She asked, lowering herself onto the side of the bathtub. I nodded, knowing she saw me, once I heard her suck in a deep breath. "What's going on?"

"I might be pregnant." I said reluctantly as my eyes opened just in time to see her face pale and her eyes widen to the size of golf balls.

"Might be?" Her tone was hopeful. Yeah, well not for long.

"Am pregnant." I corrected, finding the floor very interesting suddenly.

She sighed, shaking her head as if trying to clear it for the right response. I watched her, anxiously, hoping she wouldn't start screaming… because then Fang would definitely hear what was being said. "You and Fang…" She couldn't say it.

"We slept together." I supplied, so she wouldn't have to finish her question.

Her eyes closed and her fingers moved up to move circles on her temples. Generally when people did that they were uber stressed, which both of us were at the moment. "You're only sixteen."

"I know." I whispered, barely audible. "We were upset, because the flock was gone, and found comfort in each other. It was a mutual decision and I don't regret it. I do love him." My explanation came out hurried and I wasn't quite sure she had caught every word.

"Then why are you against telling him about his own child?" Her eyes were curious, trying to understand my feelings on this wacky situation. "If you love him, then you should tell him."

I took a deep breath. "When I found out, I wasn't thrilled. I was mad and upset and confused… I don't know what I would do if Fang got upset about the baby. He's my boyfriend and I love him and the flock does too, so what happens if the baby drives him off?"

"You honestly think Fang could leave you?" She inquired, resting her hand on mine where it laid on the sink.

"He has before."

"And you were both miserable."

I felt the familiar sting of tears hit me. "I can't lose him."

She shook her head. "You won't." Her statement was sure and comforting. Deep down I knew she was right, but that didn't stop me from worrying. There were so many 'what if' statements running through my head and they just kept gnawing at me.

"It's my worst fear… losing him." I told her, hastily wiping away tears. "I've been crying so much lately." A laugh escaped me.

"Pregnancy hormones." Mom laughed along with me, pulling me into her embrace. "I'm not thrilled about this, Max… but I'll be here for you, I promise."

"Thank you." I said into her shoulder, pulling her closer.

"You're my daughter and I love you." She responded, kissing my forehead. "And as much as I hate to agree to it… I won't tell Fang. But he is going to have to fine out sometime. You'll gain weight soon enough and that isn't exactly normal for human avian hybrids."

"I know… I just need more time." She nodded, helping me dry my cheeks of the tears that had escaped. I turned and looked in the mirror, my reflection was pitiful. My eyes were red and my cheeks were tearstained. "He's going to know I've been crying."

I could see Mom nodding behind my reflection in the mirror. "Yes, this isn't something he'll miss, is it?"

"He reads me like a book." I turned and looked at her again. "But don't ever let him know I said that."

She smiled. "My lips are sealed… about both your secrets."

My hand moved to my stomach, like it had a mind of its own. "There is something else I'd like to ask you…"

"Whatever you need, just name it." She said rubbing my shoulder. Her eyes had narrowed in on my hand resting on my stomach, I pulled it away quickly. I felt self conscious about actions like that. Part of me refused to believe there was a life inside me, it just seemed like a dream.

"I can't go to a hospital to deliver the baby. You're the only person I know that…"

"Max, I'm a vet." She said shaking her head. "I don't know much about delivering human babies."

A smirk lifted my lips. "Good thing I'm a mutant freak then huh?"

"Max." Her tone told her disapproval of my word choice.

"Just… please… will you do it?" I asked, begging her with my eyes. The indecision could be seen on her face. "It is you or try it on my own with the flock. I can't go to the hospital and risk being found. The School is obviously out of the question. I need you to be the one."

She shook her head, obviously hating my options as much as I did. "On one condition."

I looked at her skeptically. "Name it."

"I get to have someone here to help me with this. I can't do it alone." She said adamantly.

"Deal." I breathed out, knowing she was right. "Do I get to know who this person is?"

"Jeb." …WHAT?!

"Please tell me that name didn't just leave your mouth." My eyes were locked on hers, questioning her sanity. I don't trust Jeb, father or not.

"He knows how to deliver a baby and he can get supplies that I can't." She responded, arguing her point perfectly. She had logic on her side, and on mine I had loathing. Guess who wins…

"Ugh… fine." I growled out, definitely feeling a headache coming on. "But if he so much as looks at my flock wrong, I will give Fang permission to strangle him."

"Understood." She confirmed with a nod. "Speaking of Fang… what are we going to tell him about your 'sickness' and tearstained cheeks."

I shrugged, preoccupied with thoughts about Jeb at the moment. "I don't care. Tell him I have cancer or something."

"People with cancer only throw up when going through chemo." Her frown went deeper, not thrilled with my choice in cover story.

"Then I am fresh out of ideas…"

She clucked her tongue, lifting her eyes to search the ceiling for an answer. "Hm… I think our best bet is making something up. Your morning sickness should be gone in a month or so… we can tell him your immune system was weakened by the amount of stress your body has been through and now has caught some kind of virus, a harmless one though."

"Of course." I said with a smile as I rolled my eyes.

"You ready to face him?" She asked in a concerned mother tone. I gave a nod and she wrapped her arm around my shoulders. We stayed that way until we were back in front of a now pacing Fang. His worry was clear and I felt terrible for keeping my secret from him. He deserved to know, but I wasn't ready to tell him, not yet. And because of that he was worried I was sick or dying. I felt lower than low, lower than a whitecoat. That's saying something.

I walked over to him, wrapping my arms around his waist to pull him in my embrace. "Relax, I'm fine."

One of his hands found my hair while the other rubbed in between my wings. His touch was gentle, but firm enough to keep me close. I wouldn't be pulling away from him until he was ready for me to, that or I would use force.

"That true?" He asked looking over at Mom.

"Yes, it seems to be a normal human virus." She lied. I buried my face into his shoulder, wanting to disappear. I hated that I was making my Mom lie for me.

"How is that possible?" His brow furrowed, showing his confusion.

Mom looked like she was about to start giving him a fake explanation, but I cut her off, keeping the lies to a minimum. "It doesn't matter, way too complicated to understand."

He looked at me warily and I prayed he couldn't tell I was lying. He knew me better than anyone and if there was someone out there that could tell what I was thinking (besides Angel and her mind reading ability) it would be Fang.

He sighed, looked at me once more then turned his attention to Mom. "She's ok?" He was making sure that we weren't leaving out any details. Little did he know we were leaving out the truth entirely.

"She'll be fine." That was the first true thing she said to him. "Do me a favor and keep an eye on her, though. She needs to eat regularly, maybe more than she usually does. Make sure she gets plenty of rest. And I stress this last one very much… if she has any kind of pain near her stomach, get her here or to a hospital."

"No hospitals, just here." I corrected.

"It's a good thing we haven't seen erasers in awhile, huh?" Fang asked pulling me closer.

"A very good thing." Mom answered giving me a meaningful look. "Max is in no condition to fight, she needs to stay away from stress as much as possible."

"Ugh, you make me sound fragile." I loathed feeling weak. "I'm not a china doll."

Mom's motherly smile warmed her face. "I just want everything to work out. I'm being careful."

"Thank you for your help." I broke away from Fang to wrap my arms around her. "You're the best."

"You're staying aren't you? At least for a few more hours?" She asked with hope shining bright in her eyes. "Ella will be home from school soon. She's missed you."

I shook my head in disappointment. "We need to get going. Even being here for ten minutes is a risk when it comes to getting captured again. We'll be lucky to leave without alerting them as to where we are."

She nodded in understanding. "Bye Max."

"Bye." I whispered, giving her another quick hug.

"Flock, let's go." Fang called as his fingers found mine, squeezing gently. We left watching our backs. I hoped this wouldn't cost us our freedom, especially not now.

AN: Hope you enjoyed! Reviews get the chapters up quicker. Hence why I posted early.

4. Time of Truth

It's my birthday today, so as a birthday present to myself… I finished another chapter. And you guys have repeatedly spoken your loathing for Max keeping the secret as long as she has. SO… am I nice enough to end your suffering? Read to find out.

My Secret

Chapter 4: Time of Truth

A month and a half later…

A month and a half had passed since we had left my mom's house and there have been a couple developments since then. First, about a week ago, my morning sickness came to an end. Trust me, I couldn't be more ecstatic about that. And the other development… I think I'm going to tell Fang about the baby soon.

Originally, I planned on keeping it a secret until I practically had the thing, but that is a little unrealistic. What brought on this realization? Well, I had begun to show. My normally flat stomach had the slightest little bump. To those that didn't know I was pregnant, they would just think I was getting fat, except Fang who knew better.

So my solution to the problem was very simple, wear a sweatshirt. Sure, it would be annoying to have to wear the thing in eighty degree weather, but oh well. I wouldn't have to do it much longer, hopefully. Today would be the first day wearing it and maybe tomorrow would even be the last, or if I was really brave… today could be the only day.

I slid the black sweatshirt over my head, trying my best to appear normal doing so. I could feel Fang's eyes on me, so I turned to meet his questioning stare. "What?"

"Maybe it has escaped you, but it's not exactly cold out." His tone was teasing, but still held a hint of scrutiny.

I shrugged, playing off his comment. "Well, I got a chill. The wind I guess."

His eyes narrowed on me, seeing past my lie. Dang it. "There is no wind out, the trees are still." I turned away from him, trying my best to think up a good cover. "I hope you're not getting sick again…"

I shook my head. "No, that is over and done with."

"How can you know for sure? Can you see the future now?" His smirk was teasing and I couldn't stop the corner of my lips from lifting into a small smile.

I walked over to him slowly, giving him time to catalogue my every move. His eyes stayed on me the whole time, watching me with his emotionless stare. I stopped only when I hand no more room to move, the toe of my boots touching his. "I just do."

His hands curled around my shoulders and pulled me against him. I went willingly, allowing him to wrap his ropy arms around my back as I snuggled closer to him. His warmth was comforting, almost too good to believe.

"Fang?" My voice was quiet, almost a whisper.

"Hm?" His chin rested on my hair.

"There is something I need to tell you, but we need to talk about it away from the flock." There I said it. Chicken no longer, brave Max was coming through. Hopefully my courage would last long enough to actually say the words "I'm pregnant" to him.

His eyebrows pulled together and his forehead was creased with lines of worry and suspicion. "It's bad isn't it? Whatever you have to tell me… it's bad?"

I hung my head, looking at the ground as I tried to find the right response. I thought about saying "I hope you don't think so" or "maybe, maybe not," but instead found myself saying, "It depends on how you look at it."

He was confused, it showed on his normally expressionless face. Pure confusion chiseled into every hard feature. Normally, that would have made me laugh.

I looked over at the flock, noticing they had started a game of tag. Did that game never get old? I guess when you have wings, it makes it more interesting though. More freedom, less chance of falling on your face when getting tagged.

"Hey guys, Fang and I are going to discuss our next destination." Lie. Well, I guess I could make that statement true by doing so after we talked about a certain bun in the oven… my oven. That sounded weird, if you don't think so… read it again.

"Iggy's in charge." I yelled over my shoulder as I grabbed Fang's hand and took him into the forest. We stopped only when I was sure we were a safe distance from the flock's hearing range, Iggy especially.

We had fallen into a brief silence when words seemed to have failed me. "Well?" Fang cued me to start talking.

"I'm going to tell you something and you are going to be very angry with me." I began, hating my choice of words as they came out all wrong.

His eyebrows shot up. "Why do you say that?"

"I've been lying to you for over two months now." He sucked in a breath and I closed my eyes. I didn't want to see the recognition of betrayal on his face. I wouldn't be able to take it. "I've been keeping a secret, a very big secret and I'm afraid what will happen to us when you find out what it is."

His hand closed around mine, giving a gentle squeeze meant to comfort me. "Nothing comes between us." His assurance sparked a bit of hope in me and I looked up into his eyes to make sure he meant it. When I saw the truth in his dark eyes, that hope grew.

"I hope you mean that." I muttered, trying to prepare him for how big this secret was. "This is big Fang… huge."

"Just tell me." He sounded frustrated with my stalling.

I took a deep breath. "Alright." I wet my lips and lifted my head up to look at the white fluffy clouds dotting the sky. When I turned my attention back to his brown orbs, they shone with worry, he was always worried lately. Of course that was probably because he thought I had lied about being ok. He probably thought I was going to expire sometime soon.

"Four months ago we were together that night, really together."

"Max… what are you talking about?"

"Us sleeping together, four months ago." I said in a rush, surely he could follow that.

"Ok." He said furrowing his brow. "Where's this going?"

I looked away from him, but his free hand moved under my chin, moving my eyes back to his. I couldn't believe after months of trying to keep this secret I was actually volunteering the information to him. And so far, I was doing pretty good at staying calm.

"I'm… I…" My bottom lip quivered as I tried to fight back the tears.

"Max, what is it?" He asked softly. He reached for me, but I stepped away. "Max?"

"If you hold me, I'll just feel worse." I explained, finally giving into the tears. They slid down my cheeks in rivers, flowing until they fell onto my sweatshirt. "God, I don't want you to hate me, Fang."

"I could never hate you, Max." He denied fiercely. "Now what is this about?"

I tried to find my voice, but the tears were too fresh for my voice to be audible. I tried to calm myself down, but it wasn't working as quick as I would have liked. Silence hung in the air.

"What could possibly be this bad?" He asked softly, reaching for me again. I shook my head, still unable to speak. "Did someone hurt you?"

I gave another shake of my head.

"You're not… please tell me you're not expiring?"

"No." I tried to sound strong, so I could eliminate that worry from his mind.

"Then what…"

"I'm pregnant." I whispered, watching him freeze up as my words reached his ears. He looked at me with wide eyes, shock consuming him.

"You're what?"

"Pregnant." I said again. "I'm four months along."

His eyes locked on mine, displaying a mix of emotions in those dark brown orbs. I could see the shock, nervousness, indecision, uncertainty… and regret. That one cut through me like a knife.

He shook his head, as if trying to clear his mind. "Are you sure?"

I let out a bitter laugh. "I wasn't sick. I convinced my mom to lie for me. The truth is that I was having morning sickness." I didn't think it was possible, but his eyes widened even more. "And I'm not wearing this sweatshirt because I'm cold. I started showing and knew I would have to hide my stomach so no one would notice." I peeled the sweatshirt from my upper body, loving the gust of cold that hit me when it was off. I'd been so hot.

"You're pregnant." He stated as if just now believing it. His eyes moved to my stomach, studying it carefully. "All this time I've been worried you were sick… even dying and you've been lying to me, keeping the truth from me."

"You have every right to be mad." I sounded pathetic, like a scolded child.

His jaw was clenched, making me worry about his teeth shattering inside his mouth from the pressure. His hands balled into fists at his side, knuckles whitened. "I'm furious, Max."

I tried desperately to pull air into my lungs. It was happening… I was going to lose Fang. I'd be alone in raising this baby, but there was no way I could do it alone. I needed him, not only for this child but for me too. Fang was my second in command, my rock, my best friend, my boyfriend…

"All this time you've been lying to me and I've been too blind to see it." His spoke as if just realizing the truth in that moment, an epiphany.

I entwined my fingers and pressed them against my mouth, trying to keep myself from reaching out for him. "I know and I'm so sorry. You have every right to be mad at me."

"I should be." He said with a nod. "But I'm not. I'm angry with myself."


"I wish you wouldn't have kept this from me."

"Me too."

"I understand why you did, though."

My head shot up, my eyes locking on his. "You do?"

He nodded, placing his hand on my cheek. "You were scared."

I opened my mouth to protest, but he stopped me. "It's ok to be scared, Max. I am too." He pulled me against him and I allowed him to. I couldn't believe he was willing to comfort me after I had lied to him for two months. "A baby. We're only sixteen."

"And on the run." I spoke into his shoulder, slightly muffled.

He stiffened. "We're going to have to be extra careful now. We're down a fighter."

"Ugh, this bites." I growled, pulling away from him. "I can't fight. I cry all the time. We're going to have to tell the flock eventually."

He scrubbed his hand over his face. "The sooner the better."

"You want to tell them?" I asked hopefully.

He gave me a small smile. "We'll do it together." I frowned.

AN: SO, this is a little short, but I hope you will forgive me. I was nice and let Fang know! Aren't you ecstatic? And I had someone ask about my book that I am writing in a review and thought I'd let all of you know that I recently finished a rough draft of my first chapter. I am going to be posting a link to it in my profile. I'll put a summary of my book in there too. Please check it out and email me to let me know how I am doing.

5. The Flock Reacts

My Secret

Chapter 5: The Flock Reacts

"Hey flock, bring it in!" I yelled as Fang and I emerged from the forest. "We have something we need to talk about."

"What is it, Max?" The Gasman asked with innocent eyes looking up at me.

I looked over at Fang for reassurance, he gave a small nod to me, telling me to go on. Taking in a deep breath, I mustered up the courage to say the words.

"Well, the thing is… I'm… pregnant." I muttered just loud enough for them to hear.

The first reaction I saw came from Iggy, giving off a shocked expression at first and then it twisted into a smirk. I felt the urge to smack him, but resisted by clenching my hands tightly into fists at my sides. My knuckles were turning white and my nails came close to puncturing the skin.

Angel was bouncing up and down, Total too. He was leaping higher than her blond head, while she was kind of bouncing on her toes. Her small hands clapped together, a large smile spreading across her face.

Nudge's mouth dropped open and it became obvious that she was completely awe struck. She tried and failed to talk, but found her voice was again. "You're going to have a baby?"

I nodded, crossing my arms over my stomach. She was still staring at me with large, wide brown eyes and her mouth was gaping at me.

Gazzy was frozen, eyes wide with shock. He looked me over, from head to toe, in what seemed like an attempt to get some kind of confirmation from my body. But I wasn't really showing enough and with my arms wrapped around myself, he definitely wouldn't notice any change.

Fang, noticing me fidget underneath her gaze, cleared his throat and all eyes turned on him. I lowered my head, looking at the ground with great interest, while Fang spoke. "There's more."

My eyes shifted to his face, wondering if he was really going to tell them the other piece of news. It seemed like he was, but he didn't appear nervous at all. There was a blank mask on his face and suddenly I envied him, being able to appear calm at all times.

I took a bit of pleasure in the fact I could decode his emotions, just enough to know what he was feeling. For instance, his lips were pressed together a little firmer than usual, so he wasn't sure if he should be telling them. His eyes didn't meet any of theirs, instead just looked at the sky behind them. He wished he was flying… me too.

"I'm the father." Fang supplied, taking my hand in his and giving it a reassuring squeeze. I half smiled, mostly faking it.

I heard Nudge gasp, looking a bit crestfallen. My eyebrows knit together in confusion. I knew Nudge had always doted on Fang, like she was his number one fan or something, but was it possible that her feelings were more than sisterly affection?

"I knew it." Iggy's grin widened, almost reaching his ears. I chewed my lip nervously, moving a bit closer to Fang. Iggy obviously knew Fang and I had slept together, but could I say the same about the others? Nudge knew, I'd bet my credit card on it. Angel and Gazzy were young though, so there was no saying if they'd figured it out by now.

"Max and Fang are going to have a baby!" Angel yelled beginning to move into full jumps. "I'm going to be an aunt!"

"And I'm going to be an uncle!" The Gasman said with a smile as the two of them gave each other a high five.

"This is so touching." Total dabbed at his teary eyes with one of his front black paws. I couldn't resist rolling my eyes, but I noticed Fang's reaction to his waterworks was the same as my own.

"So that means you love each other, right?" Angel asked, turning her attention to me. "I always thought so, but now I know for sure… you guys are in love?"

Fang and I looked at one another, both speechless. I answered Angel first. "Well, sweetie… yes, Fang and I have always had very strong feelings for one another, sibling love. But now that love has changed as we grew up and now it is a boyfriend, girlfriend kind of love."

"Are you going to get married?" She questioned, suddenly even more excited.

I shook my head. "That isn't possible for us, Ange."

"But…" She stopped herself and then started up again. "If you could, you would get married, right? For the baby?"

"Angel, people don't get married just because they are going to have a baby together." I explained, seeing her face drop. That definitely wasn't the answer she wanted.

"Max and I are as married as we need to be." Fang said before I could break her heart even more. "We love each other and we are going to have a baby in a matter of months. We don't need a ceremony or a marriage license to make it feel any more official that it already is to us."

I looked up at him, surprised by the wordiness and the sentimental feelings oozing from him. I wanted to throw my arms around him, let him hold me… I blame it in the pregnancy hormones.

"And yes, Angel." He continued. "If we could get married, I would have asked Max months ago, maybe even a year. I've loved her for awhile."

I was staring at him, my jaw hanging open in shock. He wanted to marry me? We were only sixteen and he was claiming that when he was fifteen he loved me enough to pop the question? Oh jeez… no crying. I willed away the tears and luckily, none fell.

"So…" Iggy began, breaking the silence that stretched over us. "Who's hungry?"

I laughed, in fact, everyone but Nudge did. "Um… how about Fang and Gazzy go get the food from a McDonalds or something.?" I threw Fang a hopeful look. Noticing he seemed a bit confused, I nodded toward Nudge, whom was staring at the ground.

He mouthed 'ok' to me and waved for the Gasman to come with him. They were in the air in less than a minute and out of sight after about five.

"Nudge, let's go for a walk." I gestured for her to follow me, which she did, looking kind of nervous.

We walked until we were out of sight, then I stopped us. "What's going on, sweetie?"

Her head was still lowered, refusing to look up at me. "Nothing."

My eyebrows drew together. "Nudge, I know something is wrong. Is this about Fang?"

"No." She denied, kicking at a twig.

"It isn't it?" I whispered. "Nudge, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize that you felt this way about Fang, if I had…"

"What?" Nudge interrupted. "You would still be with Fang, you two couldn't stay away from each other. You proved that once we split apart because of Ari."

A pain hit my chest, whether it was due to the mention of Ari or losing Fang, I wasn't sure. "I love him."

"And he loves you. I know that." She shrugged, letting out a sigh. "I just can't stop my feelings, you know?"

"I know."

"I'm happy for both of you, though."

"Thank you." I muttered, swiping at my eyes.

"Aw, Max, please don't cry." She said, looking so helpless and a bit freaked out. Who could blame her? I could count the number of times I've cried in front of her or any of the flock on one hand.

I let out a small laugh. "Can't help it. Pregnant… remember?" I asked, pointing to my stomach.

"This is going to be so weird." She shook her head slowly.

"Yeah, well… just wait until the cravings come along… and then there is the fact that I'm going to be getting fat." I stated, smiling a bit. "I never thought I would see the day where I got fat."

She returned my grin. "Not fat, pregnant."

"That's right." I nodded. "You ready to head back?"

She hesitated. "What is it?" I asked, looking back at her.

"I just wanted to let you know… the feelings I have for Fang… I have them for Iggy too. More and more I feel drawn to him and I think it is because I know Fang was meant for you." My heart soared as she said the last part, then the rest of it registered. She had feelings for Iggy.

I smiled. "If it is meant to be, it will work out." I looked at her thoughtful face then put my arm around her shoulders, giving her a small squeeze. "But between you and me, I think you and Iggy might just work out."

"Really?" Nudge asked hopefully.

"Absolutely." I confirmed.

The two of us walked back to find that Fang and Gazzy were back with the food. Fang was the first one to see us when we emerged from the trees and I gave him a smile to confirm that everything was ok. His head tilted down slightly to tell me he understood before I reached him and stood to his side.

Standing on my tip toes, I whispered into his ear. "I'll tell you about it later."

He turned, surprising me as his lips met my cheek. "Ok." He continued after seeing my wide eyes. "They're going to have to get used to the idea of us showing each other affection sometime, Max. It's best to start now."

"It just feels so weird." I argued unconvincingly.

He snorted. "Thanks. Being with me feels weird, that's fantastic."

I glared at him, shoving his shoulder slightly. "You know what I meant."

AN: Well, here's another chapter finished. I hope you guys liked it and to those that read the first chapter of my book, the second chapter is done and the link is in my profile. The link to my first chap is still up for those who want to check it out that haven't yet. If you have time, let me know what you think of it. And please review, so I know how I'm doing.

6. Stress Pains

My Secret

Chapter 6: Stress Pains

Things had been pretty tense around the house, which wasn't surprising considering Jeb was now back in the picture. He showed up yesterday, throwing us all off, except for Mom, since she was the one that called him. Once he found out I was pregnant, he was more than willing to come stay here with us.

I had an argument with Mom over it and unfortunately things were still tense between us because of it. I hated that things weren't good between us, but she knew how I felt about Jeb. I told her she could bring him around when I give birth, not five months sooner.

Fang and I were spending a lot more time alone since the fight, mostly because I locked myself in my room and refused to let anyone else in. I needed to be away from Jeb and my bedroom was the safest place in the house to stay Jeb free.

"Max." Someone was knocking on my door.

I groaned, being woken from sleep. Fang was on the bed, acting as my pillow and he must have dozed off too, because he looked slightly startled.

"What?" I called to whoever was behind the door.

"I need to talk to you." Jeb.

"Not going to happen."

"I think we really need to talk."

I placed my head back on Fang's chest. "I'm not in the mood for a parental lecture right now, especially by a sad excuse for a father."

"I was thinking more along the lines of discussing education while we do an ultrasound." He was dangling a treat over my head. "You could find out the sex."

Fang's face softened and I turned to stare at the door. "Will Mom be the one doing it?"


I pushed off of Fang and walked toward the door, opening it reluctantly. "Once the ultrasound is over, so is our talk."


Fang was behind me in less than a minute and Jeb didn't seem surprised to see him in my room. It's not like we were unclothed or anything anyway. We were just cuddling… I'd grown kind of fond of it since all the pregnancy symptoms have assaulted me.

Last week I'd felt the baby kick for the first time. Fang had been out flying with Nudge and Gazzy and when he got home to find out he missed it, he appeared genuinely disappointed. I think that's the reason he's been spending more time with me, afraid that he'll miss it again. I'm not complaining though, however I can win his attention, I'll take it.

The two of us followed Jeb into the spare bedroom that had been turned into a hospital room. There was an ultrasound machine next to the bed, along with a tray of hopefully unnecessary supplies.

Mom gestured for me to lay down and I did, very slowly. Fang was by my side without question, taking a protective stance. He was nervous, but hid it well, because I would be the only one that could tell.

"Lift your shirt." Mom instructed, grabbing a bottle of some jellylike substance.

I did as told, revealing my swollen belly to the three people within the room. Jeb's stare made me uncomfortable, to the point where I felt it necessary to place a protective hand over my bulge.

"You're smaller than most mothers are at this stage." Mom said with a thoughtful expression. "You should be showing more."

I rolled my eyes. "Mutant freak, remember? Everything is out of the ordinary for me."

Jeb peeled his eyes from my exposed skin and looked at Mom. "She's still a healthy size, though, isn't she?"

Mom debated, unsure of her response. "I'm not sure. I'm used to dealing with animals, so I'm not all that familiar with human pregnancy. I think a regular doctor might put her on bed rest."

"I'm fine." I assured. "I'm smaller than regular humans, so doesn't it seem logical that I would be smaller than normal pregnant mothers as well?"

Jeb nodded. "I think she's right."

Mom sighed. "Only one way to tell."

She squeezed the jelly onto my belly, smearing it over my pale skin. It was cold, extremely so, and I had to gnash my teeth together to keep from saying something rude.

"There's your baby." Jeb told me, beaming at the screen.

I studied it, making out the face, legs, arms, etc… I could tell Fang was doing the same behind me, after taking my hand in his and giving it a gentle squeeze.

"A boy." Mom announced, turning to look at me.

It took a moment for the news to sink in. Fang and I were having a baby, and now we know that this baby was going to be a boy.

"You were right." I looked at Fang, seeing his smile. "I knew you'd be right."

I blushed, glancing back at out baby on the screen. "He's real…"

"He is." Jeb confirmed. "Now, about the conversation we're supposed to have… Your mother and I have been discussing and we feel you need to be educated."

"On what?" My brow furrowed.

"Things a normal girl you age should know." He answered, with a small glint in his eyes.

Mom finished cleaning the substance from my skin and I got out of the bed immediately, standing by Fang. "I don't like where this is going."

Mom looked at the ground. "You're bound to be upset and even uncooperative, but we think it is for the best."

Jeb elaborated. "Max, we think the six of you need to go back to school."

My jaw dropped open as my mind short circuited. I couldn't have heard them right. There was no way that they could possibly be suggesting we go back to school with normal human kids. It was a disaster the first time and it would be so again. I'm four months pregnant, the last thing I needed was to be in school again to get gawked at.

"No way." My voice was monotone.

"It's not a debate." Jeb denied. "You want to stay in this house, then you must go to school."

I scrambled for a response, shocked at what I was hearing. "I'm four months pregnant, I'm going to attract attention and isn't that what we're trying to avoid?"

"It's extra stress." Fang agreed. "We've got enough on our plate."

"A problem you created." Jeb said shifting his glance between us.

"Problem." I repeated humorlessly. "That's why you won't be voted grandfather of the year."

"You're going or you're out." Jeb stated firmly.

I looked behind him at Mom, she was mysteriously quiet. "You agree with him?"

"You need to try and live a normal life." She confirmed. "This is the way to do it."

Feeling betrayed, I rushed out of the room, making my way for the bedroom I stayed in. I could feel Fang following behind me, despite my hurried pace. I started throwing clothes in a bag.

"What are you doing?" Fang sounded shocked.

"I don't like being controlled." I answered. "I'm leaving."

"And what about the rest of us?"

"Come if you want to. I don't care."

"You don't mean that. You're angry and it's getting the best of you."

I shot him a glare. "What are you my shrink now?"

He shook his head. "Don't push me away."

"Don't tell me what to do." I shot back, feeling a headache coming on.

"Just take some time to calm down." He advised. "We'll go flying."

I halted my packing. "I need out of here."

He crossed the room, eyes studying my reaction for any signs of protest. He probably thought I was going to bite his head off again.

Just before his hands made contact with my shoulders, a cramp rolled through my belly. My eyes widened and I stared at Fang in shock. Pain wracked my stomach region again and I hugged myself in an effort to put an end to the stabbing pain. I felt like someone was stabbing my belly with a knife, shredding my insides.

"Max?" Fang sounded baffled and worried.

I panted. "Something is wrong."

"What is it?" Panic consumed his expression and voice.

My eyes connected with his, fear in both of our eyes. "Pain, a lot of it. The baby is in trouble."

"No." He whispered, frozen where he stood.

Another cramp seized me. "Go get Mom!"

He was out of the room before I'd finished the sentence. Lowering to the ground, I hugged my stomach, begging for the pain to stop. It was a nightmare come true. I was losing the baby, my baby… Fang's baby.

Tears sprung to my eyes, falling freely down my cheeks. It felt like I was there, alone, forever. Why did it feel like I'd been lying there for years, every second more excruciating than the other.

I tried to calm my breathing, but it was too hard. The panic had me in an uncontrollable state and the pain wasn't helping at all.

A scream passed my lips as I hugged my belly. And then Fang was there, lifting me from the floor and placing me on the bed. He stayed there with me, holding me and whispering comforting words. His hands stroked my hair and back, his lips pressing against my hair every few seconds.

"Max, just hold on." Mom called desperately.

I looked toward the foot of the bed, seeing Mom and Jeb frantically setting out their supplies.

"It's the stress she's under." Jeb said hurriedly. "Give her a sedative."

"She won't appreciate that." Mom replied shaking her head.

"It's her comfort, versus her baby."

"Max." Mom appeared beside me. "This is only going to stop if we get you calmed down. Unfortunately, I think the only way to do that is to give you a sedative. I need your permission, sweetie."

I lifted my head to look at Fang. I don't know what I was looking for in his expression… some sense of safety or comfort, I guess. And I found it.

"Do it."

She nodded and disappeared. Seconds later, Fang's head snapped toward the end of the bed, watching the pair closely. Someone moved to my side and I tried to turn and look, but Fang's kept my eyes secured on him.

"Close your eyes." He whispered.

I obeyed and a needle was jabbed into my arms. I winced, but it didn't hurt nearly as much as the pain in my belly.

Minutes later, I could feel my muscles relax and my breathing slow. My heart wasn't thumping nearly as fast as the calm feeling worked through my body. I was becoming blissfully numb of pain or worries.

"Much better." I whispered sleepily.

Fang pulled me tighter to him. "Get some rest, Max."

I resisted the blackness, focusing on his hard features. "Will you be here when I wake up?"

"No one could keep me away."


He kissed my hair. "I promise. Sleep."

And I did.

Alright, I know the wait was horribly long, but it won't happen again, I promise. I had finals and all that lovely stuff, so I was uber stressed out. But now I have plenty of time. Just work and writing now. And reading. Anyway, I want you guys to know that I am a beta reader now if you want me to read your stuff. Luv ya guys and don't forget to review. You guys have been wonderful with that, so don't stop now!

7. Back to School

My Secret

Chapter 7: Back to School

I told Jeb he was crazy to think I would ever consider dealing with the whole school drama again and Fang backed me up. The other kids seemed more thrilled about it all, except Total whom would be without Angel for eight hours a day.

Jeb eventually put it to a vote, and you can imagine how that went. Mom, Jeb, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, Angel, and Ella all voted yes. Fang, Total, and I all voted no. It took me awhile to even argue that Total's vote counted, which he found offensive, of course. He still holds a grudge against Jeb for trying to exclude him.

Having lost the vote, I played the baby card to try and be excused from the school scene. Unfortunately, Jeb wasn't sympathetic and Mom ended up agreeing with him. They said as long as school didn't cause me too much stress, I had to be enrolled.

Needless to say, I'd been in a really foul mood over the weekend, since we started school on Monday.

The morning was tense. Everyone but Fang and I seemed at ease, except Total. I'd spent an hour trying to find a shirt that hid my swelling belly, and came up with a black tank that was tight all the way down to below my bust line where it hung loose.

Jeb dropped us off in front of the building for our first day of school. At least we weren't in the dumb one Anne enrolled us in, because I had no desire to see Sam and Lissa ever again.

Our first stop was Student Services, where we had to pick up our schedules. Fang, Iggy and I were in high school… Sophomores. It was scary. In fact, I think I'd rather be in a fight with some flyboys right now.

Four months pregnant and in high school, I was officially a cliché.

"Please tell me we have all our classes together." I begged Fang.

"We have all of our classes together." He repeated mechanically.

I smacked his arm. "You didn't even look."

"Sorry." He held his hands up in defense.

We sat in the two chairs inside the office, comparing, while Iggy received his schedule.

"Well, we have all of our 'A' day classes together." Fang told me with a smile.

"But only two on 'B' days." I replied miserably.

"Here." Iggy handed me his schedule.

"Oh thank God."

"What?" Fang and Iggy asked at the same time.

I elaborated. "Iggy has his 'A' day classes with us. And on his 'B' days he has one class with me, then one class with you. And the last two we all have together, so we'll both only have to survive one class alone."

"Which are?" Fang prodded.

"Mine is Health." I said, looking over the pieces of paper. "Yours is PE."

He shrugged. "That's not too bad."

"It could be worse." I agreed.

The first bell sounded, meaning we had five minutes to find our first class before being counted tardy. It was an 'A' day, so we wouldn't be split up today. Our first class was World Geography with Mr. Johnson, followed by: Biology, Algebra, and Journalism.

Today was going to be one of the longest days of our lives.

"Hello." A voice greeted the three of us as we walked in.

Mr. Johnson was a younger teacher, probably in his mid twenties. His eyes were a dark brown like his hair and he had glasses. Most girls probably considered him good looking, even more so without the specs.

"Max and Jeff Ride?" He asked gesturing to Iggy and me.

"That's us." I confirmed.

He looked at Fang. "So that makes you Nick Black."

Fang gave a nod.

"Well, welcome to my class. I'm Mr. Johnson, but most of the other kids call me Mr. Dave." He wore a proud smirk. If there was a teacher popularity contest, he'd win.

"O-k, Mr. Dave." Fang said grabbing my elbow and leading me past the teacher. I made sure to grab Iggy's hand and tow him along with us.

Fang sat down at one of the desks in the back and I placed Iggy in the one in front of him. I took the one on the side and scoot it a little closer to the two of them.

The desks were uncomfortable, especially for someone that's four months pregnant. My butt hurt from sitting for so long and my back was beginning to ache from slouching. I felt exhausted and a bit nauseous, making it a miracle I didn't fall asleep in class.

But all of these put together made a cranky Max.

The bell rang and the students were pouring into the hall immediately. Except the one in front of me, he turned in his desk to look at me. "You're new here, right?"

I nodded, seeing Fang and Iggy already at the door. They weren't paying any attention to me and this guy, yet.

He smiled and offered his hand. "I'm Luke, a Sophomore."

He was cute. Sandy blonde hair and green eyes, he was the average pretty boy. Nothing compared to Fang, of course. Fang was on an entirely different level.

I shook his hand, putting on a kind smile. "Max, also a Sophomore."

Fang and Iggy made their way over to us, standing behind me in a protective manner that was almost annoying. "This is my brother Jeff and…"

"Her boyfriend, Nick." Fang finished, shaking Luke's hand.

"Oh, nice to meet you." Luke's smile was fake. I felt a bit bad for him. "See ya guys later."

"Bye." I muttered.

"First class and you've already got a suitor." Iggy laughed.

"Shut up."

"Mood swing."

"Give her a break." Fang silenced Iggy, seeing the angered expression on my face. He pulled me into a hug and I went willingly, wishing that we were anywhere but here.

"I hate this." I grumbled, feeling his ropy arms tighten around me.

"Me too."

A few small jabs hit my stomach, making me smile. The baby had kicked a few times over the past few days.

I stood on my tiptoes and whispered into Fang's ear. "Our baby is kicking again."

He smiled, placing his hand lightly on my belly. "We're going to have to start thinking of names for our little boy, ya know."

I sighed. "I don't even want to think about it."

"We'll fire ideas at each other this weekend." He said with a smirk.

"If we survive the week." I muttered miserably.

Fang laughed. "You're cute when you pout."

"Ok, let's get to class." Iggy said.

"So eager to learn." I teased.

"So eager to get away from your love connection." He shook his head in horror. "Getting pregnant has made you soft, both of you."

"We're happy." I told him, rolling my eyes. "Is that a crime?"

He shook his head, making it around a few desks with scary accuracy. Fang and I followed in pursuit and meeting him at the door. I took Ig's hand in mine and walked into the hallway. Fang was on the other side of Iggy, making sure he didn't get bumped.

Our next class was at the opposite end, so we had a bit of a walk, dodging other kids and keeping track of the time. About halfway down the hall, a group of guys were running in our direction. As they went to pass us, one of them ran into me. Losing my balance, I fell onto my butt.

"What happened?" Iggy asked, brow furrowed in confusion.

Fang was by my side in seconds, helping me up and asking me if I was ok. Even quieter, he asked about the baby.

"I'm fine." I assured, brushing myself off.

"Sorry." The guy that knocked me down said.

He was one of those popular guys. His hair was brown and he had blue eyes. He reminded me a lot of Sam.

"Watch where you're going next time." Fang growled, taking a step closer to him.

"Nick, let it go." I gave a pleading tug on his arm.

"Woah dude, calm down." The other guy said. "I apologized."

I watched Fang closely, taking notice of his clenched jaw and fists. Sometimes he really went overboard and this was one of those times.

"And I accept it." I told Fang. "So cut the attitude."

"You're ok?" The guy asked sweetly.

"Completely unharmed." I assured.

Fang looked at me, then at the other boy. "Sorry, first day and tensions are high."

"So that's why I didn't recognize you guys." He laughed. "I'm Justin. I moved here last year from Kansas City."

He looked between us. "Where you from?"

"Everywhere." I said with a snort.

Fang smirked. "We moved around a lot."

Justin's brow furrowed. "You related?"

"No, Nick's my boyfriend."

"So how are you able to move from place to place together?"

"Oh um…"

Fang jumped to my rescue. "Our parents are best friends. Max and I basically grew up together, never went anywhere without each other."

Justin looked between us. "Anyone ever tell you two you act like you're married?

I smiled, looking behind me at Iggy. "My brother, Jeff, actually."

"Yeah, if they start to get all mushy, just leave, because it gets really nauseating." He held his stomach with a bothered face.

Our new 'friend' laughed, checking his watch. "So, what class do you have next?"

"Biology." Fang supplied.

"Mr. Connor's class." Justin said with a nod. "He's pretty boring. Most of the kids take a nap in his class. I know I do."

"I could use some shut eye." I replied, trying not to yawn at the thought of sleep.

His smile was huge, flashing brilliant white teeth. "Well, I guess I'll see you guys around."

"See ya." Ig muttered.

We went to Biology and suffered through it without any problems. True to Justin's word, Mr. Connor was the most boring teacher on the planet. I know, I haven't listened to a lecture fro every teacher in the world… but it's only an expression. And he was more boring than ter Borcht and the Director combined, so that's saying something.

After lunch, we had Algebra and Journalism. Both were at least slightly more interesting than Biology. Some girl hit on Fang, then another girl hit on Fang. I actually snapped my pencil in half while my boyfriend and Theresa had a conversation on paper.

It went like this…

Hey, I'm Theresa.

You're new here, right?


What's your name?


Where'd you move from?


Oh, uh… cool.

Do you have a girlfriend?


Long distance relationship?

Nope, she's sitting next to me… reading this note. (Cue me waving.)

Needless to say, she didn't pass anymore notes. I caught her looking back at him a few times, but decided not to break the only pencil I had left to write with.

The final bell of the day sounded, releasing us from school. I let out a thankful sigh, grabbing Iggy's hand and heading out of the classroom. We made it through the hall without another incident and began to walk home. We survived our first day back at school.

Hope you enjoyed. I know some of you are worried about where this story is going, but I promise they won't be in school for long. In fact, they may not even make it back… I've got something big planned for the next chapter. Reviews please! Because they make me smile and feel special.

8. Old Enemies

My Secret

Chapter 8: Old Enemies

It was Friday! Thank goodness for Friday! After a week in school, I was ready to choke every individual in that hell hole… that wasn't excluding my boyfriend and Iggy. Both were getting increasingly annoying. Iggy's nonstop cracks about Fang and I, especially were getting dreadfully repetitive.

And Fang was playing the part of jealous boyfriend perfectly. I mean, he's got girls hitting on him repeatedly, but I never say anything. Yet, the moment some guy looks at me wrong, he'll wrap his arm around me or kiss me. I wouldn't be so bothered by it, but I don't like feeling like a tree being peed on by a dog to mark it's territory. I'm not property.

We were headed to our fourth hour class. I'd almost survived the day. Almost. I was so close, I could taste it.

When we entered the room, Theresa was there with a group of five girls surrounding her. Three guys were in the back of the classroom, talking also. But when we walked in, all eyes focused on us three, or rather me.

Fang seemed to notice and tightened his grip on my hand. I gave a squeeze in return, letting him know I was worried.

As we sat, the girls parted, and Theresa came through with a small smile on her lips.

"Hey Nick." She said sweetly. "Max."

I gave a small wave, pretending to study my notes. Fang's hand was still holding my left, sitting clearly on the table for everyone to see.

"I think it's really great what you're doing." She told me.

I lifted my eyes up to her face for the first time. "What am I doing?"

She began talking a little louder. "You know, keeping your baby."

"What baby?" I questioned, pretending to have no clue what she was talking about.

"You don't have to hide it anymore." Theresa proclaimed. "Everyone knows you're pregnant."

"I-I'm what?"


"You must have me confused with someone else."

"No, my mother told me about it." Theresa said surely. "She's friends with the school nurse, Mrs. Benford."

"She told my mother that one of the new students was four months pregnant. A girl by the name of Max Ride."

My heart was racing, pulse pounding loudly in my ears. It was too much. This wasn't supposed to happen. They weren't supposed to find out. Ugh, I was going to kill Jeb and Mom for this.

"Sixteen and pregnant." She tsked.

"It's none of your business." I growled. "Just go back to your giggling little friends and leave me alone."

"What's the matter, Max?" She taunted. "Afraid you boyfriend is gonna get sick of the responsibilities that come along with you? Scared he'll leave you?"

Fang stood up, leaning closer to her. "Back off."

"You'll see in time."

"You don't know anything about Max and I." He said coldly.

Then something amazing happened. Fang, being the amazing person he is, held out his hand. At first I gave him a questioning look. He gestured for me to take his hand and I did, holding onto it like it was a flotation device and I was in the middle of the ocean. Pulling me up from the chair, he tapped Iggy's back and whispered something in his ear. The blind mutant gave a small nod and took my free hand.

Fang headed toward the door, intent on getting to it. Were we truly leaving?


I took a good look at him when I was met with silence. He was furious, ready to throttle someone. My vote was for Jeb.

"Fang." I said again. "Where are we going?"

"We're leaving." He growled. "This was a mistake."

"But Mom and Jeb…"

He whirled, looking at me with wild eyes. "Can go to hell. Look what they just put you through. Screw education and all that, we've lived fine without it so far."

"They were trying to help." Wait, why was I defending them?

"They're trying to control you." He corrected. "They're trying to make up for the years they didn't have you under their thumbs. The years they didn't have to act like a parent."

"Jeb maybe…" I said unsurely. "But not Mom."

"She agreed with his school idea."

"It wasn't one of her better moments." I defended. "He probably conned her into it somehow."

He sighed. "I like your mom, Max. I really do. But this is going to be hard to forgive, whether Jeb brainwashed her or not. They had to have known something like this would happen."

"I know."

Glancing toward the door, he grabbed my shoulders and looked into my eyes. "Do you want to go home?"

His brown eyes held such emotion in those few seconds. Pain, anger, compassion. He would stay if I asked him to.

I nodded.

We began walking toward the door, silently.

"I'm a coward." I told him, regretfully. "I can battle erasers, but I'm too chicken to go back in that classroom."

A small smile touched his lips. "No, you're the bravest person I know."

"Yeah, well… you don't know that many people."

He stopped. "You're being smart."

I laughed bitterly. "How so?"

His eyes narrowed. "Because you could go back in there and put yourself through unnecessary stress, but you're choosing to take the safer road for our child."

"I wish that was the reason."

He rolled his eyes. "Let's go home."

Fang, Iggy and I went and got the younger three out of their classrooms, then headed home. Chances were the school had already contacted Mom and Jeb about us leaving school. I didn't care, though. I was fully prepared to never go back.

Flying was a little harder with the extra weight I'd gained. My wings tired pretty quick, not used to carrying two people. It was embarrassing to be the first one to need a rest. I wasn't about to tell the others to stop, so I stuck it out.

Iggy stopped moving forward and flew in place as he listened. Fang and I exchanged worried glances. We'd figured the evil formed by Itex would come after us again, but we were never sure when.

"What is it?" Nudge asked first.

"Heavy wing beats." He said furrowing his brow in confusion. "It sounds like Erasers."

"They're all dead." Fang denied with a shake of his head.

Turning in a circle, I looked around us, trying to see what was making the noise Iggy described. Could it be possible that they brought the Erasers back? And if they did, why? The flyboys seemed to be their new favorite thing… why bring back things with minds?

"There!" Gazzy yelled pointing to a mass of brown shapes.

"They're back." I whispered in amazement. I was momentarily dumbfounded by the site in front of me. They had brought back our arch enemies. These creatures had almost killed Fang, and kidnapped Angel and I. Replacing me with a clone.

"We need to get out of here, fast." Fang yelled, twisting his head to look at me.

I swung my head from side to side. "They're coming up too fast."

"Then you need to go alone."


He flew closer to me. "If you don't go… they could kill you." His hand found my belly. "Both of you."

"They wouldn't kill us." I disagreed. "But they would take me back to Itex."

He nodded his agreement.

I sighed. "I'll go."

The corner of his mouth lifted. "Thank you. Be careful."

"I will." I took one more glance over Fang's shoulder at the approaching Erasers, then turned and flew toward Mom's house.

I hated leaving my flock to fight while I ran away to shelter. I felt insignificant and unhelpful. I was supposed to be the leader, yet I wasn't helping them battle the Easers. What if one of them got hurt? I wouldn't be able to live with that.

What if Fang got hurt or worse? I needed him. Now more than ever. I couldn't take care of this child without him. He was my rock.

In an instant, something collided with my head. Stars burst behind my eyelids as I struggled to stay in the air. For a few moments I was falling toward the ground, but I managed to stop myself.

I pulled my eyes open once again, finding my surroundings to be blurry. Whatever had hit me really did some damage. My head throbbed worse as the seconds passed.

"What's wrong, birdie?" An eraser sneered. "Have a headache?"

I fixed a glare on the big hairy wolf-like creature flying in front of me. Even though he was right before me, it was still hard to believe they'd brought the Erasers back.

I just prayed Ari stayed dead. As much as it hurt to see him die, I didn't want him to rise again. If he did, he might try to off the members of my flock again.

"I see they downgraded." I sneered at him. "Why did they decide to bring back the failures?"

He snarled, trying to terrify me. It didn't work.

"Down boy." I laughed.

The eraser flew closer as a couple more appeared behind him. I was quickly becoming outnumbered. There was a chance that out flying them wouldn't work. A very big chance.

"So where have you guys been?" I went on, trying to hide my nervousness. "Pushing Timmy down a well?"

The first lunged for me, the other two reacting just seconds later. I did the only thing I could. I took off in my super speed. I couldn't fight and chance the baby's life in the process. I was determined to have this little boy. Fang's little boy. My little boy. Our little boy. I still couldn't believe it.

The fast flying turned out to be a problem. It made me incredibly dizzy and tired. I had to stop and land in some trees to throw up and take a breather. My lungs ached from exertion, as well as my wings. It would be hard to take off again.

The whole time I kept my eyes on the sky, looking for Erasers.

What I hadn't expected was for them to come on foot, but they did. Within a minute, I was standing in the middle of a triangle formed by their bodies. My luck had run out. I would have to fight to get away.

But I didn't have a chance. Something hit my shoulder, making it sting. My head lowered to look at the hurting spot and there it was… a dart. I pulled it out and the world went black.

AN: Hey, I know it has been forever and I promised it wouldn't take that long again, but things have been bombarding me. My work has been hectic because I work in a classroom with this guy who is kind of stalkerish. My baby cousin got really sick… but she's better now. My best friend moved back in town after being gone for months. It's been very eventful.

All of you can thank this wonderful reviewer named Brittany. She messaged me on my Myspace and let an amazing note. So I want to take the time to thank Brittany for that. It made my day. And it got me motivated to write. Thanks again.

9. A Different Kind of School

My Secret

Chapter 9: A Different Kind of School

Pain. That was the first thing I noticed as I woke up. My head hurt... heck, my whole body hurt. There was no escaping the dull aches that harassed each muscle that composed me.

The second thing that came to my attention was my surroundings. I wasn't in Kansas anymore Toto.

The room was dark, so the only thing I could make out was the cement I was stretched across. It was rough, scratching at my bare legs. My jean shorts didn't do much to protect me, especially not from the cold coat of water atop the cement. My sweatshirt however, would have been a great asset for just that, but it was mysteriously absent. The only thing left covering my upper body was my bra and a plain dark blue t-shirt.

"Fang?" I called weakly, propping myself up on one elbow. "Flock?"

No one answered. But was I really surprised? The room was too quiet to hold anyone else.

Slowly, I sat up and winced as my whole body screamed in protest. Whatever they knocked me out with was wicked. It worried me, not only because it made me so weak, but because my unborn child was exposed to it too. Right now I just had to keep faith that whoever had me captive, and my guess was The School, had nothing to gain from harming the baby.

Finally, I ended up on my feet, walking toward the nearest wall. The first step was searching for a door, then a window and last resort, a vent. All were means of escape and freedom.

My fingers glided over the equally rough wall, causing a few uncomfortable picks. I found the door on the third wall, a few feet off from the corner nearest me. It was smooth metal from what I could tell, with no doorknob.

After a couple of kicks to the bottom of the door, I abandoned that idea. My next plan would have been windows, but it was pretty obvious that there were none of those. Light would have been streaming in, unless it was night by now. If so, it would present itself later.

So vents it was. This search wasn't easy, because the vents are usually up high. I jumped a few times where I though the wall looked darker than other places, but my fingers never touched anything except for rough cement.

I put my back against the wall, sliding down it and scraping my back in the process. I could tell I had scratched the places where I didn't have wings or a shirt to protect me.

"Now what?" I asked myself. "How am I supposed to get out of here?"

My voice cracked as my last bit of hope died. Getting myself out of this was not going to be easy, or even possible. If I had to do anything besides walk, then I was screwed. Pregnancy doesn't exactly allow me to do the whole leader Max that destroys everything in my way role.

Tears rolled down my cheeks, falling to mix with the coat of water on the ground. I was wet, cold, sore and completely exhausted. Completely miserable.

But Fang and the flock would come. I knew they wouldn't just let these people have me, because that's what happens when one of us gets taken. We never give up. So they wouldn't stop looking until they found me here and got me out. All I had to do was wait and survive until then, me and the baby both.

I placed a protective hand over my rounded belly. I was still pretty small at four months along, but the bump was noticeable, especially with only a t-shirt on. Where was my sweatshirt?

A tapping noise sounded outside of the room I had been put in, someone was at the door. Whoever it was didn't wait for me to grant them entrance, they opened the door and walked in. And who did I see come through the door? Why none other than Jeb, wearing a stunningly familiar white coat.

"Hello Maximum."

"You've got to be freaking kidding me." I growled. "You did this?"

"Yes," He nodded, closing the door behind him. It was a pretty brave move if you ask me, because I was literally just seconds away from attacking him. "For your own good, of course."

"That's laughable." I remarked, rolling my eyes. "You are so predictable... and warped in the brain. If you want to do what is good for me, then you will let me out of here."

"Alright, let me rephrase that." He pushed his glasses up on his nose. "I'm doing this for the good of your unborn child. Fang's unborn child."

I stood, walking over to get up in his face. When I was just inches away from his face, I growled, "My child is none of your concern. I took part in creating him and I'm carrying him, so back off and let me make my own decisions concerning my child."

"You're going to kill him with your lifestyle, Maximum. You'll end up going into labor in a cave somewhere without a doctor and he will die. That's if he even survives the fights and stress you get into up until then." Jeb lectured, not moving back even a half a step. "You need to stay here until you give birth and then you can go."

I crossed my arms. "With our without my baby?"


"That's definitely not happening."

Jeb's face colored red with anger. He looked like he wanted to strangle me by the way his hands were clutching his clipboard. Soon he was shouting at me, "Maximum, you cannot raise a baby on the run!"

"Watch me!" And with that, I gave him a good shove back toward the door.

His back hit the door, making him grunt. He seemed shocked at first, then incredibly pissed. He straightened his clothes and pushed his glasses back up to where they were supposed to be, then left the room without another word.

"Max!" Fang yelled opening the door to her mother's house. Him and the flock were beat up, but right now he was numb with worry. He had an unsettling feeling in his stomach that wouldn't go away until he laid eyes on Max.

"Fang?" Dr. Martinez asked jogging down the stairs. "Why are you home from school already? And why are you guys all dirty and bruised?"

"I thought Max would have explained that to you." Fang said, furrowing his brow.

"Max? She hasn't been home." Dr. Martinez said shaking her head. "Why isn't she with you?"

A searing pain went through Fang's stomach. It felt like someone had cut his insides to shreds. Max wasn't home, when there was no way they could have beat her back. Unless... she ran into trouble.

"Are you sure she hasn't been back?" Fang asked, panicking, as he ran up the stairs to her room.

"I'm sure." She called up after him.

He threw her door open, revealing an empty room. He looked in the other rooms, practically searching the whole house. As everything came up empty, the panic enclosed around him. Something was wrong. Max would have come straight here, yet she was nowhere to be found. So either she got hurt on the way there and he needed to go search the woods, or the erasers had nabbed her.

"Fang?" Dr. Martinez questioned hesitantly. "Is my daughter missing?"

He was frozen in place, feeling rooted to the ground. Numb with fear, yes that described it better than anything else. Panic stricken also named it.


"Yes." He said confirming her fear. Then, without warning, he swung around and punched the wall. It left a dent the size of his fist, but he didn't care. Neither did anyone else. They all were thinking the same thing: Max was in big trouble... and they could already be too late to help her and the baby.

"Hungry, Maximum?" Jeb asked walking in once again.

"No." I said stroking my slightly bulging belly. Even at four months pregnant, it is still hard to believe there is a baby growing inside of me. I don't think I'll actually believe it until I have him.

Jeb didn't push me, which seemed like a miracle. I expected a lecture on how I need to eat for the baby to stay healthy. Instead, he nodded and took a bite of one of the apples on the tray.

I looked back to my belly. "You don't have to prove it isn't poisoned. I know that isn't your kind of thing."

"Glad to hear it." Jeb said with a smile that showed his teeth. "That implies you trust me somewhat."

I shook my head. "You're reading too much into it. I just meant that you are too obsessed with me having my baby that you wouldn't ruin things by trying to poison me."

"I'll take what I can get then. Maybe you will trust me sooner or later."

"Not likely."

There was silence for a few minutes. I could feel Jeb's eyes on me as I drew pointless doodles on my belly with my finger. I didn't care though, better to have him quiet than spouting some more warped nonsense.

"Have you thought of a name for your son?" Jeb asked gesturing with his head toward the focus of both our attentions.

I looked at him square in the eyes. "I don't think that is any of your business."

"Alright, let's not panic." Dr. Martinez said shakily. "Everyone come into the living room, sit down and tell me what happened."

The flock began to do as told, except for Fang who was rubbing his fist. "We got attacked by erasers, that is what happened!"

"Erasers?" She asked, obviously shocked.

"Yes." He whispered coldly. "Now where is Jeb? He's gotta know why erasers are all the sudden back in existence."

"He's not here." She said trying to clear her head. "He left a couple hours ago."

"Where to?"

"He said he had a business trip, but I made him promise he would be here for Max when she had the baby." Her eyes closed in realization. "He did this didn't he?"

Fang nodded, "He's my first bet."

"We still need to check the woods." Iggy added in. "She could be out there, hurt. We should go now."

"I agree." Gazzy piped up as the girls all nodded in unison.

"You're right, I'm jumping to conclusions." Fang admitted. "We'll go check the woods."

"What happens if she isn't there, Fang?" Nudge asked with wide eyes.

"I don't know."

AN: It has been FOREVER! To be honest, I didn't know if I ever was going to write for this story again. Funny how I considered abandoning the story that everyone seems to LOVE. Times have been rough and stressful in my life like always, but I'm surviving. A bunch has happened since I last updated. Car accidents, job changes, classes, guys, etc. The list goes on. Good news is that thanks to the last book MAX, James Patterson has rekindled my faith in him and the series. I didn't know if I was going to keep reading, but since he finally gave us FAX and got the story moving again... I have forgiven him and began writing. You guys are awesome for sticking around. I love you all and I'm glad to be writing for you again. I hope this chapter didn't disappoint anyone.

10. What's in the Woods

My Secret

Chapter 10: What's in the Woods

"None of my business?" Jeb asked with raised eyebrows. "I'm that child's grandfather. I believe that makes it my business."

"Don't remind me, I'm trying to forget." I said massaging my temples. "You know a thing about science. So tell me... is craziness genetic?"

"Always sarcastic." He shook his head, wearing a slight smirk. "Perhaps it is safe to say that is your defense mechanism. You're actually terrified, am I correct?"

I couldn't help myself, I actually burst out in hysteric laughter. He actually thought his mind games would work on me, and he was supposed to know me better than anyone. By asking me if I was scared, he thought he would make me second guess myself. Classic Jeb, he really needed to get some new lines for his evil banter.

"What's so funny?"

I gestured to him with a dramatic sweep of my hand. "You."

He sighed. "Glad I amuse you."

I knew he expected me to retort back, but I continued laughing to myself. I actually think that pissed him off more, which only made my day better.

Sucking down his anger, he strode toward the door. "I see you're too amused to act like an adult, so I'll be leaving."

"News flash, I'm only sixteen."

He swung open the door and pegged me with a hard stare. "Which is exactly why it is deplorable to consider letting you to try to raise the baby."

With that last biting statement, he left.

Other P.O.V.

Fang and the rest of the flock had been searching the woods for hours. They searched on foot, then they searched through the air, but not so much as a footprint was found. There was no sign of their leader, which left them to assume the worst. The only comfort in mind was that there wasn't any blood as far as they could tell, which had them assuming she was alive.

"I want Max back." Nudge complained as they began their second round of searching on foot. "...and food. I'm hungry."

"We all want Max back." Fang said gruffly, resisting the urge to kick the twig in front of him as hard as he could. No matter how he felt inside, he had to appear in control. If the flock knew how panicked he was, then nothing would go smoothly anymore.

"We've checked the woods once through both flight and foot Fang." Iggy said trying to be reasonable. "There's no clues here so far, and we're all getting hungry. I think we should go back to Max's mom's place."

"There's got to be some sign of her here, Ig."

"Maybe, but we're not going to find anything when we can barely keep ourselves standing." Iggy continued. "We can come back out later."

"No we can't," He said softly. "Any clues there might be out here will be swept away by the time we get back. I'm staying until I find something."

"Fang..." Nudge began, but he interrupted. "Iggy's in charge. Head back to Dr. Martinez's and I'll meet you once I've got a lead."

Gazzy shook his head, as if trying to clear it of confusion. "What happens if you don't find what you're looking for, Fang?"

It was Angel's turn to talk, obviously reading the answer in his mind. She looked crestfallen, like she had lost her parents all over again. But in a way, she had. Fang and Max were the mother and father of the flock and without them, everything would fall apart. The flock would be gonners. "Then we won't see him again. He's going to The School."

"Fang, you can't!" Nudge shouted, throwing her arms around his waist. She held on tight. He wouldn't leave so long as she had any say in the matter. Fang may be strong, but he was outnumbered. They lost Max, but they weren't losing him too.

"Nudge, let go." He groaned. "You don't understand. None of you do or could. Just let me go handle this my way, ok?"

"Why don't you explain it then?" Iggy asked acidly. "We're not nimrods. We loved Max too. We are all hurting and worried about her."

Fang sighed, then whispered brokenly. "But not like I do. She was your mother figure, I get it. But she's it for me, all I have wanted for so long. I've spent my life watching her back, because the thing that hurts me most is seeing her in pain. And right now she could be in a lot of it, without anyone to help her. She's at the hands of a madman and she can't even protect herself. Her and the baby are sitting ducks and I let this happen. I didn't stop it."

He swallowed as he continued, "I sent her away. I made her leave."

"To protect her and the baby!" Iggy yelled at him. "None of this is your fault."

He scrubbed a hand across his face. "I should have stayed with her."

"Shoulda woulda coulda. It doesn't matter." Iggy said exasperated. "What matters is finding Max. Save your guilt trips for later. And ex-nay on the suicide missions. If you go then we go too."

Fang nodded. "We'll head out in the morning."

AN: I'm going to be completely shocked if anyone is still reading this story. I definitely think it would've been something great had I stuck to getting a chapter up every couple weeks. Unfortunately, life doesn't really like giving me breaks and my work/college combo really puts the pressure on an individual. I hope to get another chapter up decently soon since this one was shorter than expected. I hope it was worth the wait... the next chap will be longer for sure :)