Dorm Ride by nightwings93

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Humor, Romance
Published:2009-11-11 21:11:34
Updated:2010-12-22 15:06:16
Packaged:2021-04-04 12:38:57
Summary:In order to escape her past, Max gets accepted to her college of choice. Only there's a catch: she has to live in the ALL BOYS dorm! What happens when she meets Fang, the pyrotwins Iggy&Gazzy, and a whole horde of other hot guys? All Human

Table of Contents

1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28
29. Chapter 29
30. Chapter 30
31. Chapter 31
32. Chapter 32
33. Chapter 33
34. Chapter 34
35. Chapter 35
36. Chapter 36
37. Chapter 37
38. Chapter 38
39. Chapter 39
40. Chapter 40
41. Chapter 41
42. Chapter 42
43. Chapter 43
44. Chapter 44
45. Chapter 45
46. Chapter 46
47. Chapter 47
48. Chapter 48
49. Chapter 49
50. Chapter 50
51. Chapter 51
52. Chapter 52
53. Chapter 53
54. Chapter 54
55. Chapter 55
56. Chapter 56
57. Chapter 57
58. Chapter 58
59. Chapter 59
60. Chapter 60

1. Chapter 1

Hello! So this is my 2nd Fanfic, and I'll hopefully finish this one :D for those of you who were reading "Take These Broken Wings and Learn to Fly" I promise to go back to it and finish it once my writers block ends. Until then, please make do with this one!



PS: someone asked if Max has to pretend to be a boy and the answer is: no

PPS: Dr. M and Jeb are Fang's parents and Max has different ones who you'll find out about later.

PPPS: (too many Ps?) anywho ages…Max, Fang, Iggy & Gazzy (who are twins), Ella, Ari=18 going on 19, college freshman. Nudge= 19 going 20 college sophomore (well, she was…she dropped out…you'll find out why soon) Angel= 6 (I kept her the same age because she's just soooo cute). Sam= 25

Disclaimer: I don't own Maximum Ride…wow, so sad to have to type that!

Max POV: Chapter 1

I could the feel the beads of sweat form under the rim of my baseball cap as I ascended the stairs. My duffle nag was thumping against my thigh and the ridiculously full boxes I was carrying were making my arms shake with exertion. I craned my neck around the boxes and peeked at how many steps I had left. Four left. Okay, I could totally make it.

I was on the last step when I stubbed my toe on the lip. My arms began trembling violently as I attempted to keep my balance. Then I felt it. I was slipping backwards. Well, this is the end. Yup, I can see the headline now: Maximum Ride Dies As She Attempts to Fulfill Her Dream of Higher Education.

Okay, so let's pause, rewind, and catch you up o speed. I'm Maximum Ride, 18 going on 19. I'm a freshman at my college of choice: University of Portland in Oregon. Why Oregon? Because it's on the other side of country. It's as far from my New York home as I can get. So, here I am climbing the steps to my dorm in the college I've always wanted to go to. Only, there's a catch. Whoever was letting in the freshman miscalculated and accepted one more girl instead of a guy. Guess who that girl was? Yup, me. I think my name threw the administrations office off. Anyway, I got accepted, but I have to stay in the ALL BOYS dorm. Smooth right?

SO, back to the original point. Just as I was about to achieve my dream and escape my past, my feet began to slip back. The next few minutes went in slow motion. I was about to fall to my death when someone grabbed my trembling arms and pulled me to safety. I puffed a sigh of relief. I was still holding the boxes, so my savior was obstructed from my view.

"Dude, are you okay?" A deep voice asked. It sent shivers down my spine. His voice was soft like velvet, floated like a feather, and had a deep, manly, and beyond sexy tone to it.

I mentally slapped myself for thinking so much about a voice. I was here to learn, get my bachelors in science, go onto vet school, and make a better life for myself. No boys. No partying. Nothing, just studying. I forced myself to not think about his voice. I squared my shoulders and put the boxes down. I stood back up and almost swooned. He had mid-length black hair with long side bangs that covered his left eye. And, Holy Lord, his eyes. They were a swirling midnight. They were dark pools I could get lost in. he was tall. At least 6'2." He was wearing black basket ball shorts and a black tight fitting wife beater. His arms were muscled and ropy. His stomach was toned and rippled from his 6 pack were visible beneath the tight fabric. I stopped myself from ogling him.

I turned my face to stone and muttered, "Fine. Thanks."

His eyes widened a fraction of an inch in surprise then a smirk played on his lips. "Wrong dorm."

"Actually, it's the right one." He looked skeptical. I sighed and fished in my pocket. "Here," I mumbled while handing him a letter that the dean had written.

He quickly read it and handed it back to me. "Cool," he said. One word, that's it. Wow, so talkative.

"Yeah. I'm Max," I replied, awkwardly sticking my hand out.

It took a moment, but he shook it. "Fang," he answered.

"Wow. You're so damn talkative."

He smirked. "Very."

I couldn't help but smirk slightly. "Do you know where room 305 is?" I asked

He nodded, picked up my boxes, and beckoned me with a tilt of his chin. "Yeah, it's next to mine."

I blushed. What the heck!? I don't blush! "I can carry those myself," I said, flustered by his chivalry.

Fang didn't answer. He just kept walking, so I was forced to follow him. Jerk. Sexist pig. I could handle the boxes by myself. I don't need help. Especially not from a guy.

I huffed and picked my pace. Fang's legs are so damn long. I followed him down the hall. He stopped at the last door. The numbers 305 were faded and chipped. Fang nudged the door open with his foot. I was so going to need a lock.

We walked in, and my face fell. There was a bed in the corner. Only, it was missing the mattress, there was only the spring box. On the far wall facing the window was a small desk. Next to my bed was a small wardrobe. I sighed. At least the room was bigger than the broom closet I used to live in. Long story. More on that later.

I put my duffle bag down on the floor and surveyed the room with, what I hoped was, an optimistic expression. Fang looked around then set my boxes on the floor next to my bag.

"Thanks," I whispered, not meeting his eyes.

He nodded. "What's that?" he asked pointing to my desk.

"A desk, Fang," I said slowly. "We use it to do homework and studying." I smirked.

Fang rolled his eyes. He walked over to my desk and picked p a piece of paper. Silently, he handed it to me.

Dear Max,

We are sorry for the poor state of the room. It has been a vacant room for the past 5 years and was the only room we could put you in. We did not think it would be appropriate for you to share a room with one of the young men in the dorm. Please feel free to paint or decorate the room anyway you want to make it more comfortable for you.


The Admissions Office

"Cool," I muttered. "Good thing I came prepared."

Fang raised his eyebrow in question. I was about to answer when we heard a voice.

"Nick!" the voice of an older woman called out.

Fang spun around and shouted back, "In here, Mom!"

Ha! I knew his name couldn't possibly be Fang. A woman in her late 40s with graying brown hair and warm chocolate eyes popped her head in my new room.

"There you are!" she exclaimed, a smile spreading across her face. "Your father and I just wanted to say goodbye before we head home."

Fang just nodded. His mom turned to me and gave me the same warm smile she gave Fang. I like her already.

"Hi. I'm Valencia, Nick's mom."

"I'm Max," I replied politely.

"It's nice to meet you," she actually sounded like she meant it.

"It's nice to meet you, too." To my surprise, I was sincere. I wasn't just being polite. I couldn't help but smile at her.

"I didn't know this was a co-ed dorm," Fang's mom stated.

"It's not," I replied. "There was a mistake. I was supposed to be a boy. My name tripped up the admissions office."

She nodded as if it made all the sense in the world. Then we heard, "Val? Fang?"

"In here!" Fang's mom called back

A man with blue eyes shielded by glasses and hair walked in. "Hey!" he said cheerfully.

"Hi," Valencia said back, taking his hand. "Honey, this is Max. Max, this is my husband, Jeb."

"It's nice to meet you," I replied. He seemed pretty cool. Really laid-back. (AN: I wanted to show a different side of Jeb-like the cool, fun side the flock would have known before the beginning of The Angel Experiment)

"Same here," he answered, smiling, as crows feet popped up in the corner of his eyes. "Oi, Fang, we're off. Your sister and her husband called and said they just landed at the airport. We need to get going."

At the word "husband" Fang's eyes flashed angrily, but he just nodded in response. Valencia got teary eyed and walked over to Fang. She reached up on her tip-toes and gave him a hug.

"I'll miss you." She whispered.

Fang gave a small smile and kinda hugged her back. Not exactly a fuzzy teddy bear, is he? "You're like 45 minutes away, Mom. It'll be fine."

His mom sniffed and released him. Then she turned and hugged me. I was so shocked that I couldn't move. I hadn't been hugged in a long time.

"It was nice to meet you," she said in a hushed voice. I think she was holding back tears.

I finally managed to move. Slowly, I wrapped my arms around her. "You, too," I muttered.

Jeb shook my hand. "Keep and eye on Fang for me. He's quite the trouble maker."

I grinned, happy for the lighter mood Jeb brought with him. "Oh yeah, all his talking is gonna get him in serious trouble."

Jeb cracked up, and I could hear his laughter follow him down the hall.

I turned to Fang. "Your parents are really cool." I couldn't manage to keep the under lying current of bitterness and sadness out of my voice.

"What about yours?" Fang asked tentatively.

I shrugged. "They couldn't make the flight out," Nice, Max, way to lie. Fang seemed to pick up on the fact that what I said wasn't true. "You look nothing like your mom and dad." I muttered trying to change topics. Fang noticed but dropped it.

"I look like my grand-pa on my mom's side." He stated.

I nodded. "Well, I'm gonna start decorating my room."

"Want help?" Fang offered. "We've got a week before other people come."

My head snapped up. I'd forgotten that the admissions office had allowed me to come early since I'm a "special case." Plus, I couldn't wait to get out of my house. If you could even call that place a home. So why was Fang here? I brushed that thought off. He'd tell me if he'd wanted to.

I nodded again, "Sure that'd be nice."

Fang smiled at me. It wasn't a full blown smile, but for a person like him, it seemed like a big effort. I was so startled by the sudden appearance of his pearly whites that I smiled back. Fang was pretty cool. I think I could be okay with getting to know him better.

I pulled the paints I brought with me out of my box. What can I say? I came prepared. I had black and purple paint. My two favorite colors.

I started painting the desk purple with black skulls and roses. I smiled at my handiwork. I turned to see how Fang faired with my dresser. He'd painted the whole ting black. I smirked. He and the dresser matched. They made a lovely pair.

"Why don't you add some color, emo boy?" I teased. For some reason, I felt comfortable teasing Fang. In fact, I felt comfortable with Fang, period. He was easy to be with.

In my comfort, I made one of snap decisions. I dipped my brush in fresh purple paint and, just as Fang was turning around to retort, I flicked it at him. Unicorn purple (AN: best color EVA!) paint splattered across Fang's face and his black-clad chest. I giggled maniacally. Fang looked shocked. Then his face went back to impassive stone. Except his eyes. Oh shit. His eyes got flashed evilly and a ghost of a grin flitted across his face. Calmly, he dipped his brush in the black paint. He stood and quietly walked over to me.

"Fang…Fang…really…you don't need to-" I stopped short as black paint dripped from the top of my head, down my face, and onto my neck. "This is WAR!!!" I yelled as I launched myself at Fang with paint-filled hands.

Fang and I battled for over an hour. Fang dealt the final blow. I was bending over to refill my brush when Fang hip bumped me. I went flying forward and face-planted in my bucket of purple paint. I stood up wiping the paint from my eyes. Then I heard I deep rumbling noise behind me. It was Fang. He was laughing. I couldn't help it; I started laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. We were both covered in paint, clutching our sides, and laughing.

It was a great first day of college. I could definitely get used to hanging out with Fang. He's a good friend.

That's it for now…Like? Hate? Review?

2. Chapter 2

Thanks for the reviews! On with the story!

Max POV: Chapter 2

After I face planted in the paint, and Fang and I finished laughing, we decided to call it quits and finish my room. We painted the bed frame together. I started at one end painting it purple, and Fang started at the other painting it back. We met at the middle and had a cool swirl of black and purple paint. The room as a whole looked really cool. My wardrobe had gotten splattered with purple paint during our paint war. The walls had also been splattered with black and purple paint. In the end, I was really happy with result.

"Wanna get some dinner?" Fang offered.

"Sure, I'm starving!" I replied grabbing my wallet.

Fang chuckled, "You're going like that?" he asked pointing to my paint plastered hair and paint crusted face.

I shrugged, "Sure, why not?"

Fang smiled and the room seemed to get brighter. "You're not like other girls. It's refreshing."

I smiled back. "Get used to it. Just wait until you see me eat."

Fang nodded and held the door open for me as we left the dorm. Wow, I'd never been around a guy who was so chivalrous before.

"Where to?" I asked. "I'm not from around here."

"There's this really good Italian place not too far from here. Is that okay? We'll have to walk."

"Sounds good. I love Italian. And of course I'm fine with walking…that's why I don't wear heels."

Fang smirked. "Same here. They're such a hassle."

I was surprised by the sudden joke that I made the weirdest noise. "ZCKOMF!" Wait…what the hell was that? I think I was trying to laugh but ended up snorting.(?)

Fang looked down and raised and eyebrow while his lips turned up at the corners.

"Oh, shut up," I muttered, but I couldn't help but smile.

We walked the rest of the way in silence. It wasn't awkward or anything. We were just walking in the crisp moonlight enjoying each others' company. It was pretty cool. It was almost like we were having this silent conversation whenever we looked in each others' eyes. I'd never felt this close to someone before, and I've only known Fang a few hours. The only person I was close to back home was my friend Anna, but that friendship flopped after I quit my partying ways my junior year of high school.

Fang and I walked into the small Italian restaurant and were given strange looks by the people who were leaving. I just smiled and waved. That got me even weirder looks. Fang smirked.

"Table for two, please," Fang asked the waitress.

She smiled and pushed her boobs out slightly when she nodded. "Hang on just sec. hon."

I rolled my eyes and Fang actually looked repulsed. "You don't like slutty girls?" I asked, surprised. Most guys jump all over girls who give them a free show.

Fang shook his head. "It's disgusting. Girls don't need to do that. They just need to be themselves, and when a guy comes along who likes them for them, then that's the right person. But, if a guy just likes you for your body, he's a jack ass."

I smiled, "You know, you're not like other guys. It's refreshing." Fang just nodded.

We waited for a few minutes, and the busty waitress came back, smiling, and holding two menus. "This way," she said cheerfully.

We both exchanged glances and tried not to laugh at her super happy voice. She led us past the front dinning area and up a flight of stairs. She was leading us to a back room that said "The Godfather Room" on the door. That looks pretty cool. As we were about to go in I spotted a glass door. There was a pretty terrace outside with a few seats. Fang looked in the same direction.

"Can we go out there?" he asked.

Wow, it was like he read my mind or something.

The waitress looked shocked, "You don't think it's too cold?"

We both shook our heads. I had a sweatshirt with me, and Fang, well, he just doesn't seem to be affected by the weather. He was still in his wife-beater tank top, which was covered in purple paint, and when we stepped outside, he didn't shiver once.

The waitress nodded and led us to the outside tables. "You can pick a spot; no one else comes out here."

Fang nodded and led me to the only table that was under a cover that had vines growing up it and small lights planted within the greenery. It was really pretty. The waitress looked slightly disappointed. Then it dawned on me. It was a romantic spot. Did she think I was Fang's girlfriend? Fang and I sat down, and she set the menus in front of us.

"I'll be back shortly," she directed her words at Fang the whole time, but he was absorbed in the menu. He totally ignored her. I smirked as the waitress stalked off.

"She gone?" Fang asked.

I nodded. He put the menu down and gave me a small smile. "Good. I hope you don't mind this spot. I picked in hopes that she would leave me alone. Well, us. I could tell she was annoying you."

Something about the fact that Fang picked this spot to not be romantic both relieved me and left me feeling dejected. I brushed it away and smiled. "Yeah, thanks. It just bothers me when girls fall all over themselves 'cause they see a cute guy." I was blushing slightly by the end of my sentence.

Fang just shrugged. "What are you getting?"

"Umm," I looked down at the menu and smiled when I saw the dish I wanted. "The large calzone with extra sausage, chicken, and cheese."

Fang looked slightly surprised, "That's what I was gonna get."

"Really?" I smiled at the thought. We were both on the same wave-length, it was pretty cool.

"I'm surprised you're not a veggie," Fang muttered. "Most girls I know refuse to eat meat."

I laughed. "I could never be a veggie! I love meat too much. I did try it once in fourth grade, and I lasted about three weeks. Then, I met Applebee's ribs." (AN: true story-that happened to me)

Fang chuckled. Before he could say anything else, the waitress came back.

"What can I get you?" She asked, slightly less perky than before.

"Tow large calzones with extra sausage, chicken, and cheese," Fang said ordering for the both of us.

The waitress' eyes got really big. "Do you know how big those are?"

Fang nodded. "Yeah, I've gotten it before, and Max wants to try one."

The waitress frowned but nodded. "Okay, I'll get those going."

She left and I looked at Fang in question.

"They're about 2 feet long." He explained.

I grinned. "Thank God! I was worried I wouldn't be full enough, and I'd have to eat a second dinner later."

Fang raised an eyebrow, "Wow, you really do eat."

I chuckled, "You bet! Food and I have a very honest and open relationship."

Fang nodded and seemed to be taking everything in. Maybe he was surprised how un-girly I am. "Maybe it's a good thing you're in the boys' dorm," he teased, but I could tell he was slightly serious.

"I agree," I replied in all seriousness.

Soon enough, three waiters came out holding our two giant calzones.

"Sweet Jesus!" I exclaimed and Fang smirked.

We both took our fork and knife and looked at our calzones. We both sized them up and decided which would be the best way to attack our opponents.

Finally, we gave up and dug in.

* * * * * 30 Minutes Later * * * * *

Fang and I each had one corner of our calzone left. My stomach was starting to feel heavy and my mouth dry. I wasn't sure if I could finish. Fang seemed to be thinking the same.

"Doggie bag?" he suggested.

I nodded. "It'll make a good snack tomorrow."

Fang nodded in agreement. We waited for a few minutes and the waitress came back with some cartons to put our dinner in.

"I'm surprised you got that far," She mutter as she turned to leave to get the check.

"Oh, wait!" I called. She turned and looked at me. "Could we get dessert?

Her eyes bugged to the size of dinner plates. "You can't seriously still be hungry."

I gave her a confused face. "Well, my dinner stomach is full, but my dessert stomach still needs to be nourished."

Fang nodded in agreement. He seemed mildly surprised that he wasn't the only person who thought that way.

"Okay," the waitress said wearily. "What can I get you?"

"I'll have the triple chocolate fudge cake," Fang replied.

"I'll have the same," I answered. Fang and I like all the same things. Scary.

The waitress and walked off muttering something about it not being fair how kids can eat so much and not get fat. I smirked.

"You know, I've never met someone else who has two stomachs like me," Fang joked.

"Well, it's very important that both get the proper nutrients. I wouldn't want them to think I was playing favorites."

Fang grinned. "So, I'll be paying." He muttered pulling out his wallet when he saw the waitress coming with two slices of cake and a bill.

"Uh, no," I replied pulling my wallet out.

"Yes, I will," Fang answered trying to grab the bill.

I shoved the bill away and put the slice of cake in its place.

"Nope," I replied popping the "p." "I'm paying. Get over it."

Fang scowled as he pulled the cake over to his side of the table. With his other hand he reached for the bill. He managed to swipe it from.

"Hey! Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping!" I yelled.

Fang chuckled. "Okay, okay…we'll split?"

I sighed, "Fine. Damn your logic."

Fang POV:

Max and I walked back to the dorm completely stuffed.

"That was fun," Max said as we reached our rooms.

I nodded. I'd done the most talking I've ever done in, well, ever. Max was really cool. I felt like she got me. I'd gotten closer to her in just a couple of hours than I'd ever been with anyone. Even the guys in the band. Max was probably the first girl I actually liked spending time with. I liked having her as a friend. I couldn't wait for her to meet Iggy and Gazzy. They were two of the guys in the band. They were coming in a week. This was going to be the best year ever. I could already imagine Max giving Iggy and Gazzy hell. I smiled at the thought.

"Want help finishing your room tomorrow?" I offered.

"Sure," Max replied with a small smile. "I need to get the rest of my crap outta my boxes, and then I need a mattress."

I nodded. I couldn't wait. She was the friend I've always wanted. She was on the same wave length as me.

"Well, good night, Fang," Max mumbled as she walked next door.

"Night," I called back.

I went into my room and smiled. College won't suck like I thought it would. I slipped my shorts and tank off. I looked at the purple paint that was splattered across my clothes. Mom would throw a fit and probably want me to wash them. But, for some reason, I didn't want to. I wanted something to remind me of today.

I slipped on a pair of sweatpants and crawled into my bed. I reveled in the solitude of my own room. In a week I would have to share with the twins, Iggy and Gazzy. I just hope they don't burn the place down.

I smiled and fell asleep thinking of all the crazy times I would have this year. I hadn't been excited for college to start until I met Max.

Max POV:

I laid me sleeping bag on the floor. No way was I sleeping on the spring box and waking up with coil marks on my back. (AN: happened to me one time at a hotel :[ )

I changed into a clean tank top and sleep short. I lowered myself into my sleeping bag and pulled out my photo album from one of my boxes.

NEVER AGAIN was written across the cover of the album. I sighed and opened it. The first four pages were pictures of me and my parents when I was little. I looked so happy and my parents looked so alive and proud in the pictures. My favorite was of me riding a horse with my parents cheering the back. I used to love horse back riding. It was a passion that my mom passed down to me. Then, when I started high school, I got "too cool" for it. I broke my mom's heart.

After the horse picture, a bunch of pictures from my high school days met my eyes. I was a complete badass. I never did homework or studied. I just partied. All the pictures were of me at parties doing really stupid things. A few drunk driving mug shots were mixed in with the party pictures. I don't even know why I did it. I just wanted my parents to notice me. They were so busy with their work.

I got involved with people like Anna who partied 24/7. That's why Mom and Dad weren't here now.

I sighed and pushed the album under my new bed. I buried myself under the covers of my sleeping bag. At least I have a new start in college. I thought. And Fang.

That last thought startled me. But, it was true. I got along so easily with Fang. When I was with him, I totally forgot about the past. He seemed like a true friend. Someone who wouldn't drop me like Anna did when she thought I wasn't "cool" anymore.

Fang will make a good friend, so why does my heart skip a beat when I think about him?

Okie dokie! What did you think? Review?

3. Chapter 3

Thanks for all the reviews! You guys are amazing!! Here's the next chapter!

To penguinwiggle: Your review knocked my socks off! I was laughing so hard! Thanks!

Disclaimer: I'm not a balding old man…if I was I wouldn't waste my time on Fanfic (even though I love it!) okay…so, yeah…MR not mine



Max POV: Chapter 3

I woke to the sound of someone knocking on my door. I flickered my eyes open and looked at the clock on my cell phone. 8:15am stared back at me. I groaned. I really wanted to sleep in. If that was Fang, so help God, I was gonna cut his nose off with a damn spork. Wait, what? That doesn't even make sense. Wow, I really need more sleep.

I scrambled out of my sleeping bag and opened my door. I immediately wished I'd put sweats on over my sleep shorts. Standing in my doorway was some official looking guy in a three piece business suit.

"Can I help you?" I asked totally keeping my cool.

"Yes, Miss Ride?" he asked pointedly keeping his eyes above my head.

"Yeah, I'm Max Ride."

"The…um…dean of students would like to see you in his office. Perhaps a little more heavily clad though." He replied blushing slightly.

"You're dressed pretty nicely for an errand boy," I commented. The guy blushed and became very interested in his hands. "Give a sec to change."

I closed the door and pulled sweats and a hoodie. I slipped on flip flops and walked out to meet the guy in the hall.

"Okay, let's go," I muttered, brushing past him. He just stood there. I looked over my shoulder and called, "That means you!"

He stumbled then caught up leading me to admissions office.

* * * * After the walk across campus to the admissions office* * * * *

"Miss Ride? The Dean will see you now," the secretary said sweetly.

"Seriously, just call me Max." I muttered as I walked by. I hated it when people called me "Miss Ride." It reminded me of when I'd go to my parents' fancy business dinners.

I walked in to find a young looking man sitting in a high backed leather chair. His desk was a dark wood, and his office was full of maps with little pins on the states where he accepted students from. It kinda looked like an office Dr. Evil would have.

"What? No naked cat?" I asked. (AN: sorry, I was talking about Austin Powers the other day with some friends)

The Dean just shrugged. "Not my style." and he picked up a Chihuahua.

I couldn't help but laugh. This was just too weird. Who knew there would be an adult with the same sense of humor as me?

"You must be Max," he said, smiling. "I knew I made the right choice in accepting you."

"Yeah, accept for the whole 'I'm a girl' thing." I muttered.

"No biggie. You seem like you could take pretty much anyone who crosses your path."

"Damn straight," I replied happily. I liked this guy. He got me.

"Right, so about the whole 'I'm a girl' thing…oh, wow. Note to self: never say that out loud again," he smirked. "Anywho, there is a fourth floor in your dorm that has been out of use for the past ten years, but there's a bathroom up there, and I figured you'd like your privacy."

"Privacy's nice," I said nodding. "It's the one thing that I would say hasn't become over-rated."

"Agreed! So here's the key. You'll be the only person with a key. We don't need any peeping Toms getting an eye full."

"Agreed!" I exclaimed taking the keys from him. "Thanks, Mr.…Dean?"

"Just call me Thomas. 'Mr.' sounds so stuffy."

I just nodded and left. That was the oddest meeting I have ever had.

I walked back across campus and eventually found my dorm. I really need to get a map. You'd thing I'd have an easy time navigating an empty campus after living in New York for my first 18 years of life. I guess not.

I walked up the stairs to the third floor and remembered how Fang had saved me. I smiled at the thought of getting to spend more time with him. I walked down the long hall and stopped at room 304: Fang's room. I was about to knock when the door burst open.

Guess what? These doors are really messed up. They don't open in. Nope, they open out and since I was on the other side of the door, it connected with my face. Fang must work out because that door hit my nose freaking HARD!

"Son of a bitch!" I yelled cupping my bleeding nose.

"Holy shit!" Fang exclaimed. "What the hell are you doing outside my door!?"

"I was coming to say 'Hi,' but I can see I'm not wanted," I muttered jerking my free thumb at Fang's door.

"I'm sorry. My door's bipolar. It can be really friendly, though. You just caught it on a bad day."

I laughed and then felt blood trickle into my mouth. "Right, a little help?"

Fang's eyes darkened with worry as the blood flow became more intense. "C'mon," Fang muttered grabbing my elbow.

He led me down the hallway to the bathroom on this floor. He brought me past the urinals and I almost gagged.

"What the hell is that!?" I yelled pointing in the urinal.

"Urinal cake," Fang muttered as if this was normal.

"Eew! People put food in urinals!?" I gasped (AN: this happened to me with one of my guy friends. I was cleaning the guys' bathroom after a school dance, and I didn't know what a urinal cake was…yeah, an airhead moment…I know)

Fang laughed. "It's soap. So the room doesn't smell like pee."

"Oh," I mumbled feeling stupid.

Fang just smirked. Then he turned around and put his hands under my arms. Um, what? Fang rolled his eyes at my expression. He lifted me as if I was no lighter than a feather. Any normal girl would be ecstatic. I was miffed. He could at least pretend like I was a little heavy, like it was at least a little hard for him. He could at least try to acknowledge the fact that I could wipe the floor with his ass.

Fang grinned. "I know you can kick my ass, Max. Don't worry."

I smiled through the blood, was a little surprised that Fang could read me so easily. Most people have trouble with it. But, then again, Fang was easy for me to read, too. Fang gently set me on the bathroom counter and pulled my hand off my nose.

He frowned. "I think I broke it."

"Oh, well. It'll make me look roguishly handsome." I replied sarcastically.

Fang smirked, but it was half hearted. His eyes were still full of worry.

"Hey," I said gently. "Really, it's cool. I don't mind."

Fang looked me in the eyes. I could tell this was killing him. His eyes looked like they were swirling, and I noticed little flecks of silver that gave his eyes dimension. It was mesmerizing. Then, I realized just how close his face was. Fang seemed to notice, too. He pulled his face back and looked down at my nose.

"Do you want me to re-break it so it doesn't stay crooked?" Fang offered quietly.

"Sure," I said equally as quiet. I'm not one to cry, and I'm not one to accept pain, but I don't like being in pain. It's not very fun.

Fang put his hands on either side of my nose. I winced, it was still tender. I felt Fang's muscles tense as he prepared to break my nose again. Instinct took over, and I gripped the front of Fang's shirt. He looked at me in question. I nodded and braced myself. Fang pushed and there was a cracking nose. Pain exploded in the front of my face.

Pain is just a message. Pain is just a message. Pain is just a freaking annoying message!

I squeezed my eyes shut to stop the stars from spinning in front of my eyes. Seriously, having your nose broken once hurts enough. Fang gripped my shoulders and I realized I'd been falling forward.

"You okay?" he asked his voice laced with worry.

I nodded. I blocked the pain and thought of something else. Like, the need of a mattress in my room. "Ready to finish my room?" I asked. I sounded weird and stuffed up.

Fang smiled slightly. "Sure. I know where we can a mattress. But first, let's clean your face off."

Fang grabbed a paper towel and got it wet. He gently dabbed the blood off my face. Then he produced a band aid from a little dispenser in the bathroom. He put it over my nose.

"All done," he muttered looking me over. "You sure you're okay?"

I sighed. "Fine, Fang. Jeez, you're like a mother hen!"

"Cluck, cluck!" Fang squawked as he helped me down from the counter.

I rolled my eyes. "So, where can we find this mattress?"

"There's a storage area in the basement," Fang stated leading me down the stairs. "Don't trip," Fang cautioned winking at me. My heart flip-flopped. What was that about?

Fang and I opened the basement door and were greeted by old furniture and the stench of spoiled milk.

I coughed. "I think I know why they're in storage."

Fang shrugged. "It'll be like a scavenger hunt."

I nodded. "Okay, first one to find and unspoiled mattress wins."

Fang shook his head, "So competitive."

"Hell yes!"

This would probably be the part of a movie when the silly montage starts. But, it was kinda like that. Fang and I were hunting around mounds of old furniture and other things people had left behind in the dorms. We pulled out some pretty crazy things. We even found a couple bongs…we left them in the basement. Fang said something about these pyro twins coming who didn't need a bong. Apparently, they'd be able to make a bomb out of it. Personally, I can't wait to meet these guys. They sound pretty fun.

"Max!" Fang called from three mounds over. "I think I found one!"

I walked over. I assessed the mattress. No stains, rips, or mold. "I think we have a winner," I muttered.

"Yeah, me," Fang smirked.

I stuck my tongue out at him. Hey, I never said I was mature!

Fang and I hauled the mattress up to my room and put it on top of the spring box. I covered it with my black and purple polka dotted bed sheets. Then Fang and I began pulling the other things out of my boxes.

I was just setting up my reading lamp when I heard Fang mutter.

"What's this?"

I turned to find Fang going under my bed. I froze. It was my album. The one labeled NEVER AGAIN. Shit, shit, and shit. I couldn't let him see that. He'd think I was some hypocrite for calling that waitress slutty. I used to so much worse.

"Max, is this yours?" Fang asked eyeing my carefully.

"Um," oh yeah, Max, so eloquent.

"Genius in its brevity," Fang joked, but I could tell he was curious.

I could feel my face turning three shades lighter. I was horrified by the thought of Fang finding out about my past. Why did I care so much about what Fang thought?

"Here," Fang said, handing me the album without looking at it again.

I snatched it up and shoved it in my desk's drawer. Fang took one look at my face and got the message. He dropped it. God, love him. I sighed and went back to situating my lamp on my desk.

* * * * * After Decorating * * * * *

Fang and I collapsed on my new mattress. We had finished decorating my room. It looked really good. Better than the shitty state it was in when I came. Everything was black and purple.

"I've known anyone else who likes black as much as me," Fang muttered.

"It's a good color," I replied.

We were lying next to each other looking up at my blank ceiling. There were a few purple and black spots of paint from our paint war last night. I laughed when I thought about how odd we must have looked to the people in the restaurant.

Fang must have been thinking the same thing because he grinned at me. My stomach churned. I ignored it.

"Can I ask a question?" I asked Fang.

"You can ask," Fang replied. He raised an eyebrow as if to say 'but I might not answer.'

"Well, I think you should answer since you broke my nose," ahh, the ever wonderful gilt trip. *Insert evil grin*

Fang sighed. Ha, I had him. "Fine!"

"Why are you here a week early?"

"Of all the questions…" Fang rolled over onto his stomach and looked at the wall. I did the same and put a hand on his shoulder.

"You don't have to tell me," I muttered.

Fang looked at me from the corners of his eyes. He shook his head, "No, the crazy thing is I want to tell you."

I smiled. That meant Fang trusted me. Then, I felt guilty. I didn't trust him enough to tell him about myself, but he had enough faith in me to tell me about himself. Maybe I should learn to trust people again? I almost snorted. Maybe not trust everyone, but I think I can trust Fang.

Fang took a deep breath then launched into his story, "My adoptive sister, Nudge, and her husband, Sam have run into financial trouble," Fang began. He spat the word 'husband' out like it was poison. His eyes hardened and his jaw clenched. I take he doesn't like this Sam guy. "Mom and Dad said they could come live with us until they got back on their feet money wise. They accepted. Mom and Dad decided to let them live upstairs. My room is upstairs, and I refuse to be within 20 feet of Sam. So, since they were coming a week before school, Mom called the Dean and asked if I could come a week in advance."

"You really hate this wiener, Sam, huh?" I asked my voice soft.

"He's a dick! Nudge is only a year older than us! Sam's, like, 25. Nudge used to go here before she met Sam. They went out a little last year. I didn't trust him. Then, I found out he was cheating on Nudge. So, I told her. She confronted Sam and he swore it would never happen again, and she believed him. Then, before last summer he convinced her to elope with him. They ran away to Los Vegas and got married. We didn't hear from them until Nudge called saying they were going to need to live with us. Sam had gambled all their money away." Fang's hands were balled into fists.

"I…I'm sorry," I muttered patting Fang on the back. He's not the huggy type.

"It just pisses me off that she takes shit from this guy. No woman should be treated like that," Fang sighed. "Anyway, wanna grab dinner again?"

I smiled, "Sure, I'd like that."

"I know a good sushi bar. Do you like sushi?" Fang asked.

"Are you kidding!? I love sushi!"

Fang grinned. I was glad he shared that with me. I think it was good for him to get that off his chest. Hopefully, I can always be here for Fang when he needs to vent.

So…yeah. That's all! Hopefully some parts weren't too random. I got up early this morning and went to the barn and got a little frostbite. I think I'm a little wonky from heat loss…oh well, randomness can be entertaining…I hope (?). Tell me what you thought.

4. Chapter 4

OMG! Thanks to all my reviewers! Virtual sushi for you guys! And for those of you who don't like sushi you get cookies :D

Disclaimer: Like I said…MR not mine (goes in a corner and cries).



Max POV: Chapter 4

Tomorrow was the day everyone else moved into the dorms. I was so excited to meet the pyro twins Iggy and Gazzy. But, I was a little apprehensive about having to share Fang's attention. What I liked the most about this week was how much time I spent with Fang. I pretty much spent every waking moment of this week with him. We were really close. I feel like I've known him my whole life. We could just look at each other and know what the other was thinking. We even said the same things at the same time. It could be pretty funny.

Today, I was going to try out the shower in the upstairs bathroom. I'd been too shy to try it with Fang here, but I've become so comfortable with him (and I really need a shower) that I figured it's better to do it now before a bunch of other boys come. Fang was already in his room for the night, so I slipped up the steps and unlocked the door to the forbidden floor. It was really creepy. The whole floor was dark and so empty feeling. I crept into the bathroom expecting Moaning Myrtle to jump out from the toilet.

I turned the shower handle and waited. Nothing happened. Son of a bi- suddenly, the shower spluttered and rusty water cascaded from the nozzle. Ugh, I really didn't want to get rust poisoning. I waited for another 20 minutes until the water looked clear. I hopped in and was greeted by blissfully hot water.

I couldn't help it. It was engrained in my brain. It was my ritual. Not caring who would hear, I started singing. At first, it was just gentle humming, but then, I recognized it and put the lyrics to it. It was a song from one of my favorite trilogies: The Lord of the Rings. It was the song "Into the West" that plays at the very end of the last movie. I don't know why but the song just popped into my head. (AN: one of my favorite songs…here's the youtube link: .com/watch?v=JgcoBKWTW14 )

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You've come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say: «We have come now to the end»
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the West

Fang POV:

I was in bed reading a play that I would be doing in my acting class. I'm majoring in fine arts and music. I figured I should get a head start. The play was really good. It was The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare. The female lead reminded me of Max. I was about to finish act II when I heard creaking upstairs.

My head snapped up. I don't know why. Call me paranoid. I hate it when out-of place noises are made. Ignoring the noise, I turned back to the play. There was more creaking, a weird spluttering noise, and finally running water. What the hell?

Then I heard something I never expected to hear, ever. Max was singing. It was a slow, sad tune that sent goose bumps down my spine. Max's voice was clear and beautiful. That's when I connected the dots. Max was singing…in the shower. For a second the thought of Max's lean body covered in beads of water with her long light-brown hair flat and plastered to her slim figure flashed in my brain.

What the hell? Why am I thinking about that? I shook my head. Max is a person with thoughts and feelings. She's not a piece of meat to be drooled over. I shouldn't even think about her that way. She's my friend. Probably the best friend I've ever had.

I snapped the script shut and hopped out of bed. I padded down the hall to the staircase. Max's voice floated through the empty hall, down the steps, and to my ears. Slowly, I crept up two of the steps and sat down. I brought my legs up and rested my head on my chin. I let the sound of Max's voice wash over me. It was such a beautiful sound.

Then there was a pause as the song ended. I didn't want it to end. There was a low humming and then Max's voice floated over the running water. It was a totally different song from her las tone. I sat and listened; mesmerized by the fact that Max's voice was so versatile. The song "All Around Me" by flyleaf reached my ears.

My hands are searching for you
My arms are outstretched towards you
I feel you on my fingertips
My tongue dances behind my lips for you

This fire rising through my being
Burning I'm not used to seeing you

I'm alive, I'm alive

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing

My hands float up above me
And you whisper you love me
And I begin to fade
Into our secret place

The music makes me sway
The angels singing say we are alone with you
I am alone and they are too with you

I'm alive, I'm alive

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing

And so I cry
The light is white
And I see you

I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing

Take my hand
I give it to you
Now you own me
All I am
You said you would never leave me
I believe you
I believe

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healed

Pain was evident in Max's voice. I could tell this song meant a lot to her. She'd been through a lot, I could tell. I just wish she'd tell me about it.

Max POV:

I ended my shower with a song by Flyleaf. I always put everything I had into singing. I always thought about the last line. I could never savor a heart that's healed. I think my hearts gone beyond repair.

I sighed and turned the shower off. It was nice to be able to come up here and have some alone time. I loved spending time with Fang, I was able to spend more time with him than I would normally be able to with other people, but I do enjoy my solitude. It was a time when I could sing, pour out all my emotion, and briefly forget about everything bad I've done.

I dried off and slipped on a black tank top and black sleep shorts. Hmm, maybe Fang has had some influence over my wardrobe? Note to self: never let Fang shop for you. I put the towel around my shoulders and started down the hall to the stairs. I locked the door, descended the stairs, and traveled down the hall to my room. I saw Fang slip into his room. He must have been coming back from the bathroom or something.

I went to his door and tapped on it. "Good night, Fang!" I called.

"Night, Max. Nice voice, by the way," Fang said back.

I blushed. I'd wondered if he could hear me through the ceiling. Oh well, I can't shower without singing. He better get used to it.

I smiled. Fang had said I had a nice voice. I went into my room and crawled into bed. I thought about this whole first week. I'd been in a paint war, eaten a 2 foot calzone, gotten my nose broken, and eaten some of the best sushi ever. This had been a kick-ass week. What made it a thousand times better? Fang. Simple as that. He is, by far, the best friend I have ever had.

* * * * * Next Day * * * * *

BANG, BANG, BANG!!! Okay, seriously, that is not something I like to wake up to. In fact, I don't think most people enjoy being woken up people playing drums on their door. If that was Fang, I would do a whole hell of a lit worse than cutting his nose off with a spork. I'd cut something else off with a damn spork.

I flung my door open, hoping it would connect with the idiot's nose. Apparently, my luck doesn't work like that. I was greeted by two identical faces grinning at me. Immediately, I knew they were the pyro twins Iggy and Gazzy. One was slightly different than the other thought. They were both blondes, but one had more strawberry than the other. Also, they both had blue eyes, but the strawberry blonde had eyes that were slightly paler.

"HI!" they cheered together. "I'm/he's Iggy," they chorused pointing at the strawberry blonde. "And I'm/he's Gazzy," they said pointing to the blonder of the two.

Well, I had wanted to meet them, but now I'm not so sure. Behind them was a black shadow. As my sleepy eyes focused on it, I realized it was Fang. He smirked, and I death glared back. Fang chuckled. Apparently, I'm not that scary at 7am. well, Fang should watch his back.

Iggy and Gazzy spun around and looked at Fang in awe.

"He NEVER laughs!" they exclaimed at me.

"Yes he/I do," Fang and I said indignantly at the same time.

Then we all started laughing. I could tell we were all going to be pretty good friends. I wasn't really worried anymore about sharing Fang with these guys.

OK! So there you have it: chapter four. Let me know what you thought!

5. Chapter 5

Hey guys! OMG! You are so amazing! So, I've been wanting to do this for awhile: I'm gonna respond to your reviews!

TO: anonymoushairbrush: I'm sorry I made your sides hurt (?). And we kinda found out some of Max's secrets. We know she used to be a party girl, and I said that her parents "aren't here." It'll be fleshed out a little more in the next chapter. But, no, not all of Max's secrets are out…thanks for reading and reviewing!

TO: Bunni XD: really? I didn't mean for the last line to be funny, slightly possessive, yes, bit not funny. However, I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reviewing!

TO: BookWormForLife: hahaha…love the screaming! And of course I'll continue! I keep going because of awesome reviewers like you!

TO: Tic-Tak!: wow, seriously? I didn't know that's what that song was about…cool. Thanks!

TO: CoOkIeMoNsTeR222: OMG! MEEEEEE TOOOOOO! I love love love Lord of the Rings…I have all three movie memorized! And I love the books! And yeah, the ending is the same! I love it!

TO: Eva NoName: OMG! No way! I'm reading the Taming of the Shrew for my English class! Kate reminded me a lot of Max.

Okie dokie! Let's keep the story moving!



PS: Iggy isn't blind

Max POV: Chapter 5

"Hey, Ig, catch!" Gazzy yelled as he tossed Iggy a very dangerous looking bomb.

Iggy caught it easily with one hand, and both Fang and I let out a sigh of relief. I'd rather not be blown to Hades just yet. I've got other things I need to cross of my to do list, like live to see my 21st birthday and get totally smashed. Yeah, totally looking forward to the hangover that will come with that. Then Iggy and Gazzy can blow me to Hades.

"Where do you want this?" I asked the twins. Fang and I were helping them unpack. They were rooming with Fang.

"On the desk," Iggy and Gazzy answered. Seriously, it was getting creepy. I mean, Fang and I did that sometimes but not all the time.

I nodded and put some odd glass flask on the desk. A pile of beakers, flasks, and test tubes were accumulating on the desk.

"So are you guys majoring in science?" I guessed.

They nodded. "Shall I take this?" Iggy asked. "Sure," Gazzy replied." Oh, thank God! No more creepy exorcist twin talking. "We are majoring in pyro techniques and science. Mostly chemistry. We plan on becoming the worlds' largest bomb corporation."

"Well, your futures look bright. Definitely recession proof," I said nodding.

"What are you going to do?" Gazzy and Iggy asked turning to look at me the same time. I repressed the urge to shudder. This was more than a girl could take.

"Well, I'm double majoring in science and music. Then I'm getting a double minor in French and fine arts," I replied.

They all stopped and stared at me. "What!?" I asked defensively.

"When will you have time to just chill?" Fang asked looking concerned.

"When will you have time to be our bombs' test subject?" Gazzy and Iggy asked sadly.

"First off, I'll have plenty of time to 'chill.' I just won't have time to party or anything else that might make me slip into old habits," I stopped. I couldn't tell them about that. Time to change subject. Yup, I'm amazing at evasion. "And second, even if I had all the free time in the world, I would never be your test subject!" I looked pointedly at the twins.

"Awww, man!" they chorused. "You're no fun!"

"Yes, I'm awful." I stated.

The twins seemed to shrug off my old habits comment and began devising ways to slip bombs into my room when I wasn't looking. Fang, on the other hand, just kept staring at me. I couldn't meet his eyes. I knew if I did, I'd spill the beans. Fang wasn't fooled by my change of subject. His eyes were stirring with concern and curiosity. Not good. He'd probably try and corner me later to talk about it. I felt a pang of guilt. Fang had opened up to me so why couldn't I do the same? He'd proved himself to be a really good guy. I sighed and dove back into the box of Gazzy and Iggy's equipment.

Just then the door banged open. "Hey guys! Did you hear? There's a chick staying in our dorm! Score, right!?" some idiot exclaimed from the door.

I dropped the bottle of blue liquid I was holding and whipped around. "Excuse me?" I asked in a steely voice cocking my hands on my hips.

"Max," Fang cautioned, "don't kill Kyle. He's our drummer."

I tuned Fang out. This was war. "You wanna say that again?"

Kyle looked down and blushed. Even though he was about 6'1" he seemed to shrink. He kept his eyes on his shoes. "I…I…"

"Spit it out!" I yelled.

"He can't," Iggy and Gazzy replied.

"Explain," I demanded.

"Kyle's really shy around girls," Fang explained. "What he just said he didn't mean. He's a really good guy. He'd never try anything stupid."

Kyle looked up at me and smiled apologetically. My breath caught. He was really cute. He had pretty green eyes and curly chestnut hair that curled just under his ears. I sized him up. He had well built arms, and I could tell, even through his baggy shirt, that he worked out. He definitely equaled Fang in physical physique. But, I don't like Fang that way. We're just friends. Really, really good friends.

I quickly looked away. Fang noticed and he eyed me with an amused expression. "Whatever, just don't say it again," I muttered to Kyle. He nodded.

"Want help unpacking?" he asked not even looking in my direction.

"Sure," the twins replied. "Can you set up my keyboard?" Iggy asked.

Kyle nodded and got to work. I turned back to the box and frowned. Shit. The blue liquid I dropped wasn't there anymore. Instead, there was a large hole in the carpet where the fluid had spilled.

"Um, Iggy, Gazzy, what was that blue stuff?" I asked quietly.

"Was?" they both exclaimed in horror. I nodded and pointed to the hole. "Shit!" they both yelled. "Don't step anywhere near the singed material," Gazzy cautioned. "I'll be right back," Iggy called as he ran out of the room.

After five minutes of no one moving, Iggy came back with large yellow gloves, a bottle of bleach, and a role of paper towels. Quickly and efficiently Iggy cleaned up the spill. It seems like he's had a lot of practice.

"What was that stuff?" I asked.

"It was a mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrofluoric acid," Gazzy replied looking sad for the loss of the liquid.

"Aren't those two of the most corrosive substances in the world?" I asked, slightly horrified.

"Yeah!" Iggy and Gazzy chimed with wide grins on their faces. "It took months to hack into the system and get an order of the acids without the government being able t trace it."

Wow, they seem a little too proud of themselves. "You guys are way too proud of yourselves," Fang muttered.

"Hey, Fang," Kyle started. Then he looked back at the keyboard when he saw I was standing next to Fang. "When's out next band practice?"

"This weekend?" Fang suggested. "There's a basement and I'm pretty sure it's sound proof. There are enough mattresses to stifle a nuclear explosion."

"REALLY!?" Gazzy and Iggy asked with an evil gleam in their eyes.

"Don't get any ideas!" Fang and I shouted at the same time.

That sent everyone into fits of laughter. Even Kyle chuckled quietly.

* * * * * * That Night * * * * * *

"Good night, Ig, Gazzer," I muttered as I walked off to my room.

"Night Max!" they called.

I just shook my head. I was kinda getting used to the talking at the same time thing. Fang walked with me to my room even though I was next door. Always the gentleman.

"Night, Fang," I said as I opened my door.

"Max, wait," Fang began. I sighed. I knew this was going to happen. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Not yet," I mumbled. "Soon though, okay?"

"Yeah, sure. I'm ready and waiting for when you want to talk," Fang replied patting my shoulder, his version of a hug.

I smiled and slipped into my room. I slipped into a tank top and shorts and climbed into bed. I lay under the covers and waited for sleep. Surprisingly, sleep came quickly. As I was drifting off to sleep, I thought about just how lucky I am to have such a close friend like Fang.

"GET UP!!!" A loud voice yelled in my ear.

Seriously, if I wanted to be woken up like this I would have enrolled in the army. But, did I enroll in the army? No. Therefore, whoever is yelling can take it and shove it. I like my sleep otherwise I get cranky and a cranky Max = death to everyone I come into contact with.

I rolled over and ignored the order. Apparently, this voice does not like being ignored.

My covers were whipped off, "GET THE HELL UP!"

"How about you shut the hell up and get out of my room!" I yelled angrily. I pushed my head under my pillow and drew my knees up to my chest.

"Goddamn chick is giving us more trouble than the guys!" I heard one of them whisper. I couldn't help but smirk. Suddenly, hands were on me, wrenching me from my bed. "UP NOW, GIRLY!" one of them shouted in my ear.

I popped my eyes open. I was greeted by 6 senior boys. I forgot this dorm held all grades. Great. They were all wearing war paint on their faces and had squirt guns. It looked like one of them had an air soft gun.

"MARCH!" they ordered.

"Whatever," I muttered and walked into the hall.

They took me to the basement with all the other freshman boys from my dorm. I saw Fang, Iggy, Gazzy, and Kyle in the middle of the group. I shoved my way to them. I felt all eyes follow me as I did so. I just squared my shoulders and kept walking.

"THIS IS YOUR INITIATION, MAGGOTS!" one of them screamed.

"Hey, could you keep it down?" I asked. "I'd rather not go deaf until I'm at least 85."

"Oh, wise guy, huh!?" the leader spat. He had a toga on. Really, that's something I don't want to see at 2am.

"Wise gal," I corrected folding my arms.

All the seniors laughed in this perverted way. "This should be interesting," I heard one of them muttering.

"RIGHT, MAGGOTS!" the leader yelled. Again with the shouting! Honestly, you'd think by college boys would be able to follow directions! "TAKE OFF ALL YOUR CLOTHES AND STREAK ACROSS CAMPUS!" Some of the seniors advanced and sprayed ice cold water on us. "C'MON KIDDIES! YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THIS DORM, YOU PLAY BY OUR RULES!"

We were sprayed again. The boys around me began removing clothes. Fang, Iggy, Gazzy, and Kyle were the only boys with enough sense to not do it.

"YOU! CLOTHES OFF NOW!" the leader yelled at Fang, Iggy, Gazzy, Kyle, and me.

"We'll pass," Fang replied his voice full of venom. I could feel his death glare. Seriously, never get on Fang's bad side.

The lead senior hesitated then shot Fang. He, however, didn't have a squirt gun. He had an air soft gun. It hit Fang right in the stomach. Fang ground his teeth but didn't act like it hurt him.

Then, the lead senior smirked, "You," he snarled and grabbed my wrist and pointed the gun at my stomach. "Take them off."

"Yeah, no!" I replied looking him dead in the eye and glaring. I could be scary, too. Especially when someone has interrupted my sleep pattern.

"Fine, I didn't want to do the, but you're making me!" the senior yelled. He pressed the gun harder to my gut and got ready to shoot.

"This is all your fault! You're making me do this!" my uncle shouted as he brought his fist down on my back.

I shook my head. Now was not the time to have flashback.

"You probably deserve this anyway," the senior muttered.

"You did this to them! You deserve what I give you!" Uncle Tom yelled.

Fear seized me as I drew parallels from my current position to my old life. I screamed and the senior pulled the trigger. Pain exploded in my stomach and I felt myself double over. No, not now Max. That wasn't Tom. That was just some wimpy senior that you could totally take.

I felt strong arms grip my shoulders and haul me up. "You okay?" Fang asked.

I nodded and detached myself from his side. I turned and faced the senior. He seemed shocked that I was still standing. "Jackass," I spat.

"It's not my fault! I had to shut you up! You screamed!" the senior yelled.

"Shut up! Shut up! The neighbors will hear!" Uncle Tom yelled as he slapped my face.

"Shut up!" I yelled to both the senior and my mind. I grabbed the sides of my head and drew back. "Just, shut up!" then, my fist snapped out and connected with the senior's nose.

There was a shocked silence. Fang grabbed me. Fang, Iggy, Gazzy, Kyle, and I ran out of the basement. I was still holding a hand to my head trying to draw the memories out of my head.

"I'll take her to her room," I heard Fang whisper to Iggy, Gazzy, and Kyle. They nodded and left for their own rooms.

Fang put an arm around my shoulders and led me to my room. He sat down with me on my bed.

"Are you okay?" I asked quietly, taking my hands off my head.

Fang lifted his shirt to inspect the damage. On one of the ripples of his six pack there was a large welt. I'm assuming I'll have one, too.

"How about you?" Fang asked. "What was that?" he referred to my moment when the past and the present crossed.

"Me. Reliving the past," I muttered.

"Is now a good time to talk about it?"

I took a shuddering breath and nodded.

Ok! Ta da! The end! The next chapter is going to be Max explaining her life to Fang. It's going to be a flashback though. Like, in the movies when someone starts to tell a story and their voice fades out and you just watch what's going down. So, yeah. It'll be a whole chapter in flashback mode.

Please Review!

6. Chapter 6

WOW! So many reviews! You guys are wonderful! On with story! Sorry for the cliffy. I couldn't help myself *evil grin while stroking my kitty* Oh, by the way, that jerk people wanted Max to do kick in the nuts or something or worse, don't worry, more is going to happen to him ;P

TO: Enna17654: I'm not sure where I got the idea for the seniors to do that. It just popped into my head.

TO: pengiunwiggle: I love it when you guys review! It's so damn funny! And thanks for calling my story dusty (?)

TO: Gontulet: Might say that your review was probably the most epic review ever! That was so awesome---you can really rhyme! Thanks for thinking my story isn't bad anymore :D

Righto! On with the story! Flashback time!


PS: Flashbacks in italics.

Max POV: Chapter 6

I curled my hands into fists and took another deep breath. "It started my freshman year. My parents started working longer hours so they could pay for my college. They said they wanted to start saving up since it was only 4 years. I was cool with it. But then, since they didn't see each other as much, they started meeting after work for dinner. I was left at home. They wanted to catch up with one another, but no one bothered to see what was going on with me."

I slammed my locker. School was over. Everyone around me was rushing off to be picked up by their parents and go do some cool after school activity. Me? Nope. I had to walk home (7 miles) and all I had to look forward to was a dark, empty house.

I angrily stuffed my books and was about to take off when I heard foot steps approaching me. I have to say, I was pretty surprised. Most people avoided me like I had the plague. I had a reputation for being a hard ass. School was only a month in, and I'd already gotten in 9 fist fights. All with boys. I won them all.

"Hi," Someone said from above me.

I looked up and almost chocked. Anna Taylor was standing in front of me. She was the most popular girl in the freshman class. She was the party girl. The girl who had a new boyfriend every week. She was kind of a slut. She was the total opposite of me. She was a girly girl. I was a tomboy that was really rough around the edges.

"I'm Anna," she announced flipping her red hair.

"Yeah, I know," I replied curtly, standing up. I realized she was at least two inches shorter than me, and she had at least 4 inch heals on.

"You're Max right?" she didn't bother to wait for a reply. "I like your style. We should totally hang out."

I snorted. This had to be a joke. "Seriously?" I asked in disbelief.

"Yeah," she said giving me a smile. "Listen, I'm going to a party tonight. Wanna come with?"

I just stood there. I mean, really? What the hell? Why was she asking me? She was the "it" girl right now. It wasn't a party unless Anna went. "Um…" I began.

"Unless, you have something better to do," Anna said in a voice that clearly told me she didn't think I had anything to do that could be better than a party at some jock's house. "Like, I dunno, go do some activity with your parents."

Her words stung. "No" I replied icily. "I don't have anything to do. I'd love to come." I probably wouldn't get home from this party until late, but my parents don't seem to notice that I exist, so why should I care about the curfew they set for me? They don't care about me; why do I need to care about their dumb ass rules?

"Great!" Anna squealed and jumped up and down in her 4 inch heals. Seriously, how is she not a cripple?

Anna drove me to her house in her hot pink Porsche. Not a fan of the color, but it's a pretty awesome car. Anna's house was huge. Giant and white with Greek columns. It was insane.

"Do you ever have parties here?" I asked.

Anna laughed, "Number one rule: never host your own party. I'm not stupid. I know what shit people bring to these parties. I'm not about to get in trouble with Daddy dearest and have him pull my credit card."

I just nodded dumbly. Who the hell has a credit card at 15? Anna dragged me up to her room. Well, more like a mini house. Her room was about the size of my house's ground floor. She had a closet the size of my room, and that one was just for shoes. The other one was twice the size of my room for her extensive amount of clothing.

"So, what do you want to wear?" Anna asked.

"This?" I replied, only it sounded like a question.

Anna looked at me like I'd slapped her. What? I was just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. "You can wear that!" she screeched.

"Oh, ok." I mumbled.

"Just go stand in the changing room," Anna ordered.

Uh, oh. I think I'm about to become a life sized Barbie doll. I silently went in the changing room and waited. Soon, a very low amount of black cloth was flung at me. I held it up in disbelief. I'd seen more material on a piece of Victoria's Secret lingerie.

"This is just a top right?" I asked. More like wished.

"No, silly, it's a dress!" Anna called back.

Son of a bitch. This sucks. I quickly put the dress on and looked in the mirror. I just gaped. It was a sparkly black dress that was a halter top. The neckline plunged a little too far for my taste, but judging by some of things Anna wears, this is modest. The dress was backless and started right before my butt came into view. The skirt wasn't even mid-thigh. It barely covered my underwear. The top half of the dress was flowy and then became form fitting right in the buttocks region. Thank God I don't have a huge ass.

I walked out hesitantly. Anna looked me up and down. "Who knew you had such a great body. You really shouldn't hide it under those baggy clothes. Now, for your hair and make up."

I groaned. I hate make-up. Remind me again why I'm doing this? Oh yeah, to get my parents to actually notice I'm freaking alive! I sat in front of Anna's vanity and waited for the torture to begin.

"There!" Anna exclaimed taking the brush away from my face. I peeked in the mirror and gasped. Anna had put some lip gloss, mascara, heavy black eye liner, and glittery green eye shadow on my face. I had to admit, I looked good. Maybe the eye makeup was a little heavy, but it worked. "Ok, now shoes!"

Anna thrust a pair of bright green 4 inch heels at me. "I can't walk in those!"

Anna shrugged, "I'll teach you."

* * * * *

"Welcome to paradise, biatch!" Anna exclaimed happily.

I wobbly got out of her car and stared at the house. It was large (not as big as Anna's) and was alive with music and lights. People were milling about outside, drinking out of plastic cups, and dancing. Inside, there was even more dancing and making out. People consider this a party?

"Here," Anna shouted over the music.

"What is it?" I asked taking the paper cup from her hand.

"Punch!" I took a sip and gagged. It was spiked! Anna laughed. "C'mon, Max! Learn how to hold your liquor."

I nodded and took another sip. It burned as it slid down my throat and buzzed in my stomach. I downed the rest of the drink, enjoying the tingling feeling that was settling in my temples.

"Max," Anna called. I walked over to the staircase she was standing by, stumbling slightly. I think I need to practice walking in heels a little more. "See that guy over there?" she pointed at a boy who was standing by the doorway of the kitchen. I nodded. "That's Todd Allick. He's hot shit right now. He's been staring at you since we got here."

"So?" I asked.

Anna rolled her eyes. "So, go talk to him. No, don't talk, flirt. And then dance a little, and then just go make out somewhere."

"Is that what people do at parties?" I asked.

"Duh!" Anna replied. Then some guy pulled on her arm she giggled, winked at me, then ran upstairs with him.

* * * * *

"Max, let's go!" Anna yelled at me. It was 2am. The party was still in full swing, but according to Anna, we are supposed to come late and leave early. Something about party diva etiquette.

I stumbled across the lawn to her hot pink car. My head spun when I saw the color. Maybe I shouldn't have had three more cups of that punch. I climbed in Anna's car.

"So, how'd things go with Todd?" Anna asked.

"Um…we danced," I slurred. "And, we make out, a lot. Does that mean we're going out or something?" I asked, confused.

Anna laughed. "No! God, you are so sheltered! Just cuz you make out with some guy at a party doesn't make him your boyfriend. He was just some entertainment for the night."

"Oh," For some reason her words bothered me, but I was too drunk to figure out why.

"So," I muttered, not looking at Fang, "The rest of freshman year went on like that. We became the 'it' girls. It wasn't a party unless we showed up. Sophomore year was the same. We ruled the school and the party scene. There was only one thing Anna did that I wouldn't, though. She'd go ahead and have a new boyfriend every week and pretty much sleep with anyone. I always refused. And then junior year started. It was the first party of the year and things got more out of control than they ever had before."

"Max! Hurry up!" Anna groaned form inside her room.

"Hold on!" I shouted from the changing room. I strapped on my heels and walked out. "Ta da!" I exclaimed. "What do you think?"

"Bitching," Anna replied in an approving voice.

I bowed. I was wearing a strapless bright purple dress with a heat shaped bodice. It was form fitting and had a black belt with a purple flower on it at the waist; then it puffed out with multiple flounces of black lace underneath. I had 4 inch bright yellow heels on that matched the giant yellow ring I was wearing. I had curled my light brown hair that I had recently put blonde streaks in. Last, I had a shiny lip gloss on with loads of mascara, eyeliner, and purple eye shadow.

Anna stood up. "Let's go!"

"I thought it was good to be late," I smirked.

"And the student had surpassed the teacher," Anna muttered, mimicking a martial arts bow. We laughed. "But, seriously, I do want to get there before the party's over!"

I nodded and checked over what Anna was wearing. She had on a strapless pastel green dress that complemented her red hair perfectly. It had a small pink ribbon around the waist and puffed in a round shape to mid thigh. It had little bows on the skirt and came together slightly at the end. She had on pink high heels, heavy green eye shadow, and shimmery lip gloss. Al in all, we would be the two most desired girls there.

By the time we got to the party, it had already been going for an hour and a half. Josh, the boy hosting, ran up to us.

"Thank God you guys are here. I thought you weren't gonna show. My reputation would have been ruined." We both just laughed and walked in.

Anna went and found some boy to go make out with while I went to the kitchen. I made a bee line for the punch bowl. Ever since my first party, I made it my priority to get a little bit buzzed before I went and made out with some random guy. It made it easier. I quickly downed to cups of punch, relishing the familiar feeling of burning liquid slide down my throat, and went back in the living room.

I spotted a guy standing off in the corner. I'd seen him at school. I didn't know his name, but he was pretty cute. I walked over to him and grabbed his shirt front and yanked him to where everyone was dancing. I won't go into the details of the dancing. Let's just say it was raunchy. Very raunchy.

Once I figured I'd paid enough attention to one guy, I gave him a quick smile and left. He just stood there dumbfounded. I went back to the kitchen to find Anna waiting there for me.

"Time to go?" I asked surprised. We'd only been here an hour.

"No," Anna replied. "Look, I saw you dancing with that guy. Do you think this year is the year to…" Anna wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

I took a small step back and laughed nervously, "Yeah right, Anna. You know I don't that."

Anna let out a frustrated sigh, "You are such a prude! Listen," She said fiercely, jabbing her finger on my sternum, "you need to do something that will prove to me I chose the right person to be my party friend. It's been two years, act like you have some experience. You seem to have no problem getting drunk. Why is this any different? Your parents don't care anyway!"

"Fine," I said icily. I spun on my heel and walked out to the living room.

I went over to the speakers and turned off the music. "HEY!" Some people shouted angrily.

I hopped up on the dining room table, "Can I have everyone's attention please!" I shouted. Everyone here new who I was so they all turned and stared. "So far, this party has been pretty boring. So, I thought I'd liven it up!"

I turned around, dropped my panties, and lifted by skirt. I shuddered as I heard wolf whistles. I can't believe I'm mooning them! I picked my panties back up, hopped off the table, turned the music back on, and walked back to Anna with a smirk.

"Not what I would have done but a very nice exposition," Anna replied clapping slowly.

I just shrugged. Juts then, some guy came up to me. "Hey," He said nervously.

"Hi," I replied. "You like what you just saw?" I asked. He nodded. "Wanna see some more?" God, I can't believe what a slut I'm being. His eyes widened and he nodded. I grabbed his arm and pulled him upstairs. "See you in a few," I muttered to Anna.

She eyed me with approval. I knew I'd kept my spot as the go to party girl.

I walked into an empty room with the mystery guy. I turned and faced, "Listen, you try to go any farther than second base, and so help me God, I will make it so you can never have kids."

He just nodded dumbly. Really, all his nodding was starting to piss me off. I just rolled my eyes and leaned in to kiss him. Just then, my phone started buzzing. I was actually grateful. I didn't want to get anywhere near this guy.

"One sec," I muttered. I looked down at my phone in shock. The caller ID said it was my mother. "Hello?" I asked in a clipped, steely voice.

"Maximum Ride where the hell are you?" My mother asked angrily.

"Oh, so now you care!" I yelled back.

"I thought you were staying at Anna's!"

"I am with Anna," I replied coolly.

"Then why is her pink Porsche in front of this house with all these teenager drinking?" Mom accused.

"You're outside the house?" I asked in disbelief. My heart leapt for joy. They were here for me. They actually care. They're here to get me.

"Well, you father and I were driving home from our dinner when we saw her car in front of the house," my mom replied.

Anger loomed over my joy. They hadn't actually been looking for me. They'd stumbled upon me and decided it was time to act like a parent. "Well, you know what, Mother? I'm having a great time. It's not like you and Dad have given a shit what I do with my life, so you and Dad can do whatever you want. I don't give a shit anymore. I hate you both! Just piss off!"

Just then, there was a loud crash outside and screaming. Everyone emptied out of the house to see what was going on. I stopped dead in my tracks. In front of the house were two cars. It looks like one had accelerated into the front of the other. The car that had served as the punching bag? My parents' car.

There were sirens in the distance. "Who called the cops!?" Josh yelled angrily.

"COP!? SPLIT!" someone else yelled.

In a matter of seconds, the house was empty. Even Anna and Josh left. I just stood there in front of the two cars in a daze.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. "Excuse me miss, you'll need to leave. We'll call you later for witness reports. Who are you?" a cop asked.

"Their daughter," I replied in a hallow voice not my own.

"So, yeah," I muttered feeling gross as I remembered my past. "Then my Uncle Tom and my Aunt Sue took me in. Uncle Tom blamed me for my parents' death."

"You stupid bitch!" Uncle Tom yelled. "You killed them!"

He brought his fist across my face. My head snapped to the side and pain laced through my neck and back. I held back tears. Pain is just a message, Max, I thought to myself. Ignore it.

"You deserve this!" He shouted.

He kicked my in my knee cap. I popped backwards. Ok, that one hurt. I let out a gasp of pain. Uncle Tom turned around as we heard the front door open. Aunt Sue was home. She knew nothing about this.

"Get out of my sight," Uncle Tom spat.

I limped up to my "room." Uncle Tom had forced me to live in the attic. It was about the size of the broom closet. Aunt Sue still thought I was staying the guest room.

* * * * *

"Anna!" I yelled as I crossed the school yard. I hadn't been to school for the last two weeks.

I had sunglasses on trying to hide the black eye Uncle Tom had given me.

Anna stopped and just looked at me. Next to her was a girl I'd never seen before. As I looked closer, I noticed that she looked just like me a few weeks ago. It was a "Maxlet," a "Max II." I'd been replaced. I was old news. I was finished.

"And you are?" Anna asked in a snippy voice.

"Never mind," I muttered and turned around. "You're a real bitch, you know that?" I threw over my shoulder.

"That's the story," I said, becoming very intent on my shoes. "After senior year, I came here for college. But, you know." I decided to be brave and sneak a glance at Fang.

Bad idea. Very bad idea. His face a mask of stone, and his eyes were hard. Fang stood up.

"Where are you going?" I asked tentatively.

"I'll be right back," he ground out.

Shit. He hates me. I knew I shouldn't have told him. He thinks I'm a slut. Fang stalked out of my room. When I didn't hear the room to his door slam shut, I became curious. I poked my head out to find Fang marching down the steps to the second floor. The second floor was where most of the seniors live. Not good.

I slipped some sweats over my sleep shorts and ran after Fang. As I came off the last step, I heard the sickening sound of fist meeting flesh. I rounded the corner to find Fang repeatedly punching the senior in the toga in the face.

"You…are…a…sick…bastard," Fang ground out between punches. "You…don't…do…that…to girls!"

I stood there, shocked. Fang was fighting for me. No one had ever fought for me before. I laughed in a relieved way. Fang hadn't been pissed at me. He'd been pissed on my behalf and was taking it out on this jerk.

"Fang," I mumbled as I noticed just how much blood was dripping down the seniors face. "Maybe you should stop?" Fang ignored me.

I don't like being ignored. I walked over and wrenched Fang away from the senior. "You can't have all the fun!" I chided.

I held the senior up by the shoulders. "You okay?" I asked.

"Yeah," He mumbled around his fat lip. He gave Fang a cocky grin over my shoulder.

"Good," I replied then kneed him where the sun don't shine. We really don't need morons like him reproducing.

OMG! Sorry that took so long! I was always getting interrupted when I was trying to write! GRR! Ok so here are links to the dresses I described!

(Max's black halter dress)


(Max's purple dress)


(Anna's green dress)


7. Chapter 7

OK! I'm so sorry I've been gone so long…Thanksgiving was insane this week!!! But, my brother came home from college for Thanksgiving and he shared his cold with me (how thoughtful of him), so I'm home sick…so, if things get a little random I apologize and blame it on the meds! Oh wow, that really doesn't sound right. Cold meds. Just cold meds! I swear!



Max POV: Chapter Seven

"So?" Fang asked looking deep in my eyes.

We were back in my room after I made sure Mr. Dumbass can't have kids anymore.

"So…" I mumbled looking down. Fang was getting past all my defenses. I'm starting to realize the affect he has on me. I can trust him so easily. I just blab everything to him. Diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain! I wrapped my arms around myself as if I could protect my feelings and thoughts from Fang's penetrating gaze. "So, I made mistakes in the past." My voice was harsh and metallic. I didn't mean to be like this to Fang, but this happens to me every time I try to trust someone.

I felt a gentle squeeze on my shoulder. I looked up and was caught by Fang's midnight eyes. "Max, everyone makes mistakes. I'd be a hypocrite to judge you."

I felt my eyes go wide. "Thank you," I whispered softly.

Fang nodded. "C'mon, let's go get you cleaned up."

"Huh?" I asked cocking my head to the side.

Fang pointed to my side. I looked down and realized that the side of my tank-top was stained with blood. "What a jackass," I muttered referring to the senior.

"Well, you made sure there won't be anymore of him," Fang chuckled.

"What?" I asked innocently. "I couldn't let you have all the fun!"

Fang smiled at me warmly. He took my hand and my heart did a little flip-flop. Really, this was getting annoying. Fang started to walk to the boys' bathroom on our floor, but he stopped short.

"What is it?" I whispered. I couldn't see a thing. Fang was too damn tall. I peeked over his shoulder and stiffened. It was some of the seniors from before. They were going into the bathroom. We couldn't go there or to the other bathrooms below because we would risk running into other seniors. "C'mon," I whispered. I tugged Fang in the opposite direction.

I pulled Fang into the alcove that hid the door that led to my upstairs bathroom. I pulled the key out from the string I had around my neck. I unlocked the door, Fang and I slipped in, and I locked the door again.

"Cool," Fang muttered after we climbed the steps and emerged in the giant hall.

"Yeah," I replied. The upstairs hall was really different from the other floors. It was wider, had a really nice carpet (even though it was covered in dust), the doors were spaced father apart and were made of a really nice wood.

I led Fang down the hall to the giant bathroom.

"Spooky," Fang commented. "Ever see Moaning Myrtle?" He asked wiggling his eyebrows.

I laughed and playfully punched Fang in the arm. Fang just rolled his eyes. Then, Fang grabbed me and hoisted me up on the counter.

"Déjà vu," I mumbled bitterly.

Fang chuckled, "What can I say? You have quite the knack for getting yourself in trouble, you little damsel in distress."

"I am not a damsel in distress!" I replied defensively. "Last time was your fault!"

"Ok. Sure. What ever you say, D.I.D." Fang grinned.

"Ass hole," I muttered swatting him in the chest.

Fang smiled then turned serious. "Ok. Let's see it."

I pulled my tank top up but made sure I didn't go too high. Fang didn't need a free show. Fang saw my expression and laughed.

"Don't worry, Max. I'm no peeping Tom."

"Just like I'm not a damsel in distress." I countered.

Fang shrugged, "We'd make quite the pair."

"Oh, yeah," I muttered. "Disney could make a great movie out of our story."

Fang jut chuckled and then went back to inspecting my wound. I looked down and was surprised to find a huge gash in my side. It was yellow and purple around the edges of the gash. Fang growled and balled his hand into a fist. "I should have punched him harder." He said angrily.

"It's fine, Fang," I mumbled putting my hand on his shoulder.

Fang uncurled his fist and nodded. Absently, he brushed the back of his hand across my side. It sent shivers down my spine. Fang grabbed a paper towel and got it wet. He pressed it to my gash and applied pressure. I noticed as his eyes trailed to the other side of my stomach and lingered on my scar that ran from the top of my rib cage to my belly button.

Fang cocked his head to the side and looked up at me in silent question.

"Knife fight," I mumbled. "After I stopped hanging out with Anna, she sent three of her cronies after me. One of them had a knife. I came out on top, though. The three boys were in the hospital for a few days."

"You would," Fang smirked. "I take they can't have kids either."

"You betcha!" I replied smiling.

Fang removed the towel from my side and wiped it clean with a dry one. "All done," he mumbled.

I pulled my top back down. "Let's see yours," I ordered.

Fang pulled off his shirt, and I had to hold back a gasp. Fang had amazing washboard abs. I had to resist the urge to run my hands down his stomach. Get it together, Max. He's your friend. Probably the best friends you've ever had. Don't screw this up. I thought to myself.

I looked down at Fang's side. He had a huge bruise. It was purple and blue. It already had yellow around the edges. "I should have kneed him harder," I grumbled.

Fang laughed and pulled his shirt back on. Goodbye pretty abs. SHUT UP MAX!

"Let's go," I offered. "It's late."

"Yeah," Fang muttered.

I hopped off the counter and winced slightly as my side spasmed. Honestly, that senior was a jerk.

"Good night," Fang said as he went back to his room.

"Night," I muttered back. "And, Fang. Thanks." I whispered referring to him listening to me go on about my past.

"No problem, Max. I'm always here when you want to talk."

* * * * *

I woke up the next morning to my side aching like a bitch. I ignored it. Pain is just a message. I hopped out of bed and went to my dresser. I pulled on my favorite pair of black skinny jeans, my high top black converse, and my electric purple top. My shirt was a scoop neck that has a big black boom box on the bottom and has white, blue, and black sculls coming from the speakers.

I looked at the clock. 10:30. Perfect, my fist class is at 12:30pm. I exited my room and went to go to Fang's room. I knocked on the door, but no one answered. I shrugged. I was about to go back to my room when I smelled bacon. Oh. My. God. BACON! I followed my nose to the kitchen on the ground floor. For some reason, I wasn't surprised when I saw Iggy, Gazzy, Fang, and Kyle crowded in the kitchen.

"Morning, Max," Iggy and Gazzy chimed without turning around from the stove. Creepy.

"Hey guys," I replied. I plopped down on a bar stool in between Kyle and Fang.

"What do you want for breakfast? Iggy's cooking," Kyle asked me.

I smiled. I was glad he was talking to me. "Um, what's on the menu?" I asked Iggy.

"Pancakes, eggs, and bacon," Iggy replied while he flipped a pancake.

"Ok, 6 pancakes, 6 pieces of bacon, and 3 Sunnyside up eggs," I answered. Iggy stopped mid-flip, Gazzy gaped, and Kyle just stared. "What?" I asked defensively.

"Guys, she finished a large calzone at the Italian restaurant down the road," Fang tried to explain.

"Holy shit, you eat as much as Fang and me!" Kyle muttered in astonishment.

"I have a fast metabolism," I muttered shrugging.

"I'll say," Gazzy muttered.

Iggy had all our food ready in a matter of minutes. All I can is that boy can cook! It was the best breakfast I've ever had.

"What's your first class?" Fang asked me.

"Organic chemistry at 12:30 with Felmenstauhst." I replied. "You?"

"Music history with Lisel," Fang replied.

"What are you majoring in?" I asked.

"Double major." Fang muttered. "Music and Fine Arts."

I nodded, "What about you guys?" I asked.

"We have Engineering 101 with Flamoe," The twins chorused.

"You really have to stop doing that," I muttered and they laughed. "What about you, Kyle?"

"I have Organic Chemistry with you, actually," Kyle mumbled.

"Oh, cool. You'll have to sit with me then."

Kyle nodded and blushed slightly.

"Do you have anymore classes today?" Fang asked me.

"Yeah, just one since Chem. is 2 hours. I have Theatre at 4:30 with Stevens." I replied checking my schedule.

"Me too!" Fang said looking up from his class paper. "Have you started Taming of the Shrew yet?"

"Are you kidding? I love that play! I've already read it, like, 5 times." I answered.

Fang smiled at me. I smiled back. The clock behind Fang caught my eye and I realized it was almost time for class.

"Hey, Kyle, we should get going," I said motioning to the clock.

"Okay," He replied clearing his plate.

"See you guys later!" I called as Kyle and I walked out of the kitchen.

Kyle was really quite on the walk over to our class. I didn't mind. It was a comfortable silence. Kind of like the one I had with Fang. I like Kyle. He seems like a really cool guy. I can't wait to get to know him better. Plus, he's really cute so that helps. I blushed at this thought. I usually don't think about guys like this.

Kyle and I walked into the class room. We were the first ones in. The professor was in the corner of the room sitting at her desk. Kyle and I looked around the room and found a table. Each table sat three so I sat in the middle chair and Kyle sat to my left. Professor Felmenstauhst looked up from her desk.

"Good afternoon!" she squawked.

No, I really mean squawked. It was like a parrot's voice had been transported into a human's body. I resisted the urge to laugh. Kyle, on the other hand, just looked really taken aback. Guess I'll have to handle this.

"Hello," I replied. "I'm Max. Um, Maximum Ride."

She looked down on the roster. "Oh, yes," she screeched in her bird voice. "Her you are. You're the girl who's in the boys' dorm."

"Yes, ma'am," I answered trying to be polite without mocking her screechy voice.

"What about you?" she asked Kyle.

He seemed frozen in place by her voice. I elbowed him in the side. He jolted upright. "Kyle. Kyle Davis."

"Right, I've got here, too." She muttered in a squawky voice. "Well, thank you both for being punctual!"

We nodded then began to get our book out of our bags. Well, this class should be interesting. Soon, other students started to arrive. I recognized a couple of seniors from last night. They passed me but didn't look at me. I think they were pretty frightened of me after they saw what happened to their leader.

Then, the bane of my existence walked into the class room. She was tall and skinny with long red hair. Red hair. I can't stand red heads, not after Anna. (No offense to red heads! One of my best friends is a red head). She even dressed like Anna. She had on a too tight and way too short skirt. She had on a blue top that made her cleavage look like the Grand Canyon and hugged her stomach so tightly you could see her belly button ring. To top it all off, she was wearing 4 inch black Stilettos. The real kicker, though? She came and sat right next to me! Please, someone shoot me now!

"Hi, I'm Lissa," She said in a sweet voice. I pegged her immediately. It was a fake sweet voice. So fake. She was just like Anna. I could tell.

"Max," I grounded out behind a fake smiled.

"Oh! You're the girl that gets to live with all the boys! You're so lucky!" She squealed.

I just nodded and turned to talk to Kyle. Unfortunately, Lissa spotted Kyle. She went into what I like to call "slut mode."

She bent across me and stuck her boobs way out in Kyle's face. "Hi," she said in a slightly deeper voice than before. I knew that voice. I'd used it before. It was the "sexy" voice girls used to get to guys. "I'm Lissa."

Kyle's head snapped back as he looked up at the ceiling. He was looking anywhere but at her and her pushy girls. Kyle really was a good guy. Most boys would just stare.

"Kyle," he muttered keeping his eyes up.

Lissa huffed and sat back down.

Professor Felmenstauhst began the lecture. I really couldn't wait to this class over with and get away from Lissa.

Alrighty, I'll be putting up another chapter today! But, please review!

8. Chapter 8

Woot! 2 chapters in one day! That's all I have to say except this:

Disclaimer: MR= JP's…Plot=Mine…MR=JP's…Plot=Mine…get it? Got it? Good.



Max POV: Chapter 8

Kyle and I raced out of our Organic Chemistry class like two bats out of hell.

"Oh, my God!" I exclaimed. I usually don't say that, but Lissa deserved an OMG. "I can't believe that girl, Lissa! She was flirting with every guy in class."

Kyle nodded. "My eyes are still burning."

I laughed, "Really!? Squawk!" I asked mimicking Professor Felmenstauhst's voice perfectly. "So, Mr. Davis, could you please tell us what the definition of Organic Chemistry is and its purpose? Squawk!"

Kyle shuddered. Mrs. Felmenstauhst had called on him today when he wasn't ready for the question. I saved his butt by answering for him. "Thanks, by the way," he muttered.

I shrugged. "No problem," I answered in my normal voice. "So, what are you looking to for graduate school?" I asked.

"Med. School," Kyle replied. "It's a family tradition that every first born becomes a doctor. It used to be first born boys only, but my cousin, Maria, changed that."

"Good for her," I replied. I can sometimes be a fem-bot. "But, do you want to be a doctor?"

Kyle shrugged. "Not really."

"What would you rather do?" I asked, genuinely curious.

"Write," Kyle answered.

"It's not too late to change your major," I offered.

"My dad would pull his money then. He said he'd only pay for my college if I studied to be a doctor," Kyle looked pretty pissed.

"That's not fair!" I yelled, angry on his behalf.

Kyle's head snapped up. He seemed surprised that I could be so empathetic. The only reason I was in college is because my parents left me some money, and I got a scholarship. But, for Grad. School, I'd have to pay my own way and I don't want debt, so I'll need to get a job soon.

Kyle shrugged and kept walking, "Yeah, well, I could become a doctor and write on the side."

"I still think you should be able to do what you love," I muttered.

Kyle nodded, and we walked back to the dorm in silence.

* * * * *

"Max, ready to go?" Fang called from the other side of my door.

"Yeah, hold on!" I stuffed my copy of Taming of the Shrew into my shoulder bag and met Fang outside my room. "Let's go."

"So, we're both majoring in music," Fang started. "Do you have a choir class?"

"Yeah. Tomorrow at 3:30 with Scott. When do you have it?"

"Same time," Fang answered smiling at me.

"What do you think we'll do in theatre?" I asked.

"I don't know. Probably something fun. Do you have any drawing classes for your Fine Arts minor?"

"No, I have French instead. Remember, I'm an over-achiever."

Fang rolled his eyes. "I hope you'll have time to hang with me and the guys.

"I'll make time," I muttered. "Besides, French should be easy. I took it all four years of high school, and my mom was fluent so we spoke together."

"That sounds cool. Maybe you could teach me some," Fang muttered.

"Alright. Je t'aime," I mumbled.

"What's that mean?" Fang asked.

"Um…nothing. I'll tell you later." I looked down to hide my blush. Why did I say that? It was the stupidest thing in the world! I just said "I love you," to Fang in French! Who the hell does that! I mean, yes I care about Fang, a lot. But I don't love him. Not like that anyway. More like a brother or something or the way you love your best friend. Yeah, that's it.

"Why won't you tell me?" Fang asked.

"Um…because it has no relevance. You'll never need to say it," I lied.

"Hey, Max, Je t'aime." Fang said with a smirk. "See, I said it; therefore, it is relevant."

I felt my eyes widen. He didn't mean it, Max. He doesn't even know what it means for shits sake! Thank God for the tiny voice in my head. It keeps me on the straight and narrow. "Whatever," I mumbled looking away.

"Fine, then at least teach me something I'll use."

"Ok," I replied. "Bonjour. That's hello."

"Bonjour," Fang said.

I laughed. "You need to work on you accent."

Fang crossed his arms, "Well, sorry little Ms. I'm Fluent in French!" Fang smirked at the end to let me know he wasn't mad.

"Jealous?" I asked.

"You wish," Fang muttered, but then I heard him practice saying 'bonjour' under his breath.

I laughed again. Fang looked away for a moment then began laughing with me. By the time we reached out theatre class we were both crying from all the laughing we were doing. Luckily, Fang and I were the first ones in class. Our teacher wasn't even here yet.

"Ok, composure," Fang ordered.

We both took a deep Zen breath. It didn't work. On the exhale we both started laughing.

"Oh, man! Did the fun start without me?" Someone exclaimed from the door.

Fang and I turned around to find a very disheveled looking man leaning in the doorway. His glasses were crooked, his button up shirt was only half tucked in, his tie was tied in a very tiny, lumpy knot, and his hair looked like he just rolled out of bed.

"Um, not really," I replied. "There aren't enough people yet, right?"

"That's true. I'm Mr. Stevens by the way, but you can just call me Rob. I'm your theatre teacher."

"Oh, I'm Max. Maximum Ride," I responded. It was like it was hard wired in me.

"Very nice to meet you. I'd check you off the roster but it seems to have run away."

Looked at Rob's books that were stuffed with papers and his brief case that didn't quite close due to the stacks of papers and scripts stuck in it. I didn't comment. Just looked. But, no wonder he can't find anything.

"And who are you?" he asked Fang.

"F-Nick. Nick Martinez." Fang answered.

"It's nice to meet you F-Nick," Rob replied. He didn't even seem to notice Fang's slip up.

"Um, no, Mr. Stevens. It's Nick. No 'F' in front." Fang corrected as politely as possible.

"Oh. Sorry. And it's Rob. Mr. Stevens sounds so dreary."

We both nodded. Other kids began to stream in. One girl, with dark brown hair and big black eyes, walked in looking particularly lost and alone. Max, protector of the under-dog, kicked in.

"I'll be right back, F-Nick," I muttered to Fang and winked.

Fang rolled is eyes but nodded.

I walked over to the girl who was standing timidly by the door. "Hi," I said kindly. "I'm Max."

The girl looked up at me with her big black eyes and smiled at me warmly. Her eyes lit up and she didn't seem quite as afraid. "I'm Ella," she replied happily.

"It's nice to meet you. Hey, I was wondering if you'd like to come sit with me and my friend," I pointed over at Fang who gave a small half wave. Idiot. I was really going to have to talk to him about being social.

Ella's eyes went even wider. "He's your friend?" she asked astonished.

"Yeah, why?" I asked laughing slightly.

"He's way too hot to be just a friend," Ella explained as if it was the simplest thing in the world.

I laughed, "Well, we're just friends."

Ella shrugged, "If you say so."

"C'mon." I said motioning her to follow me. Ella followed, and we went and sat with Fang. "Ella, this Fang. Fang, this is Ella."

"Hi," Ella said quietly.

Fang nodded in her direction. I elbowed him, "Say 'hi,' idiot." I hissed in his ear.

"Um, hi," Fang said slowly and quietly.

Ella smiled, and her entire face lit up. She was really pretty. I was about to start talking to her when Rob clapped his hands.

"Hey guys! I'm your professor. My name is Rob. Please don't call me Mr. Stevens yet, I'm only 27! Anyway, I want you to get with someone you aren't sitting with and get to know them. After you talk a bit, you'll come up here with your new partner and do and little improvisation skit on the topic I give you. Okay, break!"

The room became a flurry of motion. Ella got snagged by some girl with glasses. I was about to see if Fang and I could just fake not knowing each other when I got tapped on the shoulder. I turned around to see a boy, taller than Fang, standing in front of me.

"Hi," I said brightly. This guy was actually pretty cute. He had short reddish brown hair, hazel eyes that were kind of on the green side, freckles, and his nose was slightly crooked but in a way that gave his face character.

"Um, hi." He said. He seemed a little nervous. "I'm Finn. Finn Hudson." (That's right! Glee character insert!!!!)

"Max. Maximum Ride. Nice to meet you." I replied smiling. Finn seemed pretty cool.

"Um, so we're supposed to ask each other questions," Finn mumbled.

"Favorite sport?" I asked.

"Football," Finn said.

While Finn answered I looked over my shoulder at Fang. Some blonde was talking to him. I didn't like her. She had her hair up in a pony tail, glasses, and was wearing a really nice pair of designer jeans. Fang saw me looking. "Help me," he mouthed. I smirked my jealously subsiding. Wait, did I really just say I was jealous? Cuz I'm totally not.

I turned back to Finn. "No way! Football's my favorite, too!"

Finn smiled, "That's not something you hear everyday. It's nice."

I shrugged, "I'm not your run of the mill girl."

"Cool, so favorite play?" Finn asked.

"Chicago, you?"

Finn laughed, "Remind me not to get on your bad side. And, I'm not sure. I really like Les Misérables."

"Your French accent is impeccable!" I exclaimed.

Finn smiled. "I lived in France for a summer. Tu parle français?"

"Oui, je parle français!" I said happily. I haven't had anyone to speak French with since my mom died. It was refreshing.

Finn and I launched into a conversation in French and I totally forgot about everything else. Except one thing. Fang. I would have to teach Fang to speak French so we could have this much fun together.

Finn and I were laughing about this story Finn told me from when he was in France. He decided to visit the country-side of Brittany and bike along some of their historical sites. While he was biking down a coble stone lane, he hit a divot in the rode and went flying off his bike and into a nearby cow pasture. Apparently, he landed face first in a cow pie.

Our laughter was just dying down when we heard Rob yell from the front of the classroom.

"Oh crap! I'm so sorry everyone! I lost track of time. Class is almost over! We'll have to do our skits next class!"

Everyone started saying goodbye to their partners. "Bye, Finn. It was really nice talking with you," I said.

"Yeah, you too. Oh, wait! Which dorm are you in?" Finn asked.

"The all boys dorm," I muttered.

"No way! Me, too. I'm on the second floor."

"Third floor," I said smiling. By this time Ella and Fang had come back to talk to me. "Hey, Ella, Finn, you guys should join me and my friends for dinner. Iggy's cooking, right Fang?" I looked over at Fang. He didn't look too happy.

"Yeah, Ig's cooking," Fang muttered, his voice hard.

"Cool, you two can meet us in the all boys' dorm kitchen around 8pm."

"Alright, see you then," Finn said waving goodbye as Fang and I walked off.

I nudged Fang's shoulder with mine, "What's bothering you?" I asked.

Fang shrugged and kept walking.

"Are you mad that I invited Ella and Finn?" I worried out loud.

"I don't mind that you invited Ella," Fang stated in monotone.

"So, you mind that I invited Finn?" I offered.

"No," Fang ground out behind clenched teeth.

Yep, he's definitely not happy about Finn. "Well, you could always invite that blonde you were talking to in theatre," I suggested. Right after I said it, my stomach coiled and churned angrily.

"Brigid?" Fang asked. "No way. I hate to say it, but she was beyond annoying. She just kept flipping her hair and sticking her boobs in my face."

I laughed. "Sounds like Lissa."

"Who?" Fang asked

"Some slutty red head who stuck her boobs in Kyle's face. She was in Organic Chemistry class. Speaking of Organic Chem. I need to show you my Mrs. Felmenstauhst impression."

Fang smiled, "Sounds good. I need to go do some home work. Meet you at dinner?"

"Sure," I replied smiling and waving to Fang as we went into our separate rooms. I was glad he was in a better mood. I hate it when Fang's mad at me.

Fang POV:

I threw my bag on the floor and flopped on my bed. My stomach was still coiled in knots from when I saw Max laughing with Finn. I don't know why but it really bothered me. For some reason, I felt like I should be the only one who made Max laugh like that not some guy she just met.

I let out a sigh and looked at my Music History text book. I was supposed to read about where music supposedly originated. I opened my text book and tried to read, but I couldn't. My stomach just kept bubbling as the thought of some other guy making Max laugh like that re-played in my head over and over.

Why was it even bothering me? Max and I are best friends. I should be happy when she's happy. I should be happy that she found someone to talk to. I looked back down at my text book and read. I was about ready to fall asleep when Iggy and Gazzy burst through the door with wicked grins on their faces.

"What-" I began but they cut me off.

"Wait for it," the chimed together.

Then I heard it. There was a loud boom then a shriek from Max's room. "IGGY! GAZZY! YOU ARE SO DEAD!"

Max forcefully opened our door. I was so shocked that I fell off my bed laughing. Max's hair was sticking out in all directions, she was covered in soot, and there was an awful smell coming from her direction.

Ok…that's chapter eight! I just looked at your reviews for chapter 7…thank you so much! You guys are amazing! And just to clear this up: someone thought that Lissa was Max's teacher-she's not…she's just in Max's Organic Chemistry Class. Mrs. Felmenstauhst is Max's Chemistry Teacher.

Anywho- thank you all again! You're amazing!

9. Chapter 9

Ok…so we need to clear things up- SERIOUSLY READ THIS!- for those of you who were wondering- Jeb is already in this story…go back to chapter one. Jeb and Dr. Martinez are Fang's parents. Max actually thinks Jeb is cool…I'm trying to portray Jeb like the flock would have seen him before the first book starts. And I already mentioned Nudge, but no worries-she'll be coming soon…same with Angel.

And I've already got a plan for Ari, too.

Ok- so in this chapter there will be slight Eggy…enjoy!


Max POV: Chapter 9

I am going to kill Iggy and Gazzy and enjoy it! Those bastards put an exploding stink bomb in my room! When I found it tucked under my pillow, it exploded in my face.

I stormed into the room Iggy and Gazzy shared with Fang. When I entered, Fang fell off the bed because he was laughing so hard! That jerk!

"Which one of you do I kill first?" I asked through clenched teeth.

Gazzy and Iggy turned white as a sheet, "Now, Max, we didn't….we wouldn't…you wouldn't…?" They looked at each other and gulped. "Run!" they shouted.

Both of them barreled forward and shoved their way past me. "See you at dinner!" They called as they sprinted down the hallway.

"Bastards! Come back! This isn't over!" I shouted angrily. Fang was still on the floor laughing. I turned to him, still immensely pissed and wanting to take it out on someone. "You think this is funny?" I asked angrily.

Fang stopped and looked up at me. He could tell I meant business. He cleared his throat and stood up. "No, nope, never," Fang muttered coughing down his laughter.

"Good, then you'll help me," I stated.

Fang suddenly turned very serious, "I'm sorry, Max, but the state of your psychosis is beyond our reach. There's nothing more we can do."

I smacked Fang upside the head, "Jackass!"

"So, what am I helping you with?" Fang asked.

"Revenge!" I hissed evilly.

"Tsk, tsk, Max. Vengeance is not very pretty," Fang said shaking his head.

"I don't care. You're helping me whether you like it or not."

"Well, alright. Poor Iggy and Gazzy," Fang muttered. I could tell he would secretly enjoy this.

We put our heads together and began plotting.

* * * * *

"Okay, sounds like an excellent plan," Fang said after we finished deliberating.

I nodded in agreement and rubbed my hands together. Sweet revenge.

"Now, please go take a shower," Fang instructed.

"Oh, whatever," I mumbled as I got up and headed for my bathroom.

I padded down the long hallway to my Chamber of Secrets style bathroom. I decided this much grime earned a bath. I turned on the water and watched as it slowly filled the giant tub. As I waited of the water to fill I thought about everything that had happened to me over that last two and a half weeks. I've already become so close to Fang and the others. I can't remember being this happy. Well, I can, but it's been so long.

I mean, even though I was beyond pissed at Gazzy and Iggy, I saw the humor in it and still liked them. I've never had friends before who I could like through being stink-bombed. I turned off the faucet and slipped into the warm pool of water.

Fang new everything about me and still accepted me. He was the best friend a girl could ever ask for. The others didn't know, but that was okay with me. One person knowing my secret was enough. Just then a song popped into my head. I laughed lightly. It wouldn't be a bath without me singing. I hummed the tune for a moment then added the lyrics.

Let me know that I've done wrong
When I've known this all along
I go around a time or two
Just to waste my time with you

Tell me all that you've thrown away
Find out games you don't wanna play
You are the only one that needs to know

I'll keep you my dirty little secret
(Dirty little secret)
Don't tell anyone or you'll be just another regret
(Just another regret, hope that you can keep it)
My dirty little secret

Who has to know
When we live such fragile lives
It's the best way we survive
I go around a time or two
Just to waste my time with you

Tell me all that you've thrown away
Find out games you don't wanna play
You are the only one that needs to know

I'll keep you my dirty little secret
(Dirty little secret)
Don't tell anyone or you'll be just another regret
(Just another regret, hope that you can keep it)
My dirty little secret

Who has to know
The way she feels inside (inside)
Those thoughts I can't deny (deny)
These sleeping thoughts won't lie (won't lie)
And all I've tried to hide
It's eating me apart
Trace this life out

I'll keep you my dirty little secret
(Dirty little secret)
Don't tell anyone or you'll be just another regret
(Just another regret)

I'll keep you my dirty little secret
(Dirty little secret)
Don't tell anyone or you'll be just another regret
(Just another regret, hope that you can keep it)
My dirty little secret
Dirty little secret
Dirty little secret

Who has to know
Who has to know

Fang POV:

I watched Max leave and smiled. I've been doing a lot of that lately. Smiling. I never used to do that before. No wonder Iggy and Gazzy were surprised when they first moved in. I've always been close with them but never as close as I've gotten with Max. I was always worried about opening up to people. I've seen what it can do. People can be horrible. They just shoot you down.

I sighed and grabbed my Music History text book. I still needed to read this stupid thing. I was about three sentences in when I heard the water from the upstairs bathroom cascade from the faucet. It made a gentle thrumming noise above my head, like a distant waterfall. I cocked my head to the side…I was hoping to hear something. But what?

Then the water stopped and I heard humming. I closed my book and lay down on my bed with my hands behind my head. This is what I'd been hoping to hear. Max singing. Her voice was amazing. She could change it to fit any song. Tonight she was singing Dirty Little Secret. I thought it fit her perfectly.

Suddenly an idea popped into my head. Kyle, Iggy, Gazzy, and I had been thinking that we need a girl to help in the vocal department. If Max joined, we could do duets and harmony and we could have her do some feature songs. And, if Max learned guitar, I could play my violin. There were some pretty awesome rock songs that had violin in them.

I scrambled off my bed and grabbed my lap-top. I went on Google and started looking for songs Max could sing. I found some great ones for her and some we could do a duet on. I also found a version of Misery Business by Paramore that incorporated the violin. This would be epic. Now, all I had to do was convince Max to join the band.

"Fang!" Max called from my door.

I turned around to find Max, damp hair framing her face, ready to go for dinner. She just had on basket ball shorts and tank top on, but she made it look like something off the runway. Um, ignore the last comment.

"What are you doing?" she asked walking over to my bed and sitting down.

I snapped my lap-top shut. "Nothing. It's a surprise," I replied getting up.

Max pouted. It looked really cute. Like an angry puppy. "You know I hate surprises."

I smirked. "Yup, that's why I'm doing it."

Max stuck her tongue out. "Let's go." She muttered.

I started to follow Max and realized something: I never finished my Music History reading. I shrugged. Obviously I wasn't meant to read it tonight.

Iggy POV:

"That was close," I said breathlessly to Gazzy. We had managed to escape Max's wrath and get safely to the kitchen.

"Yeah, but we'll get it later," Gazzy mumbled.

"True. But it was totally worth it," I said grinning.

"Hell yes!" Gazzy laughed bumping my fist.

"Did you see her face?"

"Yes! And her hair! I wish we had a camera!" Gazzy howled with laughter and almost fell off the kitchen bar-stool.

I started laughing too but was interrupted by a timid knock on the kitchen door. I turned to see a girl standing in the doorway. My breath caught. She was the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. She had long dark brown hair and big black eyes.

"Um, hi. I'm Ella. Max invited me to dinner. Is this the right spot?" Ella asked.

"Yeah, this is the right spot," Gazzy answered for me. I seem to have lost my voice.

I cleared my throat. "I'm, um, Iggy. It's nice to meet you. That's my twin, Gazzy."

Ella looked me straight in the eyes. She smiled then looked down, blushing slightly. "Ok," she mumbled looking down.

"I, um, hope you like Sloppy Joes." I said looking at the stove very intently.

Ella's face brightened and she looked up. Her big eyes were full of light and her rose colored lips split into a smile, "I love Sloppy Joes!"

I laughed. "Good."

"So, where's Max?" Ella asked.

Gazzy sniggered. "Probably cleaning up."

Ella cocked her head to the side in confusion. "Cleaning up?"

"I'm sure Max will explain when she comes down. But, Max and Fang are so slow. They'll be late for their own funerals! Do you mind getting them?" Gazzy asked.

I shot him a look. I didn't want Ella to leave.

"Um, sure," Ella replied.

"Cool," Gazzy said. "They're on the third floor. Turn right at the stairs. It's the very last room. 305."

Ella nodded. "Okay. Bye Gazzy," she said smiling. Then she turned to me. "Bye, Iggy. It was nice to meet you." She blushed slightly then scurried out of the room.

"Why did you send her out!?" I asked angrily turning to Gazzy.

Gazzy hopped off his stool and grabbed my shirt front. "I know what you're up to! I won't let you do it. Not again. She's a nice girl!"

I threw my hands up in surrender, "I don't know what you're talking about, Gaz!"

"Yes you do! You flit from girl to another without a care. You don't even realize how much you hurt them. Ella seems really nice, and I won't let you break her heart like you did Alice's, Jess's, Tessa's, and Vicky's!"

I tore Gazzy's hand from my shirt, "I won't! I really like Ella. She's it. I saw her, and I knew. I wouldn't do anything to hurt her."

"You better not," Gazzy threatened.

"Gaz, if it happened to you, that love at first sight punch in the gut, you'd know I wouldn't hurt her," I replied to Gazzy's open ended threat.

"But I do know!" Gazzy yelled punching the wall angrily. "I have found that one girl and she's taken. She doesn't even know I exist."

My heart ached as I felt Gazzy's pain. I put a hand on his shoulder, "She'll come around." I mumbled.

"She's married! She's married to a jerk that doesn't even treat her right! Doesn't she know that I'd never cheat on her like he does?" Gazzy was breathing hard.

"Yeah, she knows it. She's just not thinking straight yet. She'll come around. I promise." I gave Gazzy's shoulder a squeeze and started to make the Sloppy Joes.

"I found them!" Ella called from the door.

My breath caught again. Every time I saw her I was astonished by her beauty.

Max POV:

Fang and I were walking down the hall to go to dinner.

"You have to tell me!" I kept pestering.

"Nope," Fang replied popping the 'p.'

I was about to swat him when Ella called out to us. "Hey guys!"

"You just got saved a butt whooping," I whispered to Fang. He chuckled. "Hi Ella!" I called back waving. I really liked Ella. She is definitely the sister I've always wanted.

She jogged up to us. "Gazzy asked me to get you for dinner."

"Wasn't that thoughtful of him," I ground out. Fang full out laughed at me, and Ella looked surprised by his sudden eruption. I turned to Ella and explained.

She looked awe-struck. "I really need to pick their brains!"

"Huh?" Fang and I said in unison.

"I'm in pyro techniques, too," Ella said blushing slightly.

What was up with the blushing? I wondered. "I'm sure the twins would be glad to help," I offered.

Ella smiled. We reached the kitchen. "I found them!" Ella called.

We walked into the kitchen and the tension in the air was clear. Iggy was cooking at the stove, and Gazzy was angrily picking at a napkin. Ella went straight to Iggy and started talking to him about his bomb. Iggy's face brightened, and he began chatting animatedly with Ella. I think I get the blushing now.

"Crap," I heard Fang mumble. "I've seen that face before."

Fang quickly walked over to Gazzy and started talking to him in low tones. I leaned against the wall and just watched. Then Kyle and Finn walked in.

"Hey, Max," they both said.

"Hey, guys," I said happily.

The three of us started talking. We were finishing explaining our Theatre to class to Kyle when Kyle asked me to do my Felmenstauhst impression. I smiled and started to do my best squawking. Everyone else stopped what they were doing and listened.

"Ok…guys…dinner's ready…" Iggy choked out between laughter.

"Hey, Max," Finn started, "I need to wash my hands."

"There's a sink on your left," I told Finn. He nodded and turned right. "Um, your other left, Finn."

Finn smiled nervously and headed for the sink. I just shook my head and walked over to the table.

Soon, we were all crowded around the table, laughing, talking, and eating. Seriously, college rocks.

Ok…Chapter 9 is done…I'll probably try to get another one up. The good thing about being sick is that you have all the time in the world to write! Ok…so I started this chapter before I saw your reviews, so I have some responses:

TO: Bex & Marie & Izzy: your reviews are so great! I was laughing so hard on the last review for chapter 8!

TO: HalesXxGriffiths: yeah…me, too, total Glee addict. It truly isn't healthy!!! Lol. And about the French thing-I actually am French. My mom and I say 'Je t'aime' all the time to each other. I guess it depends on who you're talking with. We also use 'Je te keif' which is more of an informal style of 'I love you.' Anywho- thanks for reviewing!

TO: penguinwiggle: I can't wait until both of you are back to review! You guys are hilarious!

Right-o! That's all! I'll be updating soon!

10. Chapter 10

Alright! Second chapter today! I definitely have the writing bug!

Max POV: Chapter 10

"Hey, Max?" Finn asked.

We had just finished dinner and people were starting to leave.

"Yeah?" I replied.

"Could I talk to you for a second?" Finn motioned outside the kitchen.

"Sure," I replied.

I started walking out with Finn. I looked back and noticed Fang. Boy, did he look pissed. What was up with him? I gave Fang a questioning look, but he just shrugged me off. Fine, be infuriating like that. See if I care. Finn and I stopped just outside the kitchen.

"So, what did you need?" I asked.

"Um, I was, um, wondering if you'd like to hand out sometime," Finn muttered. "Like…a date."

I stopped short. A date? I had promised myself no boys. Besides, Finn was really nice, but I noticed something at dinner. Not only does he not know his left from his right, but he's still pretty immature. Not a jerk-like immaturity…more an innocent 'I still have the sense of humor of a 5 year old' immaturity. It was cute, sure, and some other girls would totally go for, but I don't. I could be friends with Finn no problem but date him? No way.

"Finn, that's really sweet, but I'm not looking to be in a relationship right now." I said softly.

Finn nodded, "I figured. Still friends?"

"Sure," I said smiling.

"Cool, see you in theatre," Finn bent down and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek.

He turned and left as I stood there stunned holding my hand to my cheek. It tingled slightly where his lips had brushed my skin. I blushed.

He meant nothing by it, Max. Don't go all goo-goo because he gave a peck on the cheek!

I shook my head to clear it. Thank God for that little voice. It was right. Finn didn't mean anything by that kiss. And I should not be affected by one little peck on the cheek.

I walked back into the kitchen and sat down at the table. Fang was the only one left. I plopped down across from him.

"Where is everyone?" I asked.

"Gazzy and Kyle had homework and Iggy is walking Ella back to her dorm," Fang answered curtly.

I looked up at him. His eyes were hard and his mouth was set in a thin angry line.

"Ok," I replied nodding.

We sat for a few moments in silence. "So, what did Finn want?" Fang asked in a steely voice.

"He asked me out, actually," I answered, my voice stiff.

Fang's head snapped up, "He what?"

"Yes, Fang, he asked me out," I said angrily. "What? Is it so hard to believe that someone could actually find me attractive?" I stood up and loomed over Fang. "I may be a tom-boy, and I may not stick my boobs out at every guy who walks by, but you can't think I'm that unattractive that no guy would ever ask me out!"

I turned on my heel and stormed out. Asshole. Jerk. Why do I even put up with him?

Fang POV:

I groaned and flopped back in my chair. Way to screw that up. I let my stomach get the best of me…and, yes, I mean stomach. When Max walked out with Finn, my stupid stomach started bubbling and coiling angrily. I didn't want her to spend any time with him. Max was my friend. Not his. Oh wow, I sound like a two year old.

I really did screw up though. I shouldn't have made it sound like Max could never get a date. I don't like her that way, but I do think she's very pretty, and I'm sure a lot of guys think so too. I just don't think Finn is her type. Oh shit, what if she said yes?

I quickly hopped out of my chair and ran to Max's room. I was so stupid. I don't like it when we fight. I need to apologize, but I also need to find out if she said yes or not. I rapped my knuckles on Max's door. There was no answer. I knocked again.

"Piss off, Fang!" Max shouted from the other side of the door.

I'll take that as a 'please come in, Fang.' I smirked and opened the door. A pillow greeted my head.

"I said, piss off!" Max said angrily.

She was sitting on her bed holding another pillow at the ready. I put my hands up in surrender. She put the pillow down and scowled at me. I walked over and sat down next to her.

"I came to apologize," I muttered.

Max looked me up and down, "So, start."

I paused. "I'm sorry I was such an idiot, and I didn't mean for you to think that I thought no guy could take an interest in you. You're an amazing person."

Max looked down and thought for a minute. Then she wrapped her arms around me. I stunned for a moment then I carefully put my arms around her. "I'm sorry too," She mumbled. "I overreacted. Let's not fight anymore, okay? It isn't very fun."

I smiled. "Deal." Max let go and looked up at me with a happy grin. My stomach did a little flip-flop. Maybe I should get that thing removed. "So, are you going out with him?"

Max laughed. "No, he's about as mature as a 5 year old."

My stomach did a leap of joy. Definitely going to find a way to get rid of that. I was so happy, and I don't even get why. I gave Max the biggest smile I have ever given anyone. Her eyes got really big and a special light filled them. She smiled back and blushed slightly. What was up with that? Then I took inventory of my face. This wasn't just any smile. This was a special smile. This was a smile I reserved for someone who I completely trust and care about. Basically, this was Max's smile.

Max POV:

My breath caught in my throat as Fang smiled at me. It was a special smile, I could tell. Every corner of my universe lit up with that smile. I smiled back. I couldn't help it. It was one of those smiles that you had to return. I was glad we weren't fighting. It was probably the shortest fight ever, but I hated every second of it.

Fang stood up. "Well, I'll let you get back to your homework," he muttered.

I stood up, too. "Okay," I replied. Then I hugged him again. I took a moment to just breathe in his scent. I really am lucky to have Fang as a friend.

Fang tentatively wrapped his arms around me and rested his head on mine. This was the perfect moment. I was utterly and completely happy, right now, in this moment.

A muted click sounded off in the distance. Fang and I broke apart and looked at my door. The twins were standing there with a camera and slapping high-fives.

"That was the perfect Hallmark moment!" They crooned.

"Arrrggghhhh!" I growled angrily.

"Let's split!" They chorused.

Fang held me back and the twins made their escape. I whirled around and narrowed my eyes at Fang. He shrugged. "I kind of them alive," he stated.

"Fine, go me it," I ordered.

Fang raised an eyebrow and smirked. "Okay," he said slinking off. He disappeared into his room and came back a few minutes later with the device I wanted.

I rubbed my hands together. It was Iggy and Gazzy's project for their pyro techniques class. Gazzy had made the mistake of telling me about it. It was a slow burning, automatic candle. It was the first thing they were supposed to build.

"So, how are we supposed to do this?" Fang asked.

I pulled out my lap-top. "I found 'Bomb Building for Dummies' online," I replied triumphantly.

Fang shook his head. "If someone from the government ever looks at your past searches, they'll think you're a terrorist or something."

I rolled my eyes, "Whatever, let's just do this."

Fang rolled up his sleeves revealing perfectly toned arms. Oh God, Max, stop yourself. But, seriously, Taylor Lautner has nothing on Fang. Okay, shutting up now.

"Alright, here's the plan," I started talking like Dr. Evil. Fang rolled his eyes. "We're going to attach the self destruct fuse to the 'on' button. Pretty awesome, right?"

Fang nodded. "But, it could start a fire or something," Fang cautioned.

I nodded vigorously. "I know, but Gazzy told me that the self destruct button will make it explode. They made it so it won't start a fire."

Fang shrugged, "if you say so."

* * * * *

"Finished!" I exclaimed holding the ticking time bomb up.

Fang and I had pulled an all-nighter just to get this done. This is why Fang and I are not in pyro techniques. I smiled. We'd done a pretty good job. The device didn't look like it'd been rewired at all.

I quickly got to my feet and snuck into the twins' room. Quiet as a mouse, I slipped the bomb into Iggy's back pack. I slipped back out and cackled evilly. I can't wait until they get a taste of their own medicine.

I walked back to my room and stopped short. Fang was sacked out on my floor. I smiled. Okay, so he helped me, but this was too good to pass up. I grabbed my camera and snapped a shot. Then, I noticed Fang was drooling. I smirked. I did a close up on Fang's face (especially the drool) and took the shot. Blackmail. Score.

Then, I really looked at Fang. His face was so relaxed and calm. The stone mask he often put up was gone when he was asleep. Part of me melted. I walked over to my bed and took one of my blankets off and grabbed an extra pillow. I covered Fang up and gently put the pillow under his head. I flicked the light off and slipped into my bed.

* * * * *

I woke up to find Fang missing. I shrugged. He probably got up before me. He had folded the blanket and put in my desk with the pillow on top. I smiled. That was thoughtful of him. I stretched and climbed out of bed. I threw on some sweats, a tank-top, and my converse.

I grabbed my shoulder bag and stuffed my choir stuff, French stuff, and Poetry (for fine arts), along with my video camera in my shoulder bag. I closed my door behind me and headed for the kitchen.

I reached the top of the steps and slipped in something wet. Seriously, these steps had it in for me. I started to fall backwards when strong arms caught me. I looked up into the face of the boy who caught me. I didn't like what I saw. He had a leering smile that revealed sharp teeth. His smile didn't reach his hard, cold blur eyes. He had dark brown unruly hair and stubble.

"What where you step, babe," he said in a gruff voice.

I straightened but he kept his arm around my waist. "You can let go now," I said icily.

"Don't feel like it, sweet cheeks," he replied with a smirk.

I pulled away but his grip was strong.

"Let her go, Ari," a voice sneered behind me. It was Fang.

Ari's head snapped up, and he looked behind me at Fang. His lips curled back in a dark smile, but he let go of me. I took two steps back.

"But, Fangy, this chick and I were just getting to know each other," Ari teased leering at me.

"She has a name," Fang said angrily through clenched teeth.

"Alright," Ari obliged mockingly. "What's your name, baby?"

"None of your damn business," I snapped.

"Hey, Ari!" Someone called from down the hall. "Let's go!"

"Coming!" Ari barked back. "Bye, Fangy. Bye, sexy ass."

"Bye, dog boy," Fang said darkly.

Ari whipped around angrily but one of his friends pulled him back. "Watch your back, Fang! Oh, and say hi to Nudge for me!" Ari shouted as his friend dragged him away.

"I'll be kneeing him later," I muttered.

"I'd rather you stay away from him." Fang replied his fists clenching and unclenching.

"How does he know your sister, Nudge?" I asked.

"Her first boyfriend," Fang muttered as we walked down to the kitchen.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Let's just say I stopped him before Nudge got really hurt," Fang replied as he tried to take a calming breath.

"Oh," I mumbled. "Sorry."

Fang just nodded. "Can we pretend that never happened?"

"Yeah, I'm really good at doing that," I replied smiling. "Hey, I got the video camera for our revenge."

Fang looked down at me and smiled. "Cool… and thanks."

"What are friends for?" I said shrugging.

When we walked in the kitchen, Iggy, Gazzy, Ella, and Kyle were already there waiting. I gave Fang the thumbs up then sat down next to Ella.

"So, what time do you have your pyro class?" I asked Ella.

"I have it at 11:30. Same time as Iggy and Gazzy." Ella replied.

"Oh, cool. I have Poetry first with Fang. It's not until 12:30. What are you guys doing today?" I smirked at Fang.

"We're presenting our projects," Ella stated.

"Wait, you have poetry?" Kyle asked.

"Yeah," Fang and I answered.

"Cool. Me too. It's one of the core classes you have to take," Kyle said smiling.

"Awesome," Fang said. "I was hoping we'd get a class together."

"Hey, Ella," Iggy started clearing his plate. "we should get going so we can have time to set up our projects."

Ella nodded. She and Gazzy got up and followed Iggy out. "See you guys later!" I called.

Fang and I looked at each other and started laughing like two school girls. Well, more like I laughed like a school girl. Fang laughed like, well, Fang.

Kyle looked between us. "Did I miss something?" he asked.

"Just follow us," Fang sniggered.

We cleared our plated then headed towards the engineering building. Fang and I hummed the theme song to Missions Impossible all the way there. Kyle just followed us completely amused.

"Here's a good spot," I whispered to Fang.

He nodded. We crouched down behind some bushes and peered through the window into Iggy and Gazzy's classroom. I set up the video camera and we waited.

"What are we waiting for?" Kyle whispered.

"Shhh," Fang and I hissed. "Wait for it," I cautioned.

The teacher began taking attendance, then asked, "Who would like to present their project first?"

Both Iggy's and Gazzy's hands shot up. They thought they had this in the bag. I flicked on the recording. I watched Ella's face as she watched Iggy in admiration. She was going to be sorely disappointed.

Gazzy held up their device, and Iggy pushed the blue on button. The device emitted a low flame like it was supposed to; then, it began to smoke. The smoke got blacker and thicker and suddenly the device exploded. When the smoke cleared, Iggy, Gazzy, and their teacher were covered in black ash and their hair was windswept up and backwards.

"Did you push the self-destruct button!?" Gazzy accused.

"Why do we even have a self-destruct button?" Iggy yelled.

Kyle, Fang, and I fell backwards laughing.

Chapter 10! Wooh hoo! Double digits! Please review!

11. Chapter 11

OK! Third chapter today…I can't stop writing!!! Maybe this isn't good.

TO: uggleborn444: Sloppy Joes are bomb.

TO: PaRaM0rE-0394: That is so cool that you are learning Hawaiian!! Jealous!

TO: HalesXxGriffiths: You don't like EGGY? Really…hmmm…I don't really care either way. What do you like better? Niggy or IggyxOC?

TO: nightlightofhappiness: Thanks! You're the first person to say that to me! I told my friend I was home sick and all she said was "It's not fair you get all the fevers!" yeah…some friend.

TO: Midge 1012: *Salutes computer* No more blushing! Sir, yes, sir! Or…Ma'am, yes, ma'am…whichever you prefer :D

TO: penguinwiggle: Yay! You're both back! And, um, doesn't campaniform mean bell-shaped or something like that…? So, does that really apply to my story??



Iggy POV: Chapter 11

"This has Max written all over it," I hissed under my breath to Gazzy as we cleaned up the mess.

"I told you we would get it later," Gazzy replied.

"No, this seriously has her name on it!" I muttered holding up a piece of scrap metal. 'Max' was etched in about a dozen times.

"Oh," Gazzy mumbled and went back to cleaning.

"Need some help?" Ella asked.

I looked up and smiled at her, "No, thanks. We got this."

Ella got down on her hands and knees anyway. "Too bad, I'm helping."

I began to protest but Gazzy cut in, "Shut up, Iggy. Since when were you chivalrous?"

I glared at Gazzy but shut up. Ella giggled and I was enthralled. It was such a cute giggle.

"So, this was Max's doing?" Ella asked.

"Yeah," I answered. "Wanna help us get her back?"

Ella shrugged. "Why not, could be fun."

"Excellent," Gazzy and I chorused.

Let the prank war begin.

Max POV:

"That was amazing!" I laughed.

"You guys are gonna get it, you know that right?" Kyle asked.

Fang shrugged. "Whatever. Hey, Max, I brought my lap-top. Let's put it on Youtube."

"Good idea!" I exclaimed.

Fang, Kyle, and I exited the scene of the crime and walked over to one of the many benches in the quad. "Hey, Kyle," I started while we waited for the video to upload, "why don't you join our team. I'm sure this is gonna turn into a prank war, and I know Iggy will get Ella to help them out."

Kyle shrugged, "I'd rather be Switzerland in this battle."

"Nope. No choice. You're on our side," I said ignoring Kyle's request.

Kyle sighed and nodded. Hee hee…no one can go against the will of Maximum Ride! Whoa, that was kind of evil sounding. Maybe I should channel my energy into ruling the world. Yeah, I'd be a bomb dictator.

"Uh oh," I heard Fang say. "She's getting that far off look in her eye. She wants to take over the world. C'mon Kyle. Let's get her to poetry before she enslaves all the free peoples of Middle Earth (AN: reference to Lord of the Rings…I'm a total LOTR junkie)."

Kyle and Fang dragged me to Poetry as I started telling them my plans to enslave the world.

* * * * *

As we entered Poetry class, I ditched the idea of becoming dictator and became myself again. Why the sudden attitude change? I'll tell you why. Ari is in my poetry class. I fixed him with a cold glare and found a seat as far away as possible. Kyle and Fang sat on either side of me and glared at Ari, too. It looks like Kyle knows Ari and doesn't like him either.

"Hey, I know you two!" a voice squealed from the front.

Lord, shoot me now. I looked to the front of the room and sure enough my worst fears were confirmed. It was Lissa who had squealed at me and Kyle.

"Slut alert on aisle 9," I muttered to Kyle and Fang. They both sniggered.

"Oh, but I don't know you," Lissa said going into slut mode. She bent over the chair in front of us and batted her eyes as Fang. "I'm Lissa."

Fang's eyes bugged out of his head, and he turned his face away. "I'm Nick," Fang muttered.

I looked at him and smirked. He gave his real name. Not his nickname. He really didn't like this girl.

"It's really nice to meet you, Nick," Lissa said pushing her boobs out even more.

Fang and Kyle both kept their eyes on me. They both looked really uncomfortable. Suddenly, and idea popped into my head. I dug a piece of paper out of my bag and a paper clip.

I reached forward and paper-clipped my paper to Lissa's top so it covered her boobs. "Let's try and keep it PG, okay, Lissa?" I ridiculed.

Lissa turned as red as her hair and tore the paper off. "Uggghh," she shrieked angrily as she stalked over to Ari and sat next to him.

I did a little finger wave at Lissa and laughed. Damn straight! Stay away from my men, you slut! Oh wait; did I just say my men? I totally meant my friends.

Kyle and Fang were both chuckling, and I smiled at both of them. Okay, so maybe poetry would be a fun class after all.

"C'mon Fang!" I urged. He was packing his stuff after talking with our poetry teacher on the poem about The Lady of Shalott. "We have to get to choir!"

"Ok, ok!" Fang said slinging his bag onto his shoulder. "Bye, Kyle!" he called as we rushed out the door.

"See ya, Kyle!" I yelled right before slipping down the hall with Fang.

Fang and I sprinted to choir and made it with 2 minutes to spare. Mrs. Scott was just starting the class as we barreled in.

"So nice of you to join us," Mrs. Scott said in a light voice. Apparently, it didn't phase her that we were late. I liked her already. "I assume you are Nicholas Martinez and Maximum Ride."

We both nodded because we were out of breath. Mrs. Scott smiled. "Go ahead and take a seat. I was just about to test everyone's ranges."

Fang and I nodded again and took two seats next to each other in the back.

"Alright, who wants go first?" Mrs. Scott asked. Someone in front shot their hand up so fast I'm not sure she even did it. "Okay, please stand and tell me your name."

"Brigid, and I'm a soprano," The perky blonde stated.

I turned and looked at Fang. "This should be interesting" I whispered. He smirked in response.

"Okay, well, I just want to know what notes you have. Just sing on 'Ah,'" Mrs. Scott instructed. Brigid squared her shoulder and stood up straight. "I'm starting you on the G above middle C. We'll go up then move down, okay?"

Brigid nodded her perky little blonde head. I really don't like this girl. Brigid started her 'ah,' and I hated her even more. He voice was actually pretty. No, scratch that, it was beautiful. It was a high clear soprano voice that sounded like someone had melted white chocolate. Brigid got all the way up to the C two octaves above middle C before her voice cracked.

"All right, now we go down," Mrs. Scott said smiling.

Half the boys in our class were enthralled by Brigid's voice and the fact she go so high. I resisted the urge to scoff. I could go higher. Brigid only got as low as the B below middle C. I smirked. I could go so much lower. I turned to Fang and my smirk slid off. He was just as enthralled as all the other boys.

My stomach churned angrily. He shouldn't look at her that way at all. "I didn't know she could sing like that," he muttered.

Oh, I'll show him who can sing. Everyone clapped for Brigid as she took her seat. Well, everyone accept me.

"Right, we'll put you on soprano, Brigid," Mrs. Scott said interrupting the claps. Brigid nodded again. I wanted to rip that damn bobble head of hers off. "Who wants to go next?"

I shot my hand up. I'd so show Fang who could sing.

Mrs. Scott grinned at me. "Well, I remember you name. Please stand."

I stood up and waited. Mrs. Scott hit the G and I sang. There was a pause and then I noticed everyone staring at me in admiration. That's right. Brigid may sound like melted white chocolate, but I sound like melted dark chocolate.

Mrs. Scott kept hitting higher and higher keys and I kept going higher and higher no problem. When I passed Brigid's C tow octaves above middle C there were a few "oohs" and "aaahs" and Brigid turned around and glared at me. I smirked back. I got all the way to the F above the C that was two octaves above middle C. Ha. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

"Wow," Mrs. Scott muttered. "I think the glass in the windows just broke." Everyone laughed. "Alright, now we go down." I smiled and started singing. I got all the way the C and octave below middle C. "Um, Max, you have an amazing range. I'm not sure where to put you."

"Just put me wherever," I said shrugging as I sat back down. I looked over at Fang and grinned. Now, who can sing?

"Max, that was amazing," Fang whispered.

I shrugged. "I used to take private voice lessons."

"I'll go next," Fang called out raising his hand.

Ok, so I though I sounded like melted dark chocolate, but compared to Fang, I sound like milk chocolate. Damn, all this talk of chocolate is making me really hungry. Fang got to the C an octave above middle C and all the way down to the C two octaves below middle C.

"You're insane," I whispered as Fang sat down.

He shrugged but smiled. "I also took private voice lessons."

The rest of the class went on like that. No one else could get as low as Fang, and no one could get as high as me. It was pretty funny. Either people would glare at us or just stare at us in wonder. Brigid made a habit of glaring at me and making goo-goo eyes at Fang. And guess what? The numb nuts fell for it! He actually smiled at her! Fang doesn't smile. Fang isn't allowed to smile! Well, accept at me…and I guess at Iggy, Gazzy, and Kyle…and Ella, too…but not this bimbo!

"Right, class dismissed! Tomorrow we'll start looking at some pieces!" Mrs. Scott announced.

Everyone started filing out. "Hey, Max, wait a second," Fang muttered to me. Before I could even answer, he jogged to catch up to Brigid. My stomach coiled, and it felt like acid had been poured down my throat. Why was I getting so worked up about Fang talking to another girl?

I waited and finally Fang jogged back. "What was that about?" I asked trying to keep my voice light. Fail.

"Oh, nothing," Fang muttered. "I just asked Brigid to come have dinner with us."

Say what!? "Really," I said, my voice clam (well, barely…). "I thought you said she was annoying and all she does is flirt." I clenched my fist behind my back to relieve some of my anger. It didn't work.

"Well, maybe she was just nervous the first time we talked. Besides, did you hear her voice?"

I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from screaming. "Yes, I heard it."

"Right. Well, ready to head back the droms?" Fang asked slinging his back on.

"Nope. I have French. See you at dinner," I muttered curtly and stalked off. Why was this getting to me?

Fang POV:

I watched as Max quickly walked out of the room. She did not seem too happy about Brigid coming for dinner. What was with her? But, then again, I did get ticked off when she invited Finn for dinner. But, I'm not looking to date Brigid. I just want to get to know her. Well, more like her musical back-ground. She's a bit too peppy for me.

I shook my head and walked back to the dorms. I got to my room and was ambushed my Iggy and Gazzy.

"You betrayed us!" Gazzy yelled.

"Bros before hoes man!" Iggy accused.

"And you put it on Youtube!" they shouted together.

I held my hands up in surrender. "What? You guys got what was coming to you."

"We have to re-do our entire project, and we're going to be marked down a letter grade!" the twins wailed.

"Not my problem," I muttered. "You shouldn't have messed with Max."

"I told we should have tested the stink bomb on Kyle," Gazzy pouted.

"Whatever," Iggy replied. "Well, watch your back, Fang. This is a prank war now."

I laughed. "Whatever you say. Max figured it would so we have some troops."

"So do we," Iggy said nodding curtly.

"Okay," I replied shrugging. I didn't really care. "So, what's on the menu for tonight?"

"Steak and potatoes," Iggy replied. Then Gazzy and Iggy ignored me while they finished their second attempt at their pyro project.

I flopped down on my bed and pulled out my Poetry book. We had to read The Lady of Shalott. I've already read it so this should be a breeze. I started reading it and the Lady of Shalott kept reminding me of Max. I sighed and threw my poetry book across the room.

"Dude!" Gazzy yelled. "Anger management classes are in your future!"

"What's up?" Iggy asked.

"Nothing. I'm going for a walk." I muttered.

I might as well meet Max outside her French room and try to explain what happened. I walked around campus until it was time for Max to get out of class. I jogged over to the language department and waited outside building.

A few minutes later Max came out and she was talking animatedly with Finn in French. I'll just wait till he leaves then go get Max.

"Au revoir!" I heard Max say.

Then the worst thing of all happened. Finn bent down and gave her a hug. After a few seconds, Max hugged him back. My stomach did summersaults then settled into a coiled ball of rage. Why was she hugging him?

Max waved Finn off and I was about to go up to her when she spotted someone else and waved them over. I looked in the direction she was and saw Kyle jogging up to her.

"Hi!" Max said happily.

"Hey," Kyle murmured. "I thought you might like someone to walk you back. It's getting kind of dark."

"Sure," Max replied smiling up at him.

My stomach dropped. I turned away and walked in the direction of Brigid's dorm. This really sucked. Why was this bothering me so much? Max could have other friends that were guys, just like I could have other friends that were girls.

I knocked on Brigid's door. It popped open after the first knock. "You came to get me!" she squealed happily.

I nodded. My stomach dropped again. I should be getting Max not Brigid. I wanted to spend time with my best friend not this bimbo who happens to have a nice voice.

Max POV:

After French class, I calmed down a bit. It wasn't fair of me to get so ticked off. I mean, I'd invited Finn. I was friends with other guys. Why couldn't Fang be friends with other girls? I finished my conversation with Finn and was about to head for my dorm when something caught my eye. A tall figure was jogging forward waving at me. My stomach jumped into my throat. Had Fang come to pick me up? I waved back. I could apologize to him for overreacting like a stupid girl.

As the figure drew closer, I noticed it wasn't Fang but Kyle. My heart and my stomach dropped, but I kept my face the same. It was really sweet of Kyle to come get me.

"Hi!" I said happily.

"Hey," Kyle murmured. "I thought you might like someone to walk you back. It's getting kind of dark."

"Sure," I replied smiling at him. The moonlight shone on his face causing his hair to light up with an ethereal glow. Did I really just think that? Man, only one day of poetry and I'm frickin' Emily Dickinson!

"Um, thanks for getting me," I muttered Kyle looking away from his "ethereal glow."

"No problem. I was on a run when I figured you'd need someone to walk you back. Ari knows who you are so it's good to be safe."

I squinted at Kyle through the dark. Sweet, Jesus! This boy takes runs in the best outfit. No shirt and basket-ball shorts. His abs gleamed with sweat in the moonlight. I have the perfect life!

"What is with Ari, by the way?" I asked in a hushed voice.

Kyle's face was grim. "I've known the twins, Fang, and Ari since kindergarten. Ari had this huge crush on Fang's adopted sister, Nudge. He never did anything about it. Then, freshman year of high school, Ari got in with the wrong crowd and split from me, Fang, and the twins. Fang disapproved of how Ari was treating girls to look cool, so they got in this huge fight. To get back at Fang, Ari started going out with Nudge. Then…while Ai was at Fang's house…he…he, um, tried to force himself on Nudge. She screamed and Fang beat the shit out of Ari. So, since Ari knows your friends with Fang, he might try to hurt you to get back at Fang."

"Oh," I mumbled. Poor Fang. Now I really feel like a putz.

We walked into the kitchen to find everyone already there…including the bimbo. I stifled a groan. Then I saw Iggy and something about his face made me suspicious. I pulled him out in the hallway.

"Planning your revenge?" I asked.

"What's it to you?" Iggy accused.

"For tonight, I propose a truce. I say we work together against a common enemy."

Iggy raised his eyebrows, "I'm listening."

I thrust my chin at the kitchen door. "We go after the blond bimbo with Fang."

Iggy smiled. "Sounds good." He pulled a bottle out of his back pocket. "I was gonna put this on your steak and Fang's steak, but we can use it on her."

"What is it?" I asked ignoring the fact that Iggy was thinking of poisoning me.

"Let's just say one mouthful with this stuff, and she'll be running to the bathroom all night," Iggy snickered.

"Perfect," I replied grinning evilly.

Ok! That's all for today! So…I'm going back to school tomorrow…so I'll probably update sometime late tomorrow.

12. Chapter 12

Right…so you thought you got rid of me…well, I got worse over the night so I am home one more day!!! WOOT…ouch…that hurt-no sudden screaming with a sore throat! Ok so I have a few responses:

TO: XxXxXxXDarkWingsXxXxXxX: hahaha that's so evil that you want to do that…but ok…here's how to give someone the screaming shits: you can put eye drops (like clear eyes for example) in someone's food or drink…it's clear and fairly tasteless so they won't know it's there…just don't use a lot or they'll get really dehydrated from all the pooping they'll be doing =) I never want to be on your bad side! Yikes!

TO: Bex & Marie & Izzy: uh oh…burning is not good…and I really want chocolate, too! I went and ate a cookie after that chapter.

TO: BookWormForLife: glad you liked the chapter…I was a little wonky yesterday, so I came up with some pretty insane stuff!

Alright…speaking of wonky- today is my third day of being cooped up in my house home alone, so if things get really random…you've been warned…I'm at home going insane and talking to myself…



Max POV: Chapter 12

Iggy and I walked back into the kitchen with very innocent looks on our faces. Maybe too innocent? Oh well, Brigid is too stupid to notice and way too busy flirting with Fang to notice.

"Hey, Max!" Iggy called from the stove, "can you help me serve plates?"

"Sure," I obliged walked over to the stove.

Iggy spooned some gravy into a separate bowl. He took his bottle out from his back pocket and put three drops into the gravy.

Gazzy rushed over to the stove. "Why are you letting her see this?" he hissed at Iggy.

"We have a truce," Iggy whispered back. "We're going after the blonde."

Gazzy nodded. "Riiiiight," he muttered, sounding like Kronk form The Emperor's New Groove. Gazzy walked back to the table and smiled at Brigid as if nothing was wrong.

"Give this one to boobs-a-lot," Iggy whispered to me as he passed me the plate with the contaminated gravy.

I suppressed a laugh. Brigid was wearing a very low top. I really wanted to dump the food down her cleavage but that would defeat the purpose of putting shit-in-a-bottle in her food. I walked to the table and placed Brigid's food in front of her.

"Complements of the chef," I hissed in a low voice.

Brigid looked up and glared at me then returned to flirting Fang. Fang looked up at me suspiciously, and I winked back. This should be very interesting. I helped Iggy serve the rest of the food, and we started eating.

About three bites in Brigid got a funny look on her face but kept eating. Iggy, Gazzy, and I sniggered under our breath.

"Man, Iggy, this gravy is amazing!" Fang announced.

Iggy nodded, "Secret family recipe."

"I'm gonna get some more," Fang mumbled making a gravy boat out of his mashed potatoes.

The twins and I watched in horror as Fang got up and poured the gravy from Brigid's special gravy bowl onto his mashed potatoes.

"Hey-" Iggy started, but I slapped my hand over his mouth.

"Don't blow cover," I hissed in his ear. "She'll get suspicious."

Iggy peeled my fingers from his mouth, and we all watched as Fang spooned a giant mouthful of gravy and mashed potatoes into this mouth. Gazzy was drinking water when he saw Fang eat the 'special' gravy. Soon, Iggy, Ella, and I were sprayed with water as Gazzy tried to warn Fang.

"Too late," I whispered to Gazzy who shook his head in dismay.

"Um," I heard Brigid mumbled form the other side of the table. I looked over at her. She looked really green. Then, a huge rumbling noise came form her end of the table. "I'm sorry," She muttered, "but I really have to go."

Brigid shot up out of her chair and bolted out of the dorm towards her own. Iggy, Gazzy, and I cracked up and slapped high fives. Fang looked at us with narrowed eyes; then, they softened and Fang laughed, too. Chances are he won't be laughing for long.

"You guys are terrible," Fang chucked shaking his head. "But, thanks. She was getting really annoying."

"I told you she was just a flirt," I muttered.

Fang nodded. Then, his stomach made a huge bubbling noise. "You didn't," he asked his face turning three shades lighter.

"You grabbed the wrong gravy," the twins mumbled.

"You could have stopped me!" Fang said angrily as he got up and clutched his stomach.

"We didn't want to blow cover," the twins chorused bowing their heads in shame.

I was in shock. I didn't know the twins could be remorseful. Then I looked at them and realized why they were looking down. It was to cover up their smirks. Idiots.

"Blow cover?" Fang repeated through clenched teeth. Then he turned to me, "And I suppose this was your idea. All because you're jealous of Brigid's voice!"

"Jealous?" I repeated my face flushing with anger. "Who could be jealous of that bimbo? And, what? It's funny when Brigid gets the screaming shits, but when it's Fang's turn, it's gang up on Max. Is that it?"

"Shit!" Fang yelled bringing his fist down on the table and then quickly running out of the kitchen.

"Literally," Gazzy muttered, and the twins exploded with laughter and fist bumped. Kyle and Ella just looked at me in utter confusion.

"I'll be right back," I ground out.

I sprinted down the hall to the ground floor bathroom. Just as I was about to go in, a whole horde of guys ran out screaming like the wimps they are.

"I wouldn't go in there if I was you!" one of them shouted at me as he sprinted by.

I shook my head and went in anyway. "Fang?" I called out tentatively. "If there any guys in here not named Fang, get your ass out. A girl's coming in."

Nothing happened, so I went all the way into the bathroom. I walked along the stalls until I found the only one with the door closed. There were funny retching sounds coming from within.

"Fang?" I asked again. "Are you okay?"

There was no response only more gagging and barfing noises. I thought this stuff was supposed to give you the Hershey squirts not make you barf.

"I think," I heard Fang pant from the other side of the door, "I'm having an adverse reaction to whatever it is Iggy put in the food."

My heart wrenched, and I felt so awful for not telling Fang about the gravy. "I'm coming in," I warned.

Fang didn't respond. He just unlatched the stall door. Let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. Fang was leaning over the toilet with little flecks of barf around his mouth. He flushed the toilet and looked up at me with glassy eyes. I exited the stall and got a paper towel wet. I went back in and dabbed the sides of Fang's mouth. My efforts were thwarted when Fang leaned over the toilet and up chucked again.

I sighed and knelt down next to Fang. It was odd seeing him the weak and vulnerable. Fang barfed a few more times, and I held his long side bangs out of the way and rubbed circles on his back. I felt really guilty about this. It was my fault that Fang was sick. After Fang stopped chucking his dinner in the toilet, I brought him up to my room to see if I could get rid of the fever that was starting.

"Get in bed," I ordered Fang.

I knew Iggy and Gazzy wouldn't be much help so there was no point in bringing Fang to the room he shared with them. Fang nodded and took his shirt and basket ball shorts off. He was just in his boxers when he climbed in my bed.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Getting in bed," Fang mumbled wearily. "This is how I sleep."

God, why me? Why? It is so awkward when your male best friend has an amazing body. I sighed and put a cool cloth on Fang's head. Hopefully, he'd be a little more comfortable.

I dragged my desk chair over to my bed and sat next to Fang. His hand reached up, and he placed his large hand in mine.

"Thanks, Max," Fang muttered. "You and the purple penguins are so nice."

Say what? Purple penguins? "Um, I'll be right back," I muttered.

I disentangled my hand from his and sprinted into the twins' room.

"What the hell did you put in that gravy!?" I accused. "He's seeing purple penguins!"

Gazzy and Iggy stopped what they were doing and looked at me sheepishly. "Well, we may have added just the tiniest bit of a hallucinogen," Iggy muttered, looking down. (AN: please no one try this at home. I have no clue if it's even safe to do that!)

"A hallucinogen!" I shrieked, "He's seeing freaking purple penguins!"

"And elephants!" Fang shouted from my room. "BRRRIIIIII! Like it? That's my elephant call!"

Iggy and Gazzy collapsed with laughter, "Oh, my God!" Gazzy gasped. "I so wish we had that on camera!"

"It's not funny," I muttered trying to suppress my own laughter. Ok, so it was pretty damn funny…but, I still felt bad. Really bad. Truly, I do.

I glared at the twins and walked back to my room.

"Hey, Max," Fang called from my bed as I sat back down in my chair. "you didn't tell me Big Bird stayed here."

Oh, Lord, it's gonna be a long night.

* * * * *

I woke up to someone shaking my shoulders. "Max, Max, wake up."

I flickered my eyes open to see Fang standing in front of me. He had put sweats on but was still shirtless. Nice.

"I'm feeling loads better," he said.

Just then a ray of sunshine came through my window and glinted off Fang's perfect abs. it was blinding. "Waaaggghhh!" I shouted covering my eyes and pitching backwards in my chair.

Ok, we are chalking this up to one of my top ten most embarrassing moments. Ever. Fang looked down at me in astonishment. Finally, he remembered how to use his limbs, and he helped me up.

"You ok?" he asked.

"Yeah, I was just…startled. That's all," smooth Max. Real smooth.

"Oh, ok." Fang muttered. "Hey, so we've only got one class today."

"Correction," I said getting up and rubbing the back of my head. Floors are really hard! "You only have one class today. I have theatre and French."

"Oh," Fang said his face falling slightly. "What time is your class?"

"4:30 to 6:30," I replied.

"Ok," Fang said smiling. "Then I'll come pick you up and then we'll go do something just the two of us. It's been a while since we've hung out."

I smiled back. "Ok, I'd really like that."

Fang smile grew even wider and became the special smile that he saves just for me. My heart sped up and did a little flip flop. Ugh. Stupid heart.

Fang POV:

Theatre class went by really fast. Rob forgot about the skits we were supposed to do, so we started looking at Taming of the Shrew instead.

He told us auditions would start after fall break. I told Max she should go out for Katherine, and she swatted me over the head and stuck her tongue out. I did actually mean it as a complement but whatever. I'm sure she knew that. She just wanted an excuse to hit me.

Max and I parted after theatre. She went to French class and I went back to the dorms. I had nothing to do so I decided to get back at Max and look up what Je t'aime means. I grabbed my laptop and opened up free translations. I type Je t'aime in and hit translate.

'You, I like,' popped up on the screen. I realized it must be the literal translation. I decided to go ask Kyle instead. He'd taken French for a few years in high school so he'd probably know.

I walked down the hall and knocked in Kyle's door.

He opened it, "What's up?" he asked.

"I was wondering if you could translate some French for me," I responded.

"Sure," Kyle said shrugging.

"What does 'je t'aime' mean?"

"Literally it means 'you, I like,' but it's a reflexive verb so it means 'I like you.' However, in context it can be a fast way to say 'I love you.' Does that help?"

I stopped short. 'I love you'? "Um, yeah, Kyle," I muttered. "Thanks. Hey, I got to go. Catch you later."

I turned and walked back to my room. 'I love you.' She couldn't have really meant that. We were best friends. It made sense that we were best friends like peanut butter and jelly or syrup and pancakes.

She probably didn't mean it that way, anyway. She probably meant like a best friend. She loves me like a best friend. That's it. I mean, I really care about Max a lot, too. But, they way you care about and love a best friend, or your dog. Oh, wait, I really shouldn't compare Max to a dog. She'd totally get pissed.

I shook my head to clear. It's love like you love your best friend. That's totally what she meant. I got up, stretched, and started walking towards the French building to get Max. This wasn't going to be awkward. Nope. Because I love Max, too. Like a friend.

Max POV:

I was waiting outside the Language department waiting for Fang to come get me. I was really happy we were going to spend some time together. It'd been a long time since the two of us had had some alone time. It'd be good to hang out with my best friend again.

I felt a hand come down on my shoulder and figured it was Fang trying to be and idiot and scare me. "Hi, Fang," I said calmly.

"Wrong," someone growled in my ear.

My heart stopped. It was Ari. He grabbed my arm and yanked me to the back of the building. The back led out to an open field, so no one could se us.

"I told Fang this wasn't over. Now you'll pay for his stupidity." Ari hissed as he reached for me.

I ducked back and slugged him in the jaw. While he was stunned I did a quick snap kick to his side. Ari bent over for a moment then straightened. He let out an angry snarl and pushed me, and when I say pushed, I mean really hard.

I stumbled back and hit the back of my head on the building brick wall. Pain exploded and I crumpled to the floor, stunned.

Ari came over and knelt beside me. "Don't worry. I'll make it worth your while."

Oh, God, no! He's not…?

Ari leaned forward and pressed his lips on mine. I struggled under his grip, but he held fast. Finally, disgusted by he was trying to shove his tongue down my throat, I karate chopped his wind pipe.

Ari pulled back, gagging and spluttering. "Bitch," he hissed back-handing me across the face. He pulled a switch blade out of his back pocket and held it to my throat. "Not a word," he threatened.

He leaned back down, but before he could kiss me, he was torn off of me. I looked up to find Fang looming over Ari, his nostrils flared angrily.

"You…bastard…what have…I…told you…about…touching…women…dog boy!?" Fang shouted while kicking Ari in the stomach.

Finally, Fang stopped and came over to me. He crouched down and moved my hair out of my face. "You okay?" he asked.

I nodded. Then I looked behind him. Ari was slowly standing up. He spit on the ground then lunged at Fang. "Fang move!" I yelled.

I pushed Fang to the side and felt Ari's blade run though my hip. Son of a bitch that hurt. I quickly pulled the knife out and chucked it back at Ari. He grabbed it and scrambled away, probably worried that Fang and I would beat him up. I zipped my jacket up to hide the wound from Fang.

I looked down and noticed I was on top of Fang. Oops. Fang looked up and smiled at me. "Thanks," he muttered.

"No problem," I replied getting up. I made sure not to wince so Fang wouldn't know about the wound.

"Did he hit you?" Fang asked.

I shook my head, "Nope. His aim if awful."

Fang chuckled. "You sure you're okay?"

"Yeah, let's just get a milkshake and pretend this never happened."

Fang nodded, and we walked to the nearby Dairy Queen.

I took a bite of my blizzard. "Thanks," I said to the lady at the cash register as Fang and I walked out.

"Where to?" Fang asked.

"Um," I muttered. I suddenly felt very dizzy. "The park?" I offered.

Fang nodded and started walking. I tried to follow him but instead I went head first into the ground. Then, I blacked out.

Dun dun dun! Ok…so I'm gonna take a little break and then write the next chapter… review if you want Max to live…lol jk jk…of course she'll live!

13. Chapter 13

Ok…so I took a break and watched a Cadfael murder mystery that my mom got from the library. I'm a totally murder mystery junkie…that's probably not a good thing, right? Oh well.

TO: penguinwiggle: OMG! Your reviews are killing my sides! I almost fell out of my chair!

TO: BookWormForLife: I just watched theEmperors New Groove the other night and I couldn't stop thinking about it so I added it to the story =) glad you liked it!

TO: tiduscanfly: to answer your question: Max is taking French because when you take it in college you get to go deeper into the language and study novels and stuff. Plus, as I was going to mention later in the story (but you beat me to it…are you psychic?) Max will get the opportunity to go to France through her French class. And Finn is taking it because (again the whole go deeper into the language) and I'm pretending he wants to become a language teacher so he needs to study language in order to do that. Hope that helps!

TO: HalesXxGriffiths: sorry…I should have put a warning at the beginning of the chapter to not eat and read.

On with the story!


Fang POV: Chapter 13

"Max, you coming?" I asked.

I looked behind me when I got no response. Max wasn't there. I looked down. Max was laying face down on the pavement. A little blood dribbled down her chin where she'd scrapped her jaw on the hard ground.

"Shit!" I muttered. I threw my milkshake to the side and ran over to Max. What the hell is wrong with her?Max doesn't just suddenly faint. No time to find out. I have to get Max back the dorm so I can see what's wrong.

I hoisted Max up and carried her bridal style. Max let out a whimper of pain as her side bumped into my stomach. I unzipped her jacket and squinted through the night at her side. A dark, inky blot covered part of her shirt and jeans. So much for Ari not hitting her with his knife.

I let out a frustrated growl and started running back to the dorms. Max wasn't that heavy, but it was still hard to run all the way to the dorm with the extra weight. Saving Max's life filled my thoughts and fueled my legs.

I streaked into the dorm and took the steps two at a time. I'm such an idiot. I saw her wince a few times. I should have known she had been hit. Why did she do it? Why'd she take the knife for me? How could I let her take a knife for me?

I burst into my room. Luckily, the twins were still having dinner with the others. I grabbed scissors, peroxide (the twins had some for their bomb making), and some gauze (also the twins…they had it in case someone got hurt if a bomb went off).

Juggling Max and the stuff to treat her wounds, I ran over to the alcove that hid the stair to Max's bathroom. Carefully, I took the string from around Max's neck off and grabbed the key to the fourth floor. I quickly ran to the bathroom on the fourth floor and laid Max on the cool, tiled floor.

I ripped her jacket off and got a better look at the wound in the light of the bathroom. She had lost a lot of blood and would be beyond my help if she lost any more. The wound was right where her jeans and shirt met. I gulped. I needed to stop the blood and clean the wound out, but her jeans and shirt were in the way.

Afraid of jostling Max too much, I cut open the front of her shirt. She was so going to kill me for this later. Ignoring Max's black bra with purple polka dots, I looked down at the cut. It was deep and messy. That bastard, Ari. Part of the gash was covered by Max's jeans. Not wanting to cut Max's favorite jeans, I slipped them off. Yeah, Max is totally gonna kill me. Goodbye life. It was nice knowing you.

I poured peroxide over the wound. White foam hissed in the wound. Ari hadn't been using a very clean knife. I grabbed two packets of gauze and pressed it to Max's side. I applied pressure and waited. After a few minutes, the blood stopped flowing. I took the old gauze away and put a fresh one on.

I grabbed a towel off the shower rack and wrapped Max in it. I picked Max back up and went back downstairs. I went into Max's room and slipped her under the covers of her bed. I sighed and plopped down on the chair that was by her bed. I really hope she wakes up soon.

There was a knock at the door. It must be Iggy or Gazzy wondering what's going on. I took one last look at Max and answered the door. Instead of opening the door to someone I liked I ended up opening the door to the person I hate the most.

"Ari," I snarled. "What the hell do you want?"

Ari looked down at his feet. "Is she okay?" he muttered.

"Why the hell do you care?" I hissed walking into the hallway and closing the door behind me.

"I just do, okay?" Ari mumbled. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for things to go this far."

"What is this? Are you drunk?"

"I'm not kidding. I didn't want this to happen," Ari's eyes flashed with remorse.

"What's your angle?" I asked suspiciously.

Ari's eyes briefly showed anger then they subdued. "I totally understand if you don't trust me. I've done some bad things in the past."

"The past?" I spat. I thrust my finger at the door behind me, "You call that the past? It's still affecting Max."

Ari held his hand out, "I'm here to make peace, man."

I slapped his hand away. "Leave," I ordered in a steely voice. "And stay away from Max."

Ari's eyes went hard. "Who Max decides to spend her time with is her business. I can't make any promises."

Max POV:

The fog that had settled over my senses lifted, and I was able to open my eyes again. I was in my room. In my bed. How did I get here? The was dark and the blinds on my window was closed.

I sat up and my side ached. That's right…that jackass Ari stabbed me. Is Fang ok? As if to answer my question, Fang's face swam into view.

"Hey," he said gently. "You okay?"

"You seem to be asking that a lot," I muttered.

Fang grunted. "So, idiot, why didn't tell me?"

"Didn't want you to worry," I mumbled.

"Oh yeah, and I totally wasn't worried when you collapsed!" Fang said angrily.

"Sorry," I whispered.

Fang looked back at me and his eyed softened. "Yeah, whatever. I'm just glad you're okay." Fang bent down and gave me a quick kiss on the top of head.

Before I could do anything, he turned and left. I touched the top of my head. My head felt light and there was an electric feeling running through my body that started where Fang had kissed me.

I shook my head. I was imagining things. I was still wonky from blood loss. I got up and stretched and noticed and odd draft running across my stomach. I looked down. I was in nothing but my bra and underwear.

"FANG!" I shrieked angrily.

I heard laughter from the next room over. "Dude, this is where you run!" I heard Gazzy snicker.

Then, Fang footsteps were pounding down the hallway. "At least we know she's feeling better!" I heard Iggy yell after the retreating Fang.

Yeah, he better run.

* * * * *

After yelling at Fang for about a half hour, our lives slipped into a normal routine. We'd all wake up and have breakfast together (and by all I mean Iggy, Gazzy, Ella, Kyle, Fang, and me), go to class, hand out in between classes, eat dinner together, study (sort of), play pick up games of football, basketball, and ultimate Frisbee. And, of course, there was the prank war going on.

To get back at Fang and me, Iggy concocted a homemade dye and died my hair red and Fang's pink. It stayed in for a week. Fang and I were not happy campers. To take vengeance on Iggy and Gazzy we plastered their faces and arms with those fake paste on tattoos. They were all of Hannah Montana. They stayed on for two weeks.

Our prank war went on like that. Tonight was the night before everyone left for fall break. Fall break was a random week we got off right after mid-terms. Tonight was my night to prank. I had the perfect prank lined up. Fang didn't think it would work, but I had back-up in case anything went wrong.

"Ready?" I asked Fang as I slipped on a black ski mask.

Fang nodded and pulled a black mask on as well. After the second week of pranking, Ella and Kyle had become the united front of Switzerland. This was just too much for them.

I gave Fang the thumbs up and we filled to bowls full of warm water. It was 1am so the twins were bound to be asleep. We crept into the room Fang shared with the twins. I put Iggy's fingers in the warm water while Fang put Gazzy's in the water.

We waited a few seconds. "Did it work?" I asked. Fang shook his head. "Phase two." I instructed.

Fang and I took out bottles of yellow food coloring and put in about four drops in each of the bowls. We stirred it in with our fingers then slowly poured the water over Gazzy and Iggy's crotch area. I held back maniacal laughter. Both Iggy and Gazzy had white sheets so you know what it looked like.

Fang pulled out his camera and pressed a button that made it so the camera could take good quality pictures at night. Fang snapped a picture of each twin and we ran. We got to the school tech. room and we were both breathless from laughing and running.

"That was epic!" I exclaimed happily.

Fang smiled at me. My head swam and my heart clenched. Ugh, it'd been doing that every time Fang smiles at me every since he kissed me on the head. Honestly, I'm thinking I need to get my heart removed. I could survive without it…ha…just kidding. Wow, I think I lost my sense of humor along with my common sense about Fang.

"Ready?" Fang asked.

I nodded. I slipped a bobby pin out of my hair and slipped it into the keyhole on the handle of the door to the tech. room. I wiggled the bobby pin a few times and the lock sprung free.

"I'm not gonna even ask how you do it," Fang muttered shaking his head.

I smirked. "Iggy taught me."

"He would," Fang rolled his eyes.

We entered the tech. room and Fang slipped the memory card out of his camera. He put the memory card in one of the many computers.

"What size?" Fang asked.

I looked at all options. "Banner size," I replied pointing.

"You're horrible person, you know that?"

"Yep," I said smiling.

Fang rolled his eyes and hit print. Banner size was 7 feet long by 5 feet wide. It was perfect. I cackled like a nut. Fang raised his eyebrow at me.

"We're going to hang these on either side of the door to our dorm," I devised on the spot.

Fang's eyes widened. "You are an evil, evil girl."

After and hour of arguing, Fang and I managed to hang the pictures on either side of the door. It was beyond words.

Fang and I fist bumped. "They're gonna kill us you know," Fang muttered.

"It'll be so worth it, though," I replied.

Fang and I walked back to my room together.

"Do you mind if I stay here tonight? I'm sure the second the twins wake up they'll want to kill me," Fang asked.

I shrugged. "Sure, it's fine with me."

"Thanks," Fang grabbed an extra blanket from my dresser and put it on the floor. I flicked the lights off and climbed in bed. "So, what are you doing for fall break?" Fang's voice asked in the darkness. It sent shivers down my spine.

"Um…job hunting?" I replied. It came out like a question. I hate when I do that.

I heard Fang sit up. I could almost feel his eyes looking at me in shock. "That's ridiculous!" he exclaimed.

"Well…" I mumbled.

"Come stay with me," Fang offered.


"I'm going home for fall break. I'm sure my mom would love it if you came. She always asks how you are whenever I call home," Fang answered.

"Really?" I asked, bewildered.

"Yeah, besides, my mom's a vet and since that's what you're hoping to becoming, I'm sure she could give you some pointers. Plus, we have horses…so…you could catch up on riding."

I paused and thought it over. I had no where else to go. And, I really liked Fang's parents…and being around horses again sounded awesome.

"Sure. Okay, thanks." I replied smiling at Fang in the dark.

"Good. Well, good night, Max," Fang said laying back down.

"Night, Fang," I muttered.

As I lay down to sleep, one thought crossed my mind. I would rather have Fang here with me than on the floor.

* * * * *


Fang and I woke up to the twins screaming. Such wonderful music to my ears. I popped my eyes open and grinned at Fang who was already sitting up.

Iggy and Gazzy rushed in my room with the dirtied blankets.

"That was a low blow!" They yelled.

Fang and I just laughed and slapped high fives. "Wait till you see outside," I muttered.

Iggy and Gazzy rushed out to the front of the dorm. Fang and I followed barely containing our laughter.

Gazzy just gaped at the posters. Poor guy was in shock.

"NOOOOOOOO!" Iggy cried, dropping to his knees.

Suddenly, Fang popped up next to him holding a fake skull in his hand. He looked down sadly at Iggy. "Alas, poor Orrick, we hardly knew thee." (AN: I apologize to Shakespeare if I got that wrong).

I fell over laughing and Iggy looked murderous.

Suddenly, laughter ensued behind us. "Oh, God! That's genius!"

I turned around to see a man who looked exactly like Gazzy standing, pointed at the banners, and laughing.

"Dad!" Iggy and Gazzy cried. "You should be on our side!"

The twins' dad shook his head and smiled at his boys. "Sorry, but that's great. Fang! Did you do that?"

Fang shook his head. "It was Max's idea."

Iggy and Gazzy's dad turned to me. "So you're Max. Well, it's nice to meet you. And might I say, that was genius."

I smiled. "Thanks."

"Well, c'mon boys, grab your stuff. Your mom is anxious to see you guys."

Iggy and Gazzy grumbled but went back in the dorms to get their stuff. Fang and I talked with their dad until they got back.

"Bye Ig, bye Gaz!" I called as their truck drove away.

"This isn't over!" They yelled back as they disappeared from view.

I smiled. I would miss not bugging them this week.

"C'mon," Fang said. "My parents should be here really soon."

I nodded. I went back up to my room and packed some clothes for the week. I smiled at the thought of spending a week with Fang and his family. For some reason it felt like I was going home.

Alright! That's all! I have to go to school tomorrow so you might not get an update until Friday *sniffles*

14. Chapter 14

Right….so…I'm back home…I collapsed this morning but went to school anyway…then at break my friends forced me into the office and the school nurse sent me home. She said, and I quote, "You're deteriorating."

I'm thinking that was her nice way of saying, "You look like shit." So, Anywho, she sent me home and told me not to go back to school until Monday! So, you're stuck with me!



Max POV: Chapter 14

"Welcome!" Mrs. Martinez said as I got out of her car. She led me to the porch and threw her arms around me. "We're so glad you could come!"

"Thanks for having me," I mumbled. Tentatively, I put my arms around her. She was so sweet. She was what everyone wanted in a mom. Fang was so lucky.

As Mrs. Martinez was saying hi to Fang, I took stock of their house. It was pretty huge. It was big and white with Greek columns. There was a huge wrap around porch with a porch swing and a few rocking chairs.

Behind the house was a huge expanse of property. Perfect rolling green hills led up to a large red barn. Four horses were in paddocks grazing. There was a pool with a diving board tucked off to the side of the house. It was a freaking paradise. No wonder Fang wanted to come back home during the holidays. All I had to look forward to was a shabby New York apartment above a Max station. Yes, I get the irony. Max lived above a Max station. Ha ha.

Suddenly, a black ball of fluff tackled me. I fell to the ground and was attacked with licks.

"Total!" a young voice cried. "Get off of her!"

The black ball of fluff scampered off of me and went to the side of a very young girl. She looked down and scolded the dog. Total just stuck his tongue out and panted happily. The young girl looked up and looked right past me.

"Fang!" she cried happily.

She barreled forward and into Fang's open arms. I'd never seen him so affectionate before. It was really sweet.

"Hi, Angel," Fang murmured, giving her peck on the cheek. Angel smiled warmly at him, wrapped her skinny arms around his neck, and nuzzled in the crook of his neck. "Hey, Ange, can you come say hi to my friend, Max?"

Angel turned her face to me. I immediately fell in love with this little girl. She was so adorable. "Hi, Angel. I'm Max."

She smiled at me, revealing a missing front tooth. "Hi, Max." she dropped from Fang's grasp and scampered up to me. She wrapped her small arms around my waist. I smiled down at her and hugged her back. She let go and turned to Fang. "Fang, Max is really pretty."

Fang and I laughed. She was so adorable. "Yes, she is," Fang replied.

I could feel heat rising to my cheeks.

"She should be your girlfriend," Angel stated.

Fang and I laughed again, only it was more nervous this time. "We're friends, Angel. Best friends."

Angel nodded, "So, she should be your girlfriend. Mommy says its always good to go out with someone who you can be friends with first."

Fang and I just looked at each other in bewilderment.

"Hahaha, kids, they really are sponges!" Mrs. Martinez exclaimed looking at us apologetically. "C'mon, Ange. Let's go get the guest room ready for Max."

Mrs. Martinez and Angel left Fang and me on the porch. "Wow, your sister's really sharp," I muttered.

Fang just smiled. "Yeah, she gets that from dad I guess. He is a scientist after all."

I nodded. "Where is your dad, by the way?" I asked.

"Probably at work," Fang replied shrugging.

We were about to head in when there was the sound of feet pounding down on steps. "IS THAT YOU, FANGY!?" someone yelled from inside.

"Fangy?" I repeated raising an eyebrow at Fang.

He just narrowed his eye at me. Suddenly, a blur of bright clothes and mocha skin shot past me and barreled into Fang. Surprisingly, he didn't fall over.

"Hi, Nudge," Fang said hugging his adopted sister.

"OMG! I'm so glad you're home! How's school? How are the guys in the band? God, I miss everything! Being married is so boring! Oops, don't let Sam hear me say that! Not that I don't love him, but I miss hanging with you and the gang. Remember how we all used to flock around together! Ooh, I miss those days. You know? Those days when you don't have a care in the world! And---mph."

Fang had slapped his hand over Nudge's mouth. I stared in awe. Man, that girl has a motor mouth. "Ok, let's mute the Nudge Channel, shall we," Fang said smirking.

Nudge took his hand off her mouth. "Jeez, you're such a kill joy, Nicholas Martinez," Nudge pouted.

I let a small giggle escape my lips. It was so funny watching them interact. They really did act like siblings. Nudge spun around and stared at me with big eyes. She was very pretty. She had skin the color of coffee with milk and eyes that looked like two caramels. Her dark brown hair was curly and wild, but she managed to keep it in an orderly pony tail.

"Who's that?" Nudge whispered to Fang.

Fang rolled his eyes. "She can hear you, y'know." Nudge just glared at Fang and poked him in the ribs. "Nudge, this is my friend, Max. Max, this is my sister Nudge."

Nudge squealed and started jumping up and down. "OMG! OMG! OMG! So you're Max! I've heard so much about you! It's so nice to finally meet you…OMG! We have to be best friends! We can stay up late and talk and do each others' hair and OMG! You need a new wardrobe! I can totally take care of that! I mean, what look are you going for? Is that, like, emo/punk/rock/skater chick? But, y'know, you kinda work it. I'm just soooooooo excited that your staying here and-----mph."

"Sorry to subject you to that," Fang muttered while tentatively taking his hand off of Nudge's mouth. "C'mon, I'll show you to the guest room."

"Bye Max! It was nice meeting you! I'll see you at dinner!" Nudge called after us.

I turned to wave. As I turned around, I saw a man around 25 come up to Nudge. He didn't look happy. He started talking to Nudge in low tones, and her face went from cheerful to almost depressed in a matter of seconds.

"Fang?" I asked turning back around. "Who is that man out there with Nudge?"

"Sam," Fang replied through gritted teeth.

"Oh," I mumbled.

Fang led me past the kitchen. It was huge. It had beautiful stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The kitchen led into a large dinning room with ornate chairs and a huge oak table. We also passed a lounge area, an office, a family room, and a small study on the way to the guest room.

"Do you have a map?" I asked Fang.

He just chuckled and kept walking.

"I'm serious Fang," I pestered. "My sense of direction is shitty. We can't all have a built in GPS system like you."

Fang shrugged. "Yeah, I'm pretty amazing like that."

"Yes, and modest too!"

"So very modest," Fang agreed nodding his head earnestly. "Here we are," Fang muttered after walking down a long hallway. "Your room."

"Holy hell!" I mumbled dropping my bag.

It was the most beautiful room I have ever seen. Plush white carpet covered the floor and expensive silk drapes enveloped the windows casting a pearly glow about the room. The bed was king sized with enough pillows to smother a moose. It had a white plushy cover with gold trim. There was a vanity in the corner, a dresser, night stand, and a sitting area with a shelf full of book.

I flopped on the bed and was sucked into a world of soft white. I imagine that's what it's like to fly through a cloud. I heard deep rumbling behind me. I popped up to find Fang laughing at me.

"What?" I insisted defensively.

"Nothing. You just look like a 5 year old who got the pony they wanted for Christmas," Fang replied smiling.

My breath hitched up a notch. It was the smile that he saved just for me. The smile I love best. The smile that lights every corner of my world.

I shrugged and hopped off the bed. "I've never seen such a beautiful room before."

Fang nodded in agreement. A man of many words. "Want to come meet the horses?"

"Yes!" I cried happily.

Fang grinned and led me back out of the labyrinth that led to my room. Seriously, I'm gonna need a map.

Fang and I got out to the field where the horses were grazing in a matter of minutes. Fang navigated his house with ease and confidence. Show off.

Out of the four horses in the field, one stuck out to me. The first three were beautiful. One was a black Friesian, and the other two were chestnut Thoroughbreds. The last one, though, was my favorite.

She was a Lipizzaner. She was a dazzling white with small flecks of black barely noticeable unless you were up close. She had large chocolate eyes and a sweet, loving, and trusting face. However, she was grossly over-weight and stayed far away from the other horses.

"What are their names?" I asked.

"The black," Fang said pointing "is my horse. I named him Athos. Angel has been riding him for me while I'm at school, but she'll be getting her own this spring. We all get horses when we turn six. We get them soon after they've been weaned from their mothers. So, Athos is going to be twelve soon."

Upon seeing Fang, Athos took off at a mad gallop and stopped just before the fence. It was as if he knew who Fang was. That he recognized that Fang had taken care of him for as long as he can remember. It was so sweet.

"Hey, boy," Fang greeted happily while gently stroking his horse's massive face. Athos' face was at least the size of half my body. It was incredible. "Those two," Fang muttered pointed to the chestnuts "are my parents' horses. The one the left is Aeris, my dad's horse, and on the right is Zara, my mom's horse."

"Is the white one Nudges'?" I asked with a sinking feeling. For some reason, I wanted the white one. I felt an immediate connection to her.

"No," Fang replied, and I quickly hid my dawning smile. "My mom rescued her. She was making a house call for one of her patients' sick cows and saw her in the pasture next door. The people had abandoned her. They had left a giant stack of hay for her to eat, but the pasture was so muddy she could hardly move. She's very skittish around people and horses. My mom expects they abused her before they left. The poor thing was lame for a bit, but now she's sound. It's just, none of us can get close enough to ride her, so she's gaining weight."

I nodded and looked over at the white horse. She was so majestic despite her extra weight. "What's her name?"

"Rondie (AN: that's my horse's name!)," Fang answered. "So, do you want to go for a ride?"

"Yeah, and I want to ride Rondie," I said liking the way her name rolled of my tongue.

"Max, she can't be caught. And besides, the one time my mom managed to get her, she just bucked the whole time."

I ignored Fang and grabbed the purple halter that had a tag saying 'Rondie' on it. I walked past Fang and opened the gate. The other three horses immediately came up to me and said hi. When they noticed I wasn't there for any of them, they went back to grazing.

Slowly, I approached Rondie. She snorted and kept back away, looking frantically for an escape.

"Easy, girl," I murmured softly. I slowly brought my hand up so the wind could carry my scent to her flaring nostrils.

She stopped moving and eyed me warily. Slowly, she'd walk up to me then run away again. That went on for about twenty minutes.

"Rondie, c'mon. Come here, girl," I called in a hushed voice.

"Max," Fang said from the other side of the fence "c'mon. You can ride Zara instead."

"No," I replied defiantly. "C'mon, Rondie. C'mon."

Recognizing her name, Rondie slowly walked up to me and stopped. A waited a second and when she didn't run away, I gently put the halter on. She nickered and nudged me in the arm.

I turned to Fang and smiled triumphantly, giving him the thumbs up. Fang just looked at me and shook his head in amazement.

"Yeah, I'm pretty amazing like that," I said walking past Fang with Rondie.

Fang rolled his eyes and got Athos from the paddock. We saddled the horses up and hit the trail that was around the Martinez property.

"She might spook," Fang warned.

"I can handle it," I replied.

I put my foot in the stirrup and hoisted myself into the saddle. I was still in a standing position when Rondie took off bucking down the trail. (AN: Rondie actually did this to me…fun times).

"Max!" Fang yelled after me.

For a split moment, I froze. I had no clue what to do. It'd been several years since I'd been on a horse. Then, muscle memory kicked in. I swung my leg over and plopped down in the saddle. I gathered the reins in my hand. There was no sense in pulling back. That would just make her angry and buck harder. Instead, I used my right rein and right leg to turn Rondie in a small circle.

Rondie went around on the circle for a few minutes, trying to buck in the small space provided. Eventually, she got tired of it and stopped. We both stood a ways down the trail from Fang panting hard.

Fang arrived a few second later on a cantering Athos. He took in the situation and beamed at me. "That was some pretty awesome riding," he praised.

"Thanks," I said breathlessly.

"Let's just walk, okay?" Fang suggested.

"I agree."

Fang and I walked the trail. The whole time Fang was pointing things out to me and telling me about his life on the farm.

* * * * *

Fang and I were just walking past the house with horses when Fang's mom appeared.

"Max! Fang! Dinner!" Mrs. Martinez called from the back porch.

"One sec. Mom!" Fang called back. "We have to put the horses away!"

Fang and I brushed the horses out, gave them apples, and put them back in their paddock.

"Bye, Rondie," I said giving the horse a loving stroke on the neck. "Race you back," I challenged Fang.

I didn't wait for him to reply. I jetted off towards the house. "That's cheating!" Fang yelled as he raced after me.

I made it to the back porch right before Fang. "I win!" I announced.

"No you didn't! You cheated!" Fang huffed.

"Nope, I won," I replied sticking my tongue out at him.

"Really?" Fang asked getting an evil glint in his eye.

"No…Fang…don't!" I cried.

I tried to run, but Fang's strong arms wrapped around my waist and pulled me back. He started tickling me in my most ticklish spot. My neck. Damn him for knowing my weakness.

"Ahhh! Fang, nooooo!" I shrieked while bursting out with uncontrollable laughter.

Fang just laughed and kept tickling me. Then the door swung open and all of Fang's family saw the spectacle we were making.

"See!? They should go out!" Angel announced form the table.

Ok…that's all for today---sorry it took so long, my mom stayed home with me and ordered me to lay down for a while. *super sad panda face*

15. Chapter 15

Demand for updates was high…so here I go.

TO: loopdiloop369: my horse looks exactly like the white one I described in the story. Only, now she's not over-weight. I got Rondie right after her previous owner dumped her because she went lame. She hadn't been worked in about a year and looked like she was carrying twins! I have had her for over two years now, and she's all fit. She's kinda like the Rondie in the story. She was terrified of other horses cuz they would beat her up, and she was pretty wary of humans after being stuck in a muddy pasture for about a year.

TO: CNikky97: I know, right? I so wish Fang was real, and I wish I knew him. Oh well, I'm still hoping there's a guy like him out there.

TO: Fax-Addict: I can't say I mind when you say my story is amazing…in fact, I love it when people say that! It's a great confidence booster…if only my English teacher agreed…

TO: Enna17654: yeah, falling is not so fun…neither is having your horse sit on you…and OMG! Two weeks out of school??? I would have gone insane!

TO: Constant-Rae-of-Sunshine: no worries, I'm not sharing.

Max POV: Chapter 15

Dinner was amazing! Mrs. Martinez, or Dr. M (that's what I started calling her at dinner), made two meatloaves, potatoes in this really yummy cream sauce, a huge salad, and we had homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I was in absolute heaven.

We all sat around the big oaken table together (except Sam. He stayed up on the third floor which had become his and Nudge's 'apartment' of sorts. According to Nudge, he's really shy. Fang said he's just an anti-social jackass…I'm going with Fang's assessment). We ate and talked until late into the night. It was so much fun getting to know Fang's family. They were the perfect family. The family everyone wants. I felt so comfortable around them. It was like they were my family. For the first time in a while, I felt like I belonged.

It was past 11pm by the time the conversation died down. Fang walked me back to my room because I was afraid I would get lost.

"So, I'm in the guest room on the second floor if you need anything," Fang told me. Fang had given up his room on the third floor, so Nudge and Sam could have an entire floor to themselves.

"Okay," I muttered as I out some of my clothes in the dresser. "Thanks, Fang."

"Yeah, no problem. My parents are also on the second floor, and they said to go ahead and get them if you need anything."

Fang smiled at me and then slipped out of my room. My heart squeezed as I watched him go. Why does it keep doing this to me? Every time I see Fang or he smiles my heart flip flops; every time he goes my heart squeezes as if it's having trouble beating. It is beyond annoying.

I slipped on a pair of shorts and a tank top. I flopped into bed and tried to sleep. My effort was futile. Something was keeping me up. My legs kept itching to move. Move, move, move they screamed at me.

"Fine!" I hissed to myself.

I know, it's not very healthy when you start talking to your legs. I'm seriously considering going to an asylum. I'm sure hearing your legs talk is grounds for insanity. Plus, having your heart to acrobatics around your best friend is another reason to be called nuts.

I flicked my covers off and hopped out of bed. I walked around my room, looking for something to distract me. I got to my window and peeked out. To my surprise and delight, my window wasn't a window. It was a set of French glass door. Smiling, I moved the silk drapes aside and opened the doors.

A warm night breeze ran across my face causing my hair to briefly float like a feather. I looked up to the sky. A bright, full moon shown along with thousands of winking stars. I breathed in the fresh country air and stepped out onto the grass that ran up to my room.

Being sure to leave the door cracked behind me, I started walking about the expansive property. As I was heading towards the stables, I noticed a circular grove of weeping willows. I smiled and rushed over to the trees. They're my favorite.

I burst through the trees and into a clearing. It was beautiful. The moon shone through the trees and cast light on a pond with small row boat tethered to a rock. The rock itself was really cool. It looked an imitation of Pride Rock from Disney's The Lion King. The rock was smooth and jetted out over the water.

I walked over to the rock and laid down on it, putting my hand behind my head, and staring at the sky. I shifted on the rock and suddenly felt lonely. This rock was big enough for two people.

As if feeling my loneliness, the leaves of the willow trees began to rustle. I propped myself up on my elbows and looked towards the trees. Soon, a tall dark figure emerged before me. I couldn't see the face, but I knew who it was. Fang.

"Oh, hey," he muttered seeing me on the rock.

"Um, hi," I mumbled back suddenly feeling self-conscious.

"I see you found my spot," Fang said sitting down next to me on the rock.

"Yeah, sorry," I replied looking down at my hands.

"No, it's fine. I always thought it was kinda lonely out here. Like, this rock was meant for two people," Fang shrugged, and I could see him smile at me from the moonlight. Mt heart skipped a beat.

I looked away, searching for something to keep me occupied. My eyes fell on a black sketch book in Fang's hand.

"What's that?" I asked.

"My sketch book," Fang replied holding it up. "Wanna see?"

I nodded eagerly, and he handed me the book. I started to flip through the pictures.

"These are amazing!" I said in awe as I inspected each page.

Fang jut shrugged. There were pictures of Angel, Nudge, his parents, the twins, Kyle, there were some of them with the instruments for their band, there were ones of Athos, Aeris, and Zara. There was a really cure one of Rondie. Her back was to you, and it looked like she was running away.

The next picture, however, made my breath catch. It was me. It was a portrait. Just my face and stopping at the top of my shoulders. I traced the pencil strokes with my index finger. Fang had made me look so beautiful. It was still me, but, at the same time it wasn't. The girl who stared back at me was flawless. She was beyond beautiful.

"Fang," I breathed "you made me look so pretty."

Fang shrugged and shook his head. "You always look like that."

My heart did a whole series of acrobatics and then settled with trying to slam out of my chest.

I sat up and locked eyes with Fang. I hadn't noticed until now just hoe beautiful his eyes are. Amid the swirling black, there were little flecks of silver. It was hypnotic the way his eyes seemed to penetrate your very being, but he still remained aloof. Except, when Fang looked at me, he would let some of his barriers down and allow me a quick glimpse into his thoughts and feelings.

I leaned in a little closer without even realizing what I was doing. "You're really sweet, you know that?" I whispered.

I drew even closer and before I could stop myself, I gave Fang a kiss on the cheek. At least, it started that way. I leaned in and brushed my lips against Fang's skin, feeling an electric shock move through my body. Then, Fang turned his head and my lips met his.

We both popped our eyes open and stared at each other. We quickly broke apart. I looked down and could feel a blush coming. I pushed it back.

"Sorry," I muttered.

Suddenly, Fang's hand came up and he cupped my face tracing his thumb across my lips.

"It's fine," he whispered bringing his face closer to mine while gently tilting my chin up.

I looked into Fang's eyes and was smothered by his swirling midnight eyes. They were so warm and inviting. Everything about Fang was warm and inviting. I brought my face up to his, our noses gently grazing each other.

Fang lips fit to mine like the missing piece to a puzzle. Our lips moved in perfect synchronization. I tilted my head to deepen the kiss while tangling one of my hands in Fang's soft black hair.

Fang kept on hand under my chin while the other wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. We kissed for what felt like ages. Then, I started to feel dizzy, and my lungs screamed for air. Fang and I broke apart both of us panting heavily.

I stood up, embarrassed beyond words. I opened my mouth to speak but no words came. I looked at everything but Fang. We were best friends. How could I be such can idiot? I just ruined the best relationship in my life.

I turned away from Fang and ran. I didn't know what else to do. I couldn't face him, not now. I fled, and as I ran, I put my hand to my lips. They were still buzzing from the kiss.

Fang POV:

I watched Max run away and brought my fist down on the rock. I punched it so hard my knuckles were stripped raw and started bleed.

I am such an idiot! Why did I kiss her? We're best friends. I don't even think about Max that way. This is so stupid. I mean, yeah Max is pretty and when the moonlight hit her face, I just…Ughh. I don't even know.

This is horrible. I just ruined the best relationship in my life. Now, it'll be awkward when we're together. We won't be able to talk to each other. What if Max doesn't want to see me again? We live right next door to each other! What if she tries to transfer dorms? Wait, she can't do that. There's no more room. But, she'll probably ignore me.

I slumped down on the rock and watched the stars. I am such an idiot.

After an hour of star-gazing, I hoisted myself up and tromped back to my room. I plopped down on my bed and pulled out my sketch book. I grabbed a pencil and let my hand flow along the page.

When I was done, I looked down to see what I drew. I scoffed in disgust. It was of Max. Why is it that all my thoughts are of her? I threw my sketch book across my room and flopped back on bed. I wasn't going to be getting any sleep tonight.

Max POV:

I rushed into the safety of my room and slammed the French doors behind me. I leaned against the wall, panting. I slumped down and sat on the floor leaning my head back and staring at my white ceiling. What the hell was I thinking? He's my best friend. He's the only one I can talk to with no reservations.

Maybe you like him? The little voce in the back of my head suggested.

"Shut up," I hissed. "No boys, remember? That was the deal. Remember what happened last time with that guy Sam?"

I shook my head and briefly thought about how Nudge's husband was named Sam. I shook my head. It can't be the same guy. My Sam is back in New York. There's no way he's in Oregon.

"Besides," I lectured myself "you don't like Fang. Period. He's your best friend. Best friend. Not your boyfriend. Who cares if he's really good looking? Who cares if he's amazingly sweet? Kyle is a lot like Fang. Kyle isn't your best friend…"

I stopped. Was I trying to persuade myself to like another guy? Great. Just freaking great! I mean, yes Kyle is really cute, and we get on really well, but…

Okay, enough talking to myself. I'm just making things worse. I got up off the floor and flopped into bed. I'm going to pretend it didn't happen. Yep, that's what I'm best at. Denial.

It didn't happen. It didn't happen. It didn't happen. It didn't happen.

* * * * *

I hopped out of bed and almost had myself completely convinced that last night hadn't happened. The key word here is almost. It was still burned in the back of my brain and my lips tingled whenever I thought about it.

I walked down the log hallway and eventually emerged in the family room that was connected to the kitchen God, this house is huge. I walked into the kitchen and was looking at the detailed painting of a horse when I bumped into something rock hard. Note to self: watch where you're going when you walk.

I looked up and came face to face with Fang.

"Good morning," I said as if everything was normal and nothing had happened. Fang didn't catch on. He seriously needs to learn how to take hints.

"Max, about last night, I'm sorry. I didn't-"

I cut Fang off by holding my hand up. "It's fine. It never happened. Still friends?"

Fang gave me a funny look but nodded. "Hungry?" he asked trying to slip back into his normal attitude around me.

"Sure," I said nodding.

"Cool, I'll make pancakes," Fang muttered heading for the stove.

"I didn't know you could cook," I said as I sat on the bar stool. I leaned my head on my hands and watched Fang prepare the pancake batter.

Fang shrugged. "I can, Iggy just likes it better, so I let him do all the cooking at school."

Fang POV:

As I mixed the batter, I thought about what Max had said.

It never happened.

What was that supposed to mean? How could she forget so easily? How could she just act like it didn't happen? Doesn't she think it was the least bit special?

Even though I don't think of Max in a romantic way, the kiss still meant something. It was still important to me. I wanted to talk to Max about. I want to know why it happened.

So, how can she just brush it off? There was something about that kiss. It was different from any other kiss I've ever gotten. Which isn't saying much because I've only had one girlfriend in high school, but still, this kiss was different.

I put a spoon full of batter onto the pan and watched it sizzle. How could Max just dismiss that kiss?

Right-o! that's it for chapter 15! I'll be writing more today! Soon…no worries- but first I have to work on the cover for my friend's book. He's a really good writer and he's having me do his cover…yay!

16. Chapter 16

On with the story! Sorry it's a little later than I thought…I worked a really long time on my friend's cover…he insisted I used pastels so I could blend the cover to make it all dark and creepy…haha…oh, and someone asked what the title of his book is. We don't know. He hasn't decided. Me and two other friends are the editors, so we are helping him decide on a title.



Max POV: Chapter 16

After breakfast, Fang and I decided to hang out together in his room. I'd put the kiss behind us, but I think it was still bothering him. He was still stiff around me. For some reason, my heart wrenched every time he looked away from me.

"So," Fang started after a period of silence "you know the band I'm in with the twins and Kyle?"

I nodded. "I've never heard you guys. I'd really like to."

"Yeah, we actually have a gig this Saturday at an 18 and up bar. But, that's not what I wanted to tell you. Well, more ask you. Max, would you join the band? The guys and I have been thinking about adding a female lead and your voice is really good."

"What!?" I exclaimed flabbergasted. "Um, well, I don't know."

"C'mon. You'd be great," Fang begged.

Well, not begged. Fang doesn't quite beg. He just asks. Forcefully and smothers you with his gorgeous eyes. "How about I come watch your gig this Saturday and then I'll make a decision."

"Fine," Fang agreed flopping back on his bed.

"Do you want me to play guitar?" I asked.

"Can you?"

"Yeah, so do you need me to?" I offered.

"Sure," Fang replied smiling. My heart squeezed. "I think we could use and extra guitar. Plus, I can play the violin, so I think it would be cool if we could do some songs that have violin in them."

I nodded. "I've heard some pretty cool songs that have violin." I paused and thought for a second. "So, is there anything you can't do?" I wondered.

"Um," Fang thought for a second. "I'm bad a soccer. And, I can't dance. Well, I can… but it's the fancy ballroom kind."

I raised an eyebrow at Fang in question.

"My mom made the whole family take a class," Fang grumbled.

"Which do you know?" I asked.

"Swing, fox-trot, waltz, and tango," Fang replied ticking each one off his finger.

"That's cool," I mumbled. I'd always wanted to learn how to dance like that, but I kept that to myself. I'm pretty sure I'd end up having two left feet.

"Wanna learn?" Fang asked, as if he knew I wanted to.

I smiled and nodded. Fang hopped off his bed and held his hand out to me. I took and little shocks ran from the tips of my fingers down to my toes. Fang felt it too, but he kept his face impassive. The reason I could tell was because his eyes let down their shield for a moment.

"How about we learn swing first?" Fang suggested.

"Okay. I apologize in advance for stepping on your toes."

Fang chuckled, and it felt like I got the wind knocked out of me. This really has to stop. It's getting ridiculous.

"Ok. So it's a basic four step pattern. Side, side, back, step. Okay? For the girl it's side, to the left, side, to the right, back on the left, and rock forward on the right."

Fang demonstrated and then showed me how to properly hold hands with him. We did it about 10 times before I got it right. In the process, I stepped on Fang's feet about 6 times. It's a good thing we're barefoot.

"Now, we had tricks on the back step," Fang informed me. "The girl just keeps doing the steps until the guy tells her when to do the trick. So, the guy leads."

I snorted. "So sexist. Basically, the guy tells the girl what to do, the girl ends up doing all the work, and the guy looks good as a result."

Fang shrugged, "Yeah, kinda."

I rolled my eyes. "Fine."

"Okay. So there are a few different basic spins, 3 different slice the apple, the hammer lock, and the egg beater."

I was already confused. Oh well, I could do this. I'm Maximum Ride. What's a little dancing? It's not that hard. Except for the fact that I have two left feet that seem to be made of lead.

Fang showed me how to execute each trick. After about 15 minutes, I got the hang of it.

"Ready to put it to music?" Fang asked.

I nodded uncertainly. Fang walked over to his stereo and turned on some big-band jazz. Fang came back and grabbed my hands. We started to dance. On the fourth down step Fang decide to try the hammer lock. Something went horribly wrong. I accidentally shot my hand straight up and it connected with Fang's jaw. Oopsies.

Fang stumbled back and gripped his jaw. My hands flew to my mouth as I tried to contain the giggles.

Fang shook his head and his bangs flopped over one eye causing my heart to flip. "Ow," he muttered rubbing his jaw.

"I'm so sorry," I said while holding back my laughter.

Fang just rolled his eyes. "Sure you are." I laughed a little and Fang grinned at me. "Man, I feel sorry for the guy who pisses you off."

"So true," I replied pushing down my swirling stomach. Fang shouldn't have this affect on me.

Fang came forward and grabbed my hands again. "Right, your hands go to the side, not up."

I nodded and Fang and I started again. We managed to get through a song without anymore bodily injuries.

"I think we'll stop here for now," Fang muttered rubbing his jaw. There was a red mark where I hit him.

Fang and I flopped into the black bean bags he had in the corner of his room.

"That was fun," I said smiling.

"Easy for you to say," Fang muttered pointing to his jaw. He smirked, though, and I knew he wasn't mad.

"Whatever," I muttered and rolled my eyes. "So, are you excited for the auditions next week?" I was really looking forward to trying out for Katherine. I know I hit Fang when he said I should go out for her, but I really do want to try.

Fang nodded. "Yeah. Hey, Max, there's something I need to talk to you about."

I stifled a groan. This better not be about the kiss. "Okay, shoot," I muttered.

"I found out what 'je t'aime' means," Fang mumbled.

I froze. This is not good. This is bad. Very, very, very bad. On a scale of 1 to 10 of badness this is a 15…no, a 20. Oh, dear Lord, this is not good. Not good. NOT GOOD!

I didn't know what to do or what to say. I looked down at my hands. Silence thrummed in my ears. Wait, can silence thrum?

"MAX!!!!!!!!!!" Nudge squealed as she burst into Fang's room.

Oh, thank God. I let out a small sigh of relief. Fang heard and for a brief moment his eyes showed hurt. Then, quick as the emotion was there, it was gone.

"Yeah, Nudge?" I said weakly.

"Ready to go shopping!? Remember I told you we were gonna fix that emo/punk/rocker/skater chick look of yours! I wasn't joking! Girl, you need a serious fashion intervention! OMG! I could, like, start a show. I could call it: Nudge's Fashion Intervention! OMG, that it so brilliant! I could be like Stacy and Clinton…only, minus Clinton. I wanna go solo. I mean, I could even do the hair and make-up. Oooh! Max, Max, Max! we have a dinner party coming up on Wednesday! You should come! I can do your hair and make-up…please!? Oh and---mph"

Fang finally slapped his hand over Nudge's mouth. "Thank you," I mouthed to him. I turned to Nudge. "Shopping? I don't know. Me and shops don't do so hot together. And, well, I don't have that much money. Not enough for a new wardrobe anyway."

Nudge shook her head and peeled Fang's hand off. "No! You have to! Besides, I got the money covered. Sam doesn't know this, but I have my account just for shopping. I started it when I was 11. And, I'll make you like shopping."

She said the bit kinda forcefully. It was a little scary. Like, queue psycho music. "Um, ok Nudge."

"GREAT!" Nudge squealed. She grabbed me by the hand and yanked me out of Fang's room. "Bye, Fang!" Nudge yelled. "We'll be back in time for dinner!"

Nudge drove me down to the nearest mall and shoved me in a changing room.

"I'll hand you clothes, you put them on, come out, and I'll decide whether or not we buy it, okay!?" Nudge informed me.

"Um, sure," I mumbled.

"Fang won't know what hit him!" Nudge giggled.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

Nudge snorted, "You can't be serious!?" I stared at her with a blank face. She lost me on this one. "C'mon, Max. Fang may be my brother, but I know he is too good looking for you to just want him as a friend."

"Um, but I do just want him as a friend. I mean, we are friends. I like it that way."

Nudge gaped at me. "You're joking right? I mean, he totally likes you. He may not know it yet, but he so does. And so do you! I can totally tell. You guys were meant for each other!"

"I don't know what you mean," I muttered thinking about the kiss.

Nudge snorted again, "Yes you do, missy! You're just too chicken to admit that you like him. You're too scared of what might happen if things go wrong. Just take a chance and go with the flow."

"Thank you, fortune cookie Nudge," I mumbled.

Nudge just smiled, "Now, put this on!" She ordered as she thrust me into the changing room with some sparkly top.

I don't do sparkles.

"And, Max, you do do sparkles!" Nudge called from the other side of the wall.


Fang POV:

My phone buzzed. I looked down. It was a text from Max.

SAVE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I laughed. Poor, Max. she really didn't like shopping. My phone buzzed again. This time, it was Nudge.

Fang Martinez, don't you listen to a thing that girl texts you! She is my Barbie for the day…just wait until you see her! This will definitely confirm any doubts you have about liking her!

I stared at the text. "Confirm any doubts about liking her," what the hell? I don't like Max. She's my best friend. It'd be like liking one of the guys in the band. It just would be…weird. I don't get what Nudge is talking about. I don't like Max.

Then, the night we kissed flashed in my mind. It was different…that kiss was special. There were sparks and it felt so electric. I remember the way Max's soft lips brushed mine.

It was then I realized that Max is a girl. I mean, yeah, I knew Max was a girl all along. But, I mean a girl as in girlfriend material. As in, not just one of the guys. Not just a friend. I paused. I could definitely like Max. Her soft brown hair, her chocolate eyes that I melt in. I thought about it some more.

I am an idiot! I mean, I get jealous any time another guy so much as looks at Max, and I get really pissed when Max talks to any other guy but me. I hate it when someone else makes her laugh. I always think about her. I like…no love…everything about her. She's funny, smart, nice, totally kick-ass. When she's happy, I'm happy. When she's sad, I feel her pain. When she's mad, I'm pissed with her. When she's hurt, I'm ready to murder the jackass who caused her any pain. When she smiles at me, my heart trips and does flip flops. When she laughs, my heart beats out of my chest.

But, Max has made it perfectly clear, we're fiends. Nothing more. And, Nudge's stupid text is probably why I'm thinking this. Max is my friend. Nothing else. God, Nudge really knows how to screw things up. She almost made me think I love Max.

Because, I totally don't love her…right?

* * * * *

"OMG! Max, you look so pretty!" I heard Nudge giggle from the door.

I raced down the steps. Seeing Max was supposed to clear all my doubts. This better work. I jumped over the last four steps and forced myself to walk into the kitchen. It would look stupid if I ran in.

I turned the corner.

"Hey, Fang," I heard Max muttered.

I turned and looked in the direction of the voice. In the words of Nudge, Oh, my God.

Ok…sorry that took so long! I got swamped with all this make-up work! Hope you liked it!

17. Chapter 17

I'M SOOOOOO SORRY! PLEASE DON'T HATE ME! I had so much make-up work, tests, and regular homework this week!! Sorry!

Right…so I'm not going to make you wait any longer…I'm sure you want to know what Max looks like.



Fang POV: Chapter 17

I turned around to face Max and froze. It wasn't Max. That couldn't be Max. I knew Max was pretty…no beautiful…but this girl knocked the wind right out of you. Then I thought, it was the Max I'd drawn in my sketch book. It was the way Max always looked when I thought about her. Max was just living up to her full potential of beauty.

"Hey, Fang," Max muttered again looking away from my gaze.

She was in a skirt. I'd never seen Max in a skirt before. I had a large band that was for fitting and went up to the bottom of her ribs. It was purple and once the material got to her hips, it flowed out in wide, loose pleats. The skirt ended mid-thigh, showing off Max's long toned legs. Tucked into the skirt was a sheer black top. It had a scoop neck, had long flowy sleeves, and a bow. I don't think Max was too happy about the bow. To preserve some dignity, Nudge had allowed Max to wear a black camisole under the shirt.

Under the skirt Max had on black tights that had a V shaped patter. On her feet she on yellow pumps that had a wide buckles strapping her feet in. The reason I know yellow shoes go with purple is because Nudge has screamed to me that yellow and purple are complementary colors. To tie it all together Nudge had Max wearing a layered golden necklace.

Nudge had out half of Max's hair up and the other half down. It was loosely curled and brushed Max's shoulders. Nudge had put shiny lip gloss, mascara, and a dusting of purple eye shadow on Max.

I stood there like an idiot staring. Nudge giggled and brushed past me. "Told you so," she sniggered in my ear.

After Nudge left, I shook my head to clear it. Max really was beautiful. I hadn't realized it before because she usually wore basket ball shorts and a tank but, but she made even that look like something off the run. Max is the person I feel closest to. The person I tell everything to. The person I trust 100 percent. The person I care the most about in the world. If Max were to suddenly leave one day, I think I would die.

I cleared my throat. "Hey," I managed to mutter weakly. "Um…nice."

Max looked down and fiddled with the skirt. "Yeah, Nudge can be pretty scary when it comes to shopping. I just shut up and said 'yes' to whatever she told me to do."

I raised and eyebrow. "Maximum Ride admitting defeat?" I said in disbelief.

"She pulled frickin' Bambi eyes!" Max exclaimed defensively.

I nodded. "Nudge always gets me with those, too."

"You know, she may be a year older than us, but she acts like a two year old sometimes," Max muttered.

"Did she throw a tantrum when you refused to get something?" I asked.

Max nodded and looked away. "She made me get a swimsuit."

Right after Max said that Nudge came charging into the room. "OMG! I just had the MOST brilliant idea! You two should go swimming in the pool! It's heated! You'll get to see Max's new suit Fang!"

I felt my eyes widen. The thought of Max clad in a swimsuit (possibly a bikini) flashed through my head.

"That's not necessary," Max mumbled curtly.

I walked up to Max and brushed a strand of her curled hair back. "C'mon. Let's go swimming." What the hell was I doing? Am I trying to flirt? Epic fail.

"Okay," Max said turning pink.

Or not so epic a fail. I nodded and ran to my room to grab my swim trunks. I pulled the black shorts on and ran to the pool waiting for Max.

Several minutes passed before Max awkwardly stumbled out of the house. I think Nudge pushed her through the door. Max had a towel wrapped around her so I couldn't see anything.

I smiled at Max and cannon balled into the pool. The splash was so large it went up and his Max in the face. That was the plan of course.

Max's competitive side got the better of her.

"You call that a cannon ball!?" she shouted wiping the water from her eyes.

Max dropped the towel and headed over to the diving board. Then, she paused, looked down at her self, and kept her eyes averted from me.

I was looking too. I had to admit, Nudge made a good choice. Max's suit was a one piece, but I thought that suited her better than a bikini. It was electric purple with a tangle of black and white thorns starting at her right hip and trailing up to the middle of her stomach. Little birds perched on skulls were mixed in with the thorns.

Max squared her shoulders and hopped in. The splash was very impressive. The water bulleted up from the pool into the sky and came cascading down on my head. Waves filled the pool.

Seconds later, Max's head bobbed up and she smiled at me, her hair plastered to her face. My stomach did back-flips and my heart squeezed.

"I think I win," Max said noting all the waves.

I rolled my eyes and splashed her in the face. Max scowled, brushed her hair back, and sent a gust of water my way.

Not wanting to make anything awkward between, I ignored my stomach and joined in the fight.

Max POV:

Fang and I had a long splash war and then we called it quits when Dr. M called us for dinner. I dried off and put some of the new clothes on that Nudge had bought me.

I slipped on a pair of dark wash skinny jeans and slipped them into a pair of knee-high, snap-up dark brown boots. On top I had on a long sleeved white t-shirt with a silver feather spray painted on it. Over that, I had on a leather vest the same color as my boots that snapped and zipped up at different angles. I swept my hair into a pony-tail and put silver wing earrings in.

I looked in the mirror and sighed. I was happy with the clothes I had before, and I don't like the way Fang's looking at me now. When I walked in from shopping I thought he was going to have a heart attack. It was even a little strained in the pool. I know he was trying to act normal, but I could tell it was bothering him. Does he not like the fact that I look more feminine now? Was Nudge right about him liking me?

I don't want Fang to like me. I just want us to be friends. I don't like Fang. It would be weird. But, why do I get these funny feelings whenever he looks my way.

I groaned and tromped downstairs for dinner. Hopefully, things would smooth out between me and Fang.

I got to the kitchen and sat in my usual spot between Angel and Fang facing the door way. We all began our meal, chatting pleasantly with one another. I reached for cup and began sucking down the cool water after putting a bite of too-hot spaghetti in my mouth. I was mid-sip when a figure appeared in the door.

"Sam!" Nudge exclaimed happily at the man in the door.

I took the cup from my mouth, water still un-swallowed, and looked at Sam. The water came flying out of my mouth and I started coughing violently.

"Max?" Angel asked worriedly.

I shook my head trying to tell her I was fine. Choking on water is really no biggie. Fang started patting me on the back.

"You know that doesn't really work," Jeb said calmly from across the table while dabbing his wet face with his napkin.

"You could at least pretend to be worried," Dr. M muttered in a hushed voice while frowning at her husband.

Jeb smiled at me sheepishly, "Sorry. You okay, Max?"

I coughed a few more times and finally managed to get my voice back. "Yeah, fine," I mumbled shooting a glance at Sam.

Sam smirked back when no one was looking. He recognized me, too. I looked away and focused on my pasta, absently twirling it with my fork. I'd lost my apatite.

This sucks. Nudge's Sam, is my Sam. I stood abruptly from the table. I kept my eyes off of Sam. "Excuse me, I'm really not feeling well. I think I'll go to bed early."

Before any one could do anything I rushed to my room, closed the door, and locked it. I sank down on the floor and rested my head on my knees. Why can't my past leave me alone?

* * * * *

I fell asleep sitting on the floor until I heard tapping on my French doors. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I hopped up and went over to the door.

I pulled the curtains back and stifled a yell. It was Sam standing at my door. I crossed my arms and glared.

"Open the door," he ordered in a muted voice.

"No," I replied, hoping the ice in voice would reach him through the glass doors.

"C'mon, Max, for old times' sake," Sam pleaded.

"Don't try and be cute," I sneered. "You used me, ass-whole. What makes you think I want to talk to you?"

"I used you?" Sam scoffed. "I rescued you. I gave you purpose. You're the one who blew the whistle."

"What we were doing was wrong," I said defensively.

"Oh, and you suddenly developed a conscience after three months?" Sam questioned.

I took a step back from the door. "You used me to get into those places and never gave me my share."

Sam just grinned, "It always was about the money with you. So much for a conscience, huh?"

"I wanted to get out!" I spat. "Money was only way, and you provided the only escape!"

"Yeah, and didn't you say thank you," Sam leered looking me up and down.

I closed the curtains quickly. I hate it when he does that. It felt like he was peeling my clothes off when he looks at me like that.

I just don't get it. Why is he here? I gulped, swallowed my pride, and opened the curtains again. There was only one way to find out.

Sam was still on the other side of the door. "Why are you here?" I asked.

Sam smiled. "I knew your curiosity would get the better of you. In case you forgot, when you called the police on me, I left New York. You and I have the same mentality. Get as far away as possible. So, I came to Oregon looking for another job I could pull. Surprisingly, there are some really well to do people out here. Anyway, I met Nudge and when she brought me home to meet her folks I was hooked. I did some research on the Martinez family. There is old money on both sides. In other words, they are loaded. Anyway, so I married Nudge and played the whole 'we don't have enough money' card to get into their house. It worked. Now, I'm trying to figure out where they keep it all.

"Then, I over heard Val and Jeb talking about Fang's friend Max. I heard them say 'she' and thought that it couldn't possibly be you, but fortune smiled on me and my old partner was with me once again. So, what do you say, Max? One more job?"

"No!" I yelled then lowered my voice to a whisper so no one else would hear. "I like these people. I'm not about to do that to them. What happened over that summer before high school was a mistake. I never want to be like that again. Now, leave Nudge and her family alone, or I'll tell them what you are."

Sam laughed then turned serious. "No, how about you help me with this job and I won't tell your precious Fang what you are. I have nothing to lose. I don't love Nudge, and I can go rob other people. You, on the other hand, my dear Max, have a lot to lose. Namely, Fang."

I stayed silent and glared at Sam. "Think about it," he ordered and then he turned and left.

I backed up from the door, letting the curtains fall, and flopped onto my bed. This is not good. This is horrible. Why did he have to be here? Everything was going well until he turned up and ruined it. I closed my eyes and dreamed on the summer before high school.


I was walking down the dusty, lonely road that led from my elementary school to my house. Boys were shouting insults at me as I left the parking lot.

No one liked me. All the boys hated me because I was better at sports, and I could beat them up in the blink of an eye.

Today was the last day of school, and they always yelled at me because they knew they wouldn't see me over the summer.

"That's not very nice," I deep voice said next to me.

I looked up, startled, into a very cute face. He had sandy-blonde hair and pale green eyes.

I shrugged, "It's no big deal. They do it every year. They're just jealous I can beat them up and whoop their asses at any sport."

He chuckled. My heart did a little squeeze. He was really cute, but he looked to be 21, so he was off limits. I'm only 14.

"But, they shouldn't say things like that," he muttered.

"I don't care. I'll be gone soon. As soon as I get some money, I'll be out of here."

He looked down at me, "Wow, you're really driven."

"No, I just hate it here," I mumbled. Why am I telling him this?

"I think I have a way you could make some fast cash. Although, I don't think your parents will approve."

I took a step away, "I'm not doing porn."

He laughed. "No, no porn."

"Well, I guess I could give whatever it is a shot," I shrugged. I looked around to see if there was a street I could run down if things got weird. Who asks a 14 year old girl if they want to make fast cash? Creepers, that's who.

"Your parents shouldn't know," he cautioned.

I snorted. "They wouldn't notice if I was kidnapped and held for ransom." My parents had started to work late and stay put for dinner.

"Perfect," he muttered to himself. "Well, the job would kind of be like acting like Robin Hood."

"What? Like, stealing from the rich and giving to the needy?" I asked.

"Yeah, only…we keep some," he replied.

"You're kidding, right?" I asked in disbelief.

"Um…no. You need fast cash right? What better way than getting it from stuffy rich people with their heads up their butts," he answered as if this was totally moral.

I looked him up and down. He could help me escape from this life. By the end of the summer I could be free. I could have enough money to leave and go live somewhere I was wanted. "I'm Max," I said sticking my hand out.

"Sam," he replied shaking it.

"Nice to meet you," I muttered. "So, what type of places would be robbing?"

"Oh, don't say rob. I prefer to think of it as relieving people of unnecessary cash," Sam cautioned.

"Ok…so, who will we be relieving?" I asked.

"I think we could start off easy at this old lady's house," Sam said pulling out a blue-print. "Your job will be stake-out. No one will suspect a 14 year old girl."

I nodded. I could do this. They were all rich anyway. So, why do I feel like such a horrible person right now?

I turned over in bed and thought some more about that summer.

For most of the summer Sam and I robbed houses. I'd go to peoples' places and pretend to be doing a survey or selling something or promoting so charity. People would invite me in no problem, and while I sent them on some wild goose-chase for an obscure item, I'd stake out the house and find out where the safe was or the jewelry.

Sam and I had become famous on the local news. But, we were so quiet, clean, and thorough that no one could find us. It was the end of the summer and Sam and I had robbed over a dozen houses. Sam was keeping the money and selling the other stuff on the black market. He promised I'd get my half at the end of the summer so I could run off. I believed him.

When we weren't in the act of relieving people of their extra cash, we hung out. We'd go to the mall or the park or swimming. I'd tell him about my life, my parents, and my horse. He'd listen and give me advice. He became my first real friend. He made me feel like there was someone out there who actually cared about what happened to me. I felt so close to him. I'd do anything for him. I soon found out that the feelings were not mutual.

One evening I was sitting home alone and I flicked on the TV. The news came on. There was some older man with one of the reporters who went to the scenes live. There was a large white house in the back-ground. I recognized the house. It was the house I staked out 3 weeks ago, and the one Sam and I had robbed last night.

"I just don't get it," the man was saying to the reporter. "Why would someone do this? I mean, what have I ever done to them? What did I do to deserve this? Yeah, I had cash…but, I gave to charity. I was a good person. I was generous with my wealth. If you're out there watching, I have one question. What makes you do this? Why prey on innocent people?"

I quickly shut off the TV. That guy was right. What was I doing? I was being a total dick. I banged my head against the back of the couch. Why had I let Sam talk me into this? Why had I been so willing to hurt other people? Was I really that weak?

The next day I went to Sam's house. I told him it was over and I wanted my half. He could go on robbing if he wanted to, but I was out.

He got really angry. He forced me on the ground and slapped me in the face several times. Then, he started ripping at my clothes. I screamed and kicked. He'd managed to get my shirt off. I panicked. My mind went blank and the instinct to survive took over.

I managed to wrench my arm free and I punched him in the nose. While he was stunned, I quickly brought my leg up and kneed him in the balls. Sam fell over, cursing me the whole time.

I quickly put my top back on and ran. I ran all the way home and called the cops. I explained everything.

They let me off the hook because I was a minor and I gave them the name and location of the robber, Sam. I did hours upon hours of community service.

Sam fled the state.

End flashback.

I stared up at my ceiling and puffed out a huge sigh. Something had to be done. I had to tell Fang. But, would he hate me? He accepted me when I told about all my partying, but this is different. I stole from people.

What was I going to do?

Ok….again, I'm really, really sorry this chapter took so long! I'll try and get another one up tomorrow! And, my winter break is coming up after next week, so I'll have, like, three weeks to do nothing but write! WOOT!

By the way…here are some links to Max's first outfit…hope they work!


Max's top…pretend it's black


Max's Skirt


Max's tights


Max's shoes


Max's necklace

18. Chapter 18

All right! Next chapter is here! Thanks to everyone who reviews!



Max POV: Chapter 18

"Max!" Fang yelled from the other side of my door, "Come out! We need to go!"

"I'm not coming out in this!" I hissed to the door.

"Max, it's just a dress!" Fang muttered in exasperation.

"Easy for you to say! You've never worn one!" I replied angrily.

There was a long pause from the other side of the door. Wait…"Fang…you haven't, have you?" I asked worriedly.

"What!?" Fang shrieked. "No! of course not! I would never! Why would I…?"

"Me thinks he doth protestith too much," I called back.

Fang let out a large sigh, "It was in second grade. Nudge made me play dress up with her."

I squealed. Yes, squealed. This was great blackmail! "Okay, just for that little tidbit of information, I'll come out."

I took one last look at myself in the mirror. Nudge had forced me to buy dress for this stupid dinner party. One of Dr. Martinez's rich clients was having a dinner party at his mansion.

Nudge had gotten me a strapless teal blue dress that had a bunch of black lace flounces underneath. Black lace with decorative flowers was layered over the teal satin of my dress. The dress was held tight to my waist by a teal blue ribbon. Nudge had forced me into black heals, curled my hair, done my make-up, and put this weird fake lace flower in my hair.

I took a deep breath and walked outside. My breath caught. Fang looked really good. He had on black slacks, a black button up shirt that had the first three buttons undone and had the sleeves rolled up past his elbows, and a black vest that was buttoned up and accentuated his perfect 6 pack. Drool. Um…ignore that.

Fang's eyes flashed with an unrecognizable emotion when he looked at me. "It's not that bad," he mumbled smirking.

I swatted him across the chest. "Jerk." But, I smiled too, so the purpose was defeated.

"So, what dress did Nudge make you wear?" I asked as we walked into the kitchen.

"Snow white…"

I howled with laughter. This was just too good. "You've got the right hair color," I snickered.

Fang scowled at me, but his eyes were alight with humor. He came closer to me and my breath sped up. Then, just as his face was inches from mine, he nudged me into the wall.


He just smirked, and I shoved him back. Fang held up his hands in surrender. "We don't want your pretty dress getting messed up," Fang paused. "Although, you could make a pile of rags look good."

I smiled and turned slightly pink. Fang stopped in front of me and mock bowed; although, there was a hint of seriousness to it. He held out his arm to me. I looked down but took his arm.

It was really sweet. We walked arm and arm to the kitchen. Everything was perfect. I was even starting to think the thing with Sam had been a dream. Stupid me.

As Fang and I walked into the kitchen I saw him standing with Nudge. He turned and smirked at me and then turned back to Nudge. Fang didn't notice because his mom had come up and given him something.

"Max, can you help me with this?" Fang asked.

My head snapped away from Sam and back to Fang. "Huh?" Points for eloquence.

"The tie," Fang replied holding out a tie the same color as my dress. "Apparently, Nudge bought it so we'd match."

"Oh," I replied. Wow, hanging around Fang has turned me into him. I've got to stop with the one word answers.

I slipped the tie over Fang's head and quickly buttoned up his loose buttons. Why were my fingers shaking so badly? And why do I want to unbutton his shirt not button it up?

Stupid freaking girl hormones! I fitted the tie under the collar and quickly tied the tie.

"Thanks," Fang breathed his minty breath tickling my cheeks.

I looked up into his eyes and noticed how close we were. Get it together, Max!

"C'mon, Snow White," I smirked. I grabbed Fang by the tie and pulled him to the car.

"Max! Can I sit in your lap?" Angel asked.

"Sure sweetie," I replied patting my legs.

Angel hopped up in my lap and grabbed one of my hands and one of Fang's. Angel's hair was perfectly curled and she was wearing a poofy white dress with a pink sash. She was absolutely adorable.

Angel gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "Doesn't Max look beautiful, Fang?" Angel asked.

Fang looked to the side and then made eye contact with me. It sent shivers down my spine. "Yeah…really beautiful."

Just as Fang said that, Nudge squeezed into the car. She and Sam were sitting in the middle, Fang, Angel, and I were in the back, and Dr. M and Jeb were up front.

Nudge turned around in her seat and squealed. "See! Didn't I tell you!?" Nudge said to Fang. Then she turned to me. "OMG! Max, you look so good! I wish I had a picture of what you looked like before. We could, like, have one of those before and after pictures. Yeah…no one would think it was you! I mean, has anyone ever seen you in a dress? Cuz you have amazing legs, right Fang? Look how long they are. You definitely have a body for dresses. You should wear them more often. Oh, and---mph."

Sam came into the car, put his hand over Nudge's mouth, and turned her back around. If it was anyone other than Sam, I would have said thank you. But, it was Sam, so he doesn't get one. What he needs is one of Iggy and Gazzy's stink bombs. Oh, that's a good idea. Hmmm.

I looked back at Fang, but he wasn't looking at me. He was looking out the window. I think Nudge's leg comment had been the last straw for him. I felt bad. I didn't want him to be uncomfortable around me. I just want us to be best friends like we've always been.

"Fang really likes you, Max," Angel whispered in my ear.

"Of course he does, we're friends, silly," I muttered. I snuck a glance at Fang. He still wasn't looking at me.

Before things could get too awkward turtle, Dr. M and Jeb slid into the front seats.

"Ready to go?" Jeb asked.

"Yeah!" We all chimed.

Apparently, these guys lived about an hour away. Fang still wasn't looking at me, so the first 45 minutes were really quiet. Sam and Nudge were quietly talking and Dr. M and Jeb were whispering up front.

Suddenly, I felt Angel tug slightly on my hand, and her small hand became much larger and much warmer.

I looked down at the same time Fang did. Angel had put our hands together and was resting her two small hands on top of our intertwined ones.

I looked up at Fang and smiled. He smiled back and my world lit up. He tightened his grip on my hand. It felt natural to have Fang's hand in mine. It was probably because we were such good friends.

Angel smiled sweetly at me; then she rested her head on half of my shoulder and half on Fang's shoulder.

Fang smiled down at his little sister. He was so sweet and gentle with her. My heart tugged a little in Fang's direction.

Fang and I started talking quietly together for the rest of the car ride. I was glad he was comfortable with me again. I was seriously going to have to talk to Nudge about saying things about me in front of Fang.

* * * * *

Fang took my coat was we entered the large house. I'd thought that Fang's house was huge, but this place made it look like a cute cottage.

"I'll put this in the coat room," Fang muttered to me.

I nodded. "Thanks."

Then, someone grabbed my elbow. I stiffened. It wasn't Fang's warm, calloused hand.

"So, have you thought about it?" Sam whispered in my ear.

I shuddered. "You have no power over me, Sam," I hissed.

"We'll just see about that, Max," Sam muttered and sauntered off the join Nudge.

Angel jumped into Jeb's arms and he, Dr. M, and Angel walked off to some big room with a fancy looking hard.

"Make sure Fang behaves!" Jeb called to me over his shoulder.

I gave him the thumbs up and smiled.

"Me?" Fang asked from behind me. His voice incredulous.

I smirked, "Yes, you, chatty Cathy." I paused. "I'm not sure which I like more. Chatty Cathy or Snow White. What do you like?"

Fang just rolled his eyes, "C'mon. I see a buffet table over there."

I mocked jumping up and down in excitement. The only problem was I was in heals. I haven't had to jump in heals for a very long time. End result? Max falls. Yeah, I'm that amazing.

Fang doubled over laughing as I sat on the floor stunned. Some of the old biddies looked at me and shook their heads in disappointment.

"Kids these days," I heard one particularly crusty woman say.

I rolled my eyes and hopped up. I swatted Fang on the shoulder. He straightened and looked at me with an amused grin. My stomach knotted.

"Oh, shut up," I mumbled.

"What? I didn't say anything," Fang replied still smirking.

"Your damn look said enough."

Fang just smiled. "C'mon. Wanna eat?"

"What a silly question!" I replied.

Fang grabbed my hand and pulled me to the room with the food. My stomach churned and my heart went into over-drive. Stupid stomach. Stupid heart.

Fang and I shared a plate. We got a bunch of those party meatballs, spinach puff-thingys, cheese, crackers, pineapple, grapes, watermelon, and a whole lot of desserts.

I slumped back in a chair. "Well, I'm stuffed."

Fang nodded. Just then we heard an orchestra strike up. They were playing a waltz.

"They have a ballroom?" I asked in disbelief.

Fang nodded. "Wanna go work the cream puffs off?" he asked.

"What? No way!" I protested. "I've only ever danced with you in your room, and I'm horrible!"

Fang chuckled. He grabbed my hand and tugged me in the direction of the music. Apparently, Fang didn't pass kindergarten and doesn't know how to listen to other people. I told him so. He just laughed again. My heart skipped a beat.

Fang and I entered the ball room. There were a bunch of old people dancing slowly in the middle of the room.

"Ok," I muttered spotting the old biddy who had disapproved of my fall earlier. "We can totally take them."

Fang just look at me and rolled his eyes. He pulled me out on the dance floor. He placed a hand on my waist, and I placed mine on his shoulder. My heart picked up its pace, and Fang looked at me with an unrecognizable expression.

Our free hands met. The fit perfectly together. Like they were meant to be held by one another.

"Remember, one, two, three, four," Fang muttered to me as he pulled me closer.

I swallowed and looked down at our feet. I really hope I don't step on his foot. That would look bad.

I looked back up at Fang, squared my shoulders, and nodded my head. Let the train-wreck begin. Fang seemed to read my expression, and he chuckled quietly.

Then, we were off. Our waltz was slightly faster and more complicated than the simple box-step of the other couples around us. I saw the head-shaking old biddy snap her head in our direction. She looked impressed and miffed at the same time. I just smiled sweetly at her.

Soon, I got into the rhythm, and Fang and I were effortlessly soaring across the hard wood dance floor. I let out a laugh of joy. It was like flying. Or, what I imagine flying to be like! I felt so weightless and care-free. I totally forgot about everything in my life. All but one thing. The person in front of me. Fang.

I smiled at him. His eyes lit up, and he gave me my special smile. Everything in the room became brighter. Just looking at Fang's smile was like drinking a glass of champagne and having the bubbles go straight to my head.

The dance finished. I didn't want it to end. Then, a fox-trot picked up. I frowned. I was horrible at the fox-trot. I always fell.

All the old people cleared the room. This dance was too fast for them. By the time everyone cleared put, Fang and I were the only ones left.

"Wanna give it a shot?" Fang asked.

I shrugged, "Sure, why not. I'm feeling brave or stupid."

Fang smiled. "Probably both, but that's the Max I know and love."

My heart fluttered on the word "love," and Fang looked away for a moment, embarrassed.

Fang changed his hand position. He looked back and me, smiled slightly, and we were off again. It started out great. We were flying, soaring, whooshing across the polished floor.

We were just coming to a difficult spin-trick when the strap of my heel snapped. I pitched forward and collided with Fang. The force of the motion sent us tumbling to the ground.

I landed on top of Fang. He looked up at me and laughed. I felt his belly rumble underneath me as it matched the dark sound of his laugh. It tickled my stomach and got my laughing.

We both lay on the ground, laughing and crying. Finally, I managed to get a hold of myself. I wiped my eyes and looked down at Fang. Big mistake.

Our eyes locked. I was once again reminded of the beautiful specks of silver that were present in his dark eyes. His eyes were swirling with affection and something else I couldn't quite define.

I leaned in. I got closer and closer. Then, I couldn't take it any more. I closed the gap between my lips and Fang's.

Fang tensed for a moment then relaxed into the kiss. His hand came up and brushed the side of my cheek and tucked a stray piece of hair behind my ear.

Next, it was my turn to tense. What the hell am I doing!? I sprung off of Fang like he had the plague.

Fang sat up and looked at me with clouded eyes. Had he expected this? He looked at me, waiting for me to say something.

"I…um…I…sorry, I shouldn't have," I mumbled then sprinted toward the door, leaving my broken shoe behind.

Wow, how Cinderella of me. But, I'm no princess. I don't need to be saved. I don't need a man. I don't need Fang. Not like that. I needed him to be my best friend and only that.

Fang POV:

I watched Max run out of the ballroom. I sighed. She ran. Again. What was with her can't she just admit we were meant for each other?

I felt it when we held hands. I know she felt it, too. I could tell by the look in he eye. I'd managed to come to terms with the way I feel about her. Why can't she do the same? What's holding her back? What is she hiding? Does she think I'll hurt her? I would never do that to her. How could I? I love her. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm in love with my best friend.

I picked up Max's shoe and sullenly walked back the car. Max was there. She had locked herself in the car.

I knocked on the glass. She looked up at me. She looked torn. She had a cell phone in her hand.

She sighed and opened the door. Before I talk, she spoke. "I think it would be best if I go back to the dorms early. I'm sorry. I called Kyle. He's coming to take me back to the dorms. He's going back early, too."


Hope you liked it! Sorry it's a little late…I had two parties Sunday night and the last two nights I was interrupted while trying to write. I hate that.

19. Chapter 19

Ok…here we go…will Fang let Max go???



Fang POV: Chapter 19

I stood there like I'd been slapped. She was going back to the dorms early?

"What?" I asked in disbelief.

"I can't do this," She muttered.

"Do this? Do what?" I replied in an accusatory tone.

"You…! You should have pushed me off. I can't let us be more than friends. We can only be friends!" Max answered raising her voice as she continued to speak.

"I should have pushed you off!?" I yelled back. Where the hell was this coming from? "C'mon, Max, we both know you would be equally pissed if I did that!"

"What…no!" Max protested. "I…I don't know what I'd do…I don't know what I want," Max mumbled to herself.

I shook my head, "Why can't you just see if this works?"

"And why can't you just be my friend? I can't let it become anything else," Max cried. She looked torn between what she wanted and what was holding her back.

"Why can't you let it turn into anything else?" I questioned.

"Because…I… I can't…can't trust…you," Max whispered looking away.

Anger flared in the pit of my stomach. "Can't trust me!? Max, we've known each other for almost 4 months, but it feels like I've known you my whole life. I opened up to you and told everything about myself. I was the one who never trusted other people, but I opened up to you. And now…now you're telling me that you can't trust me after all we've told each other? What the hell is holding you back? What are you hiding from me? You know I'll accept it no matter what!"

"I…I…," Max looked away. She seemed to be close to tears. This was the worst fight we've ever gotten into.

"Max," I said, my voice hushed and gentle. "You can trust me."

Max looked back at me like she wanted to say something. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, Kyle pulled up in his old Ford pick-up.

"Hey, guys," Kyle muttered sensing the tension in the air.

"Hey, Kyle," I replied stiffly.

"Bye, Fang," Max muttered. "Maybe I'll see you Saturday for your gig."

She gave me one last look and clambered into the pickup. I rushed after her and grabbed her arm before she could do. I ignored Kyle's questioning glance.

"You can't go," I whispered urgently. "What about Angel and Nudge…and me?"

Max shrugged my hand off, "I can't handle this right now, Fang."

She shut the door and nodded at Kyle. He looked between me and Max, gave me one last apologetic look, and sped off.

I watched them go. I felt the weight of Max's shoe in my hand. I looked down at it.

"Dammit!" I shouted and chucked the shoe across the parking lot.

Max POV:

Everything was spinning. What the hell is going on? I took a trembling breath.

"Can we stop at Fang's house? I need to get my things," I asked as I fingered the spare house key Dr. M had given me three nights ago.

Kyle nodded. "Do you need to talk about it?"

I smiled at Kyle. He's so sweet. "No, it's fine. I don't even know what just happened," I let out a humorless chuckle.

I hate it when Fang and I fight. I feel so empty. Like a pumpkin that's been hollowed out. I felt like a shell void of emotion. Why does he have this affect on me? Why had I kissed him? Why did he kiss back? Why did things have to be so complicated?

We pulled into Fang's driveway an hour later. I rushed into my room and threw everything in the duffle bag I'd brought.

I went to the kitchen and scribbled a quick note and posted it on the fridge. I taped the spare key to it.

Brushing tears from my cheeks, I went back out to the car with Kyle.

"Ok, let's go," I mumbled.

Kyle gave me one last worried glance and sped off towards our college. The car ride was quiet and tense. Kyle kept glancing at me, and he looked like he had something to say but didn't have the courage.

* * * * *

"So, um," Kyle muttered scratching his head and looking down as we entered my room.

I didn't really want to be alone right now. I felt like such a bitch right now. I need someone to be able to stand being with me…it'll make me feel less like a horrible person.

"Wanna hang out?" I asked. He'd probably say no, but it was worth a shot.

Kyle looked down for a moment and thought. "Okay, sure," he answered.

I smiled. "Thanks."

"Wanna grab something to eat?"

"Um, sure…there's an ice cream place pretty close by, right?"

"Yeah," Kyle nodded. "Walk or drive?"

My heart constricted. That was such a Fang question. He didn't form a complete sentence. He used the least amount of words as possible. Just like Fang. "Um, walk," I choked out.

Kyle grinned. "I figured. I know how you like to move around."

I smiled back. It was true. Given the choice between driving and walking, I preferred walking. I liked having the freedom to decide what turn I would take next and hoe fast or slow I would go.

Kyle seemed to sense what I was thinking, "Y'know, Max, sometimes it's good not to have too much control. Sometimes, it's nice to trust other people and let them decide what turn to take. Let them help fight your battles."

I looked up at Kyle and blinked. Again, I realized just how cute he is and how his hair curls perfectly behind his ears. I fought down a blush. "Wow, that was really frickin' deep," I muttered.

Kyle smiled shyly and looked away. "I have my moments."

I smiled. "I'll meet you outside. Let me change out of this dress."

Kyle nodded and scooted out of my room. I closed the door behind him and leaned against it.

What the hell is going with me? I seriously can't be this horny that I'll jump at any guy! But…Kyle is really sweet, and sensitive, and cute, and funny. I shook my head. I don't need to screw up another friendship. I'd just f-ed upped my relationship with my best friend. One ruined friendship is enough for tonight.

I changed into a pair of black sweats and a purple tank top. I jammed my black baseball cap onto my head and slipped on a pair of flip flops. I breathed a sigh of relief. This was so much more comfortable than that dress.

I headed out, and when Kyle saw me, he smiled. "That looks more like you."

I smiled slightly and nodded. "It's way more comfy. Have you ever tried to walk in heals? So not fun."

Kyle chuckled and we walked to the ice cream parlor. We talked easily about lots of things. We just didn't talk about Fang. Kyle picked up on the tension between us in the parking lot, and since I said I didn't want to talk about it, Kyle didn't press the matter. He's a really good guy.

On the way back to the dorms, I was walking next to Kyle and licking my double scoop of cookie dough ice cream. It had been raining recently and the ground was wet. I stepped on a wet leaf and slipped. I pitched forward. I was about to fall face first on the ground when Kyle threw his ice cream to the side and grabbed me with both hands around the waist.

My breath hitched as his hands connected with my bare waist (my tank top had ridden up). Kyle quickly righted me and took his hands off like I'd burned him. He looked away, embarrassed.

"You dropped your ice cream," I muttered trying to break the awkward silence.

Kyle looked at it and shrugged. "It's okay."

I bit my lip. "Want some?" I asked holding my cone up.

Kyle thought for a moment and then smiled. "Yeah, sure."

I smiled back. Kyle reached forward and placed his hand over mine. He leaned forward. My breath caught. It was late at night and the moonlight was shinning on his chestnut hair turning it golden.

Kyle took a couple bites of the ice cream then gave it back to me. The rest of the walk to the dorm, we shared my ice cream.

Kyle walked me to my room. He stood awkwardly at my door as I went in.

I looked back. "You can come in," I said, smiling.

Kyle shook his head, "That's okay. I want to go to bed a little earlier. I have to help out in the science department. I'm doing Work Study."

I nodded. "Alright," I walked back to the door and stood in front of Kyle. "Thanks for hanging out with me."

Kyle nodded. "When I'm done with Work Study tomorrow do you want to go grab lunch together?" Kyle blushed slightly. It had probably taken all his courage to ask me to hang out.

"Sure!" I said happily. I did like spending time with Kyle. He was a lot of fun.

"Cool. Night, Max," Kyle reached forward and gave me a small kiss on the cheek.

Now, what happened next, I can't be blamed for. Call it hormones. Yeah, they're to blame.

Kyle's lips brushed my cheek and I turned my head. My lips connected with his. It was soft and sweet. Nothing like the heated kisses I'd shared with Fang, but this one didn't scare me like the kisses with Fang. These were safe. I could handle this type of kissing.

Kyle was beyond surprised. He started to pull back, but I wrapped my arms around my neck. Kyle stiffened then titled his head. One of his hands slipped around his waist while the other cupped the back of my head.

The kiss intensified, but it still wasn't like the burning fireworks kiss with Fang. It was still a safe kiss.

I turned my head to make the kiss more intense. I backed up slightly into my room. Kyle seemed to sense the change and broke the kiss off.

"Um," Kyle muttered looking at anything but me.

"Sorry," I mumbled. That was stupid of me. Way to take things really fast, Max.

"So, what was that?" Kyle asked.

"Ugh," I replied stupidly. I think that kiss fried some brain cells. I mean, the kiss with Fang had shorted out my whole brain, but…oh, dammit! Stop comparing him to Fang!

"Are we…I mean…what I'm trying to ask you is…will you go out with me?" Kyle stuttered out.

I froze. Go out. No. I said no boys. But, Kyle's safe. He's sweet and gentle. If I went out with Fang, I'd get caught up in all the fireworks, but Kyle was safe. I could be okay with Kyle. "Okay, I'd like that." I replied. Smiling, and blushing slightly.

Fang POV:

It was Saturday. The day of our gig. Max still wasn't here. Neither was Kyle.

"Yo, Iggy, you heard from Kyle?" I called.

Iggy popped his head out of the curtains from back stage. "Yeah, man. He just texted me. He's on the way."

I nodded. I didn't bother to ask about Max. I didn't want know. Then, the door opened and Kyle and Max walked in. Max was walking really close to Kyle and that's when I noticed they were holding hands.

Rage, hurt, jealousy boiled in my stomach. Calm down, Fang. They're friends. Friends hold hands.

Max spotted me, whispered to Kyle, took her hand from his, and ran over to me.

"Hey, Fang," she said quietly.

"Hey," I muttered back. I hated being mad at her. I couldn't stay mad at her.

"About what happened at the party, I was a bitch. I'm sorry. I really am. I hate it when we fight. Please forgive me?"

I was a little taken aback. Max doesn't apologize. Ever. But, she had said exactly what I was feeling. "Yeah. I'm sorry too. I overreacted. Friends?"

"Yeah, the best of friends," Max replied smiling.

I couldn't help but smiled back. The only problem was the pain in my heart. Max didn't love me back. She did loved me but as a friend. She didn't want to be anything else. But, as long as I get to be with Max, I'll be okay. Even if that means we're only friends.

Max came forward and gave me a big hug. .I stopped for a moment then wrapped my arms around her.

"Thanks for understanding," she whispered in my ear.

Her breath was warm and smelled like peppermint. It tickled as it ran across my ear. It sent an involuntary shiver down my spine. I wish she didn't have this affect on me.

Max pulled back and shifted from foot to foot nervously.

"What?" I asked.

Max looked up at me from under her lashes and smiled shyly. "Since we're friends again, I want you to be the first to know…" she trailed off.

"Max, you can tell me anything," I reassured her.

She took a big breath. "Fang," She paused and looked me right in the eye. Her jaw was firmly set and her eyes determined, "Kyle and I are going out."

I froze. My world came tumbling down in front of me. They were what? Did they even like each other that way? Why was Max doing this?

I made my face impassive, but I could see Max had picked up on my hurt before I had time to cover it up. "Okay," I said stiffly. "Kyle's a good guy."

Max searched my face, hoping my mask would break. Not this time. She's not getting past it. "Fang, please don't hate me. I really do like him. I want to know it's okay with you first before I tell everyone else. I trust your judgment more than mine. I want to know my best friend is going to support me in this matter."

I faltered. She still trusted me with all her secrets and wants my approval in everything she does. I sighed. "Okay, Max. I think Kyle is a good choice. He's really great. I…support you decision."

Max could tell I meant it. She smiled. She wrapped me into a hug again. "Thank you so much! This means a lot to me. And, don't worry, no one will ever replace you."

I wished I could believe what she said, but why do I get the feeling Kyle will monopolize most of her time now?

OK! Sorry- this would have been up last night, but my parents were like, "RAWR go to bed!" Of course, they didn't roar like that, but I thought it added dramatic affect!

Anywho--- I'm on Winter Break! WOOT! I'll try and update everyday! (That is if I can get my brother off the computer!)

Yes, that is the one problem about Winter Break. My wonderful brother comes home from college and takes over the computer. He facebooks his girlfriend who went abroad this year to Saltsburg. As cute as their long distance relationship is, it really limits the time I have to write.

Oh well, I will be forceful and try to get the computer more often!

20. Chapter 20

HOLY SHIT! Ok…please excuse the language… my brother went to the gym! Finally! I get the computer! Yes, I've tried getting him off, but I swear his ass is super-glued to this bloody chair! ARGGGGHHH!!! *imagine very angry face* I just got on to my e-mail today! For the first time in weeks….i need to dump water on my brother again! I had 102 messages! Most of them Fanfiction! (Yes, I dumped water on my brother's head. we got in a fight and I was really pissed so I dumped ice water on his head)

Ok…I'm so sorry! The thing with Kyle- I'm gonna try and wrap it up in the next couple chapters…I promise! Also, back to some evil pranks! WOOT!

Thanks for being patient!


Max POV: Chapter 20

I stared at my lap top screen. How the hell was I supposed to respond to this e-mail from Nudge?


I don't know what happened between you and Fang, but he's been moping around like a mouse that lost its cheese. Yes, it's that pathetic. Look, you and him are best friends. But, I see so much more than that. You guys have great romantic potential. Try and work it out. I hate seeing my brother hurt.


PS: I miss dressing you up! You have to come and hang out with me sometime! We can go shopping!

PPS: Our white horse, Rondie, has also been moping around. She misses you riding her. She won't let anyone else catch her.

PPPS: Fang will be back in the dorms on Sunday. Fix this problem!

I sighed. I know that Fang and I have great romantic potential! I really like Fang, but it's too much. I know what'll happen. We'll get caught up in the fireworks and the heated passion. We'll have a run of about a month and then we'll lose the spark, break up, and end up hating each other.

I couldn't bear it if that happened. Kyle was safe. I could keep Fang as a best friend, and I could have a nice, safe relationship with Kyle.

Ugh. I looked at the clock. Kyle was still at Work Study in the science wing. Fang was on his way back to the dorms. Maybe I'll have time to talk to him before Kyle gets back.

Fang and I were pretty much back on track as friends. After the band's gig, we all went out to dinner. Things were a little strained at first, but then Fang seemed to get used to the idea of me and Kyle together, so he loosened up. In fact, Fang was fine with Kyle. It was more me that Fang was stiff with. It really bothered me, but things seemed to smooth out by the end of the evening.

I signed off my e-mail. I'd reply to Nudge's letter later. I flopped down on my bed and waited. I listened for footsteps. Fang's footsteps to be exact.

About 20 minutes later I heard the soft and even pounding of Fang's footsteps. Something within me calmed down. I was always at ease when Fang was around. But, something else in me jumped into my throat and made my heart beat drum a little harder.

I burst out of my room before Fang could open his door. I didn't need him to set off the trap I'd set for the twins. Yeah, I was that board. I booby-trapped their entire room. I'm so evil.

"Fang! Wait!" I called.

Fang stopped, his hand hovered just above the door handle. He turned his head to me and some of his hair fell in his eyes. My stomach flipped.

"Hey, Max," He replied.

"I wouldn't open that door if I were you," I muttered making sure the twins weren't with him.

Fang smirked and my heart squeezed. "Smooth." He mumbled and walked over to me. "Can I hang in here until the deed is done?"

I smiled, "Yeah, the twins should be here soonish."

Fang nodded and brushed past me. His touch sent little waves of electricity down my back. Fang's eyes locked with mine as he passed. I frowned. Fang's eyes were hard and didn't reflect any light.

He was still being guarded with me. He still hated me to some degree. I sighed and went into my room. Fang was sitting on the edge of my desk. He wouldn't sit next to me on the bed like he used to. It killed me when I had look at him across the room. I was so stupid. Why had I done this to us?

"The rest of your break good?" I asked. I didn't want silence. I'd remember what a horrible person I was in the silence.

Fang nodded. "Rondie misses you."

I bit my lip. "I…miss her, too." I miss you Fang. I looked away. I couldn't say that.

"My mom tried to catch her the other day. It didn't go so well," Fang tried to smile but it came out a grimace. He seemed to notice so he turned his face back to stone.

I nodded. I didn't have anything to say. Except how sorry I am.

"Mom was wondering if you'd come and spend Winter Break with us. It's only a month away, you know."

My breath caught. I'd been a jackass to Fang and his family and they still wanted me to come and stay with them. "Um…I don't know. I mean, I have no where to go. I'd feel really bad coming back though…" I trailed off. Fang got what I was trying to say.

"Mom's fine with it. She says she gets it. I don't know what, but she gets it." Fang sounded bitter. "She gets it, and I don't," he whispered to himself.

I smiled slightly, but it felt wrong to smile. I'd really hurt Fang. "I might be getting a job over Winter Break," I said trying to switch topics.

"Really?" that's all Fang had to say.

"Yeah, I'm looking to work at a vet's office, but if I can't, I'll probably end up in a restaurant. But, whatever, as long as it pays."

Fang nodded. "Want me to ask Mom? She is a vet. Her clinic is pretty close."

I shook my head. "I wouldn't want to be a bother."

Fang shrugged. "It's fine. She's been saying that she needs a good assistant. So…" Fang trailed off. He looked around the room. It was like he was trying to find something shallow and easy to talk about. Like he couldn't stand being near me. My stomach bubbled. Sadness ripped through me like a hurricane rips through a small town. "So, what do you have planned for the twins?"

I opened my mouth to answer but it was interrupted by Iggy and Gazzy yelling down the hallway.

"No way!" Gazzy yelled. "Godzilla would totally beat a transformer in battle!"

"Are you crazy!?" Iggy roared. "A transformer would totally kill that over-sized lizard!"

"Whatever," Gazzy muttered. "Let's just unpack our crap. It doesn't look like Fang is back, so we can get the bigger closet."

"That boy has more clothes than normal for a guy our age," Iggy commented.

I giggled and Fang playfully glared at me. "He's right!" I defended.

"Hello! Nudge is my sister!" Fang said throwing his hands up in the air as if all the people around him were morons.

"I'm surrounded by ass-holes!" I laughed. (Quote from Spaceballs…best Star Wars spoof movie ever!).

Fang raised and eyebrow and smiled. Really smiled. My stomach leaped for joy. I smirked back and put a finger to my lips. "The twins are about to get a can of whoop ass opened up on them."

Fang rolled his eyes. We both went to the door and listened.

We heard one of the twins unlock the door.

"Ladies first," Iggy snickered.

Fang and I rolled our eyes.

Suddenly, there were two loud thumps in quick succession of one another.

"I put a trip wire," I whispered to Fang.

He just shook his head as if to say 'what am I going to do with you?'

I smirked and went back to listening.

"What the hell is this!?" Gazzy yelled.

I giggled. "Right now honey is being poured on them."

"You have way too much time on your hands," Fang scolded.

I just smiled. I'm sure Fang was just as amused as I was.

"Wait for it. The best part is next."

"Aw, shit!" Iggy screamed. "Max, dammit! I know it was you!"

"What happened?" Fang asked.

"Feathers," I replied grabbing my camera.

I ran into the room the twins share with Fang and started snapping pictures.

I laughed. "You guys look like giant chicken men!"

Fang chuckled behind me. It sent my heart into over drive.

"Dammit, Max," Gazzy hissed.

Iggy sighed. "I have to admit, that was good. I wasn't expecting an ambush right after break."

Gazzy scowled. "The war is back on. You are so dead, Max. Iggy and I were gonna wait to pull out this next prank for a more desperate time, but this prank deserves prank Z."

"Prank Z!" Iggy exclaimed.

"Yes, prank Z," Gazzy answered darkly.

"When?" Iggy asked.

"When she least expects it! Duh! What kind of an evil genius are you?" Gazzy frowned at his brother.

"Well, if you boys will excuse me, I have some pictures to go print out," I laughed waving the camera in front of them.

Iggy lunged for it and sent feathers flying in every direction. I smirked, dove out of the way, and shut the door on Iggy. There was a loud thump.

"Ow," Iggy muttered form the other side of the door.

I laughed. I started heading for the tech. room when I heard footsteps behind me. I turned around. It was Fang.

"The chicken men are giving me the creeps," he muttered shrugging.

I snickered. "Yeah, I got some great black-mail pics."

"Can I come with you to print them off?" Fang asked.

I nodded, "I'd like that. We haven't really spent much time together."

Fang gave me a funny look. "Well, you were here and I was at home…"

I ducked my head. "Yeah."

Fang and I walked to the tech. room in silence. It was a comfortable one though. It wasn't strained. It made me happy. The more time Fang and I spent together, the easier things got.

I popped open the door of the tech. room and walked in with Fang. I stuck my camera memory card in the computer.

"I think we should just print off small pictures this time and post them all over the dorms," I suggested.

"We?" Fang asked.

"Um, yeah. We are in this together, right?" I clarified.

Fang shrugged. "Yeah, that's fine."

I nodded happily and printed off 50 copies of the chicken men pictures.

Fang and I stood at the printer and waited.

"Why are you going out with him?" Fang asked.

I looked up at him in shock. Did we have to do this right now? "Um…" I mumbled not sure how to reply.

"You hardly spent time with him. You only saw him at dinner and in you organic chem. class. You can't like him that much," Fang replied.

"Oh, but it's ok for us to feel like we've known each other forever after one week? How do you know it's not like that me with Kyle?" I answered.

"Well, is it?" Fang asked his tone accusatory.

"Um…not really," I mumbled.

Fang sighed and rested his head against the wall. He closed his eyes. "Why are you doing this to us?" He asked.

My heart skipped a beat. He thought there was an 'us,' too. I looked down at the ground. "I don't know." I whispered.

The truth was, I knew and I was too chicken to admit it.

Fang POV:

She doesn't know? She doesn't frickin' know? Then why the hell is she doing this? I'd get it if she liked Kyle as a friend. I don't get this whole dating Kyle thing. They had never acted like they liked each other before.

Why does my mom get it and I don't? Why does my mom understand my best fiend better than me? I thought I got Max, but after this whole Kyle thing, I'm not so sure.

It was like she ran a knife through my heart when she said that she was going out with Kyle. It was an open wound that wouldn't heal until I could call Max mine. But, no one could hold onto Max. She's free. She's strong. She belongs to no one but herself. My heart would heal though, if she wanted to be mine.

I looked down at Max and punched the wall in anger. "Why do you have to be like this!?" I asked angrily.

Max's head snapped up in surprise. Her big chocolate eyes locked with mine. A twinge of fear was there. No one else would have noticed it because she hid it so well, but I saw the fear there and the memory. That's when I remembered that her uncle used to hit her. Smooth, Fang. Really smooth.

"Fang…I can't explain it to you. You'd hate me if I did. Just know, I really do want to be with you."

Max looked back at the printer. She kept her back to me.

I sighed. "Then why aren't you?"

"I already said I couldn't explain it to you," She answered curtly.

I put my hand on her shoulder and spun her around to face me. Her face turned up towards mine. I looked down at her. I love her so much. I don't understand why she has to make it so hard.

Why does she say she wants to be with me but won't let it happen?

"Max, why does it have to be so complicated?" I asked, more like begged, for an answer.

Max looked down. "I don't know. I…we…just can't."

"That is the stupidest reason I have ever heard!" I exclaimed.

I looked down at Max, but she kept her eyes on the ground. I hated that she wouldn't look at me. I looked down at her soft pink lips. They trembled slightly as her breath came out in short bursts.

I put my finger under her chin and gently tilted it up. "Can I change your mind?" I asked.

I leaned down and brushed my lips against hers. Fireworks exploded and an electric shock ran down my back.

It felt so good to kiss her again, but it felt wrong too. It felt like I was betraying my friendship with Kyle.

OMG! I finally got the damn chapter up! Sorry it took so long!

21. Chapter 21

Okay! So I got up this morning before everyone else in the house so I could work on this un-interrupted!

Enjoy! Thanks for all your reviews!


Max POV: Chapter 21

My brain fried as soon as our lips met. Seriously, why does it have to be like this? Every time I kiss Fang, or even touch him, fireworks go off. I get this electric shock that runs through my body. I don't get it.

Scratch that. I do get it. I get that I am in love with Fang. I do. But, I'm afraid. I've known him 5 months, and I've fallen head over heels for this guy. He's like my missing half. But, passion like this can't end well. Look at Romeo and Juliet. Yeah, that didn't go so well.

I don't want to get hurt again. I've been hurt enough. I couldn't deal with the pain of losing Fang. I'd die. I'd probably be the one to end it all. Whoa, since when was I suicidal?

I put hands on Fang's chest. I couldn't help but notice the nicely formed pecks and six pack under my hands. I balled them into fists and push Fang back. I didn't want to but I had to. For both of us. I'm protecting us both from heartbreak, right? So, why does it hurt so much right now?

Fang looked at me and his eyes flashed with anger and hurt.

"I told you, I can't," I mumbled.

Fang opened his mouth to say something. Before he could utter a word, I grabbed the 50 chicken men pictures and ran back to our dorm.

If he spoke I know that I wouldn't have been able to leave.

I ran all the way to Kyle's dorm room. .I could still taste Fang's lips on mine when I got to Kyle's door. I felt so awful. Ashamed. Like the second Kyle looked at me, he would be able to see the kiss I'd shared with Fang. The worst part? I want to kiss Fang. I only kinda want to kiss Kyle.

I replaced my worried look with a smile and knocked on the door. Kyle opened it and smiled when he saw it was me.

"Hey," he said brightly pulling me into a hug. More guilt settled in my stomach.

"Hi," I answered trying to sound cheerful. I reach up and gave him a quick kiss. Yep, still safe. I sighed happily. I liked the safe kisses.

"What's up?" Kyle asked grabbing my hand and bringing me into his room with him.

"I got some pictures. I was hoping you'd help me post them," I said while holding up the pictures.

Kyle laughed. "Is that Iggy and Gazzy? Those are great! So, that's what you've been working on since we got back."

"Yeah," I replied smiling. Kyle has a nice laugh, but it's not as dark and husky as Fang's. Fang's rumbles out from somewhere deep in his chest and you feel it deep within you like the bass in a rock and roll song.

Shut up, Max! Stop comparing your boyfriend to you best friend!

"You want me to help you put them up?" Kyle asked.

I nodded.

"Well, I don't know. I thought I was Switzerland in this war. Why don't you ask Fang?"

My heart beat quickened. "Sorry, no Switzerland in the kind of war."

Kyle smirked. "Okay, let's go."

He grabbed some tape off his desk and we walked out into the hallway hand in hand. For some reason, Kyle's hand didn't fit the way Fang's did.

"So, are you going to join the band?" Kyle asked as we posted pictures all over the hallways."

I shrugged, "Fang hasn't asked."

"Well, last time we talked, Fang said he thought it would be good to have a female lead. Plus, you can play guitar, right?"

I nodded. "Yeah, I can."

Kyle nodded in agreement. "That, and your voice kicks ass."

"Not really," I mumbled.

"No, really. Your voice could tame and ogre. Or, an angry Fang," Kyle winked.

I laughed, "He does get irrational when he's mad."

Kyle nodded. "So, wanna go out for dinner tonight?"

"Um. Sure." I replied. Why do I want to go out for dinner with Fang and not Kyle? Why would I rather things go back to the way they were when Fang and I first met, and we would go out to dinner at that Italian restaurant and laugh at peoples' faces when they saw us finish a giant calzone.

Kyle and I posted the last couple pictures up on the dorm walls.

"Hey, I've got a class next. Don't you have drama with Fang?" Kyle asked.

"Yeah," I muttered. My heart beat quickened every time Fang was mentioned.

"Cool, I'll see you after class, okay? We'll go have dinner at that Italian restaurant. They have this giant calzone that I know you would just love." Kyle smiled hopefully at me.

My breath hitched. "Yeah, sure. I'd like that. Sounds great."

Kyle gave a funny look. "You okay?"

"Me? Yeah, totally fine," I smiled to reassure him, though it felt slightly like a grimace, and reached up and gave him a quick kiss.

It was definitely a quick and safe, very safe, kiss. Kyle gave me one last look as if to say he knew what was going on. But, he smiled anyway and left for his next class.

I decided to go back to the tech. room since I hadn't seen him come back to the dorms. I probably should have just gone straight to class.

Fang POV:

"Stupid Fang. Stupid, stupid, stupid Fang," I muttered to myself while lightly banging my head against the wall.

What the hell was I thinking? Obviously, I wasn't. You don't kiss your friend's girlfriend. Especially if that friend's girlfriend happens to be your best friend.

I am such a moron. Now it's going to be even more awkward between me and Max.

Before it was just hard being around her. It was like reopening the knife wound to my heart every time I saw her. ( I understand this is very deep for a guy…but, shut up. I'm head over heel, right?).

That's when an idea struck me. Max didn't get it through words, she didn't get it through my actions, but I'd bet she'd get it through music.

I was about to leave the tech. room when the door opened. My heart jumped. Maybe it was Max.

Instead of Max's light brown hair with natural blond streaks, it was Lissa's fiery red hair. My heart dropped into my stomach.

"Hey, Fangy," Lissa said while making her lips look pouty and her boobs 2 sizes bigger.

I rolled my eyes. Did she have to be here now? And did she have to call me 'Fangy?' I mean, that is so annoying.

"So, I saw that little exchange between you and Maxi-pad there," Lissa continued ignoring my eye roll.

I clenched my fist. "Don't talk about her like that." I said angrily.

"Getting all defensive over a girl that isn't yours," Lissa tisked, shaking her head. "Aren't you sweet?" She advanced. "I think you need a little something to take your mind off of it."

Lissa took another step towards me. My back was against the wall so I had no where to go.

Lissa placed both her hands on my chest and crushed her lips to mine. My eyes widened and I put both hands on her shoulders and tried to push her off. Lissa just tightened her grip on my shirt.

I felt panicked and claustrophobic. This wasn't what I wanted. I tried again to push Lissa off, but she held fast. Damn, this girl has a really good grip.

I was about to try to push Lissa off again when I saw a flash of brown hair with blond highlights in the door. My stomach clenched. Was that Max? Did she see?

Using a little more force this time, I managed to wrench Lissa's lips from mine.

She pouted. "What's the matter?" She asked in a voice that was meant to be seductive. It just sounded whiny and annoying.

"Stay the hell away from me," I said through clenched teeth and ran out of the tech. room.

Max POV:

I walked over to the tech. room. I was about to open the door when I decided to peek in the window to make sure Fang was still in there.

What I saw made my blood run cold. Fang was sucking face with Lissa. Lissa was plastered to him like some leech. Fang didn't even push her off. They just kept kissing and kissing.

My stomach bubbled. I turned around and ran as fast as my legs would carry me. With every step away from Fang it felt like my heart was withering. By the time I reach our drama room, my heart was gone. A giant hole replaced the space where my heart used to be.

Why did Fang act like he loves me then turn around and kiss Lissa? Was I just the most available lips at the time? Did he really love me? From the looks of it, he doesn't.

I took three deep breaths outside the drama room door and counted backwards from 10. I needed to calm down. Act like nothing happened because nothing happened.

I walked into the class room. Rob, our teacher, was there, Finn was there, and some brunette was next to Finn.

"Hey, Max!" Rob called happily.

"Hi!" I said back in what I hope was a cheerful voice.

"You and Fang ready to try out tomorrow for parts in Taming of the Shrew?" Rob asked.

The whole in my chest got bigger at the mention of Fang's name. "Yeah, I'm ready. I'm sure Fang is to." My voice cracked slightly on Fang's name. Nice give away Max.

Rob gave me a funny look but didn't press the matter.

"Hey, Max! Come here!" Finn called beckoning to me.

I nodded and walked over to Finn and the perky looking brunette.

"Hi, Finn," I said smiling.

"Hi. Um, Max, this is Rachael. Rachael, this is Max," Finn replied introducing me to the girl next to him.

"Hi-" I stared but was cut off.

Rachael thrust her hand out. "Hi, I'm Rachael Berry. Finn's girlfriend. I understand that you trying out for Taming of the Shrew. Just so you know, you'll probably get the role, but when we do our spring musical, just know I'll get the lead. I've had theatre training since the age of 4 and have a very good vocal range."

Rachael smiled at me.

"Um, cool. I didn't know we were doing a musical," I muttered.

"Really!? It's Wicked. I love that musical. Probably one of the best. I was born to play Alpheba," Rachael replied, smiling.

"Oh, okay." I really wasn't sure how to answer.

"Anyway, I have to go. I have a different fine arts class right now. I have drama class tomorrow. I need to go polish off my Shakespeare. It was nice meeting you Max." Rachael smiled again. I don't think I could take anymore smiling. "Bye, Finn." She went up on tip toes and gave Finn a kiss. There kiss was like the passionate ones I shared with Fang.

How come they can be together so easily and I make things so complicated with Fang?

"Bye, Rachael. It was nice meeting you," I said waving to her as she left.

"Isn't she great? I really admire her drive," Finn said. Then he looked sheepish. "Sorry, she comes on a bit strong."

I shrugged. "It's fine."

I looked at Finn and envied his relationship with Rachael. Why didn't I let myself have that?

I went and sat down in my usual spot. A few minutes later, Fang barreled into the room at full speed.

My heart ached. Why had he done this to me?

He looked around the room then spotted me. He quickly made his way over.

Nothing happened. Nothing happened. Nothing happened.

"Hi, Fang," I mumbled.

"Max…" Fang huffed.

I couldn't let him go on. "Ready to try out tomorrow? I'm sure you want someone like Lissa to play Katherine so you can play Petruchio easier?" My voice was icy and hard.

Fang blinked. "So, you did see," he said in a hushed voice.

"Yeah, Fang, I did see. What? Was I just the most available pair of lips at the time? Did you find better ones? Someone prettier?" My voice had an edge of steel. I took my hurt and converted it to anger.

"No…Max, she-" Fang started but I cut him off.

"I don't want to hear excuses," I said bitterly.

"Okay, class!" Rob called form the front of the room. "Get in your seats! I'm going to let you practice today for the auditions tomorrow. Good luck!"

I brushed past Fang and walked up to Finn. "Be my partner?" I asked.

"Sure," Finn replied cutting a glance at Fang.

Fang sighed and went and asked Brigid to practice with him. She looked over-joyed. Life sucks right now.

* * * * * Three weeks later * * * * *

It had been three weeks since the Lissa incident. Things with me and Fang were strained and it was really hard since I was Katherine and he was Petruchio in Taming. We were the two romantic leads.

It was really hard and awkward. I spent most of my time with Kyle and avoiding the twins' pranks. They hadn't unloaded Plan Z yet, but they said it was coming. I think they're bluffing.

Fang and I only saw each other in rehearsal and in band practice. I was the new female lead singer. Every time I saw Fang the hole in my heart got bigger.

After a long day of Taming of the Shrew practice, I decided to go and take a long shower in my Chamber of Secrets bathroom.

I grabbed fresh clothes and slipped onto the staircase to the fourth floor.

This was when, literally, the shit hit the fan.

Ok! Hopefully I'll have time to get another chapie up today! Happy 2010 everyone! I know I'm gonna keep writing 2009 on my homework for the next week or so… I hate that…

Anywho…let me know your thoughts on this chapter!



22. Chapter 22

Okie dokie- here I go!

TO BoOk-NeRd38: Yes! Finn and Rachael are from Glee! I'm a total Gleek!!!! My brother hates Glee, though. So I play their music just to piss him off. So evil :D

TO Surreptitiously Anonymous: OMG Thank you! I told my friend who was editing this that it's Alphaba and not Alpheba!!!! She would not listen to me! I am so showing her this review! Thank you, thank you, thank you! And…oh well about the rig system… that's why it's fiction, right!?

OK! Thanks to everyone who reviews! You guys rock!



Max POV: Chapter 22

I set my clothes down next to my towel on the bathroom counter and hopped in the shower.

The water was steaming and instantly warmed my skin on contact. My tense muscles relaxed under the cascade of hot water.

I started to hum. It was my ritual and I wasn't about to give it up. I hummed a few more bars of the song I was thinking of. I paused and let the lyrics flow from my mouth.

I still hear your voice, when you sleep next to me.
I still feel your touch in my dreams.
Forgive me my weakness, but I don't know why
Without you it's hard to survive.

'Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling.
And every time we kiss I swear I could fly.
Can't you feel my heart beat fast, I want this to last.
Need you by my side.

'Cause every time we touch, I feel the static.
And every time we kiss, I reach for the sky.
Can't you hear my heart beat so...
I can't let you go.
Want you in my life.

Your arms are my castle, your heart is my sky.
They wipe away tears that I cry.
The good and the bad times, we've been through them all.
You make me rise when I fall.

'Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling.
And every time we kiss I swear I could fly.
Can't you feel my heart beat fast, I want this to last.
Need you by my side.

'Cause every time we touch, I feel the static.
And every time we kiss, I reach for the sky.
Can't you hear my heart beat so...
I can't let you go.
Want you in my life.

'Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling.
And every time we kiss I swear I could fly.
Can't you feel my heart beat fast, I want this to last.
Need you by my side.

I sighed. Why was I thinking of Fang when I sing this song? I'm not supposed to. He kissed Lissa. He obviously doesn't love like I thought he did. Which means my love for him is probably a lie too.

How could you think that? You know you love him.

The pesky voice in the back of my head chimed in. I really didn't need it to help. I was confused enough.

"Whatever. Just shut up," I muttered to myself.

I wasn't ready to stop the water just yet so I decided to sing another song. Hopefully I'd choose one that wouldn't remind me of him.

Apparently, my subconscious isn't listening to me today.

I didn't bother humming. I just launched into another song.

Guess this means you're sorry
You're standing at my door
Guess this means you take back
All you said before
Like how much you wanted
Anyone but me
Said you'd never come back
But here you are again

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Maybe I was stupid for telling you goodbye
Maybe I was wrong for tryin' to pick a fight
I know that I've got issues
But you're pretty messed up too
Either way, I found out I'm nothing without you

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Being with you
Is so dysfunctional
I really shouldn't miss you
But I can't let you go
Oh yeah

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

"Uuuggghhhh!" I yelled and forcefully turned the faucet off.

This sucks! All I can think about is Fang, Fang, Fang.

As I got out of the shower this was the list running through my head:

1. Fang.

2. Fang.

3. Where the hell is my towel?

4. Fang.

5. Fang.

6. Where the hell are my clothes!!??

I looked around wildly. I had no clothes. My towel was gone, too! The only things out were a bra and underwear that I so did not pick out.

They were black and lacey. They were the underwear and bra that Nudge had forced me to buy when we went shopping together. Then it hit me.

Plan Z.

They are so dead!

Grumbling, I pulled the bra and underwear on. I'm not sure if going naked would have been worse.

I tried to dry my hair but failed. It stayed plastered to my back and shoulders. Seriously, I'm gonna kill the twins.

I ran out of the 4th floor and rushed to my door. It was locked. The twins had swiped my keys from the bathroom counter. How had they gotten in my bathroom in the first place? Then I remembered Iggy bragging about the new lock picking set he'd gotten over break. Fan-freaking-tastic!

"Whoa, dude! Look up!" I heard some guy say.

I gulped and turned around. Two guys were standing there staring up at the ceiling. The dorm was an older building so there were fans on the ceiling. I looked up too and stopped breathing. Every bra and pair of undies I owned was hanging from the 10 fans that were on the ceiling.

Oh hell no! Then one of the guys looked down and saw me. He poked his friend. "More like look down! It's a way better show."

They both gaped at me. I walked up to them and put my hands on m hips. "Take a picture, jackass, it'll last longer."

My face was the color of a cherry tomato. I was beyond embarrassed and beyond pissed. One of the guys smirked and pulled out his phone.

I grabbed it from him and chucked it down the staircase.

"Oh, shit!" he yelled and ran after it.

His friend soon followed suit.

I flipped them the bird and looked up at the fans. I sighed and started jumping up and down trying to grab my undergarments.

"I am so going to kill Iggy and Gazzy!" I hissed to myself.

After 10 minutes of jumping and no results, I gave up. It was too high up. I bet Kyle could reach them.

I sighed and walked down to Kyle's room. As I walked I heard a wolf whistle behind me.

I turned around to see Ari. I flipped him the bird too. "Piss off, Ari."

He just shrugged and winked, "Nice work."

I rolled my eyes, made a disgusted noise, and kept walking. I really wanted to smash his face in, but I wanted to get my shit out of the fans more.

Trying not to attract attention to myself, I quietly crept to Kyle's room. The door was ajar. I was about to push it open when I heard voices.

"I jus don't get why she's with me," Kyle muttered. "I like her, but I know she loves you. And, honestly, you love her more than I do. You deserve her. I don't. I'm just a cop-out."

"No, man, don't say that. She chose you for a reason." A voice answered.

My breath caught. That was Fang's voice.

"Are you kidding!?" Kyle exclaimed. "She wants you not me."

"Maybe she did, but she doesn't now. She saw me kissing Lissa," Fang sighed.

"You kissed her?" Kyle asked in disbelief.

"More like she kissed me. I tired to push her off, but she a death grip on my shirt front," Fang explained. "I don't think Max saw me push her off."

The sadness was evident in Fang's voice and my stomach flipped. He hadn't wanted to kiss her!

"Do you think I should break up with her?" Kyle asked.

My breath sped up. Half of me screamed yes and the other half bawled no.

"But, you really like her don't you? Don't sacrifice your happiness for mine," Fang muttered.

He really is a great friend.

"You think I'm happy knowing I'm not the one she wants? I'm holding her back from what she really wants," Kyle sighed in defeat.

"Dude, just talk to her and whatever happens, happens," Fang advised.

I took a deep breath and burst into the door and acted like I hadn't heard a thing. Both boys turned around when my presence was known.

Both their eyes widened and their jaws dropped. Talk about awkward. Both their eyes flew up to the ceiling.

"Hi, Max," Kyle blushed.

"Nice fashion statement," Fang snickered.

Yep, still the same old Fang. This is why we were best friends. He had the guts to tease when no one else did. I loved it. My heart constricted.

"Shut up," I said curtly. "I need your help. Both of you. My shit is in the fans."

Fang cocked and eyebrow at the ceiling in question. My stomach bubbled. Just like old times.

"The twins executed Plan Z. They locked me out of my room and put all my bras and underwear on the fans in the hallway. They snuck into the bathroom and took my change of clothes and left these for me," I explained putting a hand on my hip. This couldn't be more embarrassing and awkward.

"Oh," Kyle and Fang said at the same time.

"Yeah," I muttered. "I can't get them down."

Both boys nodded and brushed past me into the hallway. Neither of them looked at me. Very gentlemen-like.

I waited in Kyle's room because I didn't want to give anyone else a free peep show.

A few minutes later, Kyle came back with all my unmentionables in his hands and Fang was dragging Iggy and Gazzy behind him and had my keys around my neck.

I sighed in relief. I took the bundle of clothes and slipped my keys off from around Fang's neck.

Our eyes locked and he knew that I had over-heard him and Kyle talking. Suddenly, hope sprung in his dark eyes. My heart leaped and the hole that was there started to heal.

"This isn't over," I hissed at Iggy and Gazzy.

Iggy smirked and waved a video camera in my face, but Gazzy had the good sense to look scared. I smacked Iggy over the head and started for my room.

"Fang, torture them in whatever way you see fit," I threw over my shoulder as I walked out.

"Max!" Kyle called as he ran after me. "I'll come with you. We need to talk."

My stomach dropped with disappointment but leaped for joy at the same time.

"Okay," I muttered and we walked to my room in silence.

Once we got into my room, I started stuffing my clothes back in my drawers. After that, I pulled on a baggy old t-shirt and some sweats.

"What's up?' I asked trying to sound clam. In reality, my stomach was bubbling like some witch's cauldron.

"Us," Kyle muttered. "You don't really love me, Max. We both know that."

My breath caught. "What do you mean?"

"We both know you belong with Fang. I don't why you decided to go out with me, but it was just a cop-out. Besides, I like being friends better."

I sighed. "Yeah…I…suppose you're right."

"No hard feelings?" Kyle asked. "I mean. We really didn't much as a couple anyway. We basically hung out as friends."

I nodded. It still stung though.

"A word of advice?" Kyle offered.

"Sure," I mumbled.

"Give Fang a chance. He's a really great guy and he cares about you a lot."

I just stood there. I didn't have a response.

"See you at band practice," Kyle muttered before giving me a quick hug and leaving.

I just stood there. It all felt really surreal. I flopped down on my bed.

I few minutes later there was a knock on the door.

"Come in!" I called in a muffled voice. My pillow was jammed on my head.

"Hey," Fang said softly. I felt the bed tilt under his weight as he sat next to me. I sighed. It felt familiar to have Fang sitting next to me again. It was nice.

Fang reached over and plucked the pillow off my face. "You okay?"

"Yup," I replied. "I just feel like an ass for stringing Kyle along like that."

"Something tells me he always knew and doesn't hold it against you," Fang smiled.

I don't deserve either of them. "So, what do you need?"

"Mom just called. She was wondering if you'd stay with us over winter break. She'd loved to have you, and she said you could interview for a job this weekend."

I sat up. "She still wants me to come?" I said in disbelief.

Fang nodded. "Like I said, she gets it even though I don't."

I smiled. Fang's mom is amazing. "Um…okay. I'd love to."

Fang nodded. "Cool. Angel and Nudge really want to see you again. And, Rondie really needs to be ridden. We can go riding together when you come."

"Okay." I looked at Fang. I had been such an ass. "I'm sorry. I heard what you said to Kyle and…"

Fang held up his hand. "It's fine."

I reached over and wrapped my around Fang's torso. He didn't hesitate to reciprocate my hug.

His strong arms enveloped me and everything felt right again.

Fang kissed the top of my head. "When you're ready, I'll be waiting," he whispered in my ear.

A shiver ran down my spine. Fang let go, winked, and walked out of my room. I flopped back down on my bed and fell asleep. I was totally sapped from today's events.

* * * * * 5 hours later * * * * *

Pink. Pink. Pink. Pink. I woke up to the sound of something small and sharp hitting my window.

I forced myself out of bed. I looked at my clock. 2 am. If Iggy and Gazzy are continuing with Plan Z I'm going to kill them.

I shoved my window open and pebble hit me in the head. "Ow. What the hell!" I yelled down at the ground.

"Crap! Sorry, Max!" Fang yelled up to me.

"Fang!? What on Earth are you doing!?" I called.

"Just listen!" he ordered.

Someone shined a flashlight on Fang so I could see him. He had his guitar in hand. He strummed a few lines then started singing.

I got your runaway smile in my piggybank baby
Gonna cash it right in for a new Mercedes
You were worth the hundred thousand miles
But you couldn't stay awhile
I got your little brown shirt in my bottom drawer baby
And your little white socks in the top drawer
You were always leaving your shit around
And gone without a sound

Yeah I'm the first to fall and the last to know
Where'd you go?

Now I'm heels over head
I'm hangin' upside down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound

I got a first class ticket to a night all alone
And a front row seat up right by the phone
Cause you're always on my mind
And I'm running out of time
I've got your hair on my pillow and your smell in my sheets
And it makes me think about you with the sand in your feet
Is it all you thought it'd be?
You mean everything to me

But I'm the first to fall and the last to know
And where'd you go?

Now I'm heels over head,
I'm hangin' upside down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound
And when you hit the coast
I hope you think of me
And how I'm stuck here with the ghost of what we used to be

You're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes
Yeah you're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes
You're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes
Yeah you're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes

You're a chance taker, heartbreaker
Got me wrapped around your finger
Chance taker, heartbreaker
Got me wrapped around your finger

I got your runaway smile in my piggybank baby
Gonna cash it right in for a new Mercedes
If I drive a hundred thousand miles
Would you let me stay a while?

Now I'm heels over head,
I'm hangin' upside-down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound
And when you hit the coast
I hope you think of me
And how I'm stuck here with the ghost of what we used to be

Now I'm heels over head,
I'm hangin' upside-down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound
And when you hit the coast
Maybe you'll finally see
And then you'll turn it all around and you'll come back to me

Alright! That's all for Chapter 22…10 pages on Word!

23. Chapter 23

Alright…people are demanding another chapter. I'll try and get this up today. I might not though…my hand is starting to cramp. :D



Max POV: Chapter 23

I just stared out my window when Fang finished the song. It was horribly romantic and I had no clue what to do.

"Max? You alive!?" Gazzy and Iggy yelled from the bushes.

They were the ones doing the lighting with the flash lights. I still made no response. I had absolutely nothing to say. I'd been swept off my feet.

"Here, use this," Iggy whispered to Gazzy.

Suddenly, something hit me in the forehead. I looked down on my floor where it landed. It was a pine cone.

"Really not helping Gaz!" Fang hissed at him.

In a way, it did help. It got my brain back on track.

"Um, Fang?" I called down. "Can you come up here?"

"Score, man!" Iggy whooped from the bushes.

"Oi, you two sexist pigs in the bushes, shut up!" I yelled at the twins. I still need to come up with a revenge prank.

Fang chuckled as he dashed back to the front doors of the dorm. A few second later he returned to my window looking sheepish.

"Um, Max…I'm kinda locked out," Fang called up.

I laughed and ran and got my keys from the desk. "Here!" I said back while chucking the keys out the window.

"You kids have fun!" Iggy and Gazzy chimed as Fang rushed back to the front doors.

"Oh, shut up!" I screamed while flipping them off.

I heard the front door close and Fang's foot steps on the stairs.

"Hey, Ig, did you bring your key?" Gazzy asked. "I'm getting a little cold."

"Um, no. I thought you brought your key!" Iggy exclaimed.

I laughed. "Karma!" I called down.

"Max! How 'bout you help your friends out! It's really cold," the twins whined.

"You guys might want to huddle for warmth so your 'boys' don't shrink permanently!" I snickered as I closed the window. Now we were a little more even.

I drew the curtains then turned around as I heard a knock on my door. I smiled. I went to the door and opened it. Fang was there puffing slightly.

"That was amazing," I breathed. Fang smiled but didn't say anything. "Um. Come in. We need to talk…about us."

Fang nodded and sat down on my bed while laying his guitar on the floor next to his feet. It was a beautiful black acoustic guitar. It had a key chain with a fang hanging off the neck. That guitar was Fang's pride and joy.

I went and sat next to Fang on the bed. I looked at the ceiling for a long time. I just didn't know how to say this to him.

"You're not ready are you?" Fang asked only it was more like he was stating a fact.

I looked at him and smiled sheepishly. "I kinda just need my best friend right now."

Fang nodded. "Can you tell me why?"

I shook my head then sighed. No need to make it complicated Max. "Um… I really do like you. A lot. I mean…I think I fell for you the second I saw you, but I wouldn't admit it to myself. I'm afraid of getting hurt I guess. I can deal with physical pain, but I can't deal with the pain of losing you. Whenever we kiss…it's like fireworks. But, what if we end up losing that fire and hating each other? I couldn't bear losing you."

I looked at Fang. He looked thoughtful. Then his eyes locked with mine. "I get it, I guess. We don't want to take things to fast. That's what you're getting at, right?"

I nodded. Fang looked like he wanted to continue so I didn't say anything.

Fang nodded his head absently. "So, friends? For now…like, a to-be couple?"

"Yeah. I think I like the sound of that. Can we see how winter break goes at your house and then we decide?" I asked.

"Yeah. I can live with that," Fang replied. "So, I should let you get back to bed. You have organic chem. tomorrow and choir." I nodded. Fang got up and stretched. His stomach peeked out from under his black shirt. "By the way, my dad booked us at the 18 and up bar for Christmas Eve. We are gonna practice a lot over break."

"Okay, that sounds like fun," I answered as I stood too.

Fang looked down at me. He seemed to hesitate but he finally bent down and wrapped his arms around my waist. I paused then brought my arms around his neck. We just stayed there for a while. Fang was so warm. So gentle. So…so amazing. I loved him more than anything. When that realization hit me, I didn't want to let go.

Pebbles began to rain down on my window. Iggy and Gazzy. They sure know how to ruin a moment. Fang and I sighed at the same time and let go of one another.

"You need to help me prank them back," I said as we both walked to the front door to let the twins in.

"We could just not let them in," Fang offered.

I shook my head. "No humiliating enough." Then an idea struck me.

I grinned evilly and whispered in Fang's ear. He smiled. "You're a horrible person. A very horrible person."

I nodded eagerly. "Yeah, I know."

We both walked to the door and stood in front of the windows with silly grins on our faces. I texted Iggy.

He looked down at his phone. "Hell no!" he shouted back at us.

Fang and I nodded. Iggy showed the text to Gazzy. "That's a low blow!" He complained.

Fang and I nodded again. This was pure genius.

"Is there any other way?" The twins begged.

Fang and I shook our heads no.

"We should have expected something like this," Gazzy hissed at his twin as he took his shirt off.

Iggy flipped him the bird and followed suit. The twins stripped down to their boxers. I opened the door a crack and stuck my hand out.

Iggy and Gazzy grudgingly handed me their clothes. I took them and shut the door again.

"Remember Max, you said 20 seconds. I'm on 10 seconds," Gazzy reminded me from the other side of the door.

I nodded. "Remember what I said about huddling for warmth!?" I called from inside to the two freezing twins. "Time to put that into practice!"

"What!?" they both screamed. "You can't leave us out here! Hypothermia! Hypothermia! Heartless woman! Heartless, heartless woman!"

I turned around and waved. "Later," I threw over my shoulder. "Come on, Fang."

Fang shrugged and looked apologetically at the twins. He turned and followed me back upstairs.

I stopped at Fang's door. "Good night," I said quietly.

"Night," Fang muttered. He put his hand behind my head and brought his face close to mine. He gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before slipping back into his room.

I went to my room and slid my hand up to my cheek. It tinged where his lips had touched.

* * * * *

"Max! Hurry up!" Fang called.

"Coming!" I shouted poking my head out my window. We were done with school and it was time for winter break.

Things between Fang and me were back to normal. It was like the first week we met. Really easy and really fun. But, there was an undercurrent. An understanding of what we would become. It was nice. It kept the pressure off. We didn't have to rush into anything.

The twins were already with their parents. They survived one night in the cold in nothing but boxers. Fang filmed most of it from his upstairs window. It was pretty funny. We sent it Iggy and Gazzy's dad. He promised to put it in a home video.

"Max!" Fang yelled again and honked the horn of his car.

I rolled my eyes. "Here!" I yelled and chucked my duffle bag out the window. Fang caught it easily and put it in the trunk. Show off.

I locked the door to my dorm and rushed to the front doors. I was almost out when I collided with Ari. Note to self: take a long shower tonight.

"Hey, Max," Ari said.

"Dog boy," I replied nodding in his direction.

"Max, I am really sorry about everything that's happened," Ari muttered.

"You really think sorry is gonna cut it?" I asked in disbelief. "I have a nice sized scar on my stomach thanks to you."

"I know. I was an ass."

"That's the understatement of the century," I hissed. Why was he wasting my time?

"Max, wait!" Ari called as I started walking towards the door. "We have a mutual enemy: Sam."

I froze. "What the hell do you mean?"

"When Sam came to Oregon, he recruited me. He told about some girl that used to work with him. He showed me pictures. When I saw you at school I went and told him you were here. He was the one who sent me to knife you," Ari took a deep breath. "I know Fang doesn't know. You should tell him before his family gets hurts."

I stiffened. "Are you still working for Sam? Why should I even listen to you?"

"Think of me as your double agent," Ari mumbled and then walked out.

I sighed and shook my head to clear it. I tried to forget about my talk with Ari and jogged over to Fang.

"What did he want?" Fang ground out.

"He was just wishing me a Merry Christmas," I mumbled.

Fang snorted.

"Just forget it," I said placing my hand on Fang's arm. "Let's go."

Fang nodded and opened the car door for me. I rolled my eyes. "Old habits die hard," Fang shrugged.

I laughed. Fang and I sped off towards his house in the car his parents had given him as an early Christmas gift.

* * * * *

We pulled into Fang's driveway to find Sam standing in the front yard while Nudge threw his things out from a third floor window.

Nudge was crying and Sam just looked amused.

"And you can stay out, you jackass!" Nudge screamed as she chuckled a pile a shirts out the window. "You cheating bastard! I took you back and promised you wouldn't cheat again! Ass hole! I never want to see you again!"

Fang gripped the steering wheel. "That shit," he hissed and jumped out of the car. I hopped out as well. "Yo, Sam!" Fang roared.

Sam turned around and Fang's fist connected with Sam's jaw. Sam pitched backwards and Fang pinned him down on the muddy grass. Fang started punching Sam in the stomach repeatedly. "What…did…I tell…you…about…cheating…you…stupid…son of a…bitch!?" Fang ground out between punches.

Nudge watched in horror as Fang proceeded to beat the crap out of her soon to be ex-husband.

I watched in amusement. I've always wanted to beat Sam to a pulp, but Fang was doing an excellent job. I wasn't even thinking of stopping him.

Jeb rushed out of the house and pulled Fang off. "Let him go, son. He's not worth the energy." Jed advised Fang while he dragged him away from Sam.

Sam slowly stood up and spit a clot of blood out on the pavement. "Ass," he muttered.

"Sam," Jeb said in an icy voice. "I suggest you get the hell off my lawn."

Sam just shook his head. "Yeah, whatever. I was getting sick of you guys anyway." He turned and winked at me, got in his car, and sped off.

Something told me we haven't seen the last of him.

"MAX!" Nudge shrieked when she saw me from the window. She quickly wiped the tears from her eyes and disappeared. Soon, she reappeared barreling down the porch to hug me.

She banged into me and squished me in a bear hug. "I'm so glad you and Fang worked things out," she whispered in my ear.

"Me too," I whispered back.

Nudge let me go and then my legs were wrapped into a hug by Angel's skinny arms. "Hey, Max!" she squeaked happily. "When Nudge says you and Fang worked things out, does that mean you're finally his girlfriend?"

"Um…in a way," I muttered.

"Angel, stop harassing Max. She's come here to relax." Dr. M scolded from behind Angel.

Angel just smiled at her mom and let go.

"Hey Dr. M," I said smiling.

"Hi Max. Welcome home."


24. Chapter 24

OK! I'm back! My hands are all better! Thanks for all the reviews! I have a total of 656! That's amazing…you guys rock!



Max POV: Chapter 24

I dropped my duffle bag on the floor and sighed as I looked around the guest room. I'd forgotten just how beautiful this room is. I unzipped my duffle bag and started putting my clothes away.

There was a light tap on my bedroom room.

"Come in!" I called without looking up. I smiled slightly thinking it was Fang coming in to hang out with me. I couldn't help but smile every time I thought about him. I was glad we were at an understanding.

"Hey, Max," Nudge said from behind me.

My smile faded slightly when I realized it wasn't Fang. Oh well, it's fun to talk to Nudge. "Hey. What's up?" I said turning to face Nudge.

"I can I talk to you? It's really hard to talk to Angel about girl stuff since she's only 6. And, even though I love my mom, she's not my real mom, so I sometimes feel weird talking to her about this stuff. Then, if I talked to Fang or dad that'd be just awkward turtle, y'know?" Nudge replied while crossing the room and plopping down on my bed.

"Oh, sure," I answered. I really hope she doesn't want advice. I'm bad enough at my own girly problems. Look how I tangled things up with Fang. I shoved my duffle bag out of the way and sat down next to Nudge. "I'm listening."

Nudge smiled. "It's Sam," she started. My heart beat quickened. "I'm just so bummed. I thought he really loved me, y'know? He was cheating on me the whole 7 months we were married. He promised he'd never do it again, but he was cheating the whole time. And then, when he left, he acted like he didn't care. Like, he had been using me the whole time and that he could care less if he was married to me or not."

Nudge paused to breathe. My pulse was still going 100 miles a minute. Should I tell her? Would she hate me, too? Would Fang hate me? She I keep it to myself? Ari said he was gonna help me. Could I trust him? Would he get Sam to not rob Fang's family? Has Sam moved onto a new victim? Did he decide the Martinez treasure wasn't worth it?

"And then there's the whole thing with Gazzy," Nudge sighed.

My head snapped up. "You lost me there."

"Gazzy and I…we…we used to go out. In fact, we were going out when I met Sam. I was so awful to Gazzy. I broke things off with him to run away with Sam. That's why I took Sam back after I found out he was cheating the first time. I would have felt like a hypocrite. I cheated on Gazzy with him. But, now I realize, I really did love Gazzy. Isn't it weird when you love someone so much you don't want to be with them 'cuz you have some irrational fears. Or, you're afraid of hurting them or getting hurt by them that you try to protect them but end up hurting them worse."

I snorted, "Tell me about it…"

Nudge smiled. "I knew you'd get it. It's what happened with you and Fang. Mom said she understood when Fang came back into the party without you the night you left. She said she had seen it brewing. But, she didn't want to tell Fang. She wanted you to explain it yourself when you were ready. She told me why you left and then she looked at me and muttered 'like you and Gazzy.' That's when it hit me that I was meant to be with Gazzy, not Sam. I broke it off with Gazzy because he was so sweet. I thought he couldn't possibly love someone like me. Then, I met Sam and he wasn't perfect and I felt safe with him. It was stupid."

I patted Nudge on the shoulder. "Sam's a dick. You shouldn't fret about him. He has a way of drawing people to him…" I trailed off. I think I gave too much away.

Nudge looked up at me in question. "Do you know Sam?"

"What? No. Only the times I saw him here. He just reminds me of…my first boyfriend. A total ass whole reels you in and then drops you when you're high on life. He would pick moments to remind me how unworthy I was and when he dumped me, I felt like crap for a long time." I stopped. I felt bad about lying. But, in a way I was telling her about my experience with Sam.

Whenever I would think of backing out of helping him steal, he'd make sure and remind me that no one else would want me now that I had a black mark on my record.

Nudge nodded. "That's sounds like Sam. What was his name?"

Shit. Think, think, think. I need a name. "Um, Josh."

"Oh. Ok," Nudge paused and looked down at her hands. "Should I try and start things back up with Gazzy? Or, do you think he hates me know? He's probably moved on and is dating someone else."

I shook my head. "He's not dating. In fact, he doesn't look at other girls. I remember Iggy scolding him for not going out and playing the field. Gazzy just muttered that he was 'waiting for her.' I didn't know what he meant by that, but I think I do now."

Nudge beamed at me. "REALLY!? OMG! THAT'S AMAZING!" Then she sobered a bit. "That's my Gazzy. He's just so sweet. He's got such a good heart. I don't deserve someone like him."

"That's not true. Nudge you're an amazing person. You did the same thing to Gazzy that I did to Fang and he understood. For some reason those two amazing boys decided to pick us out of all the girls in the world. They think we're good enough and that's a pretty damn good reason if you ask me."

Nudge smiled and smashed me into a huge hug. "Thanks so much, Max. You're really great, y'know that."

I hugged Nudge back. "You're great too Nudge. I'd be dressed like some homeless rocker if it weren't for you."

Nudge laughed and got up from my bed. "I need to go help mom with dinner. I'll talk to you later."

"Okay." I replied and started putting my things away again.

* * * * *

After dinner, Fang and I decided to go riding. Fang was really quiet during dinner. I was a little worried about it. I hope I hadn't done anything to make him upset. I'd ask him when we were riding.

I went into my room and changed into my riding gear. Luckily, I had kept my riding boots and most of my other stuff. I had always wanted to get back into riding. I had just finished zipping up my half-chaps when there was a tap on the French doors.

I walked over to them and pulled the curtains back. Fang was standing on the other side. He looked really good in English saddle riding clothes, I have to admit. Black britches, black riding boots, black half-chaps, and a black long-sleeved under armor t-shirt that showed off his abs.

Drooling is not attractive, Maximum. The annoying voice in the back of my head warned.

I quickly wiped at my mouth and opened up the French doors.

"Hey," I said looking at his eyes instead of his abs. Bad idea. His eyes are also drool worthy. I looked at his mouth. Stupid place to look, too. There was no where safe to look. So, I settled for his feet. Yeah, that's not obvious.

"Ready to go?" Fang asked and I could hear the smug smirk in his voice.

I looked up and locked eyes with him refusing to drool. "Yep. Let's go."

Fang got quiet and thoughtful again. He looked away and turned towards the barn. I followed him; determined to find out what the hell was going on.

Fang grabbed a black halter and went out to catch Athos his black horse. I looked around until I spotted a purple halter. I smiled. I had told Dr. M that purple was Rondie's color. I grabbed it and jogged out to the middle of the pasture.

"Rondie!!" I called hoping she would come.

After a moments pause, she came barreling across the paddock to me. I smiled. She remembered me.

She stopped three feet from me and walked the rest of the way. Her face was inches from mine. She nuzzled my head and nickered happily.

"Hey, girl," I muttered patting her muzzle. I slipped the halter over her head and led her into the barn after Fang and Athos.

I tied Rondie in the cross-ties and followed Fang into the tack room. I shut the door behind me.

"What's up?" I asked Fang.

He twirled around and faced me. My heart skipped a beat as some hair fell in front of his face. I felt despair settle in my stomach as I thought that I must have upset him for him to be so quiet.

"What do you mean?" he muttered as he turned back around and looked for Athos's brushes.

"You've been so quiet all day," I mumbled trying to keep the panic from my voice. "Did I do something wrong?"

Fang turned back around. "Done something wrong?" He shook his head and then smiled my special smile. My breath caught. He hadn't smiled at me like that for a long time. I'd forgotten just how beautiful it was. The darkest corners of my world lit up at the sight of it. "You've done the opposite."

I was so confused right now. "Explain," I ordered while furrowing my brow.

Fang closed the gap between us in two long strides. He was just inches from me. My heart beat went faster. "I over-heard your conversation with Nudge," he muttered while tucking a piece of hair behind my ear. Then Fang smirked. "You think I'm amazing," he whispered in a sing-song voice.

I groaned slightly and rolled my eyes. "That's why you've been all pensive? Keep thinking about it and your head will get so that big a circus tent won't be a big enough hat."

Fang chuckled slightly and his breath tickled my cheek. "Well, I was thinking about what you said to Nudge. I just wanted to say thanks. I know the whole thing with Gazzy has been really bugging her. And…what she said helped me understand what was going on with you better."

"Oh…yeah. Nudge and I seem to have the same problem," I muttered.

Fang put both hands on my shoulders and pulled me into his chest. My face hit rock, but it was a warm comfortable rock that I never wanted to get off. "You don't have to be afraid. Not of me. And you don't have to try and protect me from getting hurt. I'm in this for the long haul," Fang whispered.

I sighed. "Why do you have to be so damn perfect?" I asked.

Fang shrugged and let me go. "I'm just so amazing like that."

"Note to self: never compliment Fang again. His head is getting too big."

Fang smirked. "C'mon. We've got horses to ride."

I smiled. Then Fang reached forward gave me a small kiss on the cheek. Only, it was really close to my mouth. Like, half and inch more to the left and he would have hit my lips. I resisted the urge to grab Fang and pull his lips to mine. We were a couple to be…not a couple. But, by the time winter break is over, I'm pretty sure we'll be a couple.

Fang and I tacked the horses up and went up to the indoor arena. I got on Rondie and started walking her in a 20 meter circle. Fang took Athos to the other end of the arena and started circling him as well. After a few times around the circle, Fang was able to start trotting Athos.

I decided to go a few more times around with Rondie. She hadn't been ridden in a long time so I figured she needs a good warm up.

I had been riding Rondie for barely a half hour when I noticed her labored breathing. I immediately brought her back into a walk. She was really out of shape. I would have to build her back up to a point where she could be ridden like Athos. Fang was still going strong. He could probably ride for an hour.

I gave Rondie a long rein so she could cool out. After about 10 minutes of walking, Rondie's breathing was back to normal.

"I'm going to go clean Rondie up, Fang!" I called across the arena.

Fang nodded in my direction. I slipped off Rondie and brought her down into the barn. I put her in the cross ties and started taking her bridle and saddle off.

I started humming. I loved singing to Rondie. Her ears always perked up, and she looked so happy. I hummed a little more then decided to sing the words.

Maybe this time

I'll be lucky.

Maybe this time he'll stay.

Maybe this time

For the fist time

Love won't hurry


He will hold me fast

I'll be home

At last.

Not a loser

Any more

Like the last time

And the time



Loves a winner

So nobody loved


Lady peaceful

Lady happy

That's what I love

To be

All the odds are

In my favor

Something bound to


It's got to


Happen sometime

Maybe this time

I'll win.


Everybody loves

A winner

So nobody

Loved me

Lady peaceful

Lady happy

That's what I love

To be

All the odd are

They're in my


Some things bound

To begin

It's got to happen

Happen sometime

Maybe this time

Maybe this time

I'll win.

I stopped and looked around. I was breathing a little hard. I had really gotten into that song. Rondie was eyeing me as if to say 'step away from the psycho.'

"We can do that song at our next gig if you want," Fang offered from Athos's stall.

I jumped. When did he get down here? Did I really not notice? Fang smirked as if reading my mind.

"It sounded good," he muttered carrying the saddle into the tack room. "Really good."

I blushed slightly and went back to brushing Rondie. Everything was pretty much perfect right now.

Sorry! This would have been up last night but my parents were all "RAWR go to bed!" and this time they did roar (JK JK) let me now what you thought. Oh! And to save your curiosity, the song at the end is called "Maybe this time," it's from the musical Cabaret, but I was listening to the Glee version. I prefer it.

25. Chapter 25

Thanks for all the reviews! I'm really close to having 700! You guys are amazing… so I know last chapter was a bit of a filler. Sorry. I'm trying to slow things down so the story doesn't seem rushed.



PS: thanks to Rose and Elli for giving me the ideas for the songs Fang and Max will sing for the concert!

NOTE: when Max and Fang are singing a duet…BOLD is Fang, Italics is Max, and Bold Italics is both of them

Max POV: Chapter 25

It had been three days a peaceful bliss at Fang's house. Today, however, things were about to get a lot louder. The band was coming over so we could practice our songs for the Christmas Eve gig.

I was pacing back and forth in my room trying to think of a gift I could get for the guys in the band and for Nudge and Angel. This was going to be tough. I had thought of some good gifts, but the problem was getting them without the others knowing.

The front doorbell rang. I jetted out of my room. I was excited to see the guys. I dashed down the hall to the foyer. I was in socks and the hall was hard wood. Not a good idea. I tried to stop when I saw Fang at the door.

Fang had just opened the door when he turned and saw me sliding forward at an alarming speed. I collided with Fang and we toppled to the ground. I burst out laughing and Fang started to do the same. His deep, rumbling laughed buzzed through my body.

"Wow, that's some welcome," Iggy muttered.

Fang hopped up and offered his hand to me. I took it and he hoisted me up. "Hey, guys!" I said in a chipper voice. Fang's laugh had kinda of affected my brain. "Long time no see."

"Sup," Gazzy muttered doing a weird gangster nod.

"Um…the sky?" Iggy suggested.

We call rolled our eyes and Kyle smacked Iggy over the head.

"Can we come in? This stuff is heavy," Gazzy asked motioning to his case.

"Sure, c'mon guys. We can use the music room. It's sound proof," Fang said moving out of the way.

"There's a music room?" I asked.

Fang nodded, "Yeah."

"Jeez, your house is huge," I mumbled.

Fang shrugged, "Kinda."

I rolled my eyes and followed everyone to the music room. I absently heard the sound of feet pounding on the stairs. As we were about to enter the music room, Nudge came running down that last few steps.

"Hey, everyone!" Nudge called excitedly. She cut a quick glance at Gazzy then looked away. Gazzy stopped what he was doing and stared at Nudge. "It's so great to see you guys! ZOMG! Kyle, you've gotten so tall! Man, I miss college. Guess what, guess what!? I'm coming back to school after Winter Break is done! Isn't that great!? I'm so excited! I'll be staying in the co-ed dorm right next door to yours. I can be your band stylist again! In fact, I should choose your out-fits for your Christmas Eve gig, okay? Okay! I'll catch you guys later!"

Nudge looked at Gazzy one last time and a shadow of sadness ran across her face.

Iggy balled his hands into fists and put one on top of the other. He opened and closed it like a clam of some sorts. "Sexual tension clam!" Iggy exclaimed. His voice was hushed so only we could hear him. Nudge kept walking without hearing.

Gazzy turned bright red and smacked his brother upside the head.

"Kay, guys, let's get started," Fang muttered ushering a steaming Gazzy into the music room.

The was a piano, a drum set, a violin, Fang's acoustic guitar, and his electric guitar. Gazzy put down his case and amp opposite Fang's. Gazzy started to get his bass guitar ready. He looked like a robot just going through the motions.

"What's the play list?" Iggy asked sitting down at the piano.

"Okay, so there are some for me to sing solo, some for Max to solo, and I think one or two for us to duet," Fang said as he went over to his laptop that was on a desk. He pulled a piece of paper out from under the laptop. "Ok, we're opening with Comatose by Skillet…I'll be playing violin on that one and Max will do guitar, then Those Nights by Skillet, next is Five Minutes to Midnight and Dance Hall Drug by Boys Like Girls, then Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy. Then we'll have Max come up and she'll open with Maybe This Time from Cabaret, next she'll sing Misery Business by Paramore. I'll do a violin intro on this and Max will do acoustic guitar and I'll do electric. Then Max will sing Everybody's Fool and My Immortal by Evanescence. To close Max and I will do two duets. Bring Me to Life by Evanescence and Awake and Alive by Skillet."

The three boys nodded their heads. "Sounds good," Iggy muttered.

"When are we doing Iris by the Goo-goo dolls and Never Too Late by Three Days Grace?" Kyle asked from behind the drum set.

"The next concert?" Fang offered. "We do have a 12 song limit. Do you want to add one?"

"Let's do Iris," Gazzy offered.

Fang nodded. "Okay. We'll put that song in between Dance Hall Drug and Dance Dance."

"Sounds like a good list," Iggy said nodding while playing a few scales to warm up his fingers.

"Let's start with Iris since we don't know it as well," Kyle suggested.

Fang nodded. "Max, will you take electric on this one?"

"Sure," I replied while picking up the sleek black and grey guitar. I plugged it into the amp.

Gazzy and I were either side of Fang. Iggy was at the back and Kyle was diagonally behind Gazzy.

Gazzy and I looked at each other and nodded. We started off the song and then Iggy came in then Kyle. Then Fang opened his mouth and his voice flowed out. It was the most haunting and beautiful sound I'd ever heard.

And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
'Cause sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am

We all stopped and stared at each other. It had been perfect. We'd nailed it on the first try. Fang's voice had sent shivers down my spine and it felt like he had been singing it just for me.

We ran through the rest of the songs. We did really well for not having practiced for about a week. The last song, however, was my favorite out of all of them. Fang and I sounded great together.

"Let's run the last one again, Max," Fang said picking up his violin. I nodded picking up the electric again.

"Wait guys," Gazzy said slipping the neck strap of his bass off. "I need some water."

"Oh, ok…we'll wait. We should probably take a break anyway," Fang muttered putting the violin back down.

Gazzy nodded and slipped out of the music room.

"For the last song, it sounds like the violin is hooked up to an amp…at least on the recording. Can you do that with yours?" I asked Fang as I readjusted the strap the electric.

Fang thought for a moment. "I'd need a special violin that hooks up to an amp. I could go to the music shop that's close by and see if they have one. I have some money saved up. I've wanted to get a violin like that. We can go tomorrow, okay?"

I nodded. "Sounds good." I smiled at Fang. His lips twitched at the corners then pulled into a smile. My world brightened and I couldn't help but smile wider.

"Would you guys stop making cow eyes at each other and just make-out already!" Iggy exclaimed in an exasperated voice.

I death glared at Iggy the same time Fang did. "That's just creepy," Iggy muttered. I flipped him the bird.

"Ass monkey," I said. That was the first thing that popped into my head. Don't ask.

"Ass monkey?" Fang asked.

"Yes, ass monkey," I stated defensively. "I'm gonna go get some water, too," I grumbled and walked out.

I looked left and right. Which way is the kitchen? This is pathetic. I thought back and forth until I decided to go right. I had made the right choice. Only, I wish I hadn't.

I walked into the kitchen and froze. Nudge was sitting on the counter. One of her legs was wrapped around Gazzy's hip. Both her arms were slung over his shoulders. Gazzy had one arm around her waist and the other was cupping the back of her head. It was a serious make-out session.

"Eh-hem," I cleared my throat. "Hey, Gazzy. Get your water?"

Gazzy jumped off Nudge like he'd been electrocuted. He wiped at his mouth in attempt to get Nudge's sparkly lip gloss off.

Nudge pulled her top down that had ridden up. "Hey, Max," she croaked. She hopped off the counter and sauntered over to Gazzy. "Max knows. It's okay," she muttered putting her hand on Gazzy shoulder.

Gazzy sighed. "Okay…um, I should get back to practice," he said looking at Nudge sheepishly.

Nudge nodded. "That's fine. We'll hand out this weekend, okay?"

Gazzy nodded and gave Nudge a quick kiss. Envy boiled in my stomach. Maybe it was time Fang and I did become a couple. What did I have to worry about?

Breaking up with him. He ends up hating you…the list goes on.

The little voice in the back of my head put in. Really helpful. Truly. What would I do without it?

"C'mon, Gazzy. Lets go," I said while grabbing 5 water bottles from the fridge. "Catch!" I flung a water bottle at Gazzy. He caught it with one hand and walked out with Nudge.

I followed after them feeling like a third wheel. Awkward. Oh well, I was happy to see them together.

"Bye, guys," Nudge said as we got to the door. She kissed Gazzy on the cheek and skipped off. "I'm planning your outfits right now!" she called over her shoulder.

"I won't tell. You don't have to worry," I whispered to Gaz.

"Thanks Max," Gazzy mumbled.

We walked into the room. "Yo, catch!" I yelled while flinging water bottles at Iggy, Fang, and Kyle.

"Watch the piano!" Iggy chastised as he caught the water bottle.

I just rolled my eyes and uncapped my bottle. We all took a 5 minute break.

"Ready to do the last song?" Fang asked.

"Yeah," I answered picking up the electric guitar.

Fang picked up his violin and started the intro to Awake and Alive. As soon as it was done, the guitars came in and Fang started to sing. And I soon followed.

I'm at war with the world and they
Try to pull me in the dark
I struggle to find my faith
As I'm slippin' from your arms

It's getting harder to stay awake
And my strength is fading fast
You breathe into me at last

I'm awake! I'm alive!
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life

Here, right now!
I'll stand my ground and never back down

I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive!

I'm at war with the word 'cause I
Ain't never gonna sell my soul
I've already made up my mind
No matter what I can't be bought or sold

When my faith is getting weak
And I feel like giving in
You breathe into me again

I'm awake! I'm alive!
Now I know what I believe inside

Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life

Here, right now!
I'll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive!

Waking up Waking up, Waking up Waking up
Waking up Waking up, Waking up Waking up

In the dark, I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms I feel you breathe into me

Forever hold this heart that I will give to you

Forever I will live for you!

I'm awake! I'm alive!
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life

Here, right now!
I'll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive!

Waking up Waking up, Waking up Waking up
Waking up Waking up, Waking up Waking up

We all stopped. It sounded really good.

"That sounded great you guys!" Kyle cheered from the drums.

Fang and I grinned at each other.

* * * * *

"Bye guys!" Fang and I called waving to the twins and Kyle as they drove away.

"I'm beat!" I exclaimed.

"I'll walk you to your room," Fang offered.

"Okay. I'd like that," I muttered heading for my room.

"Max, it's to the left," Fang instructed behind me.

"I knew that. I was testing you," I scoffed. Yep, fool-proof cover.

"Sure," Fang chuckled.

We walked to my room. I opened the door and walked in. Fang stopped at the threshold.

"Good night, Max," he said winking and walking away, shutting the door behind him.

My heart ached. I wanted nothing more for him to stay. I bit my lip and quickly changed into my pajamas.

I walked over to the French doors and twitched the curtains aside. I looked out at the rolling green hills that looked like black pools of ink. The moon was high in the cloudless sky surrounded by countless stars.

I looked out at the willow tree grove where I'd first kissed Fang. I grabbed my Hurley hoodie and made a snap decision.

I unhooked the latch to the doors and raced outside. I made a beeline for the willow tree grove praying that Fang would be there.

That's all for tonight. I start school tomorrow. Shoot me. I have to do an independent reading journal and write a 6 paragraph essay on it. It wouldn't be so bad if I liked the book. It's like a drug trip…but not the fun kind :(

Wish me luck! I will try my hardest to get something up tomorrow, but if I don't, don't hate me!

26. Chapter 26

Ok…I know it's late and I'm sorry. But, my teachers decided to swamp me all last week and this week, too. Plus, this week is dead week and next week is finals week! Argh shoot me!



Max POV: Chapter 26

I ran as fast as my legs would carry me to the willow tree grove. I burst through the circular grove and into the clearing with the rock and glittering pond.

I looked around the clearing. Moonlight was filtering through the long, leafy branches of the willow trees. Streaks of pearly moonlight shone on the pond. Lilly pads were silently drifting across the water. It was paradise except for one little problem. Fang wasn't anywhere to be seen. I sighed. Stupid, stupid Max. I'd really gotten my hopes up.

I walked over to the rock and plopped down on the smooth surface. It was cold. I pulled my hoodie tighter around my body and laid down on the cool rock. Maybe if I just close my eyes for a few minutes. It is really late, and I'm fricking tired.

I looked up at the sky and saw a lone star winking back at me.

"I can't believe I'm doing this," I grumbled to myself.

I closed my eyes and started wishing.

I wish Fang would show up.

I wish Fang would show up.

I wish Fang would show up.

I drifted off to sleep wishing for Fang.

* * * * *

"Max, Max, wake up," someone muttered shaking my shoulder.

"Piss off," I grumbled angrily. I was enjoying my sleep time. Except for one tiny problem: my bed is really hard and really cold.

"C'mon, Max, get up," the voice urged and shook my shoulder again.

"No means no," I hissed. Then, without thinking (or having much control over my sleepy limbs), my fist shot up.

I felt it connect with something soft. I snapped my eyes open. Fang was sitting next to me on the rock messaging his lip.

"Oops," I said smiling apologetically.

Fang shrugged, "it happens."

He brought his hand away and a little blood was on his lower lip. Wow, I punch hard. My bad. Then, I had a sudden urge to kiss him. No, Max, have a little self control. You just punched the guy. Can you say bipolar much?

"I'm really sorry," I muttered looking at his bleeding lip. I could make it better…God, I need to stop thinking like this.

"It's fine, really," I replied shrugging again. "But, um, what are you doing out here?" he asked looking me up and down.

I was pathetically perched on the edge of the rock, shaking. It was so damn cold, and I, apparently, do not have a built in heating system like Mr. I'm Just Wearing a Tank Top (AKA: Fang).

Fang raised an eyebrow when I didn't answer. Crap. He got me. What am I supposed to do? Shout 'I love you,' tackle him, and then kiss him? I don't think so.

I looked away and focused on a lily pad gently floating along the pond. Why was I so afraid to tell him now? I'd come out here just to tell him, and now I can't. All I had to say were three little words. So, why are they the three hardest words I'll ever say? I shivered again and pulled the hoodie tighter around my body.

"You cold?" Fang asked.

My head snapped in his direction. I looked at him. Why was I avoiding this? It's Fang. I can tell him anything.

I nodded hesitantly.

Fang opened his arms and gestured for me to come over to him.

I hesitated again. I sat like a statue for about 20 seconds. I looked back up at Fang and sighed. Who could say no to that face?

I smiled and crawled forward. I rested my head on Fang's chest, and he wrapped his arms around me. I breathed in deeply. Fang's sent filled my nose, and I was perfectly content.

Fang's warmth spread through me like a wild fire, and I felt as though I could take on the world.

"Fang…?" I mumbled.


"I have something I need to tell you," I whispered, blushing in the dark.

I looked up and Fang the same moment he looked down at me. Our eyes locked and there was no way you could tear either of our gazes away from the other.

"Yeah?" he asked. I could see the excitement in his eyes and the tension run through his body. His breathing picked up a notch, and I couldn't help but smile because I have the same affect on him that he does on me.

"I…" I faltered and Fang's eyes shadowed with doubt. Buck up, Max! I lectured myself. "I…Oh, son of a bitch…" I muttered. Fang cocked an eyebrow. This was the most awkward love confession ever. Just say it! "I love you, dammit!" I yelled forcefully.

Awkward Palm Tree silence…real smooth, Max. Really. Only you can screw up a love confession like that.

Fang's eyes widened, and my special smile split across his face. Deep laughter rumbled from his chest. When it subsided, Fang looked at me with deep love and admiration. He leaned forward so his lips were by my ear. "I love you, too, dammit."

I giggled like a giddy little school girl as the words left his lips, and his breath tickled my ear.

Fang pulled his face back so we were nose to nose. My breath hitched, but I wanted him to kiss me this time. This time, I wouldn't run away.

My lips met Fang's and they started moving in perfect sync. I tangled both my hands up in hair as Fang put one hand on the side of my face and the other on the small of my back. Gently, Fang began to push me back on the rock.

My heart sped up and a small giggle weaseled its way from my chest. My back was about to rest against the rock when Fang and I came to realize a horrible truth: this rock is not made for two people.

Fang and I had managed to migrate to the edge of the rock, and it wasn't wide enough for my back. Half my back landed on the rock while the other half was flopping in mid-air. Without enough support, I went flipping over the side of the rock and landed hard in the pond.

Honestly, can't a girl ever catch a break? I sighed and sat up. A lily pad had floated over and was sitting in my lap. I pushed back into the pond and looked up at Fang.

He was leaning over the edge of the rock looking at me with a mixture of shock, disappointment, and amusement.

I smiled at him, slightly apologetic, and we both burst out laughing. Fang reached his hand over the rock and hoisted me out of the water. I was soaking wet and little pieces of pond algae were stuck in my hair.

Fang gently picked them out of my hair and flung them back into the pond. Then, whipping his shirt off, Fang dabbed my face dry. Hello, six pack.

Maximum, some self control please.

I rolled my eyes slightly. I was sick of self control.

"We should get you inside," Fang muttered.

I nodded. This was beyond a bummer.

Fang wrapped an arm around my shoulder, and I wrapped my arms around his waist. We walked back to my room in each others' arms.

When we got to my French doors, we both stopped and looked at each other as if to say 'what now?'

"Well, good night," I whispered.

"Night," Fang murmured back. He leaned forward and kissed me.

Our lips met for a pure moment of bliss and then ended. I looked up at Fang. He shook his head.

"Not yet," he said in a hushed voice.

I nodded in agreement and slipped into my room. I couldn't wait until 'not yet' was over.

* * * * *

"Max!" Nudge called as I stumbled sleepily into the kitchen. The smell of pancakes had woken me up.

"Hey," I replied groggily.

"You and I need to do some shopping!" Nudge exclaimed.

My eyes popped open and I was fully awake. "Nudge!" I whined (yes, whined). "We went shopping last time I was here!"

"Want a little cheese with that whine?" Fang asked smirking at me across the table.

I stuck my tongue out at him but stopped the moment I looked up at him. My tongue shot back into my mouth, and I smiled shyly at Fang as I remembered our exchange of words last night. He loves me. Fang loves me. Out of all the girls in the world, he loves me.

Fang looked at me and understood. He smiled and winked at me while Nudge wasn't looking.

"No, silly!" Nudge scolded. "We aren't going shopping for you! We're going Christmas shopping. Ooh! I bet we'll see Santa! We need to take Angel. She still believes," Nudge muttered in a quiet voice.

"Oh…ok," I said not really paying attention. I was preoccupied with Fang's eyes, lips, nose, hair, smile…I was pretty much preoccupied with gazing at Fang and marveling that he's mine.

"I'm gonna go shopping with the guys while you, Nudge, and Angel go shopping," Fang told me.

"Ok. Sounds like a plan. We should meet up for lunch," I answered while heading to the stove and grabbing some pancakes.

Fang and Nudge nodded in agreement. "But not the food court at the mall," Nudge instructed. "That food will kill you!"

Fang and I just smirked.

"Maaaaaaax!" Angel yelled running into the room.

I whirled around. "Hey, sweetie!"

Angel barreled into my waiting arms and gave me a quick hug then pulled back and handed me a cordless phone. "Phone's for you!"

I looked down at the phone puzzled. Who would call me here?

"You talk into it," Fang advised. Ugh, Mr. Sarcasm.

I waved him off and brought the phone up to my face. "Hello?"

"Hello, Max?" An unfamiliar phone replied on the other line.

"Um, yes. Who's this?"

"Madame Popkin, you French teacher," The woman replied.

"Oh! Bonjour, Madame!" I exclaimed in surprise immediately reverting to French.

"I was told you were staying with the Martinez family over break. I need to talk to you about something very important," Madame Popkin replied wasting no time.

"Um, okay. What's going on?" I asked. I really didn't think I'd flunked the last test, but we'll see.

"Every other year we send some of our French students to study for half a year abroad in France. You are one of my best students and I think you will represent the University well. Next year is when the abroad program takes place, and I'd very much like you to be apart of the 6 who go there next year."

My mouth hung open and I almost dropped the phone. "G…go to France?" I asked in shock.

"Yes, for about 6 months next year," Madame replied.

"Um…I don't know what to say. I would love to, but I need to think it over."

"That's quite alright. We need an answer before summer though. Take your time. It's an important decision."

I nodded and hung up the phone. I flopped down onto the chair and stared off into space. France? Me in France!

"What was that about?" Fang asked.

I spun around and stared at him. How could I leave for France when things were finally starting to go right?

I am soooo sorry that took so long! I really am! I hate to keep people waiting like that.

27. Chapter 27

Hey everyone! Thanks for all the reviews. So, I have no school today and finals are over as of yesterday! I'm pretty sure I passed all of my finals. If not, I've kinda become apathetic…I'm usually a really anal person (totally A type personality). But, my friend, Hue Ghans, the one who is writing his own book and I'm doing the cover, is a total B type and could care less about finals rubbed off on me during finals week. Thanks, Hue…

Anywho, let's get on with the story…I'm back to updating more frequently now that I don't have finals to worry about.



Max POV: Chapter 26

I grabbed Fang's hand and tugged him after me to my room. I plunked down heavily on my bed, and Fang sat down gently next to me.

"So, what's up?" Fang asked. "I heard the word 'France' come out of your mouth."

"My French teacher wants me to go to France for six months next year for the school's abroad program."

I looked up at Fang hopping he would have the answer, but his eyes showed that he was just as conflicted as I was.

"Well, it's a good opportunity," Fang started slowly. "And I'm sure you'd have an amazing time. It's a once in a life time experience."

My heart dropped. I knew how to speak French. I could go after I graduate. Or for vacation someday. And, on that vacation, I want Fang to be with me. I don't want to be anywhere without him.

"But…" Fang muttered and my heart returned to its normal place. "I'd miss you. A lot. It'd be a shitty six months without you. I'd hate every second you're gone."

I smiled. "Then, I'm not going."

"Max, you can't give up an amazing opportunity for me. I'd feel equally as shitty if you did that. It's just me being selfish," Fang reasoned.

"I don't want to go," I replied. "I don't want to go if you're not there with me."

Fang's eyes brightened and he smiled my special smile. I rested my head on his shoulder and he wrapped an arm around my waist.

"Are you sure?" He asked.

I nodded. "If it makes you feel better, we can compromise. After we graduate from college, we spend the summer in France, together."

I could feel Fang smile. "Alright. Looks like I better get a job."

I chuckled. "Me too, I'm not letting you pay for all of the trip."

Fang look down at me and rolled his eyes. "Let's go. We've got some Christmas shopping to do."

I smiled as Fang helped me off the bed and we walked hand in hand to the kitchen.

Nudge smiled when she saw us walk in. "C'mon. Max!" Nudge squealed and grabbed my arm and yanked me away from Fang. "We've got some shopping to do!"

I looked back at Fang as Nudge dragged me to the garage. "Save me!!" I called desperately.

Fang just chuckled and waved. "See you at lunch!"

I stuck my tongue out at him as I was pulled away.

* * * * *

"Look, Nudge," I muttered as we walked through the men's clothing department. It smelled horribly of axe. I'm so glad Fang doesn't wear this crap. "None of this is what I want to get Fang. Why don't you and Angel go see Santa and I'll go to the music store to find some things for Fang."

Nudge sighed. "Max, what guy doesn't want a designer jacket?"

"Fang," I replied.

"Ugh. You know him too well!" Nudge exclaimed in exasperation. "Fine. We already got all the other presents. Angel and I are going to see Santa and then we'll meet you when we are supposed to meet the boys. Remember, 2pm sharp at the Olive Garden down the road."

I nodded. "See you then. Have fun talking with Santa, Ange."

Angel nodded excitedly. "I'm gonna ask Santa for a pony!"

Nudge smiled. "C'mon, Angel. Let's go before the line gets too big!"

Nudge and Angel raced off to see Santa, and I was beginning to wonder which one wanted to see Santa more: Angel or Nudge.

I shook my head and walked over to the music store. I went to the instrument section. I think I had the perfect gift.

Fang POV:

I paced back and forth in the jewelry store. None of this would work for Max. It was all too girly and frilly and impractical, and Max wouldn't like that.

Gazzy groaned. "C'mon, Fang. We've been here forever. There has to be something you want to get Max!"

I shook my head. "I want it to be perfect."

Iggy rolled his eyes. "She's a girl. All girls want jewelry. It's a universal fact."

"Max is different. She won't want something that's just sparkly and pretty," I sighed. "Gaz, what did you get Nudge?"

"Charm bracelet," Gazzy answered. "It has a 'G' on it, an 'N' on it, and a little heart on it."

I nodded Nudge would like that. Plus, I noticed Gazzy got a ruby set in the heart of the charm bracelet. Nudge is a sucker for jewels.

"Ig, what'd you get Ella?" I asked.

"Earrings," Iggy replied shrugging. "They're amethysts. Her birth stone."

"Ugh! I don't even know Max's birthday. I'm her boyfriend, and I don't even know the day she was born," I mumbled angrily.

"Dude, chill. You've been her boyfriend since last night," Iggy consoled.

"But, I was her best friend before the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing. And, I'm still her best friend. She's just never told me her birthday."

"Maybe she doesn't want anyone to know," Gazzy suggested.

"Yeah," Iggy said nodding. "Girls are weird about age. After they turn 20 they want to stop aging, but before that, they want to grow up really fast. I really don't get girls."

"Yeah, Ig, we know," Gazzy muttered.

"Um, excuse me," a sales clerk said coming up to us. "I couldn't help but over hear your problem. I think I have a solution."

"Really?" I asked hopeful.

"Yeah," he said nodding. "I had the same problem with a gift for my girlfriend last year. If this Max girl is really all that special, I have the perfect thing for you to get her."

Max POV:

I walked over to the violins. I remembered Fang saying how he wanted a violin that he could plug into an amp so we could get that hard rock sound to our band.

I walked along the wall that held all the violins and my heart started to drop. What if they didn't have one?

I walked to the end of the all and stopped. The very last violin on the wall was the one. It was Fang's violin for sure.

It was shiny and new. It looked like someone had taken an eclectic guitar and shrunk it down to violin size. It had the plug in for the amp and a dial to adjust the sound. It was black with two silver wings painted on either side of the dial. It was perfect.

Excitedly, I grabbed it off the wall and went to the counter.

"How much for this violin?" I asked the guy at the counter.

"Um, that violin is $150," He answered after plugging in the serial number into the computer.

"Cool," I muttered.

I still had money saved up from the little odd jobs I'd done; plus, I had started working at the clinic for Dr. M, and I had started getting paid for it.

I shelled out the $150 and got the violin wrapped in a box.

I walked out into the throng of people and started making my way to the Olive Garden.

"Max!" Someone called from behind.

I whirled around. It was Ari.

Fang POV:

I looked at the two rings nestled in the black velvet box. They were perfect. I had gotten a set of promise rings.

They were white gold bands. The inside was inscribed with an 'M+F' logo and a pair of wings on either side. It was perfect.

I smiled to myself as I put the box in my pocket.

"C'mon guys, we should go," I called to Iggy and Gazzy. It's almost time to meet everyone for lunch.

They nodded and we started heading towards the restaurant.

We managed to mingle into the throng of people walking through the mall's hallway to the different stores.

I was walking in front of Iggy and Gazzy, who were animatedly talking about there next bomb, thinking about the gift I'd just gotten Max when I saw Max standing in the middle of the hall talking with someone.

She looked horror stricken. As I drew closer I saw she was talking with Ari.

Max POV:

"Hi, Ari," I said warily as he approached me.

"Hey, Max. It's a good thing I saw you here," Ari replied stopping in front of me.

"Why?" I asked skeptically.

"It's about Sam," Ari muttered. I could feel a look of horror cross my face. "He's not done-"

"What's going on?" I heard Fang's voice ask angrily behind me.

I spun around. "Fang!" I said happily. He couldn't know what was going on.

"Nothing," Ari said coolly. "Just saying hello to a fellow classmate."

Fang glared at Ari, and Ari flinched slightly. "Max, we gotta go. We need to get to lunch. Why aren't you with Nudge and Angel?"

Fang didn't look at me the whole time he was talking to me. He was just glaring at Ari.

"You're right," I muttered tugging on Fang's arm. "We do gotta go. Um, bye Ari. See you at school."

I tugged on Fang's arm one more time and then we left.

What could Ari have meant about Sam? What wasn't Sam done with? I worried all the way to the Olive Garden.

Hope you liked it. Review!

28. Chapter 28

Holy Jesus…I feel like a horrible person. Just so the girls of penguinwiggle know, I'm not dead! Yay! But I'm so sorry. It's kinda been an emotional month… my horse re-injured herself in the same place as last time, and I can't ride her. I just really miss her 'cause now the people at the barn are having me ride a new horse, and it's like they've totally written my horse off as 'un-ride-able' for all eternity.

Also, I'm on track and that goes till 5pm so I haven't been getting home until 6pm. So there has been no time to write. I'm so sorry for the wait.

Please enjoy,


Max POV: Chapter 28

I laced fingers through Fang's as we walked together to the Olive Garden.

"What was that about?" He asked an edge to his voice.

"Nothing. He really was just saying 'hi,'" I muttered. I hated lying to him.

Fang sighed. "Whatever." He looked down. "What's in the box?" he asked thrusting his chin in the direction on the box that concealed his new violin.

I shrugged. "Nothing. Some presents for the band and your sisters."

"Nothing for me?" Fang asked jokingly.

I smirked. "There might be something."

Fang smiled, leaned down, and gave me a quick kiss.

"Jesus, kill me now. Why does she get a guy like him?" I heard some girl attempt to whisper to her friend.

I just turned and grinned at her. That's right ladies. Fang is mine. All mine. So, piss off.

She glared back, and her friend dragged her into the nearest clothing store.

* * * * *

"There you guys are!" Nudge yelled as we entered the Olive Garden. "C'mon, c'mon! We've already got a table. OMG! Doesn't it just smell like heaven in here? I really want to get the ravioli. Or maybe I should get the lasagna! Max, what are you gonna get?"

"Calzone," I answered smiling up at Fang. Whenever I go to Italian restaurants, I get the calzone. It reminds me of the first dinner Fang and I had together.

Fang smiled my special smile back. "Yeah, me too."

"AAAAAWWWWW!!!!!!" Nudge squealed and half the restaurant looked at us. "Look at the little love birds!"

"Can it, Nudge," I hissed.

She just smiled and led us to our table.

"Hey it's the love birds!" Iggy called.

"We could hear Nudge all the way down here," Gazzy commented.

Nudge smiled and slide into the booth next to Gazzy. Fang and I squeezed in together on the end.

"Hi, my name's Ted. I'll be your server for lunch. What can I get you? How about we start with the little hottie over here."

After a long awkward pause, I looked up. The server had meant me. I was totally not paying attention. My brain had short circuited since Fang's hand was resting on my upper thigh.

"Um…a large calzone," I muttered.

"Wow. That's a pretty big lunch." The server commented. "You eat a lot for someone with such a hot body."

I just looked up at him. Was he really this much of an ass?

"Oi! Shut up!" Fang yelled.

"What? A guy can't show his appreciation?" Ted, the server, asked.

"Not like that. The way you're talking to my girlfriend is degrading." Fang death glared at the server.

Ted flinched and looked over to Nudge. "What can I get you?"

"I have a boyfriend, already" Nudge replied curtly and Gazzy smirked.

Iggy started laughing. "Awkward cricket!" he announced loudly.

Ted's ears started turning pink. "How about you guys just give me your orders." Ted suggested as he slowly got redder.

We told him the rest of the orders, and he walked back to the kitchen with his shoulders hunched down.

"Ten bucks he spits in Fang's food," Gazzy challenged.

"Dude, more like he spit in Nudge's!" Iggy countered.

"You're on," Gazzy muttered sticking out his hand to shake Iggy's.

"Glad you guys are getting some sort of gain out of our potential poisoning!" Nudge huffed indignantly.

"Sorry, hon," Gazzy mumbled looking ashamed. Then he made eye contact with Iggy and started laughing again.

Nudge rolled her eyes and punched him in the arm.

The conversation and behavior went on like this for God knows how long. I kinda tuned it all out. I was still worried about what Ari had meant by 'Sam's not done.' What the hell is that supposed to mean?

"Max? Hey, Max? Earth to Max!" Fang said loudly while shaking my leg.

"Huh?" I asked shaking myself awake.

"You okay?" He asked.

"Yeah, fine. Just a little tired. What's up?"

"Food's here," Fang muttered.

"Oh, cool."

I looked down at the food and realized I wasn't hungry anymore. I barely heard Gazzy ask the waiter whose food he spit in.

* * * * *

"Ready to leave?" Iggy asked.

I nodded. "But what about the tip?"

"This guy does not get a tip," Fang growled.

"I take it the discussion is closed," Nudge remarked.

Fang could be kinda scary when he got pissed.

I smiled at him. "You don't need to worry about it," I whispered to him. "There is no competition. You're the best. No matter what."

Fang smiled back, "yeah, I know that. I just don't like the way he talked to you. You're not 'hot;' you're beautiful."

"Aww. You're so sweet," I reached up on my tip-toes and gave Fang a quick kiss.

"Let's go home before I lose my lunch," Iggy mumbled.

Fang and I walked to the car with his arm securely around my shoulders. Everything would have been perfect if only Ari's last words hadn't been replaying in my head.

After we got home, Fang and I went for a ride. It was really relaxing, but I still couldn't focus. I just couldn't stop thinking about what Ari said.

Was he trying to freak me out?

Was he serious?

Was he on my side or Sam's?

What the hell is Sam not done with!?

This is way too frustrating. Fang can tell something is up, too. He knows me better than anyone, and he knows I'm freaked about something.

"Seriously, what is going on?" Fang demanded after we finished our ride.

"It's nothing really," I tried to assure him, but I could hear the lie in my voice. "I'm just really tired. You know what shopping malls do to me. I think I'm gonna call it a night."

Fang shook his head. "You know you can always talk to me."

"Yeah I do. But nothing is wrong so there's nothing to say."

"Fine. Good night."


Fang gave me a kiss good night, and I rushed off to my room.

I brushed my teeth and changed into my pajamas in a daze. It was only 7:30pm but I was wiped out.

I plunked down on my bed. My head was about to hit the pillow when my phone buzzed.

I looked down at the screen. It was a number I didn't know.

"Hello?" I asked unsure.


"Um, yeah. Who's this?"

"It's Ari," the voice replied.

"What? How the hell did you get my number?"

"That's not important," Ari replied in a rushed voice. "I need to tell you what I didn't get to finish at the mall."

"What?" I asked my curiosity getting the best of me.

"Sam isn't done with the Martinez family. He let them kick him out because he already knows where all the money is. He wants to rob them to get to you. He's knows you're close with the family. So, it's because of you he's robbing them. He was going to give up, but when he found out you knew the family, he made it his goal to rob them of every cent."

I dropped the phone. It was me. It was because of me that Fang's family was going to get robbed.

What could I do? There is only one solution here. I picked the phone back up and hung up on Ari.

I looked down at the phone and took a deep breath. I dialed a number I hadn't used in years.

"Hello?" a voice asked. It still sounded eerily familiar, like my days as a thief had never ended.

"Sam. It's Max."

"Maxie! I knew you'd be calling."

"Listen, you can't rob the Martinez family. They are innocent people. They don't even have that much money. I'm not as involved with their family as you think. I could care less what happens to them. If you want to hurt me, come after me directly. Don't be a coward."

Sam chuckled. "See, Max, by calling I know you care. And, I know you're staying with them for your winter break. So, I'll be seeing the Martinez family and all their cash really soon."

The phone clicked and the called ended.

"Dammit, Sam! You bastard!" I shouted.

I had to resort to another plan. A plan I hated. It would be painful, but it would be the only way to convince Sam that I didn't care about the Martinez family.

I had to break up with Fang and leave the Martinez house.

Ok….sorry… I don't know what's wrong with me but I seem to only know how to end on cliff-hangers. Don't worry I'll update soon. And, again, I'm sorry it took soooooooo long to actually update the damn thing.

Probably I'll put up another chapter tomorrow!



29. Chapter 29

I'm actually updating again! I feel so proud…which is kinda sad since I used to update, like, 3 in a night. Anywho, I meant to update over the weekend but things got really busy :(

So I have one response to a review but I can't remember who posted it. But here it is: this goes to who ever posted about Shogu Chara: I LOVE that manga/anime!!! It's one of my favorites! Along with Fairy Tail, Fruits Basket, Neck and Neck, and Tsubasa by CLAMP. I am a total Ikuto fangirl!!! And a Kyo (from Fruits basket) fangirl. And a totally Grey (form Fairy Tail) fangirl. And a Shihu (from neck and neck) fangirl! I'm kinda a nerd like that! Hahah. Anyway, yeah, Fang does remind me of Ikuto. I was thinking about that before I read your comment!



Max POV: Chapter 29

I paced back and forth in my room.

You need to break up with him to keep him safe.

Are you kidding? Just tell him the past. He'll accept you. And then you guys can whoop Sam's ass and live happily ever after.

Don't be stupid. He'll hate you. You ruined the lives of innocent people. It's better to break up with him now and get it over with. Plus, you'll be keeping him safe.

Just tell him

Break up with him

Tell him!

Break up!

"Everyone just shut up!" I yelled.

This is seriously not a good sign. Multiple voices in my head. That's a dead ringer for insane person!

I groaned and flopped on my bed. There had to be a middle ground I was missing. I could just wait until after winter break.

I mean, that would be a shitty Christmas gift for Fang. Merry Christmas! Oh, by the way, I'm breaking up with you.

Yeah, that would suck. Major.

I'll tell Fang after Christmas. Yeah, that'll work. I'll be keeping him and his family safe. But, even though I'm doing something right for a change, I still feel like shit.

* * * * *

"Hey! You ready for practice? The guys are here!" Fang called while knocking on my door.

We had one day until out Christmas Eve gig. One day till I set my 'break-up plan' into action.

Usually, I like my 'plans' and think they're pretty awesome. This plan just sucks. I'd been distant all week, and I know Fang felt it. I was trying to make this break-up easier. If I start distancing myself, it won't be as hard when we really do break-up.

"I'll be right out!" I yelled back.

I quickly slipped my jeans on and ran out the door. I smiled up at Fang. I couldn't help it. He was just so perfect. Maybe it was for the best that I break up with him. He's so amazing, and I'm so flawed. I don't deserve him, and he doesn't need me to constantly drag him behind.

"Ready to sing?" Fang asked taking my hand.

"Of course!" I said in a fake energetic voice.

A shadow passed over Fang's face, and he frowned slightly. He could tell it was fake. It was all fake.

I leaned into Fang and wrapped my arm around his waist. In turn, he wrapped his arm around my shoulders.

I savored the moment. It would be one of our last. I memorized the feel of his arm around my shoulders, keeping me safe from the world. I drank in the sight of the corners of Fang's mouth twitching up into a smile, the sound of Fang's beating heart as my ear rested against his chest, his smell, everything. I didn't want to forget a single thing about Fang. I loved him.

Iggy broke up our moment by sticking his head out of the music room door.

"Ahem," Iggy coughed. "I hate to break up this moment. I really do. But-"

"We need to practice. We've got one day until the show," Gazzy finished as he popped his head out as well.

"They're doing it again!" I complained to Fang. "It's that creepy twin thing."

Fang just chuckled. He gets amusement out of me being freaked out.

I rolled my eyes. "Whatever, let's just practice."

"What song do you wanna start with?" Kyle asked from the drum kit.

"How about we start with Brick by Boring Brick by Paramore? Max hasn't had a chance to sing it with the band yet," Fang suggested as he picked up his electric guitar.

Everyone nodded. I took my position at the front of the band. I wasn't going to play for this song.

"1…2…3…4," Fang counted off and the band started up the song.

Well she lives in the fairy tale
Somewhere too far for us to find
Forgotten the taste and smell
Of a world that she's left behind
It's all about the exposure the lens I told her

The angles are all wrong now
She's ripping wings off of butterflies
Keep your feet on the ground
When your head's in the clouds

Well go get your shovel
And we'll dig a deep hole
To bury the castle, bury the castle
Go get your shovel
And we'll dig a deep hole
To bury the castle, bury the castle
Ba da ba ba da ba ba da

So one day he found her crying
Coiled up on the dirty ground
Her prince finally came to save her
And the rest you can figure out
But it was a trick
And the clock struck 12

I hated this verse. It was too close to my life. Fang was my prince. He found me when I needed him more than ever. And now, the clock had struck twelve. I had to face reality.

Well make sure to build your home brick by boring brick
or the wolf's gonna blow it down
Keep your feet on the ground
When your head's in the clouds

Well go get your shovel
And we'll dig a deep hole
To bury the castle, bury the castle
Go get your shovel
And we'll dig a deep hole
To bury the castle, bury the castle
Woah, woah.

Well you built up a world of magic
Because your real life is tragic
Yeah you built up a world of magic

This was another verse I hated. I've built a whole around Fang and the Martinez family, but none of it's real. I can't live in their picture perfect world. I don't deserve it.

If it's not real
You can't hold it in your hand
You can't feel it with your heart
And I won't believe it

But if it's true
You can see it with your eyes
Or even in the dark
And that's where I want to be, yeah

Go get your shovel
And we'll dig a deep hole
To bury the castle, bury the castle
Go get your shovel
And we'll dig a deep hole
To bury the castle, bury the castle
Ba da ba ba da ba ba da...

The music stopped, and I stood there out of breath. I put everything into that sing. Everything I was feeling. They could tell. Not just Fang. All of them. They saw right through me, and I hated it.

"Um, why doesn't Fang do a song now?" I suggested wanting to get the attention off me.

"Ah, yeah, sure," Fang muttered as he undid his guitar strap and handed it to me. "Electric Feel, guys," Fang told us as he took his spot at the head of the band.

The music started and just as Fang was about to sing he turned and sang directly to me.

all along the western front

people line up to receive

she got the current in her hand

just shock you like you won't believe

sun in the amazon

with the voltage running through her skin

standing there with nothing on

she gonna teach me how to swim

i said ooh girl

shock me like an electric eel

baby girl

turn me on with your electric feel

i said ooh girl

shock me like an electric eel

baby girl

turn me on with your electric feel

all along the eastern shore

put your circuits in the sea

this is what the world is for

making electricity

you can feel it in your mind

oh you can do it all the time

plug it in, change the world

you are my electric girl

i said ooh girl

shock me like an electric eel

baby girl

turn me on with your electric feel

i said ooh girl

shock me like an electric eel

baby girl

turn me on with your electric feel

do what you feel now

electric feel now

do what you feel now

electric feel now

do what you feel now

electric feel now

do what you feel now

electric feel now

do what you feel now

electric feel now

I looked back at Fang and wanted to cry. Why did he pick now of all times to sing to me?

I wasn't worth it. I wasn't worth his time. I didn't deserve his love.

I was about to do the only honest thing my life, break up with Fang, but it made me feel like the worst person in the world.

Hope you liked it! Next chapter is the big, bad break up!



30. Chapter 30

So, I'm actually writing this in my math class. We have math in the computer room, and we have a sub! Plus, I finished all the homework…so I figured this is the best way to spend the next 55 minutes.

Okay…so you guys are gonna hate me. You really are. Today is the dreaded break up chapter. I hate writing this. Trust me, I'm like crying…but not really since I'm in class. Haha. So… don't hate me. Everything will work out! I promise!

Okay…enjoy…and don't hate me!


Max POV: Chapter 30

I looked down at the violin I'd bought Fang. It was resting in my lap and radiating guilt.

"Don't look at me like that," I hissed at the instrument. "I'm doing the right thing."

The violin just looked back, still accusing me of wrong-doing. I sighed and out it back in the box. I was still going to give the violin to Fang. He was going to play it tonight at our gig.

There was a hesitant knock on my door.

"Come in!" I called.

Angel poked her head around the door before scampering in and sitting next to me on my bed.

"Hey, sweetie. What's up?" I asked as she started poking around in the box that held Fang's new violin.

"I had a dream last night," Angel muttered as she examined the back of the violin. The silver wings had caught her attention.

"Oh, really?" I asked wondering what this had to do with anything.

"Yeah. It was really sad," She replied while putting the violin back in the box and turning to face me.

"Oh. I'm sorry. What was it about?" I asked, for some reason hesitant to wanting to know the answer.

"You. And Fang." Angel responded matter-of-factly.

"Um, really?" I muttered.

"I don't want you to leave, Max," Angel said getting teary eyed.

My breath caught in my throat. How could she possibly know I was going to leave? "What? Why would I leave?" I lied. "I love it here. I love your family."

"And you love Fang?" Angel asked.

"Of course I love Fang," I answered forcing a smile.

My heart painfully wrenched in my chest. Of course I loved Fang. Of course I loved the Martinez family. But, it was because I loved them I was leaving. I needed to keep them safe. Safe from myself and my past.

"And, since you love him, you won't leave us," Angel clarified.

"Right. Of course, sweetie," I lied. My voice sounded hoarse and choked. The words scraped against my throat as if I had just swallowed a box of nails.

Angel looked confused but smiled and skipped off. My gut twisted as the door shut behind her. I needed air. I needed to clear my head and think. I couldn't stay in this room, or I'd go insane.

Fang was out with the guys and they were doing some last minute prep work for our gig. I had opted to stay home. Now I felt really stupid for doing that. Today was my last day with Fang, and I wasn't going to be able to spend that much time with him. But, maybe, it was better this way because if I stayed with Fang, I wouldn't be able to leave.

I burst out my French doors and sprinted down to the barn. I could hang out with Rondie. She would listen and not judge me. That's why I love animals. They never talk back with snippy comments.

I reached the barn out of breath. Little white puffs of air materialized in front of my face every time I exhaled. I had forgotten it was so cold out and only had a t-shirt and shorts on. I shivered slightly then walked into the barn.

Rondie was in her stall and nickered happily when she saw me.

"Hey, girl," I murmured.

I was so proud of her. She'd come a long way from the pudgy, anti-social mare I'd first met when I came to Fang's house.

Tears sprung to my eyes as I realized that this was my last day with Rondie, too. I grabbed a few sugar cubes from the tack room and went over to Rondie's stall. I put her halter on and walked her up to the arena.

I gave her some of the sugar then let her off the lead line. She stayed by my side and followed me around as we walked around the arena.

I talked to her. I told her everything. I vented all my feelings and cried into her mane. She waited patiently and didn't walk away from me. She stayed by my side and didn't judge me for all the horrible things I'd done in the past.

* * * * *

"Ready for our gig?" Fang asked me as we drove to the bar.

"Yeah," I mumbled. "Hey, pull over for a second."

"You're not nervous are you?" Fang asked, concerned as he pulled over onto the shoulder of the road.

"No, I wanted to give you this," I muttered handing him the large box that held his violin.

Fang's head jerked to the side and he looked down in surprise. "It's not Christmas yet."

"I know. But you need this. Consider it an early Christmas gift, okay?" I shoved the box into his lap.

He looked down quizzically. "This is pretty big," he murmured as he slid the lid off.

"Yeah," I nodded.

Fang gingerly peeled the tissue paper back and just stared down into the box. My stomach knotted. Maybe he didn't like it. Maybe it wasn't enough. He deserved so much better.

"Holy shit!" Fang exclaimed.

"Wow, delayed reaction much," I teased.

Fang turned and smiled my special smile. My stomach started churning. I'd never see that smile again. He'd hate me and never even want to see me again after this. I was going to betray him. Betray all the time we've spent together so far this year. I felt like shit. I was shit. I looked away from Fang, but he didn't seem to notice. He was beyond ecstatic.

"This is amazing! You're amazing!" Fang reached over and he lips crushed onto mine.

I felt the familiar jolt of energy when we kissed, but something was different. I was pulling back. I was trying to keep the distance between us so it wouldn't hurt so much when I have to say goodbye.

Fang felt it too and pulled back. "I didn't get you anything nearly as nice," Fang mumbled looking down.

"You don't have to get me anything!" I protested. "You're enough. It's not that at all. I'm just a little nervous for our gig. This'll be the biggest crowd we've ever sung for."

"You'll do fine. Really. You're a great performer. You've got nothing to worry about." Fang looked down at the violin. "Well, I'm ready to try this thing out. What do you say? Shall we get going?"

I nodded.

"Thanks again," Fang reached over again and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "You're the best girlfriend a guy could ever ask for."

Way to make me feel like a bitch, Fang. I am not the best girlfriend a guy could ask for. What kind of a girl breaks up with her boyfriend on Christmas Eve. What kind of a girl friend can't even tell her boyfriend they need to break up to his face? I'm basically as good as a piece of horse shit. No…I'm worse than that. I'm worse than horse shit.

I scrunched down in my seat and waited for the car ride to be over.

* * * * *

"Hey! I was wondering when you guys were gonna get here!" Iggy called as Fang and I went through the back-stage door.

"Max was giving something to me," Fang replied as he walked past to start hooking up his new violin.

"Ooooohhhhh," Iggy muttered.

"A little something, something?" Gazzy asked wiggling his eyebrows.

Kyle snickered, and I went and smacked both of them upside the head. Morons.

"No," Fang answered, although he was smiling a little. "She gave me this." Fang held up the new violin.

"Dude," Kyle breathed. "That is sick."

"You gonna play it tonight?" Gazzy and Iggy asked in unison.

"Stop that!" I scolded.

The twins just grinned creepy grins, also in unison. God, that freaks me out!

"Yeah, I'm gonna play it tonight," Fang plugged the violin into the amp and brought the instrument up to his neck.

Fang played the first few bars of one of the Skillet songs we were doing. It sounded so cool. The hum echoed through the room and the reverberation settled in out bones.

"Okay, that sounds pretty fricking awesome," Fang muttered as he put the violin down on the amp.

"Uh, yeah it does," Gazzy agreed.

"Why didn't you get me one, Max?" Iggy whined.

"You don't play the violin, dumbass," I reasoned.

"Well, that's only a small factor. It's not that important." Iggy stated matter-of-factly.

"You know, sometimes I have hard time believing you're in advanced engineering and chemistry classes," Kyle said, dead serious.

"That hurts," Iggy sniffled.

"You guys are on in five!" The bar owner called into the room.

"Okay, guys, gear up," Fang ordered as he grabbed his electric guitar and new eclectic violin. He looked over at me and smiled my special smile one more time. I felt even worse than before.

About three minutes later we heard the bar owner announce our band, and we all ran on stage.

* * * * *

I took a deep breath. The whole performance had gone off without a hitch. Now it was time for the last song. The song I was soloing. I was going to sing a song that wasn't on the list. I was going to sing the song to Fang because I didn't have the balls to tell him in person what was going on.

I told the guys in the band to go sit at the bar. I had a 'special treat' this time, and I didn't need them to play.

I slid the CD with the music accompaniment into the stereo set on stage. I went up to the mike and waited for when I was to come in.

Remember all the things we wanted
Now all our memories, they're haunted
We were always meant to say goodbye
Even with our fists held high
It never would have work out right, yeah
We were never meant for do or die
I didn't want us to burn out
I didn't come here to hurt you now I can't stop

I want you to know
That it doesn't matter
Where we take this road
But someone's gotta go
And I want you to know
You couldn't have loved me better
But I want you to move on
So I'm already gone

Looking at you makes it harder
But I know that you'll find another
That doesn't always make you wanna cry
It started with the perfect kiss then
We could feel the poison set in
"Perfect" couldn't keep this love alive
You know that I love you so
I love you enough to let you go

You can't make it feel right
When you know that it's wrong
I'm already gone, already gone
There's no moving on
So I'm already gone
Ahhh already gone, already gone, already gone
Ahhh already gone, already gone, already gone

Remember all the things we wanted
Now all our memories, they're haunted
We were always meant to say goodbye

You can't make it feel right
When you know that it's wrong
I'm already gone, already gone
There's no moving on
So I'm already gone

I quickly backed away from the mike and attempted to hold back the tears. I was such a coward. I'd broken up with Fang through song. I'd been looking at him the whole time and by the first chorus he'd understood.

Fang was now rising from his chair and quickly making his way to the stage, his face a swirling typhoon of emotion.

I swiftly turned and sprinted off the stage and out the back exit door. Tears were running down my face like a waterfall.

I burst out into the crisp night air and kept running. I ran as fast and as hard as I could. I was doing what I do best: avoiding reality by running away from my problems. I was such a coward.

Okay…so you guys think you hate me now? Guess what, you're gonna hate me a lot in just a few seconds. I am leaving tomorrow for my spring break…and will not have access to a computer. So, basically, this is the last chapter I'll be updating until next Friday... unless I can post another tonight… which is pretty doubtful.

I'm sorry. Review…but, try to be nice. I know, right now, I pretty much suck, but it will get better! In like 4 chapters or so! I promise.


31. Chapter 31

Hello! I'm back from spring break vacation! I went to Disney Land with my best friend. It was soooooooo amazing. I went on all the big roller coasters. I'm such an adrenaline junkie! Only bummer was I got a sinus infection/ear infection from the plane ride. Sadness. So, right now I'm on 2 rounds of antibiotics. Guess what that means? Nightwings93+medicine=crazy shit happens. I can't handle meds of any kind. I've only had cold medicine twice and both times I've had cold meds I've hallucinated. Fail. I know.

Anywho, last time we left off (and I'm sorry about leaving for vacation right after the break up chapter) Max and Fang broke up. So, let's get on with the story.


Fang POV: Chapter 31

I started making my way to the stage, pushing anything in my way. Why was she doing this? What had I done? She'd just given me an expensive gift and now she's run off.

I know her past was sketchy, but I love her regardless. Why was she doing this?

I ran back stage, but Max was already gone. Just like she said she would be. I searched everywhere but couldn't find the keys to my car. I ran to the parking lot. My car was still there. I went back to the club and looked for the keys. They were. Max was buying time. She had to go back to my house to get her stuff.

My mind was racing. Images of all the moments Max and I spent together were swirling in my brain. My vision was blurring as some unknown liquid substance ran down my cheeks.

"Dude, what just happened?" Kyle asked.

I didn't turn around. He didn't need to see what was happening to me. "She's gone, man," I answered in a shaky voice not my own.

I couldn't stay. I had to find Max. I had to make this right. I pushed the heavy club doors open and ran out into the night. Max is a fast runner, but I'm faster.

I made a beeline for my house. It was the one place I was certain I could find Max.

Max POV:

I silently slipped through the French doors that led to my room. Correction, the Martinez guest room.

I grabbed my small duffle bag of clothes I packed this morning. I tip-toed down the hall and took out a note I was going to slip under Fang's bedroom door. A tear slid off my cheek and made a water spot on the page.

I looked down at my messy, rushed hand-writing one last time and pushed the note under Fang's door. It explained what I couldn't say. Well, not everything. But, it gave Fang a reason for my leaving.

I stifled a sob and quickly and silently exited the sleeping house. I looked down the lawn to the barn. I didn't have the heart to visit the horses one last time. I wouldn't be able to leave if I saw Rondie's big chocolate eyes.

I turned my back on the magical world I'd been living in for the last six and a half months and ran.

I should have known that the past always comes back and bites you in the ass. I shouldn't have run from my past life. I should have known that I wasn't cut out for the kind of life Fang led. I should have stuck with my worthless life in New York. I'm worthless so that life fits me.

I picked up a medium jog and jogged down the highway into town. I needed to find a motel to stay in for the night. I was almost out of money because I'd spent most of it on Fang's gift. I cheap motel with creepy crawlies was in my future.

I stopped jogging after about 45 minutes. I figured I was far enough away that Fang wouldn't be able to find me. Still, every time a car came down the road, I hid in the stretch of forest that was next to the highway. I didn't need Fang to find me, and I didn't need some creeper finding me.

I walked into town around two in the morning. The trip to the town was a lit faster by car. After a few minutes of walking around, I found an old, run-down motel.

I approached the building. It was closed. Like, for good. I walked around the property. Not a single soul was in sight. I looked around some more and found a broken window. Pushing the jagged glass out of the way, I entered the shabby room.

The room was weather beaten, soiled, and smelled like spoiled milk. The frame of the bed was gone and the mattress was thin and had stains all over it. My stomach twisted. This was beyond gross.

Buck up, Max. This is the path you chose.

I took a deep breath and plunked my duffle bag down on the floor. I fished in the depths of the bag and pulled out sweat pants, a hoodie, socks, and gloves. I pulled all the clothes on and pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head and tentatively lay down on the mattress.

My phone was in my sweat pocket, so I pulled it out and dialed Ari's number.

"Hello?" Ari's groggy voice asked.

"Where is Sam staying?" I demanded. My voice sounded plugged up and weird from all the crying I'd done.

"What? Max? Is that you?" Ari sounded even more disoriented.

"Yes, now tell me where to find Sam!" I ordered.


"Whose side are you on, dammit!? Just tell me where he's staying!" I yelled. I had to make things right. I had to do this for Fang. Then I'd leave this place forever. I'd leave Oregon. I'd disappear so Fang could move on.


"TELL ME NOW, ARI!" I screamed. Why was he making this harder? My world was crushed. He didn't have to make it worse.

"He's staying at the Shilo Inn in the little town just off the highway from where the Martinez family lives."

I snapped the phone shut. Tomorrow I was going to go set things straight with Sam.

Fang POV:

By the time I got home, everyone in the house was asleep. I quietly slipped into the house. I didn't need to wake everyone up and explain why Max wasn't with me.

My mind was still spinning. My vision blurred between reality and images of Max. Max smiling. Max laughing. Max frowning. The way Max's forehead would crease when she was worried. Max's lips on mine.

I couldn't stop thinking about Max. I was so confused. So angry. So hurt. I pushed the door open to Max's room. It was empty. All her stuff was cleared out. She was really gone.

Tears threatened to fall again, but I pushed them back. There was no time for emotions. I had to focus on finding Max. I went to my room to get my spare set of car keys.

As I walked over the thresh-hold, a piece of paper crinkled under my foot. I scooped it up and immediately recognized Max's handwriting.

Dear Fang,

I'm sorry I didn't have the guts to tell you this in person. I'm sorry I couldn't even tell you face to face that I was breaking up with you. What I did was cowardly, but if I told you in person, I wouldn't have been able to leave.

But, I need you to know that I had to it. I had to leave to protect you and your family. I didn't mean to get you roped into my past. You shouldn't have to deal with the consequences of what I did in the past.

You always gave me more than I could ever give you. It's been a blessing to know you, but I'm not made for your world. I don't fit into your storybook life. All I'll do is screw it up for you. Thank you for accepting me for all my flaws.

I don't know it is I ever gave you. I don't know what it was that made you love me. But, thank you for loving me anyway. I know I can never repay you for everything you gave me. But, I want you to know that what I felt for you was real and every moment we spent together were the happiest moments of my life.

Please, burn the note when you're done reading it. Then it'll really be like I was never there. I'm going to make this right and then I'll disappear forever. You can move on. You don't need me in your life. All I bring is bad luck. You'll find someone else who can make you really smile.


I stared down at the note. How could she think she gave me nothing? She was my everything. She was the one real person in this world of fake people. All the other girls I'd ever met were so fake. Max was always herself. She didn't try to cover up her strange personality quirks. She may have hidden her past but not who she was. Your past doesn't define you, and I don't think Max's past defines her.

I put the note in my pocket. Some other girl wouldn't be able to make me "really smile." Max was the only person in the world who could make me really smile. She's the only person who I've been open with. I've always guarded my emotions. I've always been afraid of being hurt. When I met Max, I didn't worry about that with her. I didn't have to. Max was always so accepting. She never judged people. She was probably judged all the time by other people, so she didn't judge others.

I had to find her. I had to explain that she completed me. That she was the one person I always looked forward to seeing. The one person I wanted to be in my indefinitely.

I grabbed my car keys and the promise rings I'd gotten for Max and me. I ran back to the club as fast as I could. I had to find Max. I had to set this right.

"Fang!" Iggy and Gazzy called as I jumped in my car. "What's going on."

"I have to find her," I muttered as I jammed the key in the ignition.

"We're coming, too," The twins chimed. The two of the them and Kyle climbed into the car.

"You guys don't need to do this," I mumbled.

"She's our friend too. We want to know what the hell is going on," Kyle reasoned from the back.

I considered giving them the note but decided that was something sacred between Max and me.

"Fine, you guys can come. She can't have gone far. We'll check the small town that's down that highway from my house. She's probably staying at the Shilo Inn." I suggested and floored the gas peddle.

We arrived at the Shilo Inn and had to wait for about 2 hours for the front desk to open. Kyle and the twins fell asleep in the car, but I couldn't sleep all I could think about was Max.

"No, Iggy, don't steal my teddy!" Gazzy moaned from the back.

I looked back at Gazzy. Did he really just say that? Gazzy's eyes were squeezed shut and he was sucking his thumb. In any other circumstance, I'd use this as black mail. It was pretty damn funny.

I looked back at the hotel and noticed that the open sign had just lit up. I rushed out of the car and didn't bother waking the others up. I burst through the doors and gave the lady at the desk a heart attack.

"Did a Maximum Ride check in here late last night?" I asked in a hurried voice.

"Um, no." The woman said briefly looking at the registration list.

"You're sure?" I asked.

"Yes," the woman said in a testy voice.

"Shit," I hissed under my breath and walked away.

"Dude," Iggy said as I got back in the car, "Max was walking. She probably got into town after everything closed. We should look when it gets a little later in the day."

"Can you and Gazzy track cell phone signals?" I asked an idea forming in my head.

"In theory, yes. But we'd need to know the bar code of the phone, the serial number, who bought it, who the distributor was, and which company issued the phone. Other than that it would be a breeze." Iggy shrugged.

"If you knew the person's name, could find all that stuff out?" I asked getting hopeful.

"It'd take some major hacking. But, yeah, we can do that," Iggy smiled understanding where I was going with this plan.

OK! Chapter 31 is up! Since I'm confined to my house because of the sinus/ear infection, I'll post another chapter Saturday (AKA tomorrow).



32. Chapter 32

Wow…so many reviews. You guys are great! My e-mail was getting clogged with all the reviews. Hahaha. Anyway, I won't keep you in suspense with a long AN.

On with the story,


PS: Thanks to thunderspark12 for adding me to her (I'm assuming you're a girl…if not my bad!) community! Thanks so much!

Fang POV: Chapter 32

"Look at this! This is ridiculous! Why is Legolas so pretty? Why does he look prettier than me? I mean, whenever there's a battle, Aragorn and Gimli get all bloody and scratched up, but Legolas escapes with a bruise on his head. And he even makes the bruise look sexy!" Nudge exclaimed from behind the computer screen.

"Hey! You guys are supposed to be hacking Max's personal information," I chided from my bed.

"We need background noise," Gazzy muttered.

"Yeah, just staring at the black screens with the little green matrices kills you. Having Legolas's fac…um, I mean, Arwen's face to look at is a nice break once in a while," Iggy blushed and looked back at the computer screen.

Gazzy cocked an eyebrow at his twin and mouthed, "Legolas's face?"

"I don't know how Keanu Reeves did it in the Matrix. Always being around those tiny, flying green numbers," Nudge commented.

"I know king-fu!" Gazzy exclaimed imitating Keanu Reeves' voice perfectly.

"Can you guys get back to work? Max has been gone for over 12 hours!" I commanded from my bed.

"Yeah, okay," they all replied and ducked back behind the computer.

"Why is Nudge here?" I asked. I had been wondering why Nudge was here for a while.

"Dude, have you seen your sister hack?" Gazzy asked in disbelief.

"Um, no," I answered.

"She is amazing. She can do anything! What takes and Ig and me hours only takers like 30 minutes," Gazzy explained.

"Oh," I muttered and fell silent. I was thinking about Max again.

"Dammit!" Nudge yelled.

"What!?" I asked, really worried they'd been found out.

"Boromir just died! This part always makes cry! Oh, and here comes Legolas looking as beautiful as ever. That is so not fair," Nudge shook her head and went back to hacking with the twins.

I rolled my eyes. Beautiful. That's the word that always pops into my head when I think of Max. She always looked more beautiful than all the other girls. I thought back to the first day we met.

"Dude, are you okay?" I asked after I saved some guy from falling.

The guy paused for a moment and repositioned himself. He put the box down and I swear my heart stopped. It wasn't a guy at all. It was a girl. A really beautiful girl. She had light grown hair jammed under an old baseball cap. Her chocolate eyes stared deep into my black ones. They looked like a melted Hershey's kiss mixed with caramel.

Her face seemed to change from open and beautiful to a stunning mask of stone. "Fine. Thanks." She muttered.

I could feel my eyes widen slightly as the fact that she really is a girl registered in my mind. I had to say something. "Wrong dorm."

Wow, Fang, genius in its brevity. Way to get her attention.

"Actually, it's the right one." She sated proudly, and I looked down at her skeptically. She fished in her pocket and pulled a piece of paper out. "Here," She muttered as she thrust the paper into my hands.

I read it quickly and handed it back. "Cool," I said not knowing what else to say to this beautiful girl I'd just met. What else could I say? 'Welcome to the dorm!' Yeah, not so much. I'd sound like a dork.

"Yeah. I'm Max," She said as if she didn't really know what else to say. She stuck her hand out.

Like a moron, I just stared at it like I didn't know what to do. I mentally slapped myself awake and shook her hand. "Fang," I replied.

"Wow. You're so damn talkative."

After that, I was hooked on Max. She was like a drug. I didn't get it, but I had to be around her. I had to see her. Had to know a girl like her really existed.

I looked around my room and noticed the black wife-beater that was splattered in purple paint. I'd been wearing it when I'd first met Max.

"Well, I'm gonna start decorating my room." Max sated after we finished talking about our parents. She doesn't seem to like the subject.

"Want help?" I offered. For some reason, I wanted to spend more time with Max. "We've got a week before other people come." I threw in.

Max paused for a moment and thought. I held my breath. I don't know why, though. "Sure that'd be nice." Max nodded.

I smiled. Like, really smiled. Which was something I don't do something very often, but I was really excited to hang out with Max. Another thing that doesn't happen very often. I'm not really a bubbly person.

Max pulled out two paint. Black and purple. I like Max even more know. I grabbed the black paint and brush and headed for the dresser.

I was in a painting zone when I heard Max call, "Why don't you add some color, emo boy?"

Usually, I got really pissed when people called me emo, but when Max did it, I didn't really mind, I actually found it pretty funny.

The next thing that happened, however, I did not expect. Max took her purple paint filled brush and flicked it at me. I was covered in purple paint. This was war.

I shook my head. I needed to stop living in the past. I needed to focus on what was going on right now. I needed to focus on getting Max back. My Max.

Max POV:

I packed up my stuff and left the abandoned motel. I couldn't wait to leave the rat and cockroach infested building.

I jammed my old baseball cap onto my head and walked down to the Shilo Inn. I was going to set Sam straight. I was going to end this now.

The walk to the Shilo was pretty quick. I stormed in. I was on a mission. Sam was not going hurt my Fang.

"Is there a Sam Erikson staying here?" I asked.

The woman looked down on the guest registry. "No, I'm sorry."

Damn. He was probably using an alias. "Okay. Then how about a Todd Anderson?"

"No, I'm sorry," She replied after looking down again.

"Fine. Then is there a Ben Stevenson?" I asked getting irritated. If her came up with a new alias, I was going to kill him.

"Um, yes there is," The woman said.

Thank you sweet Jesus. "What room?" I demanded.

"Miss, I can't just delve out information," The desk clerk stated.

"Listen, have you ever had a guy cheat on you?" I didn't know where I was going with this.

"Um, yes I have," She muttered her eyes flashing with anger.

"Well, that son of a bitch not only cheated on me, but he's also married and has 3 little girls at home," I lied.

"He's in room 207," she replied handing me a spare room key. "Just make sure you clean up any blood." She winked and pretended not to notice as I took the stairs up to the second floor.

I smiled as I ran up the stairs. I feel bad for lying to that lady, but it was really nice of her to let me go to Sam's room. I was going set this bastard straight.

Instead of being all sneaky like an elephant and using the room key, I banged on Sam's door as hard as I could.

"Oi!" I shouted angrily. "Answer the damn door!"

After a few minutes, a groggy looking Sam with disgusting stubble answered the door. Once he saw it was me, his face lit up, and his eyes looked me up and down.

I repressed a shudder. "See! I'm not with the Martinez family. I couldn't care less about what happens to the spoiled brat, rich-ass family. Okay? You don't need to rob them. Rob someone else. I bet there are loads of people with more money than them. So, back off or so help me God, I will cut your dick off and choke you with it!"

"You know," Sam replied coolly, "this isn't the best way to wake someone up."

"Do you really think I give a shit?" I spat. "I'm not kidding. Back off or you're dead. I could get you put in jail!"

"And why haven't you, Max?" Sam asked. My breath stopped. "Have some old loyalties to your partner in crime? Or, maybe you're afraid they'll put you away, too. Face it, you're just a coward who isn't woman enough to admit you screwed up. You couldn't even tell your darling Fang."

I snapped. I reached out and slugged Sam in the nose. His eyes flared with anger and amusement as he wiped the blood from his face.

"You know better than to make me mad, Max," He hissed.

I dropped my duffle bag and slinked back into a fighting stance. "Bring it, Sam. I've been waiting for this for a while now."

Sam laughed. "I'm not going to fight you, Max." He paused and looked me over. "Fine, you want me to lay off your precious Martinez family? I will, but you have to give me something." Sam raised his eyebrows and looked me up and down.

I stood up straight, squared my shoulders, and thrust out my jaw defiantly. "What?" I asked warily.

"Just one last job, partner," Sam grinned.

Fang POV:

"Fang! Fang! Fang!" Nudge squealed jumping up and down excitedly.

"What?" I asked my hope rising too.

"We got all the information we need, and we're tracking Max!" Nudge exclaimed.

"Really!?" I muttered in disbelief.

"Yeah," Gazzy mumbled as he typed a few more things on his keyboard. "there are still a few bugs but… there! We're getting a pretty weak signal but… she's at the Shilo Inn just down the road."

"Let's go!" Iggy yelled.

"No. You guys stay here. I'll go. Call me if her position changes," I ran out of the room and sprinted to my car.

I'm coming, Max. Just sit tight. I'll make this right.

I burst through the Shilo Inn doors. "Is there a Maximum Ride staying here?" I half shouted at the desk clerk.

She looked over the list. "No, I'm sorry."

I let out a hissing breath and ran over the stairs. I'd just search every floor and room.

"Hey! You can't just go up there!" The lady shouted after me. I just tuned her out.

I got up on the second and was about to knock on the first floor when I saw Sam coming out of a room with a suitcase.

"You!" I yelled. "What the hell are you doing here?"

Sam looked up at me. "Oh, hey Fang." He said nonchalantly.

I was really pissed and didn't want to deal with him. I just ran over to him and punched him as hard as I could in the nose.

He stumbled back. "Damn, what is with you and Max and hitting people in the nose," he muttered rubbing his bleeding nose.

"Max? She was here? Where the hell is she!?" I grabbed Sam by the shoulders and shook him

"Yeah, she was here," he said getting a weird smile on his face. "But I got what I wanted from her, so I sent her on her way. And now, I'll be on mine."

Max POV:

"I need you to break into the security room of a museum and steal the surveillance video from October 15th of this year. Mail the video to this address," Sam handed me a piece of crumpled paper. He knew I'd come. He'd had the job ready for me for a long time. "Send me a text once you've done this and send me a picture of the video in a mail box. Then I'll leave and so can you."

I replayed Sam's words in my head. The video was probably him getting caught on tape stealing like the moron he is. What bothered me was the face that he already had the address waiting for me. He knew I'd want to protect the Martinez family. He knew he needed a job done. And he knew I'd do it if it meant protecting Fang and his family.

I shook my head. Here it goes. My last job. God, I feel like a piece of shit right now. All I want to do is curl up in Fang's arms.

Ok! There's another chapter. Sorry it's like 10pm. I meant to post earlier.



33. Chapter 33

Ok, here we go for yet another chapter. Things might get better in this chapter. We'll see.



Max POV: Chapter 33

I turned my phone off and shoved it in my duffle bag. I didn't need it to ring while I'm on my job.

I had gone down to the local thrift store and picked up a few items to make my costume a little more official. I had decided to pose as a Geek Squad type person and pretend I had gotten a call from the museum to come fix the security computers.

I had already gone past the museum and saw that the security guard was a male and seemed prone to sexist pigism. I decided to use this to my advantage and make my nerd outfit a little sexier. I hated doing this. I felt like such a slut. But, I had to do this to keep Fang safe.

I had on white blouse that I had unbuttoned to show some cleavage. Then I had grey tie that was loosely hanging around my neck. I found a grey pleated skirt in the thrift store and rolled the band up so it was mid thigh. Then I put on some grey knee-high socks and a pair of black pumps Nudge had forced me to buy early this year. I also wore the black lacy push-up bra Nudge had forced me to get. I fluffed my hair up and put on a lot of lip gloss. My lips felt like an oil slick.

I sighed as I looked in the mirror of back changing room of the thrift store. It was like my two past lives were converging. Flirty, party girl meets thief. They could make a Lifetime movie out of it.

I went back out into the thrift store and looked around for some kind of ID I could doctor. It took a little while, but I managed to find an old fake ID for bartending or something like that. I brought it back into the changing room with me and using my laptop, I fixed the ID to look like I was from the local Geek Squad shop. I managed to get a picture of my pasted over the picture of some guy on the ID card who looked totally stoned.

I slipped out the back emergency exit of the store. I had no money so I couldn't pay for any of the things I got at the thrift store. Looks like stealing still comes easily to me.

I stashed my duffle bag in a hollow trunk of a tree and kept my laptop with me, so I would look more official as a geek.

I walked to the museum which was pretty close. It was on the outskirts of the town. It was some museum that was a tribute to some famous author. Apparently, it was chalk full of first edition books. I'm sure Sam lifted a few.

By the time I got to the museum, my feet were killing me, and I was ready to punch a baby. I took a deep breath and fluffed my hair. Time to work some magic.

I walked in like I owned the place and made sure to swing my hips. The guards head snapped up the second he heard heels click on the hardwood floor. I made sure to add an extra hair flip as I got closer to the desk.

"Hi," I said in what I hoped was a seductive voice. God, this is so horrible.

"Um…h-h-h-hi," the guard spluttered.

"I got a call that your security room needs a check up," I muttered looking the guard up and down. If I hadn't met Anna and learned how to flirt with guys I'd never met, I wouldn't be able to pull this off.

"I, um, need to see some ID," the guard absently answered while he was trying to see all the way down my cleavage.

I had by ID clipped to the collar of my shirt, so I thrust my boobs out in the guard's face so he could see the ID better…among other things.

"Oh, um, follow me," the guard said in a dazed voice.

I smirked and followed him in. this was too easy. Even though I felt horrible doing this, I had forgotten the amazing adrenaline rush you get when you pull a theft. It was better than the rush I get from performing with the band.

The guard's hand shook as he reached for his keys. It took him at least five minutes to get the door to open.

"Thanks," I said walking past him and brushing my hand against his hip. He gave a small jump. "I should be done soon." I shut the door behind me and set to work.

Fang POV:

Sam wouldn't tell me anything else about Max, so I kneed him in the balls and left him rolling on the floor and ran back to my car.

I jumped in my car and drove around the town. Max couldn't be far. My phone rang. I looked down and saw Iggy on the caller ID screen.

"What's up?" I asked.

"Did you find her?" Iggy answered on the other end.

"Just missed her. What's her position now?"

"We don't know, man." Ig replied apologetically.

"What the hell do you mean?" I demanded.

"Well, the signal was weak to begin with…but, well, she's turned her phone off so now we can't track her," Iggy mumbled.

"SHIT!" I screamed and punched the steering wheel. I hung my phone up. I didn't need to talk to people right now.

I floored the gas pedal and went roaring down the highway. By the time I reached the highway, I was going over 100 miles and hours. I reached my house in less than 3 minutes.

I stormed into my room. "Everyone out!" I ordered.

"Dude, she'll turn it back on," Gazzy counseled as I shoved them out the door.

I slumped down on my bed and looked over at my wall that had all my pictures on it. It had pictures of pretty much everything. Pictures of me and my friends. Pictures I'd taken of random things. And, most importantly, pictures of Max and me.

I looked over at my favorite picture of us and took it down from the wall. It was of me and Max out by the pond in the willow trees. We are both sitting on the rock together. Max's head is on my shoulder and my arm is around her waist. Our feet are dangling off the edge of the rock and trailing in the water. Max's eyes are on mine and she's smiling up at me. I'm looking down and laughing about something she's just said. Angel had taken the picture as an order for blackmail from the twins. I found it in the camera and liked it, so I kept.

I kept my eyes focused on Max's smiling face. "Why are you doing this?"

Max POV:

I quickly went over to the filing cabinet that held the security videos from every day of every year. The cabinet was locked. Piece of cake. When I brushed my hand on the guard's thigh, I swiped his keys. He was totally clueless.

I unlocked the cabinet and started going through the years until I found 2009. I scrolled down the months until I found the footage for October 15th.

It was a small compact disc. I took the disc and slipped it into my socks. I used an old game cube video game disc and replaced the missing October 15th disc with a Mario Kart Double Dash game. I closed the filing cabinet and locked it back up.

I waited another ten minutes before leaving the security room. I swayed my hips as I walked out. I could feel the cold disk against my calf as I walked.

I went up to the security guard's desk and leaned over. His eyes bulged. "Well, everything looks good. Everything is running smoothly."

"Oh…um…okay," The guard muttered dumbly.

"Have a nice day!" I said cheerfully and walked out of the museum.

Like I said, too easy. That was child's play compared to the jobs I used to pull with Sam.

I retrieved my duffle bag from the hollow tree and got on the bus that would take me to the Grey Hound Bus transit center. I knew there would be a post office there, and I could find a Grey Hound bus going east.

I thought about going back to Fang now that my job was done, and Sam was out of the picture, but I couldn't do that. Fang would never want me back after this. And like I said in my note to him, I don't belong in his perfect storybook life. I need to disappear just like I promised.

* * * * *

There was a bathroom at the transit center so I decided to change back into normal clothes. I didn't need any more guys getting an eyeful. I already had enough creepers staring at me on the bus ride down to the transit center.

Once I'd changed, I walked over to the small post office and bought a fragile shipment box. I put the disc in and took my phone out. I turned my phone on and took a picture of the disc in the box. Then I sent it with a message to Sam.

Your stupid job is done. The video has been sent. Now leave.

I sent the message and pushed the box into the mail box. I turned my back on my past for what I hope is forever and went to look for a bus leaving for somewhere in the East.

Fang POV:

I was lying on my bed moping. And I never mope. I felt hopeless like I could do nothing for Max now. She had totally gone off the grid. She was gone. Just like she promised. She's disappeared, and my life has lost all its color and purpose.

I rolled over and looked down at the computer screen. There was a grid map and nothing else. No sign of Max. No hint to give me hope. Nothing to help me find her.

I let out a frustrated grunt and threw my pillow across the room. Just as I was about to roll over and give up, an annoying beeping noise sounded from the computer. I looked over and saw that a red dot had appeared on the screen.

I jumped out of bed with a victorious whoop. Max had turned her phone back on. I looked closer at the screen. Max was at a Grey Hound Bus transit center. Shit. What is she doing there? Was she really going to leave Oregon?

I quickly checked all the bus listing for departure times. There was a bus leaving for Nebraska in 10 minutes. It was the bus going the farthest east, so I figured Max would pick that one.

I grabbed my car keys and ran out to my car. This time I was going to catch up with her.

Ok…that's all for now. My parents are hounding me to go clean my room, so I'm gonna go do that and then try to post another chapter .



34. Chapter 34

Right…so I have nothing to say to let's just get on with the story.



PS: just read a review that I have to comment on. To the person who signed the review "James Patterson" ok…you seriously aren't James Patterson, right? 'Cause if you are…that'd kinda be insane (in an awesome way). And, um, I didn't really learn to write stories…I kinda just write whatever pops into my head…

Max POV: Chapter 34

I fished around in my empty pockets hoping eighty bucks would somehow materialize. I needed eighty bucks for the bus ticket to Nebraska. That was the farthest east any bus was going, and it was leaving in like ten minutes.

I sighed as only lint came from my pocket search. This was turning out to be a bust. I searched around my duffle bag as a last resort. I had to have some cash. My hand blindly hunted for a few spare dollars. I was about to give up hope when I heard the familiar crinkle of cash.

I quickly gripped the money and pulled it out of the bag. I counted the wad in front of me. Fifty, fifty-five, sixty, seventy, seventy-five…crap, I was fiver dollars short. I went up to the ticket booth anyway.

"I need a one way ticket to the bus leaving for Nebraska in ten minutes, please," I urgently asked the lady behind the glass.

"That'll be eighty dollars," she replied in a nasally voice as she popped her chewing gum.

"Here," I muttered handing her the wrinkled wad of cash. "I've only got 75."

"Then I can't give you the ticket," the woman snapped. "It's eighty not seventy-five."

"Listen, I need to get out of here. Five bucks difference isn't that much. Give me the ticket," I ordered.

"Nope," the woman said popping her 'p.'

"I'll pay the last five on the ticket," and old voice said behind me.

I whipped around. "You will?"

"Sure, sweetheart," she replied, winking at me, as she got out her purse. "I remember what it was like growing up in a town I hated. The second I got old enough, I moved out. I wouldn't want to pass up the opportunity of helping a girl achieve the same goal I had when I was young."

The old lady put down a five dollar bill and the lady behind the desk reluctantly printed a ticket out for me.

I took the ticket and turned to the old lady. "Thank you so much."

She patted my arm. "Sure, honey, no problem. But, even if running away feels like the right choice right now, sometimes it's better to face your problems head on. And, once you step back and look at a situation, sometimes it's not as bad as you thought and the solutions becomes clear." She winked again and hobbled off.

I just stared after her in a sort of daze. Maybe I could go back…no, what the hell was I thinking? Fang probably never wanted to see me again. I totally just left him without any explanation. I couldn't even say goodbye to his face.

I shook my head and picked my duffle bag up. It was time to stop pretending. I can't live in a picture perfect life. So, I shouldn't even try to live in one. I turned my back on the highway that led to the small town by Fang's house, headed for the Grey Hound Bus, and didn't look back.

I boarded the bus and handed the bus driver my ticket.

"That's an awful long way to travel along, young lady," the elderly bus driver commented as he punched a hole in the ticket.

"I can manage," I muttered as I took my ticket back.

The bus driver just shrugged and turned to the next person. I stuffed my ticket in my pocket and shuffled down the aisle to the back of the bus. I plopped down and put my duffle bag next to me. I didn't some chatty Cathy sitting next to me and talking the whole way to Nebraska.

"Alright, folks," The bus driver called after a few minutes. "This is your last call for boarding or getting off. This bus is going to Nebraska. We will make about 4 pit-stops a day and we will be sleeping in the bus. There is a bathroom at the back of the bus. I look forward to traveling with you guys. Again, this is the last call for getting on or getting off. This bus is leaving in about 2 minutes!"

I closed my eyes and rested my head against the seat. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I fully realized what I was doing. I was never going to see Fang ever again. The wheels starting turning and the bus ever so slowly started to creep forward.

"Wait! Stop this bus!" Someone shouted from the outside. Even though the voice was muffled, it was very familiar. Too familiar.

I kept my eyes closed. I was just imagining it. I wanted the voice to sound like his. I wanted him to come after and stop this bus and tell me everything was alright. It was probably someone who had gotten here late and needed to get on the bus. It couldn't possibly be him. It was my imagination.

The bus slowly ground to a halt. The air swooshed as the bus doors opened. "You got a ticket, son?" the bus driver asked.

I heard footsteps on the stairway that led up to the bus. "No." a deep voice answered. A deep voice that I knew inside out. A deep voice that belonged to the only person I've ever really loved.

I squeezed my eyes tighter and flipped the hood of my hoodie over my face. He couldn't find me.

"Well, then why are you on the bus?" the bus driver muttered in an annoyed voice.

"There's someone very important to me on this bus," the voice replied. I refused to acknowledge it as Fang's voice.

"Well, that's nice. But, I'm on a schedule. I can't keep the bus stopped," the driver answered and the bus engine revved.

"Look, I'll give you 300 hundred dollars if you keep this bus stopped," the voice said urgently.

I popped my eyes open. Three hundred dollars? Was he insane? I wasn't worth the trouble. He should just go home. He can move on. There's someone out there who is better for him than I am.

"Well, how could I say no?" the bus driver chuckled. Fang handed him a wad of cash. I quickly looked out the window. I didn't need this to happen. So, why am I so happy right now?

I heard Fang's sure, even footsteps come down the aisle. The footsteps stopped and I knew Fang was standing right next to my seat. I didn't turn my head.

"Max?" Fang's voice was soft and gentle. Tears sprung into my eyes. Why wasn't he yelling at me? "Max, please, come back. We can work this out." Fang's voice sounded broken and tired. My heart ripped at the seams. I resisted the urge to jump out of my seat and into his arms. "Look, I don't know what's going on and that's okay. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. But, whatever it is, we can work it out together." There was a creak from my chair, and my eyes flickered over in Fang's direction. He was kneeling down in the aisle way looking right at me with his penetrating eyes. "Max, I'm always going to be here for you. That's what it means to love someone.

"And guess what? You can't protect me from everything. Life's like that. Whatever comes our way, we'll work it out together. You don't have to try and do everything and protect everyone by yourself. We're in a relationship. Relationships are 50-50. Let me help you carry your load. Don't try and fight all your battles alone." Fang paused and waited for me to do something. I didn't. I couldn't move. I was paralyzed by his words. "And all that shit about you not being able to give me anything? That is not true. My life had no color, no meaning before I met you. You make life exciting for me. You make me feel like I have purpose. And, you're real. You're not afraid to be who you are. I love that about you. I love everything about you. I don't care what you did in the past. Your past doesn't define you. So, please, come back. You know I'll love you no matter what."

Fang stopped again, and I turned to face him. I couldn't say anything. I had nothing to say. What could I say? I had been so stupid. Tears were running down my cheeks, but I felt so much better just being able to see Fang.

Fang smiled at me and pulled out a small set of speakers and his ipod. I pushed play and the accompaniment for Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls started to play. I blushed and looked away from the watching eyes of the other people on the bus.

It's too late baby, there's no turning around
I've got my hands in my pocket and my head in a clouds
This is how I do
When I think about you

I never thought that you could break me apart
I keep a sinister smile and a hold on my heart
You want to get inside
Then you can get in line
But not this time

Cause you caught me off guard
Now I'm running and screaming

I feel like a hero and you are my heroine

I won't try to philosophize
I'll just take a deep breath and I'll look in your eyes
This is how I feel
And its so surreal

I got a closet filled up to the brim
With the ghosts of my past and the skeletons
And I don't know why
You'd even try
But I won't lie

You caught me off guard
Now I'm running and screaming

I feel like a hero and you are my heroine
Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

And I feel a weakness coming on
Never felt so good to be so wrong
Had my heart on lockdown
And then you turned me around

I feel like a newborn child
Every time I get a chance to see you smile
It's not complicated
I was so jaded

And you caught me off guard
Now I'm running and screaming

I feel like a hero and you are my heroine
Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

I feel like a hero and you are my heroine
Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

"Max, please?" Fang whispered. The entire bus was silent as everyone waited for my answer.

I looked down and wiped the tears of my face. I looked back up at Fang. I really am the luckiest girl in the world to have found a guy like him.

I couldn't take it anymore. I rocketed out of my seat and collided into Fang. I wrapped both my arms around his neck and didn't let go.

There was a loud cheering from the bus. People really got into love stories.

"I'm sorry I was such a dick," I whispered in Fang's ear.

Fang chuckled and brought his face close to mine. "It's fine. I'm just glad to have you back."

Then, in front of a bus full of strangers, Fang leaned closer and kissed me.

OK! That's another chapter down. Awww…they are back together! Yay. Ok, so I start school again tomorrow(not yay) and I probably won't get to update everyday… and I will definitely not post more than two chapters a day… unless I somehow get terribly worse tomorrow and can't go to school…wink wink, nudge nudge!



35. Chapter 35

Ok…so no homework today! Woot! So, I get to update again! Plus, I got out of track because of my sinus infection!



Max POV: Chapter 35

Fang and I were in his car speeding down the highway. All I can say, awkward turtle. Seriously. I had no clue what to say, and I'm pretty sure Fang used up all his words for the next year and a half. That was the longest time he's talked without stopping. Honestly, I think he was in shock that he could talk that much. I know I am.

We were about to pull into Fang's house when I was seized with fear. How could I face everyone? How could I explain?

"Fang!" I blurted.

"Yeah?" he asked, slowing the car down.

"Is there somewhere else we can go? I don't want to see people yet," I muttered looking out the window.

"Sure," Fang nodded.

Fang pulled a quick U-turn and my face smashed against the window. That would hurt later.

"Sorry," Fang mumbled.

"It's fine. I deserved that," I answered rubbing my cheek.

Fang just sighed. He went a few feet down the road and pulled into a narrow gravel road. I could still see his house.

"Where are we going?" I asked.

"It's a back road to my house. We never use it. There's somewhere I want us to go. So we can talk," Fang replied, keeping his eyes on the road ahead.

I nodded and looked back out the window. As happy as I was to be with Fang again, how could we go back to the way things were? It was too awkward. I'd hurt Fang too much.

Fang stopped the car right outside the circular grove of weeping willow trees. Fang quickly hopped out, came around the car, and opened my door for me.

He reached his hand out for me. I looked up, expecting to see a stony-faced Fang, and found Fang smiling down at me. And it wasn't just any smile, either. It was my special smile. The smile I thought I would never see again.

What had I done to deserve him?

I reached my hand out and took Fang's. My hand slid into place and locked perfectly with his. It was like these two hands were meant for each other. I suddenly felt very shy around Fang. We were two people meant for each other, and I had almost ruined it. I had thought of my own neck and sacrificed Fang's happiness. I had justified running away as protecting Fang, but it was really me being too much of a coward to face my own problems.

From now on, I'm going to face my problems head on. I'm going to become someone Fang will be proud to call his girlfriend.

Fang led my through the branches to the pond with rock. Fang sat down on the rock and I sat down at its base.

I took a deep breath. "So, in the past-"

"Max," Fang cut in. "The past is the past. It doesn't matter. Let's forget about it and just move forward, okay?"

My head jerked up, "Really?" I asked in disbelief.

"Yeah," Fang said nodding. "Unless there's anything I should know about Sam. I saw him at the Shilo. He said something about seeing you and getting something from you."

I froze. He couldn't know that I stole something. Besides, Sam's out of the picture now. He was leaving for New York to retrieve his precious video. Fang didn't need to know about Sam. That was the past. "I saw Sam but nothing happened."

"He must have been screwing with me then. The asshole's like that," Fang muttered.

I nodded. Okay, now for a clean slate. I'm starting over. Screw the past.

Fang fished around in his pocket. "So, I got you something. Well, I got us something. I never got to give this to you since you weren't here for Christmas."

Fang pulled out a black velvet box. My heart sped. Was he really going to…?

I jumped up. "Fang, you can't seriously…we haven't finished our first year of college!"

Fang just laughed and pulled me back down next to him. "It's not quite like that."

Fang popped the lid, and I gasped. Two twinkling white gold rings winked at me from the deep black box. I could see the inside of the band and noticed that it was engraved with a set of wings and inside the wings M+F was written.

I looked back up at Fang who had a grin plastered on his face. "They're beautiful!" I exclaimed.

"They're promise rings," Fang muttered as he slipped one out of the box. "Which hand?" he asked, unsure.

"Um…let's do the right hand," I answered. "Since an engagement ring goes on the left."

Fang nodded and slipped the ring onto my ring finger on my right hand. I took the other ring and guided it onto Fang's right ring finger.

Fang put his hand under my chin and tilted my face up to his. "So, are we cool?" Fang asked. "No more running off?"

I nodded and smiled up at Fang. His face lit up and he smiled my special smile. Fang's head snaked down, and his lips crashed onto mine. I made a sort of odd moaning sound. It was kind of that whimper you make when you've just had a really good, fresh-from-the-oven, oozing with chocolate brownie. I could feel Fang smile against my lips. I blushed. What can I say? I missed kissing him.

Fang and I sat together on the rock for hours. We were tangled up in each others' arms and were just enjoying the company of the other.

* * * * *

After a while Fang and I went back to the house and I was welcomed back with open arms. No one pestered me with questions and things went back to normal. And before I knew it, it was time to go back to the dorms for the last half of college. Our freshman year was half way done.

Fang and I were sitting in my dorm room hanging out. I looked over at the wardrobe that Fang had painted the first day we met. It was still completely black but had splatters of purple on it form our paint fight. I smiled.

"Remember the first day we met?" I asked.

Fang chuckled. "Of course. Damn, you make us sound like some old married couple!" Fang shook his head then wheezed in an old voice. "Why I remember the first time I saw you. It seems like just yesterday…"

I smacked Fang on the arm. "Whatever. I was trying to be all nostalgic…"

Fang laughed some more. "I think it's cute."

My ears turned pink. "Cute?" I asked the word grating against my ears.

"Yes, cute," Fang made sure to enunciate because he knew it was bothering me. "Cute like Hello Kitty and unicorns and puppies."

I groaned. "No not like a puppy!"

"Yup, a puppy," Fang stated.

I rolled my eyes. "Fine, then you're just so Fangalicious."

Fang's eyes turned murderous. He hated it when people messed with his name. "What?" he asked in a low voice.

"Ah! Fangy's being scary!" I cried.

Fang let out a roar, tackled me, and started mercilessly tickling me.

"No!" I shrieked. "Noooo, FAAAAAANG! Not the feet!"

"Oi, break it up you two!" Iggy and Gazzy yelled from the door. "We have band practice and you idiots are screwing around in here!"

"Sorry," Fang and I muttered.

"Way to be a kill joy," Fang mumbled.

"March. To the basement, children," Iggy ordered pointing in the direction of the basement (the only place we could practice out songs in the dorms).

"Fine, mom," I said slumping my shoulders as I walked past Iggy.

Fang caught up with me and entwined his hand with mine. "I think it's time we re-open our prank war," Fang said to me, but it was just loud enough that Iggy and Gazzy could hear.

"It's on!" The twins shouted.

"What have you gotten us in to?" I asked Fang.

He winked. "It'll be fun. I've already got a few pranks thought up."

I looked up at him skeptically. "This should be interesting."

* * * * *

Once we got in the basement, the twins and Kyle got right to work. Nobody was wasting any time. We had another gig coming up in about a month. We'd been chosen to play at some high school's prom. I was not too happy about it. Girls in skimpy dresses, who were most likely going to be drunk or high on life, were going to throw themselves at Fang.

"So, why don't you guys try that duet you're going to sing," Kyle suggested.

"Oh, good idea," Fang muttered.

He and I took the front position of the band.

I remember what you wore on the first day
You came into my life and I thought
"Hey, you know, this could be something"

'Cause everything you do and words you say
You know that it all takes my breath away
And now I'm left with nothing

So maybe it's true
That I can't live without you
Maybe two is better than one
There's so much time
To figure out the rest of my life
And you've already got me coming undone
And I'm thinking two is better than one

I remember every look upon your face
The way you roll your eyes
The way you taste
You make it hard for breathing

'Cause when I close my eyes and drift away
I think of you and everything's okay
I'm finally now believing

That maybe it's true
That I can't live without you
Maybe two is better than one
There's so much time
To figure out the rest of my life
And you've already got me coming undone
And I'm thinking two is better than one

Yeah, yeah

I remember what you wore on the first day
You came into my life and I thought, "Hey,"

maybe it's true
That I can't live without you
Maybe two is better than one
There's so much time
To figure out the rest of my life
And you've already got me coming undone

And I'm thinking
I can't live without you
'Cause, baby, two is better than one
There's so much time
To figure out the rest of my life
But I'll figure it out
When all is said and done
Two is better than one
Two is better than one

Name of song for those of you wondering: Two is better than one by boys like girls and Taylor Swift



Bold Italics=Max and Fang

Hit a bit of writers block at the end so I jammed the song in. no worries, next chapter will be better.

Sorry this is getting up so late. Our internet wasn't working earlier.


36. Chapter 36

Ok…time to re-open the prank wars… let the games begin :)



Max POV: Chapter 36

I was walking down to the basement to start practice with the guys. The prom we were playing for was a week away.

The last three weeks had been insane. Iggy and Gazzy were taking our prank war ridiculously seriously. Fang and I were going for some serious pay back tonight.

I was rounding the corner to go down the steps when I ran into Ari.

"Max?" He asked, sounding surprised.

"Yeah?" I answered.

"What are you doing here?"

"Learning, that's what you usually do at school," I replied trying to step around Ari. He blocked my way.

"You're not supposed to be here," He muttered.

"Excuse me? What's that supposed to mean?" I demanded.

"Sam said you were leaving. He got you to steal the video tape and said you were leaving Fang. You were supposed to leave Oregon," Ari reasoned.

"Well, things changed. I didn't leave," I stated.

"So, you didn't break up with Fang?"

"In the end, no. But, that's none of your business. Now move," I tried to move past Ari again, but he blocked my way again. I was starting to get annoyed. "What!?" I demanded.

"You probably should have done what Sam wanted," Ari mumbled.

"Look, he's gone. He's in New York. We don't need to worry about him anymore. So, it doesn't matter," I answered shoving past Ari and jogging down the steps.

"I wouldn't be so sure! This is Sam after all!" Ari called after me.

I just waved my hand and kept going. It was over. Sam was gone. Ari is an idiot. I don't need to worry about what he has to say. I'm right; Ari's wrong. End of story.

I got down to the basement, and everyone was already there. I was preoccupied with what Ari had said but then I saw Fang, and I totally forgot about my confrontation with Ari.

"You're late," Iggy chastised from his keyboard.

"Oh, I'm sorry, mom," I answered sarcastically. "Nature called, idiot. I don't think you guys want me peeing on the floor."

"No, no we don't," Gazzy muttered as he plugged his bass into the amp.

Iggy smirked and mumbled, "Speak for yourself."

My jaw dropped to the floor. I picked up the closet thing to me, which happened to be a full water bottle, and chucked it at Iggy. "You pervert!" I yelled.

Iggy wasn't expecting the projectile, so he didn't catch it. The water bottle hit Iggy square in the chest. Unfortunately, the lid wasn't screwed on all the way so when it hit Iggy, the cap came off and the water spilled all over Iggy's lap.

Fang, Gazzy, Kyle, and I burst out laughing. Iggy just sat there with a look of total shock on his face.

"Nice," Fang managed to gasp out between laughs.

Gazzy pulled out his phone and snapped a picture of his twin. "That is so going to be your caller ID, Ig."

Iggy scowled and started dabbing at his lap with a scrap of cloth he used to cover part of his keyboard. "Whatever," Iggy grumbled. "How about we go over the song list for the prom."

"Nice change in topic," Kyle commented as he went to sit behind his drum set.

I nodded and smirked, "but it would be nice to know the official list."

"Okay, so we are going to be doing a lot of Boys Like Girls, Paramore, All American Rejects, Evanescence, Flyleaf, and Anarbor," Fang answered.

"What was that last one?" I asked.

"Anarbor," Gazzy cut in. "They're this awesome band I found on youtube. We are going to be doing three of their songs."

"But, first," Fang started, "the songs by Anarbor call for three electrical guitars."

"Oh, so I'll be playing, too," I mumbled. "But, I don't have an electrical guitar."

"Right, well since you weren't at my house for Christmas, you didn't get your Christmas gift from the band. And we figured we could give it to you when we found a song to go with the gift," Fang explained. "So, here."

Fang ducked behind one of the gross old mattresses and pulled out a large box. A box large enough for an electrical guitar.

"No way," I breathed. "You guys didn't."

All four boys had goofy grins on their faces. They did. They'd gotten me an electrical guitar.

I ran over to Fang and whipped the cover off the box. Nestled inside was the most beautiful guitar I had ever seen. It was sleek and black and had a purple skull splatter painted on the body of the guitar.

"Holy poo!" I shouted and was awarded with raised eyebrows from Fang, Kyle, and the twins.

"Holy poo?" Fang asked.

"I'm really excited, and I said the first thing that popped into my head. But, seriously, guys this is amazing! Thank you all so much!" I reverently put the guitar down and went and gave everyone a hug. Except Iggy.

"Hey! I don't get a hug!" Iggy whined.

"Perverts don't get hugs," I replied sticking my tongue out.

"That was mature," Iggy grumbled.

"Fang, can you give me the music to the Anarbor songs. I should start practicing." I said turning to Fang and ignoring Iggy.

Iggy huffed and sat down at the keyboard.

"Yeah, sure, here. The three songs are The Brightest Green, You and I, and Always Dirty Never Clean," Fang answered as he handed the music to me. "We're going to have you sing Ignorance, Brick By Boring Brick, Misery Business, and Crush Crush Crush by Paramore. And then we'll do Bring Me To Life and Call Me When You're Sober by Evanescence. And then you can do All Around Me, Fully Alive, and I'm So Sick by Flyleaf. Sound good?"

"Yeah that's fine," I muttered as I looked over my guitar part for the Anarbor songs. "Hey, can we try The Brightest Green. I want to hear it. The lyrics are pretty cool."

"Yeah, sure. Do you think you can sight read it?" Fang asked.

"Sure. I can keep up," I replied and plugged the guitar into the amp.

It was late last night before she hit me up,
And baby, don't you know nothing good happens after midnight?
you see the night before i couldn't keep my hands off her,
yeah i wanted to drink her up.
Her body burned like a fire and i knew, i knew i couldn't take anymore from her.

I'm burn burn burning,
my stomachs turning,
my hearts giving into my eyes.
I'm stare stare staring
at the skin she's sharing,
my hearts giving into my eyes.
now its too late, for me its too late,
I'm burn burn burning, yeah my hearts giving into my eyes.

she stood 5'4
she had the brightest green id ever seen, I've never seen these eyes before.
and just like that I was hypnotized.
I sit back, I roll fat, thinking of you
and I knew I couldn't take anymore from her.

I'm burn burn burning,
my stomachs turning,
my hearts giving into my eyes.
I'm stare stare staring
at the skin she's sharing,
my hearts giving into my eyes.
not it's too late, for me it's too late,
I'm burn burn burning, yeah my hearts giving into my eyes.

I'm sweatin' bullets like a boy that has just been caught,
you say your love is all i need, but I don't need a lot.
You say you're sorry but i know that you're not

I'm sweatin' bullets like a boy that has just been caught,
you say your love is all i need, but I don't need a lot.
You say you're sorry but i know that you're not

I'm burn burn burning,
my stomachs turning,
my hearts giving into my eyes.
I'm stare stare staring
at the skin she's sharing,
my hearts giving into my eyes.
now its too late, for me its too late,
I'm burn burn burning, yeah my hearts giving into my eyes.
now its too late, for me its too late,
I'm burn burn burning, yeah my hearts giving into my eyes.

"I like these guys," I muttered nodding. Fang's voice sounded really good in the song. "Can we try the other two?"

"Yeah, sure," Fang answered.

* * * * *

After band practice, Fang and I told the guys we were going to go out on a date, and we'd see them later. In actuality, the two of us snuck into my room and started setting up for out latest prank.

"So, I was thinking we could soak the twins' toothbrushes in really sour liquid," I suggested.

"That'd be pretty funny," Fang answered. "But we'd have to do something more."

"Yeah, I think I've got that covered," I replied smiling. "But first we should sneak into my chemistry room. I know how to make this stuff that is like the essence of sour."

Fang raised an eyebrow. "Do I want to know how you know all this crazy scientist stuff?"

"My dad was a scientist," I offered. "I used to sneak into his lab when I was little and play with all the test tubes. I stumbled upon this by accident."

Fang rolled his eyes. "Okay, let's go."

Fang and I had no problem sneaking into my chemistry room. Besides, my chemistry teacher for this semester loves me. He wouldn't care if I borrowed the lab for a while. He'd probably be proud of me for using my creative juices.

I turned on the Bunsen burner and started mixing the different liquids needed to make essence of sour.

I added the last drop of a blue liquid and the mixture fizzed then calmed. I took the glass beaker off the flame and turned the burner off.

"Okay, Fang, let's go," I called.

We started leaving the lab when a box of syringes caught my attention. I grabbed one. We would need this for our prank.

Fang raised and eyebrow in question.

"You'll see," I said smirking.

"Have I ever told you how much I love you when you're being evil?" Fang asked.

I shrugged. "Not often."

Fang shook his head. "We can't have that, can we?"

"I don't think it's acceptable."

Fang took the glass beaker and syringe from my hands and set it down on the floor. Fang stepped closer and closer forcing me to back up, so he wouldn't step on my toes. My back brushed against the wall. I looked up at Fang and saw a twinkle in his eye I hadn't noticed before. I couldn't help but smile.

Fang leaned down and put his finger under my chin and lifted my face to his. Out lips met in a spark of passion. My brain shorted out. My hand tangled themselves up in Fang's hair while one of his hands slipped behind my neck, and his other hand was firmly gripping my waist.

Before I knew it, I was getting short of breath. I had to break away, or I was going to pass out while making out with Fang. I broke off the kiss and I could tell Fang was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I was too. But we were both panting, so I figured I'd made the right choice.

Fang leaned in again, but I stopped him. "Don't you think we should get back? We have a prank to pull."

Fang frowned. "I think it can wait." Fang leaned down again and our lips found their way to one another.

Fang's body was pressing closer and closer to mine, and (not surprisingly) my body was gravitating towards his.

My oxygen supply started to run low again. This time Fang broke the kiss off and it was my turn to look disappointed.

"Okay, we really have to go back," I muttered noticing for the first time that my hands were coiled in Fang's shirt. Then I realized it was me who was pulling Fang closer and closer. I blushed. Oops.

Fang looked over at the glass beaker and the syringe. "Okay. We don't want the twins to think we've given up."

I smiled and detangled my hands from Fang's shirt. Fang looked down at his wrinkled shirt and smirked.

Fang turned and grabbed the beaker and the syringe. Fang wrapped his spare arm around my waist, and we walked back to the dorms together.

When we got back to our floor Fang and I nonchalantly entered his room. I had the glass beaker and syringe hidden behind my back.

"Hey, guys," Fang said nodding to the twins.

"Hey, man," the twins answered not looking up from their latest bomb.

"I'm gonna take Max to her room then I'm gonna go brush my teeth and go to bed. I'm pretty beat," Fang informed the twins.

"Yeah, okay," the twins muttered as they connected two wires. Something tells me from the intensity on their faces that if that wire connection hadn't been just right we would have all been blown to smithereens.

Fang reached into the cupboard and pulled out not only his toothbrush, but the twins' as well.

Fang and I walked out of the room and quickly went into my room. We put the ends of the toothbrushes in the essence of sour liquid I'd whipped up.

"You stay here," I told Fang. "I need to go get something from the kitchen."

Fang nodded and stirred the sour liquid with the toothbrushes.

I ran down into the kitchen and found the two things I need: a really sweet looking peach and extra hot Tabasco sauce.

I filled the syringe with the extra hot sauce then injected it into the peach.

I ran back up to my room. I threw the syringe in the garbage by my desk and set the peach next to my laptop.

"Oh, that peach looks good," Fang muttered as he reached for the fruit.

"No!" I shouted and smacked his hand away.

"Someone's a little possessive about their fruit," Fang mocked.

"I just injected it with extra hit Tabasco sauce. But you can have it if you want."

"I'll pass," Fang mumbled looking disgusted. "Why did you do that?"

"You'll see. Just be ready with the video camera," I smiled.

* * * * *

A few hours later, after we'd finished soaking the toothbrushes and put them back, Fang was waking me up.

"Hey, the twins are going to brush their teeth now," Fang whispered shaking me awake.

I sprung up from my bed and grabbed the peach. "Get the video camera," I whispered back.

Fang and I crept down the hallway. Fang stopped and hid in a storage closet. I waited right outside the closet for any sign of the twins using their toothbrushes.

Pretty soon I heard a scream. "Jesus, Mary, and Holy Saint Joseph! That's fricking sour!" Gazzy screamed.

I saw Fang stealthily poke the video camera out of the closet door. Just as Gazzy ran screaming out of the bathroom, I walked by with my peach.

"I need something sweet!!" He yelled.

Just then, Iggy came barreling after him. "Sour, sour, sour, sour!" He shouted waving his arms around like a chicken.

Man, I really hope Fang is getting all this.

"PEACH!" the twins yelled at the same time.

Gazzy grabbed it first and bit in. Before Gazzy had time to react, Iggy ripped the peach from his hands and stuffed half the thing in his mouth.

This was going better than I could have hoped for.

For a split second the twins didn't move. Then both of their eyes started to water and both their ears started to turn really red.

"AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!" They both screamed.

"Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot!" Iggy cried as he flapped around the hall.

"Water! Need water! Water, water, water!" Gazzy rasped as he started running around and flapping like Iggy.

Fang burst out of the closet and tried his best to film, but he was doubled over laughing and so was I.

You gotta love college.

Ok…sorry this is late. Got really busy this week. But, I made this chapter extra long… it's like 9 pages on word. So…pretty long.

You guys should really check out this band I found on youtube called Anarbor… they seriously rock :D

Anywho…hope you liked it and please review!


PS: I would like to say thanks to fanpirefang89. I kinda stole your "Holy Poo" from one of your reviews. Hope you don't mind that I used it!

37. Chapter 37

Max POV: Chapter 37

"Wait, rewind that and show me again," Kyle insisted between laughing fits.

Fang rewound the tape of the twins run in with the sour toothbrushes and fiery peach. Kyle looked down at the screen of the video camera and lost it all over again.

"Oh, my God! Iggy you look like a chicken with its head cut off. Look at the way you're flapping your arms around!" Kyle howled.

Iggy, Gazzy, Fang, Kyle, and I were all hanging out in Fang and the twins' dorm room. Fang and I were showing off out latest feat in the prank war.

"Oh, come on you guys," Iggy snapped from his desk. "It's not even that funny."

"C'mon, Ig, you guys look hilarious!" Fang reasoned as he finished his latest laughing fit.

"It was pretty genius," I smugly commented.

Gazzy threw his pillow at me. "It was a low blow."

"That was a low blow!?" Fang and I yelled at the same time.

"What about the time you dyed all of Fang's shirts pink?" I asked.

"Or the time you hung Max's bras on the fans!?" Fang insisted.

"I thought that was pretty funny," Kyle muttered.

"Watch it," I hissed. I threw the pillow back at Gazzy. "So, compared to some of the stuff you've done, it wasn't that bad."

"What about the time you made Iggy and I spend the night outside in our underwear?" Gazzy countered. "That was low."

"Yeah, Johnson has never been the same since!" Iggy cried.

"Johnson?" Gazzy, Fang, Kyle, and I all asked at the same time.

Iggy looked down and turned a little pink.

"You need serious help," I muttered.

"You named it?" Fang looked like he was about to fall over from shock or laughter, or both.

Iggy was about to defend himself when there was a knock on the dorm door.

"I'll get it," I said and walked to the door. Before I opened the door, I turned to Iggy. "And don't think this gets you off the hook. We're going to tease you some more about this later."

Iggy flipped my off, scowled, and went back to working on his latest chemistry lab. I smiled. I love when I get a rise out of him.

I turned back around and answered the door. I opened the door and on the other side was a girl I'd never seen before. She was pretty short. About 5'2". She had wavy, strawberry blonde hair and bright green eyes.

"Um, can I help you?" I asked.

"Oh, um," Her cheeks turned bright red and she looked at the ground. "Is, um, Kyle in there?"

"Yeah!" I answered and smiled. "Want me to get him for you?"

"Um, yes please," She mumbled. "Tell him it's Katie."

"Okay, one sec," I turned from the door and walked over to the guys. "Hey, Kyle, there's a girl at the door for you named Katie."

Kyle's eyes got really big. He started blushing like crazy and he looked away.

"Awww, does Kyle have a girlfriend?" Iggy whispered.

Kyle glared but continued to blush.

"You better not keep her waiting," I told Kyle.

He nodded and grabbed his jacket. "I'll see you guys tomorrow." Kyle started to leave the room.

"Hey, Kyle!" I called, he turned and looked back at me. "Don't do anything that would make me beat you to a pulp. She seems like a really nice girl."

"He doesn't even have to guts to hold her hand," Gazzy snorted. I smacked him on the head.

"Have fun, man," Fang called after Kyle as he left.

After Kyle left, I turned and asked, "So, since when has Kyle had a girlfriend?"

Fang shrugged, "They aren't going out yet. This is their first date. It took Kyle, like, 3 months to get the courage up to actually ask her out. I think she's from his Psych 101 class, or something."

I nodded. "That's cool. I'm glad he found someone. She seems really sweet."

"Yeah, it's nice," Gazzy commented. "Now we all have someone. I have Nudge, Max and Fang have each other, Kyle has Katie now, and Iggy has Ella."

Iggy coughed on the milk he was drinking and turned pink. "About Ella…" he started. He looked away from Gazzy and suddenly became very interested in the floor. "We…are, um… we're taking a break right now."

Gazzy's eyes blazed with anger. "Dammit! Iggy! You promised it would be different this time!"

"It was…mutual," Iggy muttered, but it sounded more like a question.

"I haven't seen Ella in a few days, come to think of it," I stated. I looked hard at Iggy. "You sure it was mutual?"

"Um…yeah," Iggy mumbled.

"I'm leaving," I announced.

"Where are you going?" Fang asked.

"I'm gonna go check on Ella," I answered and left the room.

I didn't know what Iggy's deal was. He and Ella were getting along fine. Every time I saw them, they were all lovey-dovey and shit. I just couldn't understand why he would break it off so suddenly.

I quickly made my way to the all girls dorm that was just past the quad. I went up to the second floor and tapped on Ella's door. Her roommate answered.

"Oh, hey," she muttered. "Uh, you're Ella's friend, right? Max or something."

"Yeah, is Ella in?" I asked. I heard faint sobbing in the background.

"Yeah, maybe you can talk some sense into her. Like, I know it sucks to be dumped, but I can't take anymore of her crying!" The roommate opened the door all the way for and then stomped away and went into a neighboring room.

"Um, thanks," I muttered as she walked by. She could be a little more sensitive.

I walked into the room. Poor Ella was crumpled up on her bed bawling her eyes out. Next to her lay a crumpled picture of her and Iggy together.

"Oh, El," I murmured as I sat down beside her. I smoothed the hair form her face and rubbed her back. "Hey, hey, it's okay. Really, everything's going to be fine. He'll come to his senses and realize what an ass he is."

Ella hiccupped a few time and tried to even out her breathing. "He…hic…said I was…too…intense… he didn't like…the…hic…direction we were…headed…he said…that he'd fallen…out of…love--" on the word 'love' her voice broke and she started crying all over again.

"Ella, he didn't mean it! I swear! He can't have meant it. That doesn't sound like Iggy. Look, I'll get to the bottom of this, okay?"

Ella sniffled a few time but nodded.

"Wanna come spend the night in my room?" I asked. "I have a sleeping bag we can lay out."

Ella nodded again. I helped her grab her stuff, and we headed back to my room. I was going to find out what the hell was going on with Iggy. He and Ella were perfect together. There had to be some other reason for his breaking up with her.

* * * * *

It was past four am, and I was still up. After I'd grabbed Ella some ice cream from the kitchen downstairs, she'd fallen asleep no problem. I had let her take the bed, and I was curled up in my sleeping bag on the floor.

I was thinking about what I'd hear Gazzy say to Iggy. When I'd gotten Ella settled, 'd gone to talk to Iggy, and I ended up hearing Gazzy lecture Iggy through the door.


"Dammit, Ig, what the hell?" Gazzy demanded.

"Just don't like her anymore," Iggy muttered.

"You owe her more of an explanation!" Gazzy yelled.

"Look, I don't need to explain my self to you," Iggy hissed to his twin.

There was a pause from Gazzy's end. "Why do you do this with every girl?" He insisted.

"Do what?" Iggy asked.

"Every time you start to really get close to a girl, when your relationship starts to deepen, you pull out. I don't get it, man. It's not fair to you, and it's not fair to the girl you're with," Gazzy sighed.

There was a long silence, and I thought they were done. I started to turn to leave, then Iggy said, really quietly, "It'd break us up."

"What?" Gazzy asked.

"Us," Iggy emphasized. "It'd break us up. The pyro twins. We'd get too busy for each other, and we just wouldn't be us anymore."

My mouth dropped open. Most of the time Iggy was just and idiot looking for a good time and something to blow up, but he really could be deep when push came to shove.

Gazzy sucked in a deep breath. Maybe I should leave. I'm sure they didn't want me to hear their brotherly moment. But, what Gazzy said next, shocked me into staying. "You dumb ass!" Gazzy shouted at his brother. "We're twins! No one else can break that bond. We speak at the same time and finish each others' sentences for God's sake! Nothing can replace all the good time we've had together. So, stop sulking and make things right with Ella tomorrow. You know you love her."

End Flashback

Even though it had seemed harsh for Gazzy to yell, he was right. He really was Iggy's twin. He knew what needed to be said and when to help make Iggy feel better.

I tossed and turned in my sleeping bag. I couldn't get comfortable…and I couldn't shake a thought that was ever present in my mind.

What if…what if someday, Fang gets sick of me? What if he stops liking me? What if he falls out of love with me?

It happens all the time. What if that happens to Fang? What then? Where would I go from there?

I punched my pillow to make it more comfortable. If Fang ever fell out of love with me, I don't think I'd be able to survive.

Ok…sorry that took so long to get up. Track is taking my life over!!!! GRRRR!

Next one should be up tomorrow!!!


38. Chapter 38

Ok…so I lied. I'm sorry. I was so tired when I got home Thursday. I got my ass whooped in track. Coach decided we were going to sprint hills. Icky. And then on Friday I had to get blood tests done and my arms were so sore 'cause they took three tubes of blood from me and gave me three shots :(

Anyway, as you can see with the Iggy/Ella and Kyle/Katie thing I'm trying to flesh out my sub plot… but no worries- I can't stay away from FAX for too long. I'm addicted just like everyone else.



Max POV: Chapter 38

I got up super early the next morning, so I was operating on, like, 2 hours of sleep. I got off the floor and my back popped several times.

"Ugh," I groaned.

I grabbed some fresh clothes and stumbled out of my room to my fourth floor bathroom. I lazily made my way up the steps and practically fell through the door at the top of the steps.

Through bleary, slatted eyes, I managed to turn the shower on. I climbed in when I felt the warm steam hit my face. I was too tired to sing so I just hummed a tune I made up in my head.

I thought about the tune that had popped into my head. I liked it. It was original and sounded like something our band could do. I thought some more about it. We had a good, talented band. Why not take the next step and write our own songs? I had noticed Fang had a notebook that he sometimes wrote in. I'm sure he's already got lyrics that we can put music to.

I liked the idea and decided I would mention it to Fang later today.

I turned the water off and stepped out. I quickly changed and went back down to my dorm room.

As I was coming down the stairs, I noticed someone waiting in front of my room's door. I recognized the strawberry blonde hair. It was Iggy.

"Can I help you, Ig?" I asked as I descended the last of the stairs.

Iggy whirled around. "Is it true Ella is staying in your room?"

I nodded. "She needed some girl time last night."

Iggy looked down. "That was my fault, huh?"

"Mostly," I replied.

"Do you think I can go in and talk to her?" Iggy pleaded.

"It's not up to me," I muttered. "It all depends whether or not Ella wants to see you again."

"Yeah," Iggy mumbled. "I can understand if she doesn't want to talk to me."

"I'll let her know you're out here," I started to walk into my room. "Oh, and Ig? I suggest you tell her the same thing you told Gazzy last night."

Iggy's eyes widened, and I slipped into my room.

Ella was still curled up in the same ball on my bed as when I left for my shower. I gently shook her shoulder.

"Hey, Ella, can you get up for a second?" I whispered softly.

Ella's big black eyes slowly opened. "Max?"

"Yeah, can we talk for a sec?"

Ella nodded, sat up, and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "What's up?"

"Iggy's outside my room and wants to talk with you. Do you wanna go talk to him?"

Ella's eyes flew open. "Oh my GOD!!! He's here!? Like, right now? Crap!!! I haven't had time to get cute yet! And, crap! Look at my eyes, they're all puffy! Quick, Max, let me borrow some of your make-up!"

I laughed. "Um, look who you're talking to! I don't own make-up."

Ella scurried around the room in a panic trying to fix her bed head and erase any sign that she'd been crying.

I walked out of the room; no way was I going to be caught up in this tornado of femininity.

Iggy's head snapped up in anticipation when I opened the door. His face fell a little when I came out.

"She'll be out in a few," I told Iggy.

His face brightened, and he stood a little taller as he waited for Ella to come out.

About fifteen minutes later, Ella came out. All traces of bed head and crying were gone. It was pretty amazing. I have no clue how she did it, and I didn't want to know.

"Right, well, I'll leave you two alone," I muttered and headed back into my room.

* * * * *

About 20 minutes later, Ella and Iggy came back to my room hand in hand.

"Everything good?" I asked looking up from my sheet of paper. I slid it under my lap-top.

Ella nodded, her face beaming.

"Yeah, we're cool," Iggy said as if it was no big deal, but I could tell he was the happiest he's been in a while.

"Oh, and guess what? We saw Kyle in the hall with Katie, and we decided to go on a huge group date tonight. So it'll be you and Fang, Iggy and me, Gazzy and Nudge, and Kyle and Katie. Doesn't that sound fun!?" Ella squealed.

"Sounds like a blast," I answered smiling.

"Well, we're gonna go…um…hang out," Iggy muttered.

Ella and Iggy quickly exited my room and walked off hand in hand. I smiled. I was glad everything had been patched up between them.

I got up from my bed and walked over to Fang's room. I tapped on the door.

Fang answered the door. "Oh, hey, Max." Fang muttered.

"Hey…wanna hang out for a bit? I feel like we haven't talked much lately," I replied and started walking through the door.

Fang blocked my way. "Can we hang out later?" he asked. "I've got lots of homework."

"How about we do homework together? I have some chemistry I need to finish," I offered my heart sinking down into my stomach. We always did homework together. Why was it different now?

"Well, I really want to focus on it. Maybe later? I mean, we've got the group date tonight, so I'll see you then," Fang looked down at the floor.

"Oh, okay," I mumbled and walked back to my room.

I got out my chemistry and just stared at it. What the hell was that? Fang never put off spending time with me.

Fang POV:

I watched Max retreat back into her room and felt like an absolute dick. It's just… my feelings for Max were changing. I didn't know if it was positive or negative or what. But, I wanted to figure it out before I spent more time with Max. Why get more attached and then decide I don't want to be with her anymore?

My feelings towards her started to change after I got her to come back. I had been so freaked when I thought she was gone. I can't imagine a life without Max. But, now, I feel more wary around her. What's to keep her from picking up and leaving again?

I've always been one to guard my heart and feelings with others. I didn't do that with Max because I thought I could trust her. But, then, when she left, it was such an intense pain to not have her around.

Should I bother going into this relationship 110% and then just end up getting hurt? Max is like a wave. You can't catch her or hold her down. It's as useless as trying to keep sand from slipping through your fingers.

But, at the same time, I couldn't imagine being without Max in my life. And I didn't want her to be just my friend. I mean, we were already friends anyway, but I wanted her as more. I not only loved her as a friend but as a woman. I loved the good and the bad, but I just couldn't sort out my feelings.

I know it's unfair to avoid Max and not discuss this with her, but I could feel she was hiding something form me. And, as much as I want to move on from her past, I find it hard to be completely honest with her when she isn't completely honest me.

Plus, Max seems to have gotten complacent as well. She hasn't done anything to show me she's still interested in me. I don't even know if she wants me anymore. She's been a little more distant ever since we got back to the dorms. I don't even know what to think. I can't tell if I'm misreading this or over thinking it.

Either way, I had a lot of thinking to do about Max and me.

Max POV:

I paced back and forth in my room. What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?

"Nudge!" I yelled suddenly.

Nudge would know what to do. After all, she's lived with Fang all her life.

I sprinted over to the apartments that the juniors and seniors got the option of living in. I ran up the three flights of stairs and raced to Nudge's apartment door. I banged on it three times.

"Nudge! I need your help!" I called.

Nudge open the door a crack. "Um…hey, Max. Can this wait at all?"

"No, it's can't," I replied urgently. "Get Gazzy out of there and let me in."

"How did you know I was in here!?" Gazzy yelled back.

"Where else would you be?" I called back.

"True, true," Gazzy muttered as he walked out of Nudge's room. "Make it quick, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'll hurry so you can get back to making out," I answered as I walked into Nudge's room.

"Oh, she's good," Nudge said winking at Gazzy.

"No, you're just predictable," I muttered and closed the door.

"What's up?" Nudge asked sitting on her bed.

I plopped down next to her. "Me and Fang."

"Oh my, God! You guys are more dramatic than daytime soap operas! What is it now?"

"I feel like he's pulling away from me. Like he's just not interested anymore. Like, he wants my company, but he doesn't want me," I answered gesturing at my body.

Nudge smirked. "So, you're afraid your fiery flame of romance is going out? Like you've become some old married couple?"

"Yeah," I answered, nodding.

"Well, have you done anything to show him you're interested?" Nudge asked.

"Um…well…" I mumbled.

"So, you're to blame too," Nudge answered. "Show him you're still interested. Not just in his company…but in him."

"Gotcha…show him I'm interested. I think I can do that," I mumbled.

"Yeah, I think you find a way to show him…in your own Max way." Nudge smiled. "Now scoot. I haven't finished with Gazzy yet."

I rolled my eyes. "Thanks Nudge."

"No prob," Nudge replied and gave me a hug.

I exited her room. "You've been summoned," I said to Gazzy as I walked past him.

"Score," Gazzy whispered and waltzed into Nudge's room.

I started walking back to the dorm, the entire time formulating a plan to show Fang that I still loved him…and was still interested.

Ok…there you go…let me know what you think. Should have the other one up soon.


39. Chapter 39

Alrighty…time for Max to show Fang she's still "interested." So this chapter may get a little spicy! And to the reviewer who asked if I mentioned Anarbor…yes that was me. Aren't they amazing!? I love them!! They are my new favorite band. I'm totally in love with their lead singer.

Haha anyway on with the story!



Max POV: Chapter 39

My phone buzzed. I put down the chemistry I was doing and picked my phone up. It was a text message from Nudge.

Meet me in my room 2 hrs b4 the group date. We'll get Fang to notice u again. :)

I smiled and typed a quick reply. I couldn't believe I was actually agreeing to this. Who needs two hours to get ready?I rolled my eyes. This was going to be torture.

I put my phone down and went back to my chemistry. If Nudge's way of getting Fang to notice me didn't work, I had a back-up plan. I had a sneaking suspicion my back-up plan would work better.

I looked down at my chemistry and sighed. Doing homework alone wasn't as fun as doing homework with Fang. I considered going to Fang's room and demanding that he explain what the hell was going on, but I decided against it. Do I really wanna know what's going on in his head? Probably not.

I decided to let Fang have his alone time. If he needed to have space and think things out, then I have to respect his wishes.

I knocked on Nudge's apartment door. It was exactly two hours before the group date. Nudge opened the door. Her face was covered in a green mask, and she was in a plushy pink robe.

"AAAHHH!" I screamed. Honestly, she was a vision of terror.

"Oh, c'mon…it's not that bad," Nudge chastised and yanked me into her room. "You'll be looking the same in no time."

"So, besides getting me all dolled up, anything else? What's your genius plan?" I asked.

Nudge ran into the bathroom and grabbed a make-up bag. She came back in and forced my into a chair.

"Well," She began as she started applying a thick paste on my face. "You need to up the flirting. You know, show a little leg…that kinda stuff."

I sighed. "I thought so. Well, okay, I'll give flirting a try again."

I didn't really like the idea of flirting. The last time I flirted was when I was partying with Anna…and getting drunk.

I shook my head. "So, where are we going exactly?" I wondered as Nudge put a steaming cloth on my face. "Ouch!" I yelped. "That burns."

"Beauty is pain, Max," Nudge wisely said. "And we are going to some karaoke bar." Nudge shook her head. "No way I'm singing."

I smiled through the burning towel. This was perfect. I could try Nudge's plan and mine at the same time.

Finally, after what seemed like ages, Nudge removed the hot towel from my face and wiped the mask off.

"Go in the bathroom, I'll hand you your clothes for the evening," Nudge ordered as she shooed me into the bathroom.

"Nothing too preppy!" I yelled as she shut the door.

"Don't worry, I raided your wardrobe and found something we can both agree on," Nudge called back.

I groaned. I'm not sure I'll agree.

"Here, put these on," Nudge said as she handed a black wad of cloth at me.

I unraveled it. It was a pair of black skinny jeans. "Nudge, these don't look like mine," I called out.

"They aren't," Nudge answered. "Your old ones were so dingy, so I went and bought you a new pair!"

"But, what size are they?" I asked.

"A four," Nudge answered.

"But I'm a six to an eight!" I yelled back.

"Just squeeze into them. It'll make your butt look super cute!" Nudge ordered.

I groaned and painstakingly squeezed into the jeans. It was a miracle they fit. "They're on!" I called.

"Good…now put this on," Nudge replied and another piece of clothing was thrust at me.

It was a dark red tank-top that had lace at the top and bottom. I guess I could deal with this. I pulled it over my head. "Okay!" I called.

"Now this!" Nudge said and another piece of black cloth was tossed into the bathroom.

It was an ordinary black t-shirt. Or, at least I thought it was. As I pulled it on, I noticed it was an off the shoulder shirt. Also, it was ripped all across the torso and bust area and even the short sleeves were ripped. I now understood the use of the tank-top.

"Nudge…I'm pretty sure I look like a moron in this!" I called.

"Come out so we can pick your accessories!" Nudge ordered.

I sighed and walked out. Nudge squealed. "Y'know, I usually don't like the whole emo punk rocker look, but you work it well!" Nudge yanked me over to her bed and made me sit down. "Now for some necklaces."

Nudge tied a black ribbon chocker around my neck and then put a long necklace on over that. The longer necklace was a black chain that had red and black skull on the bottom. Then Nudge put several black and red bracelets on my left arm.

Next, she had me put on a pair of high-top black converse. These I liked. Then she grabbed her make-up bag and started in on my face.

After a long time of torture, Nudge led my over to the mirror. To my surprise, I liked what I saw. Nudge had straightened my hair so it fell perfectly over my shoulders. She'd given me a smoky looking eye…at least, I think that's what it's called. She'd kept the other make up minimal and then given me dark red lips. I looked pretty awesome. It was like something I'd wear for a concert out band was giving, but I still liked it. Hopefully, it would get Fang's attention.

"Hold on…" Nudge muttered. She reached forward and yanked my shirt down. "Show a little cleavage, Max. You're not in a nunnery!"

I rolled my eyes. "Let's go…we'll be late."

"No worries," Nudge answered as we walked out of her apartment. "We're meeting them there, and it's not that far away. We'll be fine."

We arrived at the karaoke bar a little after everyone else had. Right before we went into the bar, Nudge had pulled my shirt down a little more.

"Live on the edge a little," She advised.

"We don't need people getting a free peep show," I hissed.

"You're right. They should pay for that kind of stuff. We could put a tip jar on our table," Nudge offered.

I snorted. "Where do you come up with this crap?"

Nudge shrugged and we walked into the bar.

Fang stood up when I walked in. "That's a good sign," Nudge whispered in my ear.

"Hey," I muttered to Fang, suddenly feeling shy.

Nudge dug her elbow in my side. "Flirt…be powerful…be sexy… be a lioness!"

I glared at Nudge. Not the image I needed at the moment.

"Hey, Max," Fang answered quietly. Nudge left my side and went to sit next to Gazzy at the table. "You look…amazing."

"I feel a little emo. Nudge dressed me," I replied.

"It works on you. You look beautiful, really," Fang smiled and held his hand out. "Shall we sit?"

I nodded and took his hand. A jolt ran through my body. I smiled. Our spark was still there. I relaxed with the reassurance of Fang's hand in mine. It felt like it was meant to be there. Like my hand was made so his could fit in it.

But, the ease soon faded. As we got to the table, things got really awkward really quickly. Nudge and Gazzy were kissing. Ella and Iggy were all over each other. Katie and Kyle were cuddling up and getting ready to make out.

Fang and sat down next to each other and just looked around us. I looked back at Fang. I had nothing to say. He had nothing to say. And, by the looks of it, he didn't want to kiss me.

I nervously tapped my fingers on the table. I looked back at Fang, but he wasn't looking at me. He was staring off into space. Since when was it this awkward between us?

To my relief, a waiter walked by, so I flagged him down.

"Could I get the most powerful thing you have that isn't alcoholic?" I asked.

The guy looked down at me. "What?"

"What can I get that'll get me buzzed?" I replied.

"Um… we have soda," the guy answered.

"Cool. I'll have 3 root beers and a sprite chaser," I ordered.

The waiter looked down at me as if I was insane.

"You okay?" Fang asked.

"Why wouldn't I be?" I snapped back.

"Um…" Fang trailed.

"That's what I thought," I muttered. "What happened to us?" I asked quietly, afraid of the answer.

"What do you mean?" Fang asked.

"Well, look at us. Do you even want to kiss me anymore? Do you still love me the way you used to?" I looked down at the table and fiddled with the napkin.

"What?" Fang asked.

"Stop asking and just answer the damn question!" I yelled.

Everyone at the table stopped what they were doing and looked up at me. I flushed. This wasn't going well.

I got up from the table and walked over the karaoke stage. I couldn't say what I was thinking. Couldn't express what I wanted.

A waiter was walking by with a class of wine in his hand. I snatched it and drained it. Yeah, tonight wasn't going so well.

I got up to the karaoke stage and selected the song I wanted.

The music started up, and I swayed to the beat. This better get through Fang's thick head.

Through the smoke from my cigarette,

I see you clearly, jump down off the step.

The twinkling in your eyes makes me wonder if I'm dead or alive,

And I, I just wait.

How many clothes you need me to leave you?

I feel like I leave 'em all the time.

Spending days together, I just,

Can't help wondering when you'll be mine.

If I could hold your hand, yes I would,

Be with you every day, if I could.

But my lips are sealed, like they should,

But tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, I'm waiting.

Behind my smile lies, uncertainty.

If you choose a girl, will she be me?

I try to keep my composure today,

If I wish too hard, though you might wish away.

So I, I just wait.

How many clothes you need me to leave you?

I feel like I leave 'em all the time.

Spending days together, I just,

Can't help wondering when you'll be mine.

If I could, hold your hand, yes I would,

Be with you every day if I could.

But my lips are sealed like they should,

But tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, I'm waiting.

I hide my face in shadows,

So you won't disturb my dreams.

I look on you, from a far point,

Were beautiful it seems.

But I inch a little closer,

And it's all I want to tread.

You disintegrate before me,

And from my lovely sleep, I wake.

If I could hold your hand, baby you know that I would,

If I could be with you, every day, I could.

But my lips are sealed, I wont say a word,

Cause time, time, time is ticking away.

When you gonna open up your eyes and see,

That you and I could always be.

Put your palm into mine,

And stop wasting time.

My heart is breaking, without you,

I don't wanna live another day.

And tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, I'm waiting.

I stopped singing and looked down at Fang. I waited for the realization to hit his eyes. And, believe me, it hit him. It hit him like a ton of frikin' bricks. And guess what he did?

Fang stood up from the table. He walked over to the stage and looked up at me. "I gotta go. I've got some things I need to think over."

I stared down at Fang. "You can't be serious," I whispered.

"I need to figure this out on my own," He muttered. "But that doesn't mean I don't still love you."

"You could've fooled me," I hissed.

I ran off the stage and burst into the girls' bathroom. I let out a frustrated scream and punched the wall.

Why was this happening now? What did I do?

Lied to him about your past. Ran away. This list goes on

A helpful voice in the back of my head chimed.

"Can it," I hissed under my breath. We didn't need anyone to hear me talk to myself. That would be beyond embarrassing.

I slumped against the wall. I had to come up with something, and fast, or I was going to lose Fang.

Hey…sorry that took so long. I'll try to be better about updating :)


40. Chapter 40

This is just a quick AN…I am so sorry to have to do this… I hate interrupting my story with ANs. Anyway I just wanted to give you guys a heads up that I won't be able to update until Thursday night.

I promise chapter 40 will be up by then. I'll just post it over this AN. So, yeah, I just wanted to let you guys know so you wouldn't think I've stopped posting or something. It's just I've got a lot o homework tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday) I have a track meet : ( but hey after tomorrow I only have 10 days of track and after that I'll be updating like every night!!

Ok…so I'll be posting Thursday!

Sorry :(


41. Chapter 41

So I realized in the last chapter I forgot to mention which song I used. It's called: I Just Wait by Paloma Faith. She is an amazing singer. Seriously, check her out on youtube. She has this great retro style. I'm going to be using another one of her songs in this chapter. It's called: What's a Girl Gotta do. It's actually by Basement Jaxx, but she does the vocals. It's a really funky song.

Anyway, things are gonna be better. No worries. This is just a little hitch to keep you guessing. I like doing that *evil smile goes here*



PS: it's gets pretty steamy in this chapter… so, yeah, I warned you.

Max POV: Chapter 40

I fingered my promise ring as I walked back to the dorms. It was dark on campus, but I failed to realize how spooky it was. I was a bit preoccupied.

I turned the ring around my finger and gazed at it as it glinted in the light from the street lamps that were spaced every couple of feet on campus.

Did this thing even mean anything? Was it just a piece of cold metal that had no feeling? Did Fang even care about his promise anymore? Did he care about me? Did I push him too far when I left? I thought he was over that. I thought he said we could move forward and forget the past.

But, the past is a large and important part of how you forge ahead towards the future. Fang may know all there is to know about me in the present, but he doesn't know everything about me. And, I can understand how that would bother him. But, I don't think I can bring myself to tell him about Sam. I want to bury my past and move forward… and the person I want to move forward with is Fang.

I sighed and began formulating a plan in my head. I had to get Fang back no matter what. I couldn't let this happen. Things were going great until this happened. I need to make him realize how much I love him.

Fang POV:

I paced back and forth in my dorm room. What the hell have I just done? How could I have left Max there like that? She'd basically poured her heart out to me, and I left her there.

I punched the wall. I was so stupid. Max had said she wanted to spend every minute with me. I shouldn't be worrying about whether or not she loves me. She obviously does.

I paced a little more. "What were you thinking, dumb-ass?" I asked myself.

It was a moronic move. I was just scared that this was actually it. That my relationship with Max could actually last and go all the way. That Max could be it. She could be the one. That's when I freaked out and started having second thoughts. What if Max was the one for me, but I wasn't the one for her? What if she ran out on me again?

But, she wouldn't. She'd told me how much she loved me at the karaoke restaurant.

I sighed. This was getting me nowhere. It was a circular conversation. I needed to talk this out with Max. I shouldn't be keeping something like this from her. I sank down on my bed and rested my head in my hands. But, Max wouldn't want to talk to me. I'd left her standing on the stage without so much as a second glance.

A timid knock on the door pulled me from my wallowing. My head snapped up.

"Yeah?" I called, to lazy to get up and answer the door.

"Fang?" Max's voice on the other side quietly answered. My heart leapt into my throat, and my words got stuck. "Um…do you think you could come up to the fourth floor bathroom? I've got my ipod set up, and I wanted to run a new song by you."

My heart sank a little. Was Max going to pretend like nothing had happened? Like the first time we kissed. She pretended that never happened. Was she going to the same with this? Were we really over just like that?

"I'll be right there," I said back as I slowly got up from my bed.

"Ok, I'll leave the key in the door," She muttered as her footsteps retreated.

I sighed and walked to the door. I needed to make this right.

I walked into the fourth floor bathroom and was reminded again how scary similar it is to the bathroom in Chamber of Secrets. Max was crouched behind the sink plugging her ipod into her speakers.

When she popped back up, my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it was the same Max I had seen less than an hour ago. She was in a form fitting, strapless black dress. It hugged curves I didn't even know Max had. The dress hit mid thigh and showed off Max's long, toned legs. Her hair was still straight and it fell perfectly over her shoulders.

Max took a step forward and my ears registered the click of high-heels. She was wearing, at least, four inch high heels.

Max looked amazing. I couldn't stop staring at the way the dress clung to her body.

Max cleared her throat, "So, this is the song I wanted you to hear."

Max POV:

I quickly went over to my ipod and selected the accompaniment to the song I wanted to sing.

All my senses were heightened. I was acutely aware of the way Fang was staring at me. I had chosen this dress for this exact purpose. He couldn't stop staring at the way the dress clung to my curves. The curves I normally hid in basketball shorts and t-shirts.

I stepped forward again as the music started to play. I called on my past experience of flirting. Now was the only time I actually wanted to use that knowledge.

Go on with a smile your joints so out of place

miles from the world so by far you get my praise

on your dog is face paint I see the tracks of his

running around like a mouse in a cage for a thousand years

I stepped closer to Fang and ran my hand along his chest. I could feel the shivers that wracked his body. My fingers felt prickly, as though every time I touched him a small shock ran from his body to mine.

drinking wine to take away your pain

collect all the tears you cry

collect them all for me

what's a girl gotta do to get your attention

well and nothing's ever happened no oh

what's a girl gotta do to have some fun with you

shut your mouth put your lips on me

I grabbed Fang's shirt front and brought his face close to mine. Our lips were barely and inch apart. My breathing hitched so let Fang go and went back to singing.

i feel guilty waiting for you to notice me

should i write it on my forehead do you need it on TV

can't you see i'm a freak for you as sweet as tea and lime

and it so clear to me you are empty as can be

drinking wine to take away your pain

collect all the tears you cry

collect them all for me

what's a girl gotta do to get your attention

well and nothing's ever happened no oh

what's a girl gotta do to have some fun with you

shut your mouth put your lips on me

I walked in a slow circle around Fang as I sang and trailed my hand along his chest, around his waist, and grazed the top of his pants above his butt.

how does one equal three

sometimes it is hard to find

sometimes to my surprise

cause all i want to do is die

when you touch me

yeah you want me

when you touch me

yeah you want me

I came back in front of Fang and pushed him back, so he was sandwiched between me and the wall. Our legs brushed together, and I felt another jolt of electricity. I jumped back but kept my eyes locked on Fang.

no sir don't

buh doomp buh duh doomp

buh doomp buh duh doomp

what's a girl gotta do to get your attention

well and nothing's ever happened no oh

what's a girl gotta do to have some fun with you

shut your mouth put your lips on me

what's a girl gotta do to get your attention

well and nothing's ever happened no oh

what's a girl gotta do to have some fun with you

shut your mouth put your lips on me

I stopped. The song was over. My body was pressed close to Fang's. I could feel his heart beat against my chest.

We were both breathing heavy. I waited for Fang to say something.

Fang POV:

Every nerve was standing on end. Max's body was so close to mine. I could feel her breath tickling my neck. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I was sure Max could feel it because I feel the fast paced beating of her heart against my body.

I swallowed but found it was hard to do so. "Max," I breathed looking down at her.

Her eyes rose to meet mine and my heart melted. "Yeah?" she asked in a hushed voice.

"I was a dick," I stated.

"You got that right," she muttered. "Why?"

"I got…scared. I thought maybe we were it. And then I thought, maybe you were it for me, but I wasn't it for you. And then I wondered if, maybe, you would get sick of me and run off again," I whispered.

Max's eyes flashed with hurt and her face pleaded with mine. "Fang, I would never do that again. That was me doing what I thought was best at the time. Please, this is it for me, too. Fang, I want to forget the past and move forward. I want a future where I don't have to worry about my past defining me. And, I want that future to be with you because a future without you is no future at all. I love you. So much."

My heart leapt for joy when Max said she stills loves me. And I realized something. Not only do I love Max, I'm completely in love with Max. Everything about her made me feel as though I was flying. The way her body, in this moment, was pressed up against mine made me feel drunk. Max's eyes were pouring into my soul and making feel as though I had consumed vast quantities of alcohol. Everything about Max intoxicated me, and I couldn't get enough.

"I love you, too," I replied. My body and Max's body instinctively inclined towards one another.

Max POV:

Fang stills loves me. He still loves me. Fang's eyes melted my very being. Every part of his body that touched me felt like a thousand burning needles were piercing my skin.

I pressed my body closer to his and brought my face closer. Fang inclined his head and his lips met mine. There was a new urgency and unspoken passion in this kiss. All the pieces had finally fallen into place.

I tangled my hands up in Fang's hair as one of his arms came around my waist and plastered my body his. His other hand cupped my chin as our lips moved in perfect sync.

Fang turned so I was pushed up against the wall. Fang's hands were resting on the wall on either side of my head. I looked up into his eyes and was reminded again of the beautiful silver specks that riddled his eyes. Only, something was different this time. Fang's eyes were filled with the heat of passion and had a dangerous gleam in them.

My stomach did a flip-flop and my heart tried to pound its way out of my chest. I wasn't sure what the look meant, but I liked it.

"Come with me," Fang growled in a low voice, and he grinned at me.

My breath caught in my throat and all I could do was nod. Fang grabbed my hand and tugged me after him. We ran down the steps, barely stopping to lock the door, and we barreled into my room.

I shut the door behind us and turned to find Fang's face inches from mine. His lips crashed down on mine with such intensity that I had to step back I wouldn't lose my balance. My back brushed against the door, and Fang's body brushed up against mine.

Fang's lips left mine from a moment, and I looked up into eyes. Again I noticed the flash of passion and danger in his eyes…and then I got it. I knew what was going to happen, and I was ready for it. Anticipation, excitement, love, happiness…every emotion I could think of that equated to great pleasure exploded inside of me. Then, just a slight twinge of fear registered in my body. I brushed it aside. I trusted Fang with my life; I could trust him with this.

I flung my arms over Fang's neck and kissed him. When we parted, Fang understood that I was okay with going through with this. He smiled his special smile at me, and my world brightened.

Fang bent his head and his lips brushed down my neck and trailed along my collar bone. His hands came up and wrapped themselves around my waist and fiddled with the zipper of my dress.

I gasped as Fang's lips trailed back up neck, over my jaw-line, and to the spot right behind my ear. I tangled my hands into Fang's hair. Fang pushed my back against the door firmly.

I brought my hands onto his shoulders and hoisted myself up, so my legs were wrapped around his waist. Fang stepped back from the wall and started walking over towards my bed while he continued to kiss me.

Fang's hands stopped fiddling with the zipper of my dress. Instead, his hand trembling slightly as he did so, Fang unzipped the dress. I put my arms up and Fang pulled it over the top of my head.

By this time, Fang had made it over to my bed. He gently laid me down, and he came and knelt over me. I ran my hands up the side of his torso, bunching up his shirt as I went. When I reached his neck, Fang put his arms up, and I quickly threw his shirt off.

I marveled at his toned abs and ran my hands along them. Fang's body shuddered underneath my hands, and when I looked up, I saw that Fang was grinning.

I couldn't help but smile back, and a small giggle escaped my lips as Fang's lips brushed along my neck again. Every time he did that, my skin prickled and it felt like I was on fire.

Fang's hand trailed down my body and stopped at my belly button. Fang stopped altogether. He looked up at me with questioning eyes. I smiled warmly at him and nodded my head.

I was ready to trust Fang with this. I would only trust Fang with this.

Ok…so a bit steamy like I said. It was so awkward, I was writing this last section and my dad walked in. I had to quickly minimize it before my he saw…but it was pretty awkward lol.

Ok…so hoped you liked it. I think I might have time to put up another chapter today :) maybe…I hope so!

Review please


42. Chapter 42

Ok. I wanted this to be up yesterday, but I didn't finished it before I was sent off to bed :( anyway…. Hope that last chapter wasn't too steamy for anyone

Oh…and to all those readers who were telling to write my own story: you've inspired me! I've started my own book. It's in the very beginning stages but, I'll be sure to let you guys know how it's going.

Enjoy! It's time to bring the seniors back!!!


Max POV: Chapter 41

Fang and I were lying next to each other and Fang was idly tracing his fingers over the scars on my stomach. There were three major ones: the scar from the knife fight I got in with Anna's cronies, the scar from when the senior shot my stomach with the paintball gun, and the knife wound Ari gave me.

My head was resting in the crook of Fang's arm and every time he touched me, my body tingled and felt like it was on fire. I couldn't help but reply everything that had just happened in my mind. Fang had been so sweet and gentle, yet so passionate and…I couldn't describe it. Every fiber of my being was alive. I was more in love with Fang than I had ever been, and I knew I had made the right decision about trusting him with this.

Fang's hand stopped, and his head came into my view. His eyes looked deep into mine, and I was mesmerized all over again by there beauty. Fang smiled his special smile at me. "Do you know how beautiful you are?" Fang asked.

I blushed. "Don't be cheesy," I teased.

Fang snorted, "I'm being serious. I don't tell you often enough how beautiful you are."

I giggled. "And you're very handsome. I don't tell you that enough."

Fang grin gleamed in the moonlight that was filtering through my window. My breath caught and my heart beat quickened.

"Can I stay in here for the night?" Fang asked suddenly. "I think the twins would get all suspicious if I showed up now. It's like 3am."

I nodded. "Of course. You can stay anytime you want."

Fang smiled. "I might take you up on that offer."

I couldn't help but smile, too. I would love it if Fang took me up on the offer as often as possible.

Fang wrapped his arm around my waist, and I rested my head on his chest. In a matter of seconds, we were both asleep.

"So, you and Fang," Iggy said wiggling his eyebrows.

Iggy and I were the only ones in the kitchen. Kyle was picking Katie up and they were going to go out for brunch together. Gazzy was getting Nudge and Ella to bring to breakfast in our kitchen, and Fang was upstairs putting the final touches on an essay he had due today.

So, Iggy was at the kitchen stove flipping pancakes, and I was sitting on the kitchen counter watching him.

"What?" I asked.

"C'mon, don't think Gazzy and I didn't notice that Fang never came back to our room last night. The only logical explanation is that he was with you."

"So," I replied defensively.

"So, everything is obviously fine between the two of you," Iggy stated.

"Yeah," I answered looking down at my hands so Iggy wouldn't see my blush. Last night's events were still playing like a movie inside my head. It was kind of hard not to think about it.

"Man, and I though Gazzy and Nudge would be the first of us…" Iggy mumbled as he flipped a pancake.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, Gazzy and Nudge have known each other monger for one thing, and they're always making out with each other, so I assumed they would be first. I mean you and Fang are definitely in love, but you guys aren't as public about it as Gazzy and Nudge, so I didn't think you guys would be the first," Iggy explained as he stacked all the pancakes on top of each other and moved on to the eggs.

"Oh," I mumbled.

"Yeah," Iggy said smirking.

"Good morning," Fang announced cheerfully as he walked in.

My heart leapt into my throat, and my entire body tingled. The sight of Fang made my breath come out in short puffs and heat rise from the tips of my toes to the top of my head.

"Morning," Iggy grumbled from the stove and he scrambled eggs.

Fang hopped up on the counter next to me and gave me a quick kiss. "I love you, Max," Fang's voice tickled in my ear.

I smiled at him, "love you, too."

Fang leaned closer and out lips met.

"Hey, not next to the food!" Iggy ordered.

Fang jumped down from the counter, helped my down, and led me over to the kitchen counter.

Fang and I started talking about pretty much everything as we waited for the food to be ready and the others to arrive.

"Hey, guys!" Gazzy yelled as he barreled into the kitchen with Nudge and Ella on his heels. Ella walked over to Iggy and gave him a good morning kiss as Nudge and Gazzy sat down at the kitchen. "You're never gonna believe this!"

"Hold on," Iggy called form the stove. "I want to hear this."

Iggy walked over with Ella. They were holding plates of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and toast. They set the plates on the tables and put empty ones in front of everyone.

Ig and Ella sat down, and we all started piling food on our plates.

"So what's up?" Iggy asked around a mouth full on pancake.

"Chew with your mouth closed," Ella instructed.

"Hm?" Gazzy asked as he stuffed a toast piled with bacon and eggs into his mouth. "Oh, right," he muttered, but we could barely understand him because of all the food that was crammed in his jaws.

"Chew and swallow first," Nudge rolled her eyes. "If you start choking, I'm not doing the Heimlich, and I'm definitely not doing CPR."

"Gee, I feel so loved," Gazzy replied sarcastically after he'd swallowed his humungous bite.

Nudge kissed Gazzy on the cheek, "Yup."

"Anyway," Gazzy started, regaining his original train of thought. "Look at this. They're all over the dorm."

Gazzy set a bright green flyer down on the table. We all looked down at the flyer:

Ultimate Frisbee

Frosh and Soph of the all boys dorm

(team color: white)


Jr. and Sr. of the all boys dorm.

(team color: black)

In the Quad

Saturday Night.

Starting at 11pm.

Ending: When one team runs out of able-bodied competitors.

"We're doing this, right?" I asked. "I beast at ultimate Frisbee."

"Hell yes we are!" Fang cried, a gleam of delight in his eyes.

"I knew you guys would be in," Gazzy said smiling.

"We'll meet tomorrow night then, in the Quad. Bring your war paint," Iggy instructed, a wicked gleam in his eyes as well.

"You can't be serious," Nudge and Ella asked at the same time.

"It's been raining," Nudge reasoned. "The Quad's all muddy."

"Even better," Gazzy and Iggy answered rubbing their hands together.

"Guys, I think the use of bombs is prohibited on live people when playing a sport," Fang muttered. The twins glared at him. "Just saying," Fang shrugged.

"Fang, we gotta go to drama class," I said as I looked up at the clock.

"Ok, let's go."

Fang helped my out of my seat and held my hand as we walked to class. Things were absolutely perfect.

Fang and I were on track, and I got to beat the shit out of the juniors and seniors in ultimate Frisbee tomorrow.

There was a knock on my door. "Max, you ready?" Fang called from the other side.

"Just a sec," I answered. "The door's unlocked. You can come in."

Fang walked in, and I froze. The team color was white. Fang was in a white shirt. I had never seen Fang in a color lighter than grey.

"Wow," I muttered.

"I feel so weird in this," Fang mumbled.

He did look weird. But, not in a bad way. "I kinda like it," I said raising an eyebrow.

Fang laughed. "Then maybe I'll wear this just for you sometime." Fang smiled his special smile for me and my whole world brightened up. "So, are you going like that?" Fang asked giving me a once over.

It was then I realized I still didn't have a shirt on. I was in my black basket-ball shorts, sneakers, and a bra.

"Yes, actually," I replied, unable to keep the smile from my face. "I figure it would distract the other team and give us the upper hand."

Fang chuckled. "I think it would distract our team as well."

I grinned at Fang. "Actually, the problem is, I don't think I own a white t-shirt."

"I figured as much," Fang nodded. "So, I took the liberty of bringing you this." Fang held up a white t-shirt. "I swiped it from Iggy. That's where I got mine."

"Is it safe?" I asked eyeing the t-shirt apprehensively.

Fang smiled. "Yeah, I don't think they're found a way to sew an invisible bomb into a t-shirt, yet."

"Don't even joke about that. They will one day, you know, and we don't need you giving them the idea right now." I pulled the shirt over my head. "Ready to go?" I asked.

"Yeah," Fang answered, and he held his hand out to me.

"Hand on a sec," I muttered, and Fang dropped his hand. His eyes gazed at me questioningly as I grabbed something out of my desk drawer. "I took the liberty of buying white face paint," I explained.

"Nice," Fang grinned and held his hand out to me again.

I took is gladly, and we walked hand in hand to the Quad. I grinned up at Fang and did a little hop dance.

"I'm so excited," I said gleefully.

Fang smirked, "I can tell."

"I'm going to crush those seniors under my heel of victory!" I shouted waving my fist in the air. "Let the games begin!"

Ok, so next chapter will be the epic ultimate Frisbee battle.



43. Chapter 43

Alright, here we go! Time for the battle of ultimate Frisbee to commence! Mua ha ha :)

Ok…and a heads up about my book: it's gonna take a while for the first one to be up and running but I've got the entire back-story figured out. I've been doing a lot of research and stuff because I'll be using lots of Gaelic words and references. I've created my own world for the story to take place in, but it's loosely based on the Vikings and the Irish/Scottish cultures. I'm thinking of it being 4 books because I have a lot about the four elements in my books. The first one will most likely be called Teine (which in Gaelic means fire).

Anyway, enough of my babbling! On with the story.



PS: sorry this took so long…my English teacher decided it would be fun to assign two projects and an essay all at the same time!

Max POV: Chapter 42

Fang, Gazzy, Iggy, Kyle, and I were the first of the freshman/sophomore to get out on the Quad.

Ella, Nudge, and Katie were on the sidelines cheering. "Max!" Nudge called when she saw me. "You're really going to play? You'll be the only girl y'know. Or maybe that's what you want." Nudge wiggled her eyebrows. "Being tackled by all those burley men."

I rolled my eyes. "Nudge, I wouldn't give up the chance to beat the crap out of these seniors. You know that! Besides, I beast at ultimate!"

"Those are some mighty cocky words for a little shrimp like you to say," an unfamiliar voice snarled.

I turned around to find a group of senior boys walking up to us. I immediately recognized the one who had spoken. He was the guy who had been in the toga. He was the moron who'd shot me and Fang.

I felt Fang's body tense next to me, and he took a step forward so his body was slightly in front of mine. It was cute, really, but I could handle these guys. I put a hand on Fang's shoulder.

"It's fine," I whispered in his ear. "We'll face them together. I'm not gonna let you have all the fun."

Fang smirked and dropped back so he was standing next to me (but he was still tense and ready spring in front at any moment). I rolled my eyes. I guess I could get used to having him as a bodyguard.

"They aren't cocky," I answered coolly. "It's the truth."

The senior smirked. "How's your stomach feeling then?"

Fang ground his teeth, and I swear to God I heard him growl. "It's fine," I replied. I wasn't gonna let this guy get to me.

"That's good to hear," The senior smirked. "Fresh canvas for me to bruise, then."

"That's if you can catch me, and I'm pretty sure you won't be able to do that," I hissed.

By this time, Fang was in front of me. His was clenching and unclenching his fists at the side. This could get ugly.

Gazzy and Iggy stood on either side of Fang. They would hold him back if he decided to go charging at the seniors. Kyle came and stood next to me.

"It's fine. Don't let them get to you," He whispered to me.

"I know. I can't wait to cream their asses tonight."

Kyle smiled and patted my shoulder. "Just be careful, okay? Fang would never forgive himself if you got hurt. In fact, I think all of us would be pretty upset if you got hurt."

"Thanks. I'll watch out for myself. You don't need to worry," I answered.

Some other senior and juniors showed up, so Mr. Toga was distracted and started going over strategies with them.

Fang turned around and looked at me. "Maybe you shouldn't play."

I mouth fell open. "You've got to be shitting me. I can take care of myself. I won't get hurt. It's fine, really. They're all talk and no game. Besides, they won't be able to catch me. I'm too fast."

Fang shook his head. "Fine, but I'm gonna be watching you like a hawk."

I smiled. "You're so cute when you're protective."

"Awww," the twins chimed.

I stuck my tongue out at them. Points for immaturity. "Let's get our war paint on," I suggested.

Iggy and Gazzy each painted half their faces with white war paint; while, Kyle, went with something less extreme and did three stripes on each of his cheeks.

"You're turn," I said walking over to Fang.

"I think I have enough white on," Fang grumbled.

"Oh, come on! Where's your spirit?" I asked.

"Fine," Fang sighed. He dipped his index fingers into the paint and put one stripe on each of his cheeks making him look kind of like a football player.

I smiled and began painting my face. I painted half my face white like the twins and put stripes on the other side of my face.

"You're a terrifying vision of white," Fang commented, smirking.

I rolled my eyes. "Whatever, are we gonna go over strategies or just wing it?"

"Wing it," Fang decided. "Like I do on all our mid-terms."

"One day that's going to come and bite you in the ass. You should start studying," I answered shaking my head.

Fang shrugged, "I don't need to study. I'm just a genius like that."

I playfully punched Fang in the arm, "remind me why I put up with you?"

"Cause I'm cute," Fang drawled slowly.

"Oh, yeah," I smirked. I reached up on my tip-toes and gave Fang a quick kiss.

"All right!" One of the seniors yelled. "It's 11pm! Looks like everyone is here, let's go over the rules!"

I looked around us. There were about ten other sophomores and freshman. So, plus me and my friends, the team for the frosh and soph was fifteen. We were severely out numbered. There were at least thirty people on the senior and junior team. I ground my teeth.

Whatever. Brush it off Max. You don't need a huge team. In fact, you and Fang could cream all the seniors and the juniors just the two of you. I told myself.

The senior who had been speaking held up a Frisbee with glow sticks taped to it. "Ok, so this is full contact ultimate Frisbee. That means you can tackle people. You are allowed 6 steps before you have to throw. Also, this is the only regulation, no stiff arming or clothes-lining of any kind! Any questions?" the senior looked around and then his eyes locked on to someone standing in the back. He rolled his eyes and groaned. "How could you possibly have a question?" he snapped.

I looked back to see a scrawny looking freshman with glasses nervously shifting back and forth. "Well, um, I was just wonder, what is a stiff arm?"

The senior rolled his again. That poor freshman guy isn't going to last very long in this game. "A stiff arm is when you stretch your arm out and make it stiff and make the person running run into it. So, like your first slams into their gut, or their neck hits your arm."

"Oh," the little freshman said in a hushed voice.

I sighed. This kid was gonna get his ass kicked. I should keep and eye on him.

"Ok," The senior yelled. "Is everyone clear now! Let's start! Frosh and soph. on the left of the field. Juniors and seniors on the right. Seniors and Juniors start with the Frisbee."

We moved to our respective sides and the game began with a flurry of motion.

Fang ran for the senior with the Frisbee. Kyle and I flanked him. Fang body checked the senior. The burley senior went flying back and landed in a puddle of mud. Fang rushed over to him and picked up the Frisbee.

I dodged my way around all the guys on the opposing team. I looked back to find Fang picking his way over. He was almost out of steps. I found an open area with no one from the opposing team there.

"Fang!" I shrieked and waved my arms.

Fang's head snapped up, and we made eye contact. He nodded slightly and flung the Frisbee at me.

Fang's strength surprised even him. The Frisbee was still flying high in the air when it was at my head. I took a running start and leapt into the air. I became eye level with the Frisbee and snatched it out of the air.

Gravity kicked in, and I started losing altitude fast. My feet hit the ground and landed in a mud puddle. The force of my feet colliding with the wet mud set me sliding forward on my back. I slid through the mud a few feet and then came to a grinding halt. When I looked up, I realized I was in the in-zone. I had scored the first point of the Frisbee game.

Fang whooped and ran over to me. "Way to go, Max!" He yelled.

I grinned up at him, mud covering every inch of my body. Fang scooped me up and twirled me around.

"Fang!" I giggled. "Put me down!"

"Ok, ok," Fang chuckled and put me down.

"I hate to break up your little love fest," one of the seniors snickered, "but we need to get back to the game."

"Yeah okay," I muttered and flung the Frisbee at him. "Your Frisbee since I scored."

The senior nodded and the game started again in a flurry of motion. The seniors scored a few times in a row because some of the other freshman and sophomores let them slip through their defenses.

"Fang!" I yelled across the field. "We gotta step it up!"

Fang nodded and dashed off towards the in zone. I ran forward as fast as I could. I knew I had to be ahead of Fang. He could get the disc, I could block for him, and then I could to the in zone and score. It was easy. I could do it.

I looked back to see how Fang was doing. It was a mistake. I saw the weak and geeky looking freshman who had asked what a stiff arm was. One of the seniors was charging at him. Fast. And his arm was out. He was going to stiff arm him. My motherly instincts kicked in. It was a low blow. Where did this senior get off attacking this kid? He obviously couldn't defend himself! I pulled out of the pack that was running for the in zone and headed back the way I had come.

"Max!" Fang yelled after me. "Where are you going!"

I didn't answer and just kept running. I got to the kid with the glasses just before the senior did. I pushed the scrawny guy out of the way. He stumbled back and out of the senior's path. He looked at me completely stunned.

I turned to see that senior was still charging at me. He was going full speed. He hadn't slowed down when he saw that his target was different. I braced myself for impact. The senior's muscled arm and part of his fist slammed into my gut. I flew back and landed hard on my back.

The wind whooshed out of my lungs, and my stomach burned like fire. I tried to get up bout found I couldn't. I looked up to see the senior looming over me.

"That's what happens when you try to play with the big boys, little girl," he snickered and walked off.

I was left lying in the mud, completely useless.

Again, I'm sorry that took so damn long. My English teacher won't lay off. And now my French teacher is assigning a bunch of homework, and my physics teacher just assigned two projects. You'd think they'd lay off since my finals are in two weeks!

Anyway, I have an English project to finish this weekend, but I'll try and update again soon.

44. Chapter 44

Hey everyone…sorry I've been, like, dead for what seems like forever… things have gotten bad with my horse, so I've been pretty out of it…and then I got all apathetic, and my grades slipped (and my finals are next week!) so then I scrambled to catch up… so, yeah. I'm really sorry. I'm gonna try really hard now to be a faithful author again.

Incase anyone was wondering, my horse is a little better now. She's still lame, and I'll probably never be able to ride her again, but I'm just happy I get to keep her. For the last couple weeks it's been on and off about whether or not she had to be sold…and I did NOT like the lady they were thinking of selling to. She was so irresponsible. We did like a two week long test to see how she would do with Rondie, and she totally neglected her! The only reason Rondie was getting brushed and taken care of was because I was sneaking out to the barn to take care of her.

But, anyway, the deal with the lady is off and Rondie is once again mine. I'm starting her on a mineral supplement and physical therapy to see if I can get her to the point where I can at least walk, trot, and canter her. Anywho, that's why I've been dead to the world of Fanfic for so long. On with the story!



PS: To Fanged: I put Bubbly in this one.

Max POV: Chapter 43

"Oh, my God! That is going to kill in the morning," I grumbled while I hoisted myself up into sitting position.

"Dude, are you okay?" The glasses kid asked me.

I squinted up at him. "Would you be okay if some burly man's fist went in your gut?"

"Um, I pretty sure I'd be crying right now."

"I rest my case," I muttered. "Now, help me up before my boyfriend sees."

"Um, okay," Glasses replied and stuck his hand out.

I reached for it and tried to pull myself up. Note to self: do not count on a wimpy, glasses kid for strength and stability when trying to get off the ground. I yanked on his arm, expecting it to be firm like Fang's (what the hell was I thinking?), and was sadly disappointed when Glasses came crashing down on me.

"Oof," I cried as his elbow slammed in my gut. "Lay off my stomach will you? It's in enough pain."

"Sorry," Glasses said sheepishly. He quickly got off of my and offered his hand again.

"No thanks," I croaked. "I'll do this on my own."

I rolled over on my stomach and got into push-up position. Using what little strength I had left, I shoved myself off the muddy ground. Once I got high enough, I put my knees under me and shakily got to my feet.

"You okay?" Glasses asked.

"What is your name, anyway?" I wondered. "I can't just keep calling you Glasses in my head."

"Um, I'm going to ignore that last comment. My name is Ben."

"Nice to meet you Ben." I arched my back and cracked it three times. "Word of advice, Ben: stay the hell out of a woman's game. Frisbee is too dangerous for a kid like you."

"Um," Ben mumbled, stunned by my words.

"Catch ya later," I yelled as I limped off in the direction where I last saw Fang.

I picked up my speed a little and tried to hide the limp I seemed to have developed. I didn't need Fang freaking out when he saw me.

"Max!" I heard Fang yell.

I turned around to see Fang running up to me. "Hey!" I called waving.

"Where did you go?"

"Oh, I had to take care of something," I replied. "So, ready to go kick senior ass?"

"Sure," Fang said smiling. "Gazzy has the Frisbee right now. He's running for the end zone."

"Let's go." I grabbed Fang's hand, and we started running towards the end zone.

Fang let go of my hand and veered left while I went slightly to the right. As I was running, I saw the senior who had slammed into my stomach. Pay back time. I narrowed my eyes and increased my speed. I made a bee-line for the senior and put my arms in front of my chest like and 'x.'

I smacked into the senior's back and pushed with my arms. The senior pitched forward and went face-first into the mud.

"Oops, sorry, didn't see you there," I snickered and ran off towards the end zone. Time to win this game.

I poured on the speed and ran faster. Iggy had just gotten the Frisbee from Gazzy and was taking six big leaps towards the end zone. Iggy jumped in the air and shot the Frisbee at Fang. Fang leapt up and caught it with one hand. He turned and bounded for the end zone. I raced into the end zone and shot my hands up. Fang saw and chucked the Frisbee. A junior from the opposite team tried to hop up in the air and intercept it, but Kyle knocked him down in mid-air. The Frisbee kept flying and floated gently into my waiting hands. We had scored another point.

The game progressed in a similar fashion. The seniors and juniors would score one. Fang, Iggy, Gazzy, Kyle, and I would score another two. The game went on for hours on end. Finally, there were only two seniors left and the five of us.

"Do you forfeit?" Fang called across the quad.

"Never!" One of them yelled back.

"Suit yourself. It's your funeral!" The twins shouted in tandem.

"You guys can have the Frisbee since you're out numbered," I announced as I flicked the Frisbee in their direction.

The two seniors charged at our group. They were hard to make out because it was so dark and they were in black, but the blow sticks on the Frisbee gave them away. The first senior rushed forward while the other took large leaps toward the end zone. After his sixth step, the senior jumped in the air and chucked the Frisbee as hard as he could. His friend was running past me looking the air for the Frisbee. He jumped, the glowing disc about the land in the up-turned palms.

"No way in hell," I muttered.

I jumped, too. My elbow clipped the senior in the chin and sent him flying backwards. I snatched the Frisbee from the air, landed, and took off running. After my six steps, I saw Fang waving his arms like a madman. Using all my strength (which is quite a lot), I hurled the Frisbee forward. Fang jumped, caught it, and started running for the touchdown.

The one senior left was running at Fang doing some really weird sounding war cry. Fang turned his head. He was in a flat out sprint and had no time to react. The senior was about to flatten Fang when the twins jumped out of nowhere and pounced on the senior. Fang scored, and the senior face planted in the mud. I looked around the quad. There were juniors and seniors everywhere. Either passed out in the field or sitting on the edges holding their stomachs, or ankles, or arms.

"I think we won!" I yelled.

Fang, the twins, and Kyle gave a loud whoop. They all rushed over to me, and we started singing We Are the Champions by Queen.

"Hey, freshman!" One of the seniors screamed. "Get the hell off the quad before we come kick your asses!"

"This would be a good time for us to leave," Kyle muttered.

We all nodded out heads and ran as fast as we could back to the dorms. We all converged on the kitchen, and Iggy started pounding out grilled cheese sandwiches.

Nudge, Ella, and Katie had followed us to the kitchen and were sitting next to their boyfriends.

"OMG!" Nudge squealed. "You guys were soooooooo amazing! Like, you were, like, BOOM! And then, like, POW! And then, like, Max was all HIYAAA! And then Fang was like 'I'm so cool and I know it. Watch what I can do with a Frisbee.' And the twins were, like, soooooooo cute with their double team…and Kyle was all smexy with his tough guy way of tackling people. This was soooo much fun to watch. Waaaaaay more fun than football! OMG! I wish we had gotten that on tape, y'know? Cuz, like-"

Gazzy slapped his hand over Nudge's mouth. "Give it a rest for maybe a few minutes?" Gazzy begged.

"Okay," Nudge smiled and rested her head on Gazzy shoulder.

"I'm gonna go get washed off," I informed everyone. I couldn't stand the way the mud was caking in my hair. I waved goodbye and started heading for my fourth floor bathroom.

"Max!" I heard Fang call. "Wait up!"

I stopped and turned to see a very muddy Fang jogging up to me. "Hey," I mumbled.

Fang took a few steps closer so he was about an inch away from me. He bent his head down so we were eye level. "Nice job out there," he whispered.

"You too," I said smiling up at him.

"You look pretty adorable covered in mud," Fang muttered, taking my hand in his and playing with my fingers.

I blushed a little. "You seem to work the mud pretty well yourself."

Fang chuckled. Suddenly, his face had swooped down even lower and his nose was brushing against mine. I closed the gap, and our lips met. I could feel the fire works running through my body as Fang's lips moved in perfect synch with mine. Fang broke the kiss after a few moments.

"See you in a few," Fang whispered. He turned and walked back to the kitchen.

"Yeah," I sighed and headed for the shower. My fingers tingled and a bubbly feeling had settled in my stomach. I knew the perfect song for this feeling.

I few minutes later I hopped in the shower and started singing a song I'd heard a few years ago.

Will you count me in?

I've been awake for a while now
you've got me feelin like a child now
cause every time I see your bubbly face
I get the tinglies in a silly place

It starts in my toes
and I crinkle my nose
where ever it goes I always know
that you make me smile
please stay for a while now
just take your time
where ever you go

The rain is fallin on my window pane
but we are hidin in a safer place
under covers stayin dry *(safe) and warm
you give me feelins that I adore

It starts in my toes
make me crinkle my nose
where ever it goes
i always know
that you make me smile
please stay for a while now
just take your time
where ever you go

What am I gonna say
when you make me feel this way
I just...mmmmmm

It starts in my toes
make me crinkle my nose
where ever it goes
i always know
that you make me smile
please stay for a while now
just take your time
where ever you go

I've been asleep for a while now
You tucked me in just like a child now
Cause every time you hold me in your arms
I'm comfortable enough to feel your warmth

It starts in my soul
And I lose all control
When you kiss my nose
The feelin shows
Cause you make me smile
Baby just take your time now
Holdin me tight

Where ever, where ever, where ever you go
Where ever, where ever, where ever you go
Where ever you go, I'll always know
Cause you make me smile here, just for a while

I was walking back to the kitchen after my shower when I ran into none other than Ari.

"Hey, Ari," I said quickly and started to walk a little faster. I didn't need to talk to him right now.

"Max, wait," Ari barked, grabbing my arm.

I shook my arm from his grip. "What?" I asked sharply.

"It's Sam."

"It's always Sam, isn't Ari?" I hissed.

"You need to listen this time," Ari insisted.

"No, I'm not going to listen, Ari," I snapped. "I'm done with him. He isn't a part of my life anymore."

"Sam is always gonna be a part of your life, Max. He doesn't just disappear. He's not a ghost you can bury. You of all people should know that."

"Shut up!" I cried. I didn't want to think about. Sam was ghost. Sam had to be ghost. Sam was buried. End of story.

"No, I'm not going to shut up. I've come to warn you. I'm not going to let Sam take you by surprise. That's not fair." Ari paused and took a deep breath. "He's coming back. He's coming back to Oregon, and he plans to finish what he started with Fang's family."

DUN DUN DUN! DOOOM….ok sorry. I get carried away sometimes. :P my bad.

Hope you liked it


45. Chapter 45

Ok…so I should be studying for finals since my first exam is tomorrow and the difference between and A and an A- hangs in the balance, but I'm too lazy and apathetic to start any studying…so, I thought I would write. Besides, I studied a lot this weekend which it why I didn't update. My mom was watching me like a hawk… seriously, it wasn't safe to try and write this weekend. But, mommy darling is still at work so it's time to write!



Max POV: Chapter 44

My arm snapped back, and my fist connected with Ari's jaw. My stomach spasmed, and I was reminded of the purple and green bruise I had seen on my abdomen when I was taking a shower.

Ari staggered back clutching his face. "Shit, Max!" He hissed, spitting blood out. "I'm trying to help you."

"No, you're not!" I yelled angrily. "You're just trying to freak me out. You're trying to ruin everything. You and Sam! That's all you two have ever done! You guys come back into my life when things are going well and you try to screw them up. I'm not going to stand for it anymore! You and Sam have no power in my life, so you guys can just piss off and burn in hell for all I care."

I quickly turned from Ari and raced to the kitchen. I didn't need this right now. I was not going to let Sam and Ari screw with my life anymore. Acting like some scared child who thinks the big, bad wolf of her past is going to come back into her life gives Sam power over me. I'm not going to be like that anymore. The next time Sam even tries to enter my life; I'm blowing the whistle and telling Fang everything. I don't care what Fang thinks of me after I tell him. I can't let Sam rule my life and my relationships.

I slowed to a walk as I neared the kitchen. I tried to smooth my face to look somewhat normal. It was then I noticed the wetness sticking to my cheeks. Ari hadn't actually made me cry, had he? I scrubbed furiously at my eye and face. Fang better not notice. I took a big breath in and walked into the kitchen like nothing was wrong

Fang saw me walk in, and he immediately got up from the table and came towards me. He put a hand on my arm and leaned close.

"Are you okay?" He whispered.

"Must you be so perceptive?" I muttered.

Fang grinned. "That's my job."

"I…I had a little run in with Ari is all, and he just bothered me a little," I answered, looking down.

Fang put his finger under my chin and lifted my face up. I looked in his eyes and saw anger boiling in them. "What happened?" He demanded. "What did he say? What did he do?"

"He didn't do anything. He was just being his typical Ari self and for some reason it bothered me more than usual." I mumbled.


"Fang," I cut in. "You know how much I love you right?"

"Well, yeah," Fang muttered, surprised by my sudden change of topic.

"Good," I said, standing on tip-toes and giving Fang a quick kiss. "What's for dinner, Ig?" I called pulling Fang back to the table with me. He was completely baffled.

"We are having pigs in a blanket," Iggy announced bringing a platter full of the miniature hot dogs wrapped in dough to the table.

"I'll get the ketchup and the mustard," Kyle offered getting up from the table.

"Could you also grab me some relish?" Katie asked.

"Sure, sweetie," Kyle answered smiling broadly at his girlfriend.

"Awww, how cute!" Iggy, Gazzy, Fang, and I squealed.

Kyle chucked an orange from the fruit bowl on the counter at us. Fang caught it with one hand and started peeling it.

"Thanks, Kyle. I've been craving an orange." Fang smiled.

Kyle just rolled his eyes and came back to the table with the ketchup and mustard in tow.

"Eating contest!" Gazzy yelled and his hands dived for the pigs in a blanket.

"No way in hell you're getting the best of me!" Iggy argued and reached for the platter.

"This could get messy," I muttered.

"Boys," Nudge sighed and shook her head.

I tossed and turned in bed. I couldn't sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I saw Sam. Sam smiling at me when I first met him on that dusty rode so many years ago. Sam craftily swiping a painting from a wall. Sam yelling at me when I tried to stop our partnership. Sam tearing at my clothes. Sam tapping on the glass of the French doors at Fang's house. Sam speeding out of the Martinez's driveway. Sam waiting for me at the hotel.

I couldn't sleep, not when he was haunting my dreams. I popped my eyes open and looked at my alarm clock: 11:11pm glared back at me. I groaned. I had to get up early tomorrow. I had one week of school left, and I had an early morning final the next morning. I need to sleep.

There was a soft tap on the door. I shot a foot into the air. Get it together, Max. He wouldn't come here. He's in New York. He's not coming back.

I pulled the covers back and hopped out of bed. "Who is it?" I asked, my hand on the door knob.

"It's me," I heard Fang whisper on the other side of the door.

I let out a breath I didn't even know I was holding. I opened the door. The light from the hall pooled into my room and made a halo of light around Fang.

"I didn't wake you up, did I?" Fang asked.

I shook my head. "Can't sleep."

Fang frowned. "You're not still thinking about what Ari said?"

I shrugged. "I guess. But I'm also worried about my final tomorrow."

"What's it in?"

"Organic chemistry."

"You'll do fine," Fang reassured me.

I felt a little bad for lying to Fang. I knew I would do fine in organic chemistry. I just didn't want to worry Fang unnecessarily. "You want to come in?" I offered.

Fang grinned and walked into my room. "I was actually going to ask you if I could crash in here. The twins are sleeping off their eating contest, and they are both snoring really loud."

I laughed. "Yeah, you can crash in here. That's fine with me."

I walked over to the bed and climbed in. I lifted the covers up and waited. Fang raised an eyebrow.

"Really?" He asked.

"Well, yeah." I muttered.

Fang smiled. "Just want to make sure you're still cool with me crashing on your bed."

"Pretty sure I'll always be 'cool' with it." Fang climbed in after me. He put his arm around my waist, and I rested my head on his chest. "Can you sing me something?" I asked. "I think it'll help me sleep."

"Sure," Fang mumbled into my hair.

When the streetlights come on

The pooling night is leveed aside

And pressed in twilight 'gainst out two rooms.

I'll see you tonight.

The pavement is aching, cicadas are crying,

The wine-colored air breathing thoughts through your hair

Breezing to me, leading me there…

I come alive as the shadows parade

My hot summer blood comes in floods and in waves

Curbside confessions, no longer afraid of what you'll say.

And I find you, twilit beyond all the cars.

In driveways they sleep but streetlights will keep watch over me.

They flicker like stars.

And now the secrets carefully kept inside, run the streets red

Our chemicals spread, washing us through, making you mine…

I come alive as the shadows parade

My hot summer blood comes in floods and in waves

Curbside confessions, no longer afraid of what you'll say.

Now there are no words, only the glow in our wires.

And so we will be, you turn slow to me

Out lips set the sun (I'll never leave you…)

The hills are on fire…oh…

I come alive as the shadows parade

My hot summer blood comes in floods and in waves

Curbside confessions, no longer afraid of what you'll say.

"That was really pretty," I mumbled and drifted off into a Sam free sleep.

My blaring alarm clock startled me awake. I jumped up in bed and landed on something a lot harder than my mattress. I opened my eyes to see Fang looking up at me sleepily.

"Morning," he muttered, rubbing his eyes.

"Hey," I whispered. "You can go back to bed. I'll be back around 10am."

"Wake me up when you get back, okay?"

"Yeah, sure." I gave Fang a quick kiss and rushed from my room.

As I was leaving the dorm, I spotted Kyle just a few down the walk-way.

"Kyle!" I yelled. "Wait up!"

He stopped and waved me over. "Ready for our final?" He asked when I got close enough.

"Yeah," I answered falling into step with him. "I think I'll ace this one. What about you?"

"I think so. There are still a few equations I'm still a little shaky on, but I think once I get into test mode I'll remember them."

Kyle and I chatted as we walked to our class room. Things between us were really easy. Kyle and I never felt awkward with each other even though we dated for a bit. There were no hard feelings. Kyle was a good friend to have.

I sat down in my desk and cracked my knuckles. I turned to Kyle and gave him the thumbs up. Time to ace this thing.

I opened the door to my dorm room to find Fang awake, sitting on my bed in a pair of sweats, strumming his guitar. My heart melted. Could I have gotten a better boyfriend? The answer would be no.

"Hey," Fang said smiling. He put his guitar down and stood up to give me a hug. "How did the final go?"

"Really well, actually." I replied, smiling into his hug. "I think I aced it."

Fang gave me a little squeeze. "I knew you'd do great."

"Yeah, you were right."

"I'm always right," Fang reasoned, an impish grin lighting up his face.

Fang and I sat down on my bed together. Hr picked the guitar back up and starting lightly plucking out the melody to the song he'd sung me last night.

"So, my family and I have a request for you," Fang informed me.

"What's that?" I asked, leaning my head on Fang's shoulder.

"That you come live with us this summer," Fang said softly.

I smiled. "I'd like nothing more."

So, I need to go study now :( my mom will be home soon and she'll make me study.

For those of you who are wondering what song it was that Fang snag (heehee…that rhyms) it's called "Streetlights" and it's by a band called Ludo.

For those of you who don't know Ludo, check them out. They are amazing. They are an alternative rock band. My top picks from the CD I have are:

Love Me dead

Drunken Lament


Lake Pontchartrain

Mutiny Below

Go-Getter Greg

The Horror of Our Love

They are a pretty awesome band so check them out.

Hope you enjoyed the chapter!


46. Chapter 46

OK! So two finals down… four to go. Am I going to study tonight? Eventually… maybe…maybe not… I don't know. We'll find out. Heehee…I'm such a horrible procrastinator. Oh well, I'd rather write than study!

TO: POPOTTER28: OMG! You caught up! Finally… you should get a FF account so I can PM you back. And where have you been the last couple days of school? Haven't you seen that blue binder I've been carrying around like it was my long-lost child? That's the Gaelic book, darling. I'm on chapter four… and I scratched the prologue. That was me getting my thoughts together, but I'm going to weave the prologue/ideas from the prologue into the book itself. If you want, I'll bring it to school tomorrow and you can read it.



Max POV: Chapter 45

The last week of school went by in a f lash. It didn't even feel like summer was here. The year had just whizzed by. So many things had happened. I've met some really cool people and made amazing friends. Got Sam out of my life for good this time (at least I think so). Fang and I had had our share of troubles, but we were together and that's all that mattered.

I ran down the steps that had, just nine months ago, fatefully brought me to Fang. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and turned to look at them.

"Thanks," I whispered to the staircase.

"What was that?" Fang asked easily loping down the stairs two at a time with his long legs.

"Nothing," I muttered. "C'mon, we better hurry. Nudge is going to beat us home and eat all of your mom's chocolate chip cookies!"

Fang chuckled, and my heart fluttered. I grinned and raced out to Fang's car. I loved that Fang could still do that to me. I loved that my heart still did flip-flops when he smiled. I loved the feeling of doves flying in my stomach that his laugh gave me. I loved everything about him, and I'm lucky enough to call him mine.

Fang and I stashed our stuff in the back of his black convertible. Fang walked me to my door and opened it for me.

"Ever the gentleman," I said, sliding into the car.

Fang hopped in, made the roof go down since the sun was shining, and blasted a CD that had all the songs our band had covered.

"Oh no!" I cried when I heard my voice come on the CD. "You seriously have me on there?"

"Yeah," Fang replied, smirking. "Black-mail purposes."

I smacked Fang on the arm. He just grinned and sped out of the school parking lot. "I'm not that bad," I insisted.

"I know you're not," Fang answered. "I'm trying to put a demo CD together. I figure if people can hear how well we cover songs, we can get a record deal of our own."

I nodded. "How is that song coming, by the way? Weren't you thinking of writing one?"

"It's going pretty well," Fang muttered. "I've hit a bit of a wall, though."

"Do you want help?"

Fang shook his head. "I need to finish this on my own, y'know?"

"Yeah, I get it," I replied. "Maybe I'll write one of my own."

Fang looked at me and raised an eyebrow. I tried to keep my laughter in, but I couldn't. Fang and I burst out laughing. Well, more I burst out laughing, and Fang just did his sexy, deep chuckle thing.

"Yeah, right, me write a song," I muttered. "I may be able to sing, but I don't think I could compose worth shit."

"That's where I'm having a bit of trouble," Fang said. "I've got the lyrics, but I'm having trouble with the keyboard part. The guitar parts were pretty easy…and drums wasn't that hard, but the vocal line is still a little shaky and the piano part is killing me."

"You'll get it," I reassured him. "You always do." I reached over and gave Fang a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Not while I'm driving, Max," Fang teased. "Bad things could happen." He turned to me, smiled, and winked. My heart sped up, and my stomach starting doing acrobatics.

"Oops," I said, putting on an innocent face.

Fang shook his head but smiled. We reached the highway. It was completely deserted. "Did Iggy and Gazzy loose a bomb on the freeway and not tell us?"

I grinned. "It's a Sunday morning. Not a lot of people are on the road."

"True, well since there's no on here…" Fang gave me a wicked smile then pressed his foot as hard as he could against the gas pedal.

The car didn't go faster for just a second; then is lurched forward. My hair was snatched from my head and blown about in the wind. The scream that started slowly turned into a laugh.

"FANG!" I yelled. "YOU'RE INSANE!"

I giggled like a maniac as we raced down the open stretch of road. I flung my arms open and let the breeze bathe me in coolness. I figured this is what flying must be like, and it felt amazing.

I could hardly believe it but summer was already three weeks in. Fang and I were going swimming and horse back riding every day. Rondie was in the best shape of her life and things couldn't get any better. I stayed in the guest room (the awesome one with the French doors), and Fang had reclaimed his old one upstairs that used to be part of Sam and Nudge's third floor 'apartment.'

Even though Fang and I were in separate rooms, we would sneak out during the night and hang out in the willow tree grove. We'd talk, sing, or just be. It was great. One time we even fell asleep on the rock, by accident of course. What wasn't on accident, though, was how Fang would sometimes end up spending the night in my room.

Tonight, Fang and I were going to sneak out to the willow tree grove again. I quietly padded up the stairs to Fang's room. I stopped outside his door and was about to knock when I heard the faint sound of guitar chords. I listened for a moment. At first I didn't recognize it but after a few moments, I knew exactly which song he was playing. I didn't want to interrupt Fang, so I sat down and leaned my ear against the door.

heard there was a secret chord
that david played and it pleased the lord
but you don't really care for music, do you
well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall and the major lift
the baffled king composing hallelujah


well your faith was strong but you needed proof
you saw her bathing on the roof
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
she broke your throne and she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the hallelujah


baby i've been here before
i've seen this room and i've walked this floor
i used to live alone before i knew you
i've seen your flag on the marble arch
but love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


well there was a time when you let me know
what's really going on below
but now you never show that to me do you
but remember when i moved in you
and the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was hallelujah

well, maybe there's a god above
but all I've ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
it's not a cry that you hear at night
it's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


I waited for a few moments before I lightly tapped on Fang's door.

"Come on in," Fang whispered but loudly enough for me to hear.

I opened the door and sat next to Fang on his bed. "That was really pretty."


"Hope that second verse had nothing to do with me," I said jokingly.

Fang just shook his head. "Ready to go to the willow trees?"

"Yeah," I said quietly.

Fang took my hand and we walked out to the trees. The moonlight was shining through and cloud and cast an eerie glow on Fang's face. "It's one of my favorite songs," Fang explained. "I sing whenever I get the chance. It got through a lot of tough times."

I nodded. I could see Fang didn't want to talk about it, but I was glad he was at least sharing this little bit of information with me.

I quickly changed the topic to something lighter. Fang and I stayed out in the grove until the sun began to rise. So far, it was a perfect summer.

Fang and I were just finishing up jumping exercise on the horses when Dr. Martinez walked into the arena.

"Hey, mom," Fang called as he and Athos scaled a 4'6" jump.

"Honey, please don't talk while you're jumping. You know it gives me a heart attack," Dr. Martinez chided.

"What's up?" I asked as Rondie and I jumped the jump.

"Same goes for you, Max! You need to pay attention while you're jumping," Dr. Martinez scolded.

Fang and I both stopped out horses and had them walk over to Dr. M. "So, what is it, mom?" Fang asked. "Do you need us for something?"

"Well," Dr. Martinez began, a huge smile splitting across her face. "Fang, your father and I got you an early 20th birthday present. We saw it today and couldn't help ourselves."

"Do I get to open it now?" Fang asked.

Dr. M nodded her head. "I'll clean up the horses while you and Max go look at it. It's parked in the driveway."

"Parked?" Fang and I asked in unison.

We both hopped of our horses and sprinted to the driveway. Parked by Fang's convertible was a shiny new black Kawasaki Ninja motorbike. Fang and I gaped.

"That's yours?" I said in disbelief. "You are one luck son of a marmot," I mumbled.

"Marmot?" Fang asked quietly, still mesmerized by the shiny black bike.

"Sorry, the shiny bike is making my freeze brain…I mean, brain freeze," I managed to say.

Fang slowly walked over to the bike and sat down on it. He looked like he was born to ride that thing. He was still wearing his black riding pants, his black tall-boots, a plain white t-shirt, and a leather jacket.

"Wanna test it out?" Fang asked.

"Yeah!" I shouted, climbing on the bike behind him and wrapping my arms around his waist.

Fang revved the engine and we sped off down his driveway. Seriously, things were perfect.

The end….for now…update more tomorrow if I can

PS: for those of you who are wondering the song Fang sings is called "Hallelujah" And the version I was listening to/think of when Fang is singing is the Jeff Buckley version

RIP Jeff Buckley

Hope you liked the chapter!

47. Chapter 47

Ok…so, nothing to say really but this: I am sorry I said Fang was 20…I meant to say 19… my bad guys. Fang is 19, got it? YAY!

Also…I'm sorry…you'll see what I mean at the end of this chapter


PS: the song in this chapter is: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful by Paloma Faith

Max POV: Chapter 46

"Fang!" Angel yelled from her room.

"Yeah, Ange," Fang called back as he flipped another pancake on the stove.

"There's a spider in my room! Come kill it!" Angel shrieked.

"Can you hold on! I'm making pancakes!"

"NO! FANG! It's going to eat meeeeeee!"

"I'll go," I muttered, hopping off the kitchen counter.

"Thanks," Fang smiled and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "You're the best."

"Yeah, I know," I said smirking.

I hurried up to Angel's room, stopping in the bathroom to grab a wad of toilet paper. I opened the door to find Angel perched on her desk, pointing in terror at a small black spot on her floor.

"It's right there!" She wailed. "What is it gets my bear, Celeste!"

"It's alright, Ange," I reassured her. "I'll take care of it."

I bent down and threw the ball of paper on the spider. Then, making sure my slippers were securely on my feet, I stomped on the toilet-paper.

"EEEEEEEEWEWWWWWWWWWW!" Angel shouted, covering her eyes.

I quickly scooped the remained up in the paper and tossed it in the pink garbage can by Angel's desk.

"Is it dead?" She asked.

"That's about as dead as it's gonna get," I replied.

"You're the best!" Angel cried. She hopped off the desk and ran to hug me. Her skinny arms encircled my waist, and she buried her face in my tummy.

Total came running into Angel's room wagging his tail. "Where were you when she needed a guard dog?" I accused.

Total just looked up at me and cocked his head to one side. "Total's afraid of spiders, too," Angel explained. "He left the room when I pointed it out."

"Remind me to never employ him as an attack dog," I muttered.

Total made a 'huff' noise and turned his nose in the air. Angel giggled and picked him up. "Come on, Total. It's time to get back to our tea party."

Total made a squeaky noise as if to say, "SAVE ME!"

"You're on your own," I said. Great, now I'm talking to a dog. First, I have conversations with myself. Then I talk to a dog. What's next? I start talking to people who aren't even there? Kind of like I'm doing right now…crap. I sighed. I need to stop thinking so much. It's dangerous to my health. "Bye, Ange. Have a good tea party."

I closed the door behind me and started down the steps. I was halfway down when the doorbell rang. I suppose Fang will want me to get it, so he won't be detained from his precious pancakes.

"Hey, Max!" Fang called. "I can get it! I just finished the pancakes."

Or not, score.

Dr. M and Fang's dad, Jeb, were on a date. It was really cute. They went out once a week to try and keep the romance in their relationship. Nudge was out with Gazzy somewhere, so Fang and I were stuck taking care of the house and babysitting Angel, not that we minded.

I heard Fang walk over to the door. The hinges squeaked as he opened it. I figured it was someone who was going to try and sell something, so I went and sat down at the kitchen table and let my nose fill with the smell of chocolate-chip pancakes.

"DAGGER!" I heard a large group of boys yell from the front porch.

Fang must have been carrying the spatula because I heard it clatter to the floor. "You need to leave," Fang said in an icy voice.

My breath caught in my throat. I'd never heard Fang's voice like that before. He must be really angry. I could just imagine his depthless black eyes turning hard and cold with hate.

Quickly and quietly I got up from the table and ninjaed (that's right people I just made 'ninja' a verb) my way over to the foyer. I stayed close to the wall and didn't show my face. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I would be right at Fang's side the second things turned ugly.

"We heard you were back from college for the summer," A boy said. "We decided to come visit. Don't you miss us, Dagger?" There was something cold in his voice that made my heart skip a beat. What the hell was going on? And why were they calling him 'Dagger.'

"You need to leave," Fang repeated, his voice even more steely.

I took a chance and peeked around the wall. Before anyone could see me, I whipped my head back around. There were four boys and a girl at the door. The boys were all really tall and well muscled. One of them was even taller than Fang, and Fang is pretty damn tall. They each had on a leather jacket and a necklace with a skull at the end. The girl was similarly clad. She had short, spiky black hair. She had a lip ring, and her eyes were hard.

"Come on, Fang," the tall one said. "We miss you at the house. We want you to come back."

"Leave!" Fang yelled. When I had looked around the wall, I had seen Fang's back tensed with fear and anticipation. This could get ugly.

"No need to get pissy, babe," The girl said.

Rage bubbled in my stomach. What had she called him!

"Call me that again, and I'll smash your face in, Resa," Fang threatened darkly.

They all laughed. "There's a glimpse of the old Dagger," The tall once chuckled. He must be the leader.

"Stop calling me that and get the hell off my porch," Fang hissed.

"Yeah, sure, whatever," the leader said. He nodded his head and everyone left. Everyone but him. He grabbed Fang's shoulder and got in Fang's face. He whispered something to Fang before turning and leaving.

Fang slammed the door behind them and sagged to the floor. Fang buried his face in his heads. "Fuck!" Fang exclaimed and smashed the back of his fist into the door.

Hesitantly, I came into view. "Fang?" I called quietly. Fang's head snapped up, and I had to stop myself from taking a step back. There was something different in Fang's eyes. Something that made him seem dangerous. Like, he was on edge and if anyone did anything to piss him off, he'd have no problem with killing them.

Fang's eyes began to soften slowly. "Max," he muttered, sighing.

I quickly walked over to him and sat down. I tentatively put my arm around his shoulders. He stiffened for a moment then relaxed and rested his head on my shoulder. He seemed completely worn out from the encounter with those guys. We were quiet for a while.

"Max, I…" Fang started then fell silent.

"We don't need to talk about it if you don't want to," I reassured him.

Fang nodded. He was quiet for a few more minutes then he seemed to brighten. "Want some pancakes?" He asked, forcing a cheerful disposition. "We don't want them to get cold."

"Sure," I muttered. I hopped off the floor and helped Fang up.

Fang and I had just finished a really hard ride with the horses. It looked like Fang was working out his issues while he was Athos. He does that. When he stressed out, he either goes to his guitar, or he rides Athos.

It was about 80 degrees out, so I was sweaty mess. "I'm going to take a shower!" I called to Fang.

He nodded his head in my direction. He had been pretty quiet ever since those guys had shown up at the house. So many questions were gnawing at me. Who were those guys? Why were they calling him Dagger? And, why the hell had that girl called him babe?

As I walked to the bathroom, these questions played in my mind over and over again. I turned the water on, waited a few minutes, and stepped into the steaming cascade of water.

I thought about everything that was going on as the hot water caressed my muscles. I was keeping a huge secret from Fang, and it looked like he was keeping one from me. I had a song that fit perfectly. I started humming and then started singing. Old habits die hard, I guess.

Prophet took my hand on all souls day
He preached the values of deception
Changing shadows by a shape shifter rules
Tales are never just for fools

The court of conscience came before me
Presenting me with a heavenly angel
You took my hand and ask me, truth aside
To his questions I replied

Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
Just close your eyes and make believe
Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
I am happy to deceive you

He stood as tall as redwood trees
Drank tea from a seamstress thimble
Didn't want to speak, the honest truth
So I spit out lies that aimed to soothe

Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
Just close your eyes and make believe
Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
I am happy to deceive you

Secrets, lies, falling veils
I can be who you want me to be
Sacred lies, and telling tales
I can be who you want me to be
But do you want me?

Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
Just close your eyes and make believe
Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
I am happy to deceive you

Sacred lies, and telling tales
I can be who you want me to be

Sacred lies, and telling tales
I can be who you want me to be
But do you want me?
But do you want me?

I stepped out of the shower and realized I forgot to turn the fan on. The room was a giant steam cloud. I stumbled through the haze to the counter. I found the mirror and used my hand to rub the fog off the glass.

I ran my hair brush through my tangled, wet hair. I was tugging at a particularly stubborn knot when someone knocked on the door.

"Yeah?" I called.

"It's Fang," I hard Fang muttered from the other side of the door.

I grabbed a towel off the rack and wrapped it around me. I put the brush down and opened the door. "What's up?"

Fang quickly stepped forward and closed the door behind him. "I have to go run and errand."

"Okay, I'll change and come with you," I replied, reaching for my hairbrush again.

"No," Fang said urgently. "I need you to stay here with Angel."

"But you're parents are going to be home soon," I protested.

"You need to stay here," Fang pressed.

I sighed. "Fine. I'll stay. But you better text every ten minutes, or I'll come after you and it won't be pretty." Fang smiled but something was wrong. It wasn't his usual smile. It was the reserved smile he used when he was around people he didn't know very well. "Fang, you'll tell me what's going on, right? I don't want you to get hurt."

"I'm fine, really," Fang insisted. "I'll be back later tonight."

Fang turned to leave the whipped back around. He grabbed my arm and pulled me close. His lips crashed down on mine. There was an urgency in his kiss that I'd never felt before. Fang's lips left mine too soon and then he was gone.

Something told me he wouldn't be back later tonight.

Sorry for the cliffy…

Review please


48. Chapter 48

Ok…so THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! This is my LAST update UNTIL JULY 8TH (at the earliest)… I am leaving for France on June 16th, 2010. I will be on an exchange program and won't have the time to update. So, I probably won't leave you on a cliff hanger. I will try and update on Tuesday (June 15th) before I leave, but I can't make any promises…so please don't hate me.

Anyway…moving on. Here we go


Max POV: Chapter 47

I quickly put a large t-shirt on and ran out of the house after Fang.

"You can't just go off like this!" I shouted.

Fang was slinging his leg over his motorcycle. Ignoring me, he put his helmet on and revved the engine.

"Sorry, Max," Fang muttered. "I gotta go."

He hit the gas pedal and sped off toward the road.

"Shit!" I cursed loudly.

I turned on my heel and stalked back into the house. I couldn't believe he was doing this. I didn't even know what was going on but it didn't feel right. I knew he was going to get hurt. I just knew it.

I raced to my room and fumbled in my backpack for my cell phone. I hit the number four and pushed send. The phone started calling Iggy's cell phone.

It rang four times and no one picked up. It started going into the voicemail. "Hey, you've reached Iggy's phone. Sorry I'm not here to take your call… I'm probably off building a bomb or something. Leave a message at the beep, and I'll call you back when I can…if I don't get killed by my bomb…Sorry, now I'm rambling. Later."

"Iggy," I hissed dangerously. "Stop sucking face with Ella and call me back!"

I hung up the phone and pressed the number five. Speed dial kicked in, and Gazzy's phone started to ring,

"Yo!" Gazzy said, picking up after the second ring.

"You and your brother need to get your butt over here, now!" I yelled.

"Ouch," Gazzy mumbled. "I really didn't need my hearing."

"Just get over here!"

"Fine, we'll be over soon. What are we supposed to tell Ella and Nudge?"

"Band stuff. Just get over here without them. I don't want them to worry. Especially Nudge."

"Wait," Gazzy said, starting to sound alarmed. "Is this about Fang?"

"I'll explain when you get here. And you and Iggy have some explaining to do. You guys still know more about his past than I do."

"His past?" Gazzy asked. "Oh…crap."

"Yeah, now get over here!"

"Okay, okay. We'll be there in 20 minutes. Keep your pants on."

I didn't bother telling him I didn't actually have pants on. I just snapped the phone shut and plopped down on my bed, questions swirling through my head.

* * * * * 20 minutes later * * * * *

The doorbell rang, and I jumped off my bed. I sprinted to the foyer and ripped the door open.

"C'mon," I muttered.

"What's going on? Where's Fang? Is Angel alright?" Iggy asked.

"Angel is taking a nap…and Fang is gone," I answered, leading then to my room.

"What happened?" Gazzy inquired.

"Well," I began, sitting down on the edge of my bed. "Some people came here this morning, and Fang went all insane on them. He was yelling at them to leave. And then he just left a little while ago. He hasn't told me what the hell is going on, and I'm starting to freak out."

Iggy and Gazzy leaned against the wall and exchanged worried glances.

"Spill!" I shouted.

"What did they look like?" They chimed.

I was too worried to be freaked out by their in sync talking. "Um… there were four tall boys and a girl…he called her Resa…and they called him Dagger, or something."

"Yeah…crap," Iggy muttered.

"What? Was Fang in a gang or something?" I asked.

"Hey, that rhymes," Gazzy chuckled.

"Not helping!" I snapped.

"No, it wasn't a gang…well, not really," Iggy explained. "What would call it, Gaz?"

"Um… a really messed up version of a band?" Gazzy offered.

"A band?" I asked.

"Yeah, sort of," Iggy started to explain. "It was back in high school."

"I gathered that," I said tersely.

"I don't really know how to explain it. It was before Fang became the Fang you know. I mean, haven't you ever wondered why Fang is so reserved and careful around people and doesn't try to make many friends?" Iggy asked.

"Well, yeah," I said.

"Fang has been friends with me and Gazzy since kindergarten and so was Ari, but when we got into high school, Ari decided to branch out, and he convinced Fang to come with him," Iggy started.

"But," Gazzy cut in. "He didn't really convince Fang in the nicest way."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"By this time, Ari was going out with Nudge. He threatened Fang that stuff would happen if Fang didn't join him," Gazzy clarified. "So, they joined up with Colt and his 'band.' They liked Fang because he could play guitar, so they let him join band…Ari was just the muscles on the side. They ruled the school. They were pretty terrifying. Colt and two of the other boys always wore brass knuckles. And then there was Resa."

Iggy snorted. "Resa…what a bitch."

"What was with her?" I said, pressing for details.

"Well, she thought Fang was pretty cute, so she basically forced him to go out with her… but Fang didn't really like her. She'd just spend her time insulting him or cussing him out. Then she'd just drool over him and force him to take her on dates and stuff..."

"Where she would proceed to criticize him for the crappy choice of destination," Gazzy finished.

"She sounds like a charmer," I muttered.

"A real sweetheart," Iggy hissed. "She really screwed Fang up…y'know? No confidence in himself."

"Fang? No confidence?" I asked in disbelief.

"Well, yeah. If someone was always telling you what a screw up you are, you probably wouldn't feel so great about yourself," Gazzy pointed out.

"So, what happened?" I asked,

"Well, he hated hanging out with them. But, he thought he was protecting Nudge. He'd come sneak to our house on the weekends to hang out. But, then it started to change." Iggy muttered.

"What!" I pressed. The suspense was killing me.

"He'd been with them so long, he started to change. He really started to become like them. He got really scary. Angry. He lost his temper all the time. I think he was angry with himself for staying with them and becoming like them. So, he started getting mad at everyone. That's when they started calling him Dagger," Gazzy started explaining. "He'd beat the shit out of people. It was pretty gruesome. And he'd do it just for kicks with the rest of the 'band' cheering him on. It was the only time Resa would ever compliment him."

Iggy nodded. "The band decided to get Fang a dagger… like a real one. It wasn't a good idea. Some pretty scary shit happened because of that dagger."

"What made him stop?" I was pretty much ready to scream. I couldn't imagine Fang dong any of this. It sounded too insane.

"Angel saw him beat the crap out of someone," Iggy answered sadly It was halfway though our junior year of high school. Angel was pretty little, but she still remembers it. Anyway, she saw it and it really freaked her out. Fang had always been her protective older brother. It killed her to see him hurt someone like that."

"So he stopped?" I finished. "He left the 'band' or whatever…it's pretty much a gang."

Gazzy shook his head. "He didn't leave. He just realized what he'd become and stopped beating people up. Instead, he took it out on himself."

"He went emo!" I yelled.

Iggy chuckled wryly. "Don't say that in front of him. He hates it. But, yeah, I guess. He used the dagger on himself."

"As if to atone. I remember that's what he said," Gazzy muttered shaking his head.

"Anyway, he was too scared to leave. He didn't want Nudge to get hurt," Iggy continued.

I shook my head. This was getting messed up. I mean, I realize why he did it. He had his reasons just like I had mine. Only, his reasons were a little more noble than mine. I mean, beating the bejesus out of people wasn't good or noble…but, his reasons for joining in the first place were good. Mine were just selfish.

"Anyway," Iggy said interrupting my thoughts. "It wasn't until the very end of our junior year that Fang had the last straw. H saw Ari…"

"Yeah, he told me about that," I cut in.

"Yeah. So, he beat the crap out of Ari and then he quit the band," Gazzy paused. "Ig, remember the music they played?"

"Dude, that was just scary. It was heavy metal and other stuff like that," Iggy explained when I looked confused.

"So what happened after he left the band?" I said, thirsty for details.

"They were okay with it, and we thought we'd heard the end of them," Gazzy replied, shrugging.


"Yeah," Iggy muttered. "They thought what Ari did was ot of line…but I always thought it was fishy. They let him go too easily."

I put my head in my hands. "This is a disaster."

"Cheer up, Max!" Gazzy encouraged. "Fang's old enough to take care of himself."

"Not when brass knuckles are in the equation!" I snapped.

"She has a point, Gaz," Iggy mumbled.

"Do you know where they would meet?" I begged for the information. I had to go get him.

Iggy shook his head. "We don't know. We knew there was a house, but Fang never told us where the house is. Again, he was protecting us."

"Can you trace his phone like you guys did mine?" I offered.

"He told you about that?" Gazzy chuckled. "Unfortunately, Fang was smart and didn't take his phone with him." Gazzy pointed to the black phone resting on my dresser.

"Shit, how did I miss that?" I hissed.

"You're just not very perceptive when you get all worried and pissed off," Iggy said, smirking.

"Now is not the time for shit-grins," I said, flipping Iggy the bird. "So what do I do?"

"You wait," Gazzy advised.

I tossed and turned in my bed. It was past two in the morning and there was still no sign of Fang. I had lied to his parents and told them he was having a guys' night out with Kyle and the twins. I hated Gazzy and his stupid advice right now. I hate wait. I'm Maximum Ride. I don't wait.

I pushed off my plushy mattress and opened the French doors. A cool breeze wafted in my room and ran over my sweaty brow.

"Fang, where are you," I cried to the moon. Wow, that was ridiculously cheesy and poetic. I'm like a wolf or something. And, now, I should stop thinking. It just hurts too much. I wasn't born for thinking. I'm a person of action. A person of action who is being forced to wait. Did I mention how much I fricking hate waiting?

I paced back and forth in my room for a moment. I couldn't take it anymore. I rushed out of the room and went to the willow tree grove. Maybe I would feel better if I was sitting outside.

I brushed the hanging branches to the side and stepped into the round clearing. Immediately, I didn't like what I saw. A dark form was slumped over the rock, and its hand was flopped limply to the side, grazing the top of the water.

"Fang!" I yelled. It had to be him. Who else would it be? I rushed over to the rock and rolled Fang onto this side, resting his head in my lap. "Jesus, Fang," I breathed. "They really did a number on you."

To say Fang looked like he got hit by a train was an understatement. He had a black eye, scrapes along his forehead and cheeks. A long, jagged cut ran from Fang's left temple to his jaw. His lip was cut and swelling. I didn't even want to look at what was under his shirt. I could already tell it was going to be bad. His shirt was ripped and bloodied.

"My God, Fang," I whispered. "You look like hell."

"You should see the other guys," Fang croaked.

He started coughing and blood dribbled down his chin.

"Don't talk," I muttered, my voice getting clogged in my throat. "You need to rest."

"I'm not dying," Fang insisted, trying to sit up.

I forced him back down. "You're sure as hell pretty close, dumbass. Next time you decide to rush off and play hero, think about the consequences."

"They aren't going to bother us anymore," Fang said quietly.

"What!" I said loudly. "What did you do? Jesus H. Christ, Fang! You didn't kill them did you?"

Fang's eyes bugged and he started laughing weakly. "No, Max. Get real. I'm not that insane. I just 'convinced' them to leave us alone."

"You are a big-ass dork," I snapped…but somewhat lovingly.

"Yeah, whatever, I'm home."

"Damn straight you're home. You're not leaving for the next week!"


"No 'buts' mister! You've lost traveling privileges!"

I couldn't help but smile. Fang was okay. Well, not okay, but he was going to live. And when he was feeling better, I was going to kick his ass into next year. I leaned down and gently kissed Fang. I was glad he was home safe.

Ok….so, yeah, just felt like adding a little blurb of drama for these last two chapters. After this, it's back to Sam! Huzzah…but that's not going to happen until after I get back from France.

Anyway, review please? I'll be updating in about three weeks. Until I return…you guys have been a great audience so far. No worries- I will be back (as Arnold would say!)


49. Chapter 49

Hey! So I am really really really really really really sorry this has taken me so long. I was waaaaaay more jet-lagged than I expected. Anyway, one of my friends called me yesterday and was like "you need to update right now, missy." So, I'm updating and (again) I apologize for the wait.



PS: We are going to start out with Fang's POV so you guys can get the scoop on what happened when Fang got beat up. It's kind of a flash-back/dream.

Fang POV: Chapter 48

My palms were sweating as I slipped my helmet onto my head. I swung my leg over the bike. I had to do this. It was the only way to keep my family safe and atone for what I'd done in the past.

"You can't just go off like this!" Max shouted at me.

I didn't look back. If I looked into her big brown eyes, I wouldn't be able to leave. I revved the engine.

"Sorry, Max, I gotta go."

I pushed off the ground and hit the gas. I sped off down the country road and headed toward the forest road. The house that the "band" lived in was an abandoned old shack that was in the middle of the forest. It used to be some sort of hunting lodge for some wealthy family over one hundred years ago.

As I got closer to the house, my longing to go back home increased. I just wanted to go back and explain everything to Max. But, I couldn't do that. I had to make sure everyone was safe first.

I fingered the dagger that I'd slipped into my jacket pocket. I would be back home. I had to get back home. Max was there and wherever Max is is where I want to be. I had to live through this because now I have a reason for living and that reason is Max. Before I met Max, I would have just rushed into this and not given a shit if I lived or died. But, now, Max is my reason for being, and I can't leave her. Not yet. We're too young for that.

My bike skidded to a halt, and I looked up at the run-down house. I swallowed hard, squared my shoulders, and walked up the front steps. I banged on the front door. I waited for a few heart-stopping minutes and then Colt answered the door.

"I knew you'd come," Colt snickered. "You never did back down from a challenge."

"Whatever," I hissed and brushed passed Colt.

I knew this house almost as well as my own. I walked down the narrow hallway and turned left. I stepped through the threshold into what used to be the living room. It was filled with instruments and weapons. Phil and Joe were perched on the amps for the electric guitars. Both of them were inspecting the brass knuckles they wore. Taylor was leaning against the wall, tossing a long hunting knife back and froth in his hands. Resa was lounging on the only couch. She was twirling nun-chucks around her head.

When I walked in, Resa got up from the couch and scowled.

"You owe me twenty bucks, Resa," Colt called from behind me. "I told you he'd come."

"Damn," Resa hissed. "I didn't think he had the balls to show up."

She took a twenty out of her pocket and strode over to Colt. She slapped the bill in his up-turned hand.

"You better make this worth my while," She sneered at me and sat back down on the couch.

"What the hell do you guys want?" I asked. My voice was pitched low and sounded like jagged ice ripping through skin. I hadn't used this voice in a while, and I never used this tone around Max.

"That sounds just like the old Dagger," Joe laughed from across the room.

"Fang," I corrected, my voice sounding like it could cut through steel.

"So it's Fang now?" Colt questioned. He walked around me and sat down next to Resa on the couch. "Never gonna go by your real name, Nicholas? Remind you too much of your daddy?"

"Shut up!" I yelled, pulling the dagger out of my jacket.

Phil chuckled. "Looks like you haven't changed. Still can't control your temper."

"If I couldn't control my temper, you'd already be dead, Phil," I snapped. "What do you want Colt? I thought we were done."

"Look, Nicholas-"

"Fang," I interjected.

Colt locked eyes with me. "You really can't deal with being called that name, can you? Was he really that awful? Do you just hate being Nicholas James Hayworth the third? Do you think of your father every time you look in the mirror? You look just like him. At least, that's what everyone says, right? Even your mom."

"Shut up," I ordered.

"Did it break your heart when they carted daddy dearest off to jail? Or did you jump for joy? I remember. You told us some of the things he did. How he'd come home drunk and beat your mom up. And then you'd step in and get a pretty good beating yourself."

"That's enough!" I yelled. I hated the way he got under my skin.

"You joined our band right before your mom finally got the courage to call the police. Did it just piss you off when she married Jeb less than six months later? I remember the day of the wedding. You beat up some poor unsuspecting freshman. What did he do to set you off? Oh, yeah! He cut you in line. And what about Jeb? Is he still around? Or was he just a gold digger who hit it and quit it?"

"Colt, shut the hell up before-"

"Before what, Nick? You knife me? I can't believe you kept that dagger. Has Max seen your scar?"

"How do you know about Max?" I asked, my voice getting tight. They couldn't know about her.

"Why'd you use the dagger on yourself Nick? Was it so you could feel some sort of empathy for the people you beat up? After-all, you couldn't feel any sympathy. He were so cold hearted. You couldn't feel anything, could you? Physical pain was all that could get through that thick scull of yours."

"How do you know about Max!" I yelled.

"Sam, of course," Resa replied.

My head snapped in her direction. "Sam?" I spat.

"I believe you know him," Colt said, standing up from the couch. "He was married to Nudge. He was the one who contacted us."

"Why the hell would Sam contact you guys?" I demanded.

"He knew we had a past with you. Apparently, you're in the way of something Sam wants. He asked us to get rid of you. See, as long as you're in the picture, Nicholas, Sam can't get to what he wants." Colt answered, slipping his brass knuckles on.

"Tell Sam to stay the hell away from Nudge," I hissed.

"Oh, but Sam wants so much more than Nudge. He talked quite a bit about some pretty little thing named Max," Phil chimed in from the other side of the room.

"Max?" I asked. The ground seemed to disappear underneath me. He wanted Max?

"Yeah, he promised us all a shot with her, too. Well, except Resa of course," Taylor muttered. He had stopped tossing his knife.

Red haze clouded my vision. "This ends now," I snarled.

I lunged for Colt. His brass knuckles connected with my ribs. I didn't care. I felt like I had super strength. I kneed Colt in the gut as I brought my elbow down on his back. It was an old fighting move I used to use all the time. I heard a crack. Colt flopped to the floor. He gasped for breath and started to scramble onto his hands and knees. Before he could get upright, I kicked him several times in the chest.

Heard the phrase 'don't kick a man while he's down'? That rule doesn't apply in this situation. I punched Colt in the side of the head and stopped moving. Even though Colt was the leader, he wasn't the best fighter.

"Who's next?" I asked, cracking my neck. I just did that for dramatic effect.

Phil and Joe hopped off the amps and rushed at me. I barely registered the brass knuckled that smashed into my nose. My adrenaline was too high for it to hurt. I snapped a kick into Phil gut while I slashed Joe on the arm with my dagger. More punches and kicks were thrown, and I was slightly aware of the throbbing feeling in my torso and face.

Phil came charging towards, I moved to the side and he crashed into the wall. He fell down and didn't get back up. I would have laughed if Joe wasn't still coming after me. I wiped the blood out of my eyes and ran at Joe.

He snapped a kick in my side. I was winded for a moment then I sprang forward and slammed my fist into Joe's face. Joe fell backwards and didn't move.

I looked up at Taylor and grinned. "Looks like you're left." My heart started pounding. This was going to be a knife fight. Taylor, besides me, was the best fighter of the gang. I was going to have my work cut out for me.

Taylor lazily pushed himself off the wall. "You might as well give up now," He drawled.

I just shook my head. Taylor smirked and walked forward. He pushed Phil out of the way and stopped a few feet in front of me. He snapped out his right hand, the hunting knife pointing off to the side, and crouched into a fighting stance. I did the same. Slowly, we started circling each other.

Taylor lunged and I blocked his knife with mine. We struggled for a few minutes until I pushed him off and kicked his knee-cap.

"That was dirty," He hissed, backing off a few feet.

"No one ever said this was a fair fight," I replied.

Taylor and I battled for the next 15 minutes. I'd lunge, he'd block. He'd lunge, I'd block. He'd take a swipe, I'd dodge. I'd take a swipe, he'd dodge.

I could feel my movements slowing down. I was getting tired. I'd already fought three other people. Taylor was fresh and, other then the kick to his knee cap, was wound free. I, on the other hand, was bruised and bleeding.

Taylor lunged and, this time, I was too slow. His knife slashed across my stomach. Pain sliced through my entire body. I buckled at the waist and was double over. Taylor strode over, a cocky grin on his face. He grabbed my hair and pulled my face up.

"Looks like you lost," he snickered.

"Not quite," I whispered.

I quickly elbowed him in the gut, kneed him in the balls, and sliced my dagger across his chest. I finished him off with a jab to the wind-pipe. Taylor sputtered and choked for a moment. I let go of his shoulder and he smacked into the ground.

I heaved a sigh of relief. I'd made it out alive. I was about to leave when I heard slow clapping behind me.

"That was quite entertaining, Dagger," Resa said. "But, you're not done just yet."

I whirled around and glared at Resa. "Even though you deserve to get your ass kicked, I'm not going to fight you, Resa."

"Aww, the little gentleman to the bitter end," Resa chuckled.

"Fine," I snarled.

I lunged forward and grabbed Resa's throat. I pushed her against the wall and held my dagger against her cheek. I pressed the dagger a little harder and a line of blood ran down her face. Her eyes were as big as dinner plates. She didn't expect me to fight back.

"Listen and listen carefully, Resa," I whispered menacingly. "When everyone else wakes up, you tell them that if they ever come near me again, they won't be given the chance to wake up again. Got it?"

Resa nodded slowly, her nostrils flaring as the knife dug deeper into her cheek. "We weren't going to bother you. It was Sam. If he hadn't come to us, we never would have bothered you."

"Well, don't bother me again," I ordered sharply.

Resa nodded again. I removed my dagger from her face and rushed off to the woods. I grabbed my bike and rushed off towards home.

"Fang, hey Fang!" I heard Max call.

My dream slowly faded out and my vision locked on the black wall of my room. I turned my head to the side and saw Max sitting on the foot of my bed.

"Hey," I croaked and sat up.

I'd been in bed for the past two days. Max was playing nurse. Not that I minded, but it did give her more opportunities to boss me around.

"How are you feeling?" Max asked.

"Better," I muttered.

"That's good. The second you're one hundred percent, I'm kicking your ass," Max informed me.

"I guess I should tell you what the hells going on," I replied.

"Yes, that would be nice."

Again, sorry it took so long and now parents are saying it is time for bed :( I will update tomorrow. Hope you liked it.

50. Chapter 50

SO! It's tomorrow, and I'm updating like I said. I'm so proud of myself…

Anyway I am not going to spend time blabbing. So- on with the story, yes?



PS: still in Fang's point of view.

Fang POV: Chapter 49

"Arms up," Max instructed.

I rolled my eyes. "I'm not a four year old."

"After rushing off like that, you lose all privileges of being treated like a nineteen year old," Max quipped.

She did have a point. I slowly raised my arms, and Max helped me out of my shirt. Slowly, she started to unwind the bandages that she had put around my knife wound. I felt air rush across my stomach as the bandages fell to the side. They were blood stained. Max let out a low hissing noise.

"That does not look good," She muttered.

I looked down and was greeted by a long red, puffy line cutting along my stomach. "No," I agreed. "You think it's infected?"

"One way to find out," Max answered. She grabbed a bottle of alcohol and wetted down a cotton ball with the clear liquid. "This might sting," she warned.

I bit the inside of my cheek and braced myself for the stinging pain that was sure to come. I was determined not to make any noise. After-all, I'm Fang. I don't let people know if I'm in pain.

Max gently started dabbing the cut with the wet cotton ball. I bit down harder on the inside of my cheek until I tasted blood. I thought getting knifed hurt…this was beyond excruciating.

Max swiped the cotton ball over the cut one last time then started putting clean bandages around my torso.

"There, all done," Max said, proudly eyeing her handiwork. "Now, you have some explaining to do."

I sighed. I'd known this was coming. "Okay, but it's a long story."

"We've got time. You're bed ridden, Fang."

"I can walk, actually," I corrected.

"I say you're bed ridden, so you're bed ridden," Max muttered, her tone exasperated but somewhat loving. "Hey! Don't change the subject!"

I smirked. "Yeah, okay." I paused. Where to begin? "So, I never told you this but Jeb isn't my real dad. My real dad is Nicholas James Hayworth the second. I'm the third. He married my mom when they were really young. Apparently, he used to be a good man. At least that's what my mom said. But, about the time the adoption for Nudge was finalized, my real dad started to drink. Heavily. He'd come home drunk. He used to beat my mom up. I was still really little so I really couldn't do anything.

After I turned ten, I decided I'd had enough of watching from the sidelines. I'd grown pretty fast, and I was almost as tall as my dad. He was only about 5'9". Anyway, I would step in and try to protect my mom. It didn't really work. I was too weak, so I'd just end up getting my ass kicked.

When I started eighth grade, my mom met Jeb. Jeb's dog Total was having problems, and Jeb went to my mom's vet office for help. They fell in love but my mom was still married. It was probably October of my eighth grade year when my mom found out she was pregnant for Angel. She decided she didn't want another child to grow up with an abusive father.

When I started high school, my mom was just starting to talk to the police about the abuse. That's when I met up with Colt and his group. I didn't want to join but Ari was threatening…stuff about Nudge. Anyway, I was really angry. I was pissed that my mom didn't think i was a good enough reason to go to the police but an unborn baby was. So, I joined up with the band. Well, it was a gang really. At fist, I didn't really want to participate in the band but then my dad got thrown in jail. Shortly after, my grandpa, my dad's dad, died. He left all his money to me. He had disinherited my dad.

I guess I just went out of control. My mom didn't notice because she was too busy dealing with raising Angel, arranging the funeral for my grandpa, and preparing for her wedding with Jeb. I went completely insane. I'd tell myself I was doing it to protect Nudge, but I really just liked the rush. I had gone so numb that I really didn't feel much. But, when I'd beat the shit out of people, I'd get this rush. I don't know…it almost felt like happiness.

Anyway, I got the dagger from my friends, and I started really hurting people. I mean, I put one kid a coma for about three months. So, it was about halfway through my junior year and some kid looked at me the wrong way. I mean, that's how insane I was. People would look at me weird, and I'd beat them up. I dragged the kid out behind the school. Angel was about three and a half, almost four. Mom and her were coming to pick me up. When I was at home with Angel, I was almost normal. She had never seen me angry. Anyway, I don't know how she got behind the school, but she did. I was just breaking the kid's nose when I heard her scream. I dropped the kid and whipped around. Angel was standing there. Shaking. Crying. I took a step towards her, and she screamed. She was afraid of me. Of me. Something in me broke. I had a revelation. I realized what I had been doing.

After that, I guess I sunk into a sort of depression. I was really tough on myself. I was still with the band…but I was more a shell than a person. Anyway, I tried to get some feeling back. But, the only way that was possible was for me to be in physical pain. I thought if I used the dagger on myself, I would atone."

Max gasped and gripped my hand. I squeezed her hand. This was the most talking I've probably ever done. But I was okay with it. I was talking to Max after all.

"So, then that whole thing with Ari and Nudge happened, so I quit the band…"

"And they agreed with you," Max interjected. "They thought what Ari did was out of line. Gazzy and Iggy told me."

I nodded. "Yeah, so I thought we were done. And they would have left me alone if-"

"Look, Fang," Max said in a rushed voice. "I get why you did it. Trust me, I'm not allowed to judge. I've done some horrible things in the past. I-"

"I know, Max," I interrupted. "You told me. You don't have to tell me again to make me feel better."

Max's eyes bugged. "But, Fang, you don't-"

"Really," I said squeezing her hand. "It's fine."

"No, Fang, it's not fine," Max insisted.

"Max, compared to the things I did, you're a saint," I chuckled.

Max's eyes seemed to shut down. She looked down at out hands. I rested my chin on the top of her head. It was sweet that she wanted me to feel better about my past by re-telling hers. But, honestly, all she did was party. She didn't do anything that horrible. Compared to what I did, she really is a saint. I know she blames herself for her parents' death but it isn't her fault. I actually physically hurt people.

I thought about asking Max why Sam would want her, but then I just figured it was Sam being his pervert self.

"Hey, Max," I whispered.

Max moved her head from under my chin and looked up at me. "Yeah?"

"Colt said something the other day that got me thinking," I muttered as I brushed a strand of hair out of her face.

"What?" She asked.

"He asked me if I'd ever shown you my scar. I've never really showed anyone," I replied softly. "Can I show you?"

Max nodded. "If you really want to."

I flicked my shirt off and turned around so Max could see my back. I heard take a big intake of breath. No one had seen my scar before. I only swim here at home, so no one else has ever really seen it. And when I swim at home, I usually keep my back close to the water.

"Fang," Max whispered. "Did you write that?"

"Yeah," I muttered.

The scar was the side of back.


I stared in shock at Fang's back…well more his side really. In messy uneven letters the word worthless was scrawled across his ribs.

I ran my hand over the letters as if I could heal them just by my touch. I felt Fang's body tense underneath me. He'd been through a lot. Now my problems seemed so much more trivial.

I couldn't think of anything to say. I had nothing to say. I was out of words.

"So, you hate me yet?" Fang joked, but under his words I could tell he was serious.

I shook my head. "No, I could never hate you. I love you too much."

Fang smiled. "Glad to hear it."

His face came closer to mine, and his warm lips crashed into mine. My brain shorted out but one thought rested clear in my head: I had come so close to telling him about Sam.

******************* THAT NIGHT****************************************

I sat on my bed and held my head in my hands. I had been so close to telling him about Sam. But, he'd interrupted me. I didn't get a chance to get a word in edge-wise.

That or you didn't try hard enough.

My inner voice piped up.

"Shut up," I hissed. "I tried. He just kept interrupting me."

More like you let him interrupt you. He bore his soul to you, but you're still too scared to tell him everything.

"Maybe it was a sign. A sign that he isn't meant to know everything," I suggested.

A sign my ass.

"Yeah, you're right."

Sorry that took so long. Busy day…but I got it up today! So yay! (?)

Review. Hope you liked it!

51. Chapter 51

OK! Really sorry for not updating for a while. My guitar got new strings, so I've been playing a lot and learning new songs.

Anyway, on with the story. Don't need to keep you waiting anymore.



Max POV: Chapter 50

"Fang, I used to steal for a living, and Sam was my partner." I paced back and forth in my room. "No…that's not right."

"Fang, I know I should have told you sooner…No, Max, if you start it like that he might think you're pregnant. You can't do that."

I paced back and forth. "Maybe I should just fall to the floor and grovel….yeah, that might work."

I sighed and threw one of the pillows from my bed across the room. "This isn't going to go very well."

That's what you get for procrastinating. My inner voice chided.

"I don't need input from the peanut gallery," I hissed. "Honestly, I'm having a conversation with myself. What is this bull shit!"

I sighed and squared my shoulders. "You got this, Max. He poured his heart out to you. He'll understand. You got this."

I opened the door to my room and started jogging up the stairs to Fang's room. I reached his door and knocked to let him know I was coming in.

To my surprise, Fang swung the door open. "Hey, Max." He greeted.

"You're supposed to be in bed," I said, frowning.

"But I feel great!" Fang countered. He was in a pair of athletic shorts. That was it. The white bandages on his torso gleamed against his olive toned skin. "I've been in bed for the past four days. I need to get out and move."

Fang dropped to the ground and started doing push ups. The muscles in his arms bulged, and his back muscles rippled. I just stood there like a total pervert and checked Fang out while he did his push ups.

"Like the view?" Fang asked, smirking as he finished up with the push ups.

"It's not bad," I replied. "The buttocks could use some work though."

Fang chuckled and stood back up. "Let's do something today."

"But, I have to talk to you," I said urgently. I wasn't going to back down this time.

"How about we pick a destination, and you can tell me when we get there," Fang suggested.

"But…" I started then looked into Fang's fathomless black eyes. "Okay…" God, I am such a sucker for a pair of pretty eyes.

"Awesome, wanna go to the beach? It's about a two hour drive."

I nodded. "What about Angel?"

"Angel and my parents are spending the day at the zoo, and Nudge has a date with Gazzy later today," Fang replied.

"Maybe we shouldn't go too far from the house, then," I suggested. "We should probably come home early so we can feed the horses."

"Good point. Let's go down to the river then. It's only about a twenty minute drive."

I nodded. "Should we pack a picnic?"

"Yeah, and the guitars," Fang said grinning.

"We'll look like some creepy cult singing and playing guitars on the river bank," I laughed.

Fang shrugged. "We can work on some acoustic numbers. We don't have enough of those in our repertoire."

"Okay," I replied. "I'll start packing the picnic if you get the music and the guitars."

Fang shook his head. "I want to live after today, so I'll pack the food, and you can get the guitars."

"I may not be a good cook, but I am perfectly capable of making a sandwich," I protested cocking a hand on my hip.

Fang smirked and shook his head. He took my hand and started walking me to the music room. "You pack the guitars."

I started putting the two acoustic guitars in their cases while muttering under my breath about kicking Fang's ass later. Fang left for the kitchen chuckling to himself at my expense.

I smiled to myself after Fang was gone. I was glad to see he was upbeat. I figured after what happened at Colt's house, Fang might be a little down in the dumps, but he wasn't like that. Fang is a lot stronger than I give him credit for. He's a lot stronger than I am. I can't even tell him the one detail of my past that might affect our future.

"Max, you ready?" Fang asked, poking his head into the music room, snapping me out of my inner thoughts.

"Yep," I replied, grabbing the two guitars and our binder of songs. "All set. Let's go."

"Great," Fang muttered giving me a quick kiss. "I left a note for Nudge on the fridge that we went to the river. She's still asleep."

"I hope she wakes up in time for her sate with Gazzy," I said absently, while secretly wishing Fang had let that kiss last longer.

"She'd never miss a date with Gazzy. I'm sure her alarm clock is set," Fang reassured me. From the look on his face he wants that kiss to last a little longer too.

"Should we go?"

"Yeah, let's get going," Fang replied taking one of the guitars from me.

"I can carry it. It's not too heavy."

Fang shrugged and started walking for the car. Die hard gentleman.

I followed Fang out to the car. We piled the guitars, the music binder, and the picnic basket in the trunk. Fang opened my door me, and I slid in. Fang hopped into the drivers' seat and put the top of his flashy black convertible down. Fang revved the engine, and we sped out of the driveway.

Fang took his right hand off the steering wheel and slipped his hand into mine. I smiled. Then I remembered what I was supposed to telling Fang.

"Fang, I still need to talk to you," I reminded him.

Fang nodded. "Wait until we get to the river."

I sighed. "Fine."

"Is it important?" Fang asked.

"Yes, kinda," I answered.

"Then I'd rather be sitting down facing you than driving," Fang reasoned.

"Alright," I muttered.

I leaned my seat back with my free hand and closed my eyes. What were a few more minutes of not telling?

"Max," Fang murmured. "We're here."

I popped my eyes open and was greeted by Fang's warm, light up my world smile. "Did I doze off?"

"Think so," He said quietly.

He leaned closer, and his lips linked with mine. I half sat up so I could reach Fang better. My hands got tangled in his hair while one of his hands slipped behind my neck and the other rested on my upper thigh. My brain shorted out and there was only one thing in my world: Fang.

My lungs started burning. I need oxygen. I really needed oxygen, but I didn't want to let go. Finally, I pulled back and gasped for breath. Fang was breathing pretty hard himself. My cheeks felt hot. Fang and I hadn't kissed like that in a while.

Fang cleared his throat. "Shall we go?"

I nodded. I was completely brain dead. Words were no longer attainable. Fang smirked and my stomach jumped. We were still totally in love even though we'd been going out for such a long time. I would never get complacent in my relationship with Fang. He still kept my heart pounding every time he looked at me.

Fang pulled a blanket out of the picnic basket and set it out on the sand. I sat down in the middle of the blanket and waited as Fang took the guitars out of their cases.

Fang sat down next to me with one of the guitars in his lap. "So, what did you need to tell me?"

"Fang, it's about-" I started but was cut off by Fang's cell phone ringing.

Fang frowned. "Sorry." He looked down at his phone and answered it. "Hello?"

Fang's frown deepened. "She can't still be asleep."

Fang waited. "She's not answering her phone?"

Fang waited again. "No, I'll go check on her," Fang muttered frowning some more. He clicked his phone shut.

"What's up?" I asked.

"That was Gazzy," Fang replied. "Nudge hasn't shown up yet for their date, and she's not answering her phone."

"That's weird," I mumbled. "I know she's a heavy sleeper but…"

"Yeah," Fang said nodding. "I'm going to go check on her."

"I'll come with you."

"No, it's fine. I'm sure it's nothing. I'll be back before you know it," Fang replied standing up. "You can work on a few of the acoustic numbers while you wait."

"You sure?" I asked. Something in my gut told me what was going on with Nudge was not 'nothing.'

"Yeah," Fang swooped down and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "Be back soon." Fang whispered in my ear. "Love you."

"Love you, too," I murmured. I was never going to get to tell him.

Fang jogged back to the car and sped off towards home. I flopped down on the blanket and looked up at the sky.

"You're doing this just to spite me, aren't you?" I said to no one in particular. Maybe I was talking to God? Forces of the Universe? I don't know, but somebody was having a great laugh at my misfortunes.

* * * * * one hour later* * * * *

I checked my phone again. Fang hadn't called. Not once. He'd been gone a really long time, and I was starting to worry.

I hit the number two speed dial and pushed the send button. The phone rang six times and then went into voice mail.

"Hey, you've reached Fang's phone. Leave a message, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can," Fang's voice intoned over the phone.

I hung up and threw my phone to the side. I flopped back down on the blanket and covered my face with my hands.

"What the hell is going on?" I muttered.

Just then, my phone started buzzing. I jolted upright and grabbed my phone. I looked at the caller ID. It was Fang.

I quickly hit the send button. "Hello?"

"Iggy is coming to pick you up. I'm at the hospital with Nudge." Fang's voice sounded dead over the phone.

"What! Why! What's going on!" I demanded. Fang didn't answer. The receiver on the other line clicked. Fang had hung up.

Ok…so you hate me for the cliffy. Well, you're going to hate me even more. I won't be updating until next Saturday. I'm leaving for camp tomorrow and won't have internet access. I'm going to be a camp counselor. But, I'll be home this weekend, and I promise to update then.

Review? (please don't hate me for the cliffy and everything.)


52. Chapter 52

Umm….. all I have to say is that I'm really sorry it took so long. I kind of hit writers block. I mean… I knew what I wanted to write but I had no desire to write. I was totally apathetic. I'm sorry. I won't make you guys wait any longer


Max POV: Chapter 51

I awkwardly slid into Iggy's car after sticking the picnic blanket, food, and guitars in the trunk. For the first ten minutes of the car ride, Iggy and I sat in uncomfortable silence. Finally, I couldn't take it any longer.

"Do you know what's going on?" I demanded.

Iggy shook his head. "Fang called Gazzy saying something about Nudge being the hospital. Gazzy rushed over there, so Fang asked me to pick you up."

"Did he sound angry?" I pressed.

"He sounded dead," Iggy muttered.

My heart broke and my stomach dropped. Fang really cares about his family. If Nudge is hurt, Fang is basically just as hurt. I almost asked Iggy what he thinks happened to Nudge but something stopped me.

I already knew the answer.

I burst through the hospital doors and nearly crashed into the front desk. I managed to stop myself before permanent damage could be done. My hands slammed onto the desk and the receptionist looked up, completely startled.

"Nudge Martinez. Which room!"

The receptionist took a deep breath. "I'm sorry young lady but only family may visit at this point."

"I am family," I said quickly.

"Oh, really? What's your relationship?" The receptionist asked, her voice snarky.

"Sister-in-law," I lied.

"You're her brother's wife," She said slowly. "Aren't you a little young."

"That's none of your damn business," I snapped. "Room number, please."

"Fine. Room 172," the receptionist snipped.

I didn't bother to say 'thank you.' I just turned and ran down the hall that was labeled rooms 100-200.

I was sprinting past the rooms and almost flew past room 172. I screeched to a halt outside the room. I peeked through the window and my breath caught. It looked pretty bad. Nudge was all bruised and cut up. She looked like she had been run over by a semi-truck.

Gazzy was crumpled in a chair next to Nudge, clutching her hand. Fang was leaning against the wall. His arms were crossed, and his eyes were closed. He looked like he was thinking about something. Every now and then his forehead would crease as if he was coming to a conclusion he didn't like.

I lightly tapped on the window. Fang's eyes snapped open, and our gazes locked. The second Fang saw me, his eyes narrowed, his eyebrows came down, and his frown deepened. My stomach dropped. It was as I feared. My gut was right. This was all my fault.

Fang pushed himself off the wall and stalked over to the door. He opened the door and snapped it shut behind him.

"Max," He ground out, his voice steely and quiet. He was really angry.

"Fang… what happened?" I asked… even though I didn't need to.

"Why don't you tell me," Fang hissed.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, getting defensive.

"You and Sam seem to know all about the business of hurting people and ruining their lives," Fang replied, his voice as silent as the grave.

I took a step back as though Fang had physically hit me. His words stung. "What?" I yelled.

"A thief, Max? A thief? Really?" Fang answered, his voice slowly rising with each word. "You couldn't just tell me! Nudge was married to him for God's sake!"

"You said we could forget about the past!" I accused.

"Yeah, if the past wasn't affecting the present!" Fang roared.

"What about you? You never told me about the gang you were in, and they came back to bite you in the ass!"

"Because Sam asked them to!" Fang shot back.


"That's right. Sam wanted me out of the way, so he called my old gang back to 'take care of me.' How could you let him do all this for money?" Fang asked, his voice getting quiet again. His eyes had lost their spark and depth.

"I…I was going to tell you. Today actually," I muttered, shifting from foot to foot.

"But, you didn't try hard enough, did you?" Fang accused, his voice like ice again.

"Well, maybe you should ask me first before you go and take Sam's word as law!" I yelled, angry that Fang would immediately believe Sam.

"Then why don't you tell me!" Fang shouted.

"Fine!" I yelled.

"No… you know what? I don't want to know. I don't care," Fang hissed. "You lost your chance to explain your side. How could you keep this from me!"

"Because I knew you'd have this reaction!" I fired back.

"This reaction! What do you expect me to act like after my sister got the living day lights beat out of her because some jack-ass wanted our money!" Fang whisper shouted. Gazzy had lifted his head and was looking in out direction.

"I…I was afraid," I murmured.

"Don't give me that shit!" Fang yelled, punching the wall. "This isn't always about you! Don't give me the "I'm a damaged child who has trouble trusting people" act! I know all about that and yet I opened my heart to you! You saw Nudge was married to him! You knew the danger! You knew he wanted to rob the house! Are you so concerned with your own feelings and well-being that it doesn't matter if other people get hurt!"

I took another step back. "Fang… I'm sorry." Tears started to well up in my eyes.

"Save it!" Fang hissed. "I don't want your apology. I don't even want to see you."

I sucked in a deep breath. I reverted to anger instead of sadness. It's much less painful. "Well, that's gonna be kinda hard since we live next door to each other," I replied, my words dripping venom. The tears were gone from my eyes.

"Well, maybe you should live somewhere else next year," Fang suggested.

"Idiot! We go to the same college! You're going to see me no matter what!" I yelled. This time I took a step towards Fang.

"Then maybe you should take your French teacher up on her offer and go to France this coming year," Fang suggested. His voice was a mix of steel and shattering ice.

"You…you want me to go to France?" I asked, my world crumbling before me.

"Yeah. I think it would be best if we didn't see each other for a long time," Fang whispered. He almost sounded like he regretted speaking those words. Almost.

"Well, fine then Nicholas. This is the last time you'll ever have to see me,"

I said, my voice hushed and laced with oncoming tears.

I turned and ran down the hall towards the parking lot.

I moved as if 100 pound weights were attached to all my limbs. Iggy had driven me to Fang's house, and I was packing up. Slowly and robotically I folded my clothes and put them in my duffle bag.

I hauled my duffle bag to the car and put everything in the trunk. Iggy stayed in the drivers' seat with a shocked expression plastered to his face. I turned and looked at the stately home on last time. Rondie galloped up to the edge of the pasture and let out a loud, mournful whinny. It's like she knew I was leaving for good.

I quickly turned away and hopped in Iggy's car. "Drive me any hotel. I don't care where it is." My voice was quiet and broken.

I focused on the moving trees outside the window and tried not to think about what Fang had said. It was over between the two of us. I had lost his trust. I had ruined everything because of my stupid pride and fear.

The car stopped suddenly. "Here's a hotel," Iggy's voice informed me.

I looked up. It was the same hotel I stayed in the first time I separated from Fang. I let out a humorless bark of laughter.

"Thanks Iggy," I muttered. I climbed out and gathered my bags.

"Be seeing you?"

"Maybe, Ig…maybe," I whispered. Tears finally streaked down my cheeks.

Sorry it's short but my parents are making me go to bed, and I just feel bad not giving you guys a chapter for so long! Also, next chapter is gonna be Fang's POV about what happened at his house with Sam.


53. Chapter 53

Hokay! (yes I meant to put that 'H' there)… here we go.. um…so just a heads up, this little situation won't be solved quickly…so stick with me here!


Max POV: Chapter 52

"How long can I stay?" I asked the receptionist at the hotel.

I brought my credit card out of my back pocket and slid it on the counter. From all the odd jobs I'd done over the school year and working at Dr. M's vet clinic, I had enough money to pay for a couple weeks at a hotel.

Thinking of Dr. M sent stabs of pain down my back and an ache started to form in my heart. Thinking of Dr. M made me think of Fang. Thinking of Fang made me feel like someone had punched a whole in my chest. I took a step back from the desk. I couldn't breath. Why was this happening?

"Are you alright?" The receptionist said in a bored tone.

I straightened and forced myself to smile. "I'm just fine. How long can I stay?"

"What do you mean, miss?"

"How long does the hotel let me stay before it kicks me out?" I clarified.

"You can stay as long as you want. You just have to pay," She answered.

"Perfect," I shoved the credit card at her. "I want two weeks."

"Oh, ok," She muttered grabbing the card. She typed on her keyboard and swiped my card. She grabbed a key from the desk drawer and handed me the key and my card. "Done."

"Thanks," I mumbled.

I took the elevator up to the fourth floor. I held everything in. I had to keep composed. I couldn't think about it. If I did I would explode. I don't want to think about him. I don't want to feel that pain in my chest.

I opened up room 417 and walked in. A queen sized bed and a large TV greeted me. I threw my luggage down on the ground and whipped out my cell phone. I scrolled down my contacts list and selected my French teacher's number.

"Hello?" A voice asked after the third ring.

"Hello… Madame Popkin?" I replied.


"This is Max. Max Ride. I'm calling because I've reconsidered your offer about going to France."

Fang POV:

I burst through the front door of my house. When I arrived, it was slightly open. Nudge would never do that. And Max and I closed the door. I was sure of it.

I entered the foyer and didn't see that anything was wrong. I walked into the kitchen. There was no need to freak out and overreact. I didn't want to scare Nudge.

I was about to walk upstairs to see if Nudge had actually slept through her alarm clock when I heard something shatter in the family room downstairs.

"Where the hell is it! You better tell me, you bitch!" I heard an all too familiar voice yell.

"I'm not telling!" Nudge shouted back. "You can go to hell!"

I heard a heavy thump and Nudge's muffled cry.

"Shit!" I hissed.

I ran through the kitchen and into the family room. One of our vases was broken to pieces next to Nudge's bloody shoulder. Little specks of blood could be seen in the shards of the vase. Sam was looming over Nudge, his fist pulling back from her face. A large red mark was visible on Nudge's cheek.

"Just tell me where it is!" Sam screamed.

He pulled his fist back, ready to punch. I leapt forward and grabbed his wrist. He turned his face to look at me in surprise. I used my other hand to quickly punch him in the gut. While he was stunned I ran to Nudge and moved her out of the way.

"I'm fine," She muttered and slapped my hand away. "What are you doing here?"

"Gazzy was worried," I replied.

Nudge rolled her eyes. "That boy."

"You really shouldn't be this chipper after being beat up," I advised.

"I'm a strong girl," Nudge said defensively.

"Enough of your damn sibling bickering!" Sam hissed, straightening.

I stepped in front of Nudge. "What are you doing here?" I demanded. My voice cold and hard.

"Shouldn't you just ask Max that?" Sam said smirking.

"What?" I asked, my guard slipping slightly. What did Max have to do with Sam?

Sam laughed. "So she never told you?" Sam did a little bow. "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Max's old boyfriend in crime."

My body stiffened. Boyfriend?

Sam snorted. "So she never told you? We go way back, her and I. I think she was in eight grade… or just graduated eight grade."

"I don't want to hear it," I hissed.

"Oh but I think you do," Sam corrected. "You see, Max… well, let's just say she was a rebel without a cause. She needed someone, and I happened to walk by at just the right time."

"Shut up."

"Max and I formed a little partnership. She was so cute and trustworthy that anyone would let her in to their house so she could tell them about the latest product, or ask them about whom they were voting for, or sell them a magazine subscription."

"Stop talking," I ordered.

"So she'd stake the house out for me, like a good little girl. And then we'd go ahead and wait for the people to leave their house, and we'd slip in and take what we needed. Only what we need of course."

I wanted Sam to stop, but I also wanted to know. I had to know. "Stop it. I said I don't want to hear it."

"I know you want to hear it Fang. You've been wondering why she left you at Christmas time, right?"

My curiosity spiked. I chose to say nothing.

"I thought so," Sam said grinning. "Well, you see after a good run of stealing, Max came to the conclusion that it was wrong and wanted out. Even though she wanted her half of the money…funny how that works. Anyway we parted on bad blood, and she tried to get me arrested. So, I went off the radar and moved here."

"This is stupid. I don't want to hear anymore."

"And when I moved here, who should I meet but Nudge. Beautiful and rich. My kind of girl. Anyway, as I was staking out your house for the money and priceless objects, who should show up but Max?"

"Stop right now!"

"And to her surprise guess who wasn't in jail like she'd hoped! Well, having her here was too much of a problem, so I had to get Nudge to divorce me. I figured I could just blackmail Max into telling me where your money is. But, she'd seemed too in love with you for that, I knew she loved you enough to leave you. So, I had her steal this tape for me. I hadn't gotten cocky and there was footage of me stealing something from a museum. So this was the bargain: She steals this and breaks up with you, and I'd leave your house and not steal your money. I figured she'd hold up her end, but I wasn't planning on holding up mine."

"Shut up! I don't need to know anymore."

"But I'm on a roll!" Sam insisted, a cocky grin plastered to his face. "Anyway, but then you had to be all heroic and go after her. So that was a problem. She could still give you a heads up if she came back. And then you would be a problem, Fang. You seem like you have quite the temper and could probably own me in a fight. Moving on, so she came back, but she still hadn't told you. I guess she had some loyalties built up for me still."

"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" I yelled. "I don't want to hear it! There's no way she's loyal to you!"

Why would Max do this? Why didn't she tell me? How could she feel loyal to this guy?

"Oh, but she is."

"No, she isn't!" Nudge cut in. "There's no way! She loves Fang. Not some creep like you!"

"Shut up, you stupid whore!" Sam yelled. He picked up the other vase that was on the table next to him.

He chucked it hard. It was coming straight for my chest.

"Fang!" Nudge yelled.

She grabbed my shirt and pulled me back, placing her body in front of mine. The vase smashed into her head. By her temple. Nudge didn't make a sound. She just crumpled to the floor.

"Nudge!" I screamed.

"Oh, that's unfortunate," Sam commented. "You know, all this could have been prevented if Max had just trusted you enough to tell you everything at the beginning. Funny how that works, huh?"

"Shut the fuck up!"

I ran at Sam. I wasn't even thinking. I was just doing. I was reacting to the spinning in my brain and the pumping in my veins. I had to do something. He hurt Nudge. He was slandering Max. I had to do something.

I collided with Sam and sent him flying through the air. Sam's face was one of complete shock. He soared away from me and smacked into the brick fireplace. His temple smashed onto the red rock, turning it even redder. He slumped down, his neck twisted at an awkward angle and all the light was gone from his eyes.

Had I killed him? I had killed him.

I walked like a zombie over to the kitchen phone and dialed 911.

I sat in the back of ambulance holding Nudge's hand as we rode to the hospital. Sam's words replayed in my mind like a bad song.

"Oh, that's unfortunate," Sam commented. "You know, all this could have been prevented if Max had just trusted you enough to tell you everything at the beginning. Funny how that works, huh?"

"You know, all this could have been prevented if Max had just trusted you enough to tell you everything at the beginning. Funny how that works, huh?"

"If Max had just trusted you enough to tell you everything at the beginning. Funny how that works, huh?"

"If Max had just trusted you enough."

"All this could have been prevented."

I slammed my first into my leg. Why hadn't she told me!

"I'm so happy that you've reconsidered!" My French teacher squealed. Like literally squealed.

"Um…yeah. So am I," I muttered.

"Nothing is wrong with you and Fang?" Madame asked. "I know last time we talked you said you didn't want to be away from Fang for so long."

All the air left my body and it took all the strength I had to keep myself standing. "No," I lied. "Nothing is wrong. He just realized what an amazing opportunity this is for me. We're going to Skype and Facebook every night."

"Oh, that's so sweet of him!" My French teacher said happily. "So, come to my office at the school tomorrow, and we can get your ticket and everything ready."

"Okay. Thank you, Madame. Bye."

"Bye, Max."

I sank down on my bed and looked down at my phone. I went to my contacts list again and scrolled down until I got to Fang's name. I stared and stared at his name. I moved my thumb and hit the delete button.

I chucked the phone across my room feeling completely empty. I crawled under my covers and huddled in bed. I shoved my face into my pillow and screamed, tears rolling down my cheeks. The whole in my chest throbbed and got bigger.

"WHY DID HE DO THIS TO ME!" I shrieked.

The water rolled down my cheeks like my body was intent on drowning me in my own salty tears. My body was shaking I was crying so hard. Finally, I ran out of tears, and I was just sucking the air in. I gasped and screamed and coughed.

The pain in my chest spread through my whole body. Fang had been my world. My world had been turned against me. My world was gone. I had nothing left to live for. What was point in life? I don't recall ever having one. All I've done in my life is hurt people. Was that my purpose in life? Hurting people. That wasn't a life worth living.

I stood in the airport. I was leaving for France today. No one was in the airport with me. No one was here to say good bye. No one cared I was leaving. No one wanted to see me off. Someone like me isn't worth the trouble anyway. I mean, who wants to be with a person who can only hurt others.

He was the dick! He didn't even hear out your side of the story!

My inner self yelled. I didn't even have the energy to fight back. I didn't really care either. I know what I am. No point in fighting.

"Max!" Someone yelled from behind me.

I turned to see Iggy and Ella running up to me. I kept my face as tone mask. I had known he wouldn't come. He wanted nothing to do with me.

"Hi!" I called, forcing myself to look happy. "Thanks for coming to day goodbye!"

"You can't leave!" Ella cried.

"But this is a great opportunity!" I reasoned, a fake smile still plastered to my face.

"Look, Max," Iggy said grabbing my shoulders, "I don't know what happened with you and Fang, but you can't just run like this. Having and ocean between you won't solve anything."

I knocked Iggy's hands off. "I'm not running," I hissed. "I'm doing what he wanted. I'm leaving. He never has to see me again. Like he wanted."

Iggy took a step back. "Well, you're still my friend, and I'm going to miss you. Can I have a hug?"

I nodded and walked into Iggy's open arms. I gave him a big hug. He's a good friend. "Bye, Ig."

"I'll keep you posted via Skype, okay?" Iggy informed me.

I nodded as Ella barreled into me for a hug. "I'm gonna miss you so, so, so much! Facebook me, okay?"

I nodded again. "Don't get pregnant while I'm gone, Ella. I need to be there at least so I can kick Iggy's ass."

They both laughed and waved as I entered the gate to go through security. The smile slipped off my face the second my back was to them.

Right…so that's all! Hopefully it was long enough for everyone! I'll update tomorrow if I can!


54. Chapter 54

Ok… so half of you hate me and the other half wants to cry… yay?

And…um… why does everyone want Max to get preggers? Not gonna happen….just throwing that out there (so now like all of you are gonna stop reading my fanfic? Haha hope not!)

Ok, so we has a special guest today! My very good friend ostrobogulous… for privacy reasons we are using her pen name :) she and I are hyped up on ice cream… so odd things maaaay happen… huzzah! So this chapter will go between Fang and Max's POV.



Max POV: Chapter 53

I was sitting in the air plane completely dazed. I was on movie number four on my twelve hour flight to Paris. Of course the only movie options were romantic comedies… and action movies with strains of romance. It was like the universe was out to get me.

I watched as When In Rome climaxed to the final scene. Some chick was gonna leave her fiancé. Something about it not being real. Love not being real. The dude was running after her. He wanted her back.

"Don't do it. Don't listen," I found myself whispering. "It's not real. The second things get tough he's gonna bite your head off and send you packing."

The lady next to me turned her head. She was probably in her late forties. "Child, you are way too young to be this bitter."

I took the earphones out and stared back at the woman. I had no clue what to say. Was I honestly that jaded? "I…um…" I abruptly stood up and walked to the bathroom.

I stumbled in as we hit a wave of turbulence. My face smashed into the mirror. Peeling myself off the glass, I looked in.

"Well, don't you look pretty," I commented sarcastically. I was on maybe three hours of sleep. I had dark circles under my eyes and lines of red streaked the whites of my eyes. I splashed water on my face. "Get it together, Max," I ordered myself. I slapped my face a couple times and calmly walked back to my seat. No more movies for me.

Fang POV:

I sat on the piano bench staring at the electric violin Max had given me over Christmas break right before she ran away. Now I know why she left. My hand balled up into a fist as I thought about what Sam said. She was loyal to him. That had to be a lie. It had to be a lie. I couldn't handle it if it wasn't.

I took another sip of the cranberry juice in my hand. The bitter liquid slid down my throat. I looked at the violin again. It was glaring at me from across the room. Mocking me. Suddenly, my temper flared, and I chucked the glass full of juice at the violin. The cup whizzed past the instrument and crashed into the wall. The glass shattered into a million pieces, the red juice staining the white carpet on the floor.

"Shit," I hissed.

I walked over to the glittering glass and started picking up the shards. My hand grazed across a piece of glass that was invisible in the shadows. A dark red line appeared on my hand and blood started dripping down my wrist.

I watched in sick fascination as droplets of blood landed next to the red stain on the carpet. I looked at the deep gash that had formed across my palm. The more I acknowledged its presence, the more it stung.

Strangely, I enjoyed the feeling. While I was focusing on the physical pain, all the shit that was going on with Max seemed to fade into the background and was somewhat more bearable.

Max POV:

I could definitely understand every word my French professor was saying as he showed me around the new dorms. I just didn't care. I was in an all girls dorm this time. The complete opposite of back home. This way I wasn't in danger of falling in love with anyone, though. Lucky me.

The French professor was droning on about the campus and the classes I would take in rapid fire French. I got every word, but I wasn't paying any attention. I really didn't care.

"I think I'm going to go to my room now," I interrupted. In French of course. "I'm very tired after the long flight."

"Oh, alright," The professor replied. He looked somewhat dejected.

I turned around and headed for my dorm room on the second floor. I opened the door and looked at the bland colors that filled the room. My room back home was so much cooler.


"Want help?" Fang offered. "We've got a week before other people come."

I nodded again. "Sure, that'd be nice."

Fang smiled at me. It wasn't a full blown smile, but for a person like him, it seemed like a big effort. I was so startled by the sudden appearance of his pearly whites that I smiled back. Fang was pretty cool. I think I could be okay with getting to know him better.

I pulled the paints I brought with me out of my box. What can I say? I came prepared. I had black and purple paint. My two favorite colors.

I started painting the desk purple with black skulls and roses. I smiled at my handiwork. I turned to see how Fang fared with my dresser. He'd painted the whole thing black. I smirked. He and the dresser matched. They made a lovely pair.

"Why don't you add some color, emo boy?" I teased. For some reason, I felt comfortable teasing Fang. In fact, I felt comfortable with Fang, period. He was easy to be with.

In my comfort, I made one of snap decisions. I dipped my brush in fresh purple paint and, just as Fang was turning around to retort, I flicked it at him. Unicorn purple paint splattered across Fang's face and his black-clad chest. I giggled maniacally. Fang looked shocked. Then his face went back to impassive stone. Except his eyes. Oh shit. His eyes flashed evilly and a ghost of a grin flitted across his face. Calmly, he dipped his brush in the black paint. He stood and quietly walked over to me.

"Fang…Fang…really…you don't need to-" I stopped short as black paint dripped from the top of my head, down my face, and onto my neck. "This is WAR!" I yelled as I launched myself at Fang with paint-filled hands.

Fang and I battled for over an hour. Fang dealt the final blow. I was bending over to refill my brush when Fang hip bumped me. I went flying forward and face-planted in my bucket of purple paint. I stood up wiping the paint from my eyes. Then I heard I deep rumbling noise behind me. It was Fang. He was laughing. I couldn't help it; I started laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. We were both covered in paint, clutching our sides, and laughing.

End Flashback

I rubbed my eyes and stumbled over to my bed. Why did I have to think of that? The hole in my chest grew and throbbed in pain. I curled up in my bed next to my unpacked suitcase.

Just as I was about to break down in tears, there was a knock at my door. I groaned and hoisted myself out of the bed. I slowly walked over to the door. Composing my face, I opened the door.

"Oui?" I asked.

"Bonjour! Welcome to France!" Some random lady said from the other side of the door. Obviously, in French.

"Um…Merci," I replied. I didn't feel like dealing with people right now.

She looked somewhat puzzled at my reaction. I'm sure all the other American students were super chipper. She held out a bottle of champagne for me.

"I hope you enjoy your time here," she muttered, looking more and more uncomfortable. It's probably because I was glaring at her.

I took the bottle from her. "Merci," I said again. Wasn't really in the mood for talking. I gave a half-hearted smile and closed the door.

I sat back down on my bed with the bottle of alcohol in my hands. I hadn't had something to drink since my partying days with Anna. I had sworn I wouldn't drink again. Considering the circumstances, I think having a drink won't really matter.

I popped the cork and relished in the loud sound of gun fire as the cork flew across the room. A small wisp of vapor curled up from the mouth of the bottle. I waved my hand over the bottle and brought it to my lips. In one swift motion I tipped the bottle back. The ice cold liquid slid down my throat and bubbles danced in my mouth. After three large gulps of alcohol, I could already feel the familiar buzz humming through my brain.

Fang POV:

I sat on the rock by the pond in the willow tree grove. I was staring up at the millions of twinkling stars. I had my sketch book in hand but didn't feel like drawing anything. I flipped through the pages until I came to the drawing of Max I'd done at the beginning of freshman year.

I looked down at her beautiful face and remembered when Max had seen this picture. I remember her being really surprised by how pretty she looked. I remember saying that was the way she always looked. We kissed right after that. Our first kiss. And then she ran. I probably should have paid more attention to that real life foreshadowing.

I traced the picture with my finger.

Sam snorted. "So she never told you? We go way back, her and I. I think she was in eight grade… or just graduated eight grade."

I wanted Sam to stop, but I also wanted to know. I had to know. "Stop it. I said I don't want to hear it."

"I know you want to hear it Fang. You've been wondering why she left you at Christmas time, right?"

"Shut up! I don't need to know anymore."

"But I'm on a roll!" Sam insisted, a cocky grin plastered to his face. "Anyway, but then you had to be all heroic and go after her. So that was a problem. She could still give you a heads up if she came back. And then you would be a problem, Fang. You seem like you have quite the temper and could probably own me in a fight. Moving on, so she came back, but she still hadn't told you. I guess she had some loyalties built up for me still."

"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" I yelled. "I don't want to hear it! There's no way she's loyal to you!"

"Oh, but she is."

In a surge of anger I ripped the picture from the sketch book and chucked it into the pond.

Max POV:

The first week in France passed in a haze of rapid French words and alcohol. I went to all my classes but never really paid attention. I didn't bother with homework. I never went out. I'd just go back to my room and drink whatever booze I could get my hands on.

It was my eighth night in France. I hadn't started my drinking ritual just yet. I had promised Iggy we'd talk on Skype tonight. He didn't need to see me drunk.

I flicked on my laptop and clicked on the Skype icon in the corner of my desktop. The screen lit up and the webcam started flashing. I checked to make sure Iggy was online, then I hit the call button.

After the second ring, Iggy's face appeared on the screen.

"Hey, Max!" He said chipperly.

"Hey, Ig," I replied somewhat happily. It was nice to see a familiar face.

"How are things in France?"

"That's a good question. I'd tell you if I knew."


"How are things back home?"

"Uh…okay. Everyone's pretty down in the dumps since you left. Especially F-"

"I don't want to hear it," I cut in.

"Oh…um… our band had a gig this week."

"Awesome. How did that go?"

"Pretty well. Want me to send you the link to the video?"


Iggy used the chat part of Skype to send me the link to a youtube video of our band's latest gig.

"Got it?" Iggy asked.

"Yep," I answered, clicking on the link.

Fang and the rest of the band popped up and the ache in my chest intensified. I was going to need a drink if I wanted to get through this.

"So, this is a song very near and dear to my heart," Fang informed the audience. My breath caught at the sound of his voice. Last time I heard it, it was angry and harsh. Now it sounded like it usually did…only something was missing.

From the keyboard, Iggy gave Fang an odd look but started playing the intro with the rest of the band.

Top down in the summer sun
The day we met was like a hit and run
And I still taste it on my tongue
(Taste it on my tongue)

The sky was burning up like fireworks
You made me want you, oh, so bad it hurt
But girl, in case you haven't heard

I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover
I love you forever, forever is over
We used to kiss all night, now it's just a bar fight
So don't call me crying, say hello then goodbye
(Oh yeah!)

There's just one thing would make me say
(Oh yeah!)
I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover
I love you forever, but now it's over
(Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey)

Hot sweat and blurry eyes
We're spinning on a roller coaster ride
The world stuck in black and white
(Stuck in black and white)

You drove me crazy every time we touched
Now I'm so broken that I can't get up
Oh girl, you make me such a lush

I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover
I love you forever, forever is over
We used to kiss all night, now it's just a bar fight
So don't call me crying, say hello then goodbye
(Oh yeah!)

There's just one thing would make me say
(Oh yeah!)
I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover
I love you forever, but now it's over

All the time I wasted on you
All the bullshit you put me through
I'm checking into rehab 'cause everything that we had
Didn't mean a thing to you

I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover
I love you forever, but now I'm sober

I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover
I love you forever, forever is over
We used to kiss all night, now it's just a bar fight
So don't call me crying, say hello then goodbye
(Oh yeah!)

There's just one thing would make me say
(Oh yeah!)
I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover
I love you forever, but now it's over

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Now it's over, I still taste it on my tongue
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na
Now it's over

OK! So that's it for a week…yep…sorry everyone. My family and I are leaving on a week long vacation, and I will not have computer access. Sadness.


55. Chapter 55

Right… so, I'm sure all hate me and are like "WTF! Why isn't she updating? Why is she leaving us hanging like this?"

Honestly, all I can is that I got super busy, and I didn't have time to write. Sadness, I know. I went into writing withdrawal. Here's what happened: I went on vacation, no computers. I come home and my dad decided to remodel is office…no computers for another 2 and a half weeks… plus not to mention school started. So that's basically why I haven't been writing. You guys have no idea how badly I've wanted to write this bloody chapter!

Ok….enough babbling! More story!



Since it's been a while: previously on Dorm Ride (heehee how corny is that?)

Max POV:

"Don't do it. Don't listen," I found myself whispering. "It's not real. The second things get tough he's gonna bite your head off and send you packing."

The lady next to me turned her head. She was probably in her late forties. "Child, you are way too young to be this bitter."

I took the earphones out and stared back at the woman. I had no clue what to say. Was I honestly that jaded? "I…um…" I abruptly stood up and walked to the bathroom.

I stumbled in as we hit a wave of turbulence. My face smashed into the mirror. Peeling myself off the glass, I looked in.

"Well, don't you look pretty," I commented sarcastically. I was on maybe three hours of sleep. I had dark circles under my eyes and lines of red streaked the whites of my eyes. I splashed water on my face. "Get it together, Max," I ordered myself. I slapped my face a couple times and calmly walked back to my seat. No more movies for me.

Fang POV:

I watched in sick fascination as droplets of blood landed next to the red stain on the carpet. I looked at the deep gash that had formed across my palm. The more I acknowledged its presence, the more it stung.

Strangely, I enjoyed the feeling. While I was focusing on the physical pain, all the shit that was going on with Max seemed to fade into the background and was somewhat more bearable.

Max POV:

"Bonjour! Welcome to France!" Some random lady said from the other side of the door. Obviously, in French.

"Um…Merci," I replied. I didn't feel like dealing with people right now.

She looked somewhat puzzled at my reaction. I'm sure all the other American students were super chipper. She held out a bottle of champagne for me.

"I hope you enjoy your time here," she muttered, looking more and more uncomfortable. It's probably because I was glaring at her.

I took the bottle from her. "Merci," I said again. Wasn't really in the mood for talking. I gave a half-hearted smile and closed the door.

I sat back down on my bed with the bottle of alcohol in my hands. I hadn't had something to drink since my partying days with Anna. I had sworn I wouldn't drink again. Considering the circumstances, I think having a drink won't really matter.

I popped the cork and relished in the loud sound of gun fire as the cork flew across the room. A small wisp of vapor curled up from the mouth of the bottle. I waved my hand over the bottle and brought it to my lips. In one swift motion I tipped the bottle back. The ice cold liquid slid down my throat and bubbles danced in my mouth. After three large gulps of alcohol, I could already feel the familiar buzz humming through my brain.


Iggy used the chat part of Skype to send me the link to a youtube video of our band's latest gig.

"Got it?" Iggy asked.

"Yep," I answered, clicking on the link.

Fang and the rest of the band popped up and the ache in my chest intensified. I was going to need a drink if I wanted to get through this.

"So, this is a song very near and dear to my heart," Fang informed the audience. My breath caught at the sound of his voice. Last time I heard it, it was angry and harsh. Now it sounded like it usually did…only something was missing.

From the keyboard, Iggy gave Fang an odd look but started playing the intro with the rest of the band.

Apparently, Fang was Love Drunk…and now it's over.

Ok…now back to the current story:

Chapter 54

Iggy POV:

There was roaring applause after the band and I finished our last song, Love Drunk by Boys Like Girls. We all waved, bowed and ran off the stage with phony smiles plastered on out faces. We were all thinking about what Fang had just said.

We got back stage and the smiles slid off.

"'Near and dear to my heart'?" I yelled angrily.

"Yeah," Fang answered curtly as he put his guitar back in his case.

"That was a little harsh, dude," Gazzy muttered.

"What I did was harsh?" Fang asked angrily.

"So, she made a mistake, everyone does that," Kyle chimed in.

"Now you're all taking her side?" Fang accused.

"No, we're just saying maybe you were a little harsh in sending her away like you did," I clarified.

"I didn't send her anywhere. She went on her own." Fang hissed.

"Well, it's not like you made it easy for her to stay," I replied.

"Just shut up. All of you. Don't judge me until you know the full story," Fang snapped.

"But, we know the full story, Fang." Gazzy inputted.

"Whatever," Fang spat. "I don't feel like talking about her anymore. She's out of my life. She doesn't matter anymore."

I grabbed Fang's right wrist and held it in front of his face. "She doesn't matter anymore?" I shouted. "Look at you hand Fang! What are you still wearing?"

Fang's eyes cut away from my face and landed on the promise ring that was still firmly fitted onto his third finger.

"She can't mean nothing, man," Kyle whispered. "Think of all the things she did for you."

"Fang, you changed when you met her. She opened you back up. She turned you back into the Fang we all knew before all that shit that happened in high school," Gazzy said.

Fang wrenched his wrist out of my hand. "I'll see you guys later." Fang grabbed his guitar and walked away.

"Man, it's a really good thing we don't stage professional intermissions," Gazzy breathed a sigh of relief.

"Pretty sure it's called an intervention," Kyle corrected.

"Dumbass," I muttered, smacking Gazzy on the head.


I sighed and snapped my laptop shut. Max had just hung up on me via Skype. Hopefully the video I'd shown her wasn't too harsh. Hopefully she noticed what I'd wanted her to notice. The fact that Fang was still wearing his promise ring.

Max POV:

I quickly shut Skype off so Iggy wouldn't see the tears that were falling down my cheeks. Why had he shown me this? Was he trying to tell me that they've all moved on and I should just stay in France? Honestly, what did I have to go back to? No one in the United States gave a crap about me. I'd ruined all my friendships and killed the best relationship I've ever had in my life. I'd really screwed up. Big time.

I pushed the replay button and fast forwarded to the last part of the video to when Fang was singing Love Drunk. I kept the video going as I went over to the cupboard and grabbed a bottle of cheap vodka. I unscrewed the lid and started drinking it straight as I listened to Fang's voice.

Suddenly, there was a loud pounding on my door. "Hey! Let me in! Open the door!" I heard someone yell in French on the other side of the door.

I quickly paused the video and hid the bottle of vodka under the desk where my computer sat. "Coming!" I shouted back.

Wiping the tears from eyes and checking my breath for the smell of alcohol, I walked to the door and opened it. A boy about my age was standing on the other side, breathing really hard.

"Can I come in?" He asked.

"Why should I let you in?" I questioned, using 'vous' the formal form of you. I know I could have used the informal tense, but I didn't want this guy to think I was gonna be nice to him. I was done with guys. Period.

"Please, I just need to hide for a little bit." He muttered.

"Hide?" I repeated. "Why?"

"I need to hide from my girlfriend for a little while," he said, grinning.

I scowled. "Get out."


"Leave right now and don't come back. She's your girlfriend. You should treat her better. If you don't want to be with her, at least say it to her face and don't be such a coward." I slammed the door in the French guys face and breathed a sigh of relief.

He was way too good-looking for his own good. I thought as I plopped back on front of my computer screen and grabbed my bottle of vodka. Sweet escape.

"Why do girls go out with pretty guys?" I absently asked the screen of my computer. The video of Love Drunk was paused on a close-up of Fang playing his guitar. "Beautiful men are so fickle."

I took another swig of the potent alcohol and blanched. Straight vodka didn't taste so great. But, it packs one hell of a buzz.

"You know what, Nicholas Martinez?" I hissed at Fang's picture, my words coming out slower and slower with every gulp of the clear liquid I held in my hands. "I don't need you or your sexy abs. Or, your amazing voice. Nope. I don't need jack-shit from you, mister."

My eyes scanned Fang's figure. Starting at the top of his head then trailing down to his hands. The hands I used to hold. The hands I can remember running up and down my body.

"Cut it out Max!" I scolded myself. "You don't need him, remember?"

The glint of silver caught my eye. I peered closer to the screen. A band of silver was shining in the stage lights on Fang's right hand. I gasped. Fang was still wearing his promise ring. I lifted my right hand. I was still wearing mine.

I slammed my fist into the table. Why couldn't I move on? Why wouldn't he let me move on? I bit back tears and took another large swallow of the vodka.

I capped the bottle and shoved it back on the shelf. I need a shower so I could clear my head.

I grabbed a towel, a toiletries bag, and some PJs to change into. I locked my room behind me and walked down the hall to the bathroom. Luckily, no one was there. It was about nine at night and it was Friday. Everyone was out partying.

I turned the nozzle on the shower and waited for the water to heat up. Even though I was in a foreign place and my life seems pretty out of whack, old habits die hard I guess. I stepped into the relaxing cascade of hot water and immediately started singing.

Seems like just yesterday
You were a part of me
I used to stand so tall
I used to be so strong
Your arms around me tight
Everything, it felt so right
Unbreakable, like nothin' could go wrong
Now I can't breathe
No, I can't sleep
I'm barely hanging on

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

I told you everything
Opened up and let you in
You made me feel alright
For once in my life
Now all that's left of me
Is what I pretend to be
So together, but so broken up inside
'Cause I can't breathe
No, I can't sleep
I'm barely hangin' on

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

Swallow me then spit me out
For hating you, I blame myself
Seeing you it kills me now
No, I don't cry on the outside

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

Fang POV:

I sat in my room just look at the promise ring I still had on my hand. Was I really not over her? How could I not be? She got not Nudge put into the hospital. She lied to me. She kept secrets from me.

I groaned, turned on my radio, and flopped face down on the bed. I really didn't want to think about this right now.

A song I'd never heard before started playing. I liked the tempo. I sat up and listened carefully.

This place is a bloodbath
And we won't be taken alive
We stand alone
Under fictitious skies

You were always my enemy carefully crafting my demise
You were always my enemy carefully crafting my demise
Our hearts beat strong under fictitious skies
You were always my enemy, you suck the life out of me

Your words are deadly weapons
Killing me, destroying me
Your words are deadly weapons
Scatter my brains across the wall

You were my compass
Leading me to nowhere fast
Promises were lonely roads
I followed you down like a map (like a map, like a map)

You were always my enemy carefully crafting my demise
You were always my enemy carefully crafting my demise
Our hearts beat strong under fictitious skies
You were always my enemy, you suck the life out of me

Your words are deadly weapons
Killing me, destroying me
Your words are deadly weapons
Scatter my brains across the wall

Fuck you
Secrets don't make friends
Secrets don't make friends
Secrets don't make friends
Secrets don't make...

Your words are deadly weapons
Killing me, destroying me

Your words are deadly weapons
Killing me, destroying me
Your words are deadly weapons
Scatter my brains across the wall.

Your words are deadly weapons (Secrets don't make friends)
Killing me, destroying me
Your words are deadly weapons (Secrets don't make friends)
Scatter my brains across the wall

Secrets don't (Secrets don't make friends) make friends
(Secrets don't make friends)
Secrets don't (Secrets don't make friends) make friends
(Secrets don't make friends)

I felt jazzed after listening to the song. I went to my computer to search for guitar chords. But, even though I felt so pumped, why do I feel like such a dick?

Ok… so I finally got this damn thing up. Sorry it took so long.

For those of you who are curious about the songs: first one is Behind These Hazel Eyes by Kelly Clarkson and the second song is called Secrets Don't Make Friends by From First to Last.

56. Chapter 56

Ok…so I know you guys hate me for not updating for like two whole months. I know. I'm sorry. Really, really, really sorry. I had a French exchange student for the whole month of October and I didn't have a chance to write…and the month of November I participated in NaNoWriMo…which is national novel writing month. And it's 50,000 words in 30 days. Really hard. Really grueling. So I took a break from FanFic and did NaNo instead.

But, now I'm back and fully committed to finishing my FanFic. I swear.


Max POV: Chapter 55

I stumbled into my room after a long day of classes. I was so sick of school, but I couldn't afford to miss anymore classes. I'd missed too many 'cause I was hung-over so often.

I sat down at my desk and tried to start writing a paper for my French Lit. class without grabbing a liquor bottle form the cabinet. I had to be sober for this essay. I didn't need another failing grade.

I opened my desk drawer to get Le Petit Prince out so I could start writing my analysis essay. My fingers brushed against the cool metal of my promise ring that'd I'd taken off and shoved in the drawer. I quickly flicked the ring to the back of the drawer so I wouldn't have to look at it.

My computer booted up slowly. I tapped fingers impatiently, yearning for a drink. I shoved it back down. I didn't need a drink. I was going to kick this habit. Or, at least reduce it a little. I couldn't keep getting smashed every night. I'd die of liver failure if I continued down this path.

My laptop's screen finally lit up and it was ready to use. I opened the internet and a word document. Distraction took over and I logged onto my Facebook page. I didn't actually have that many friends on Facebook, but I liked to check it every once in a while. A red 'one' popped out at me from the top of my screen. I had one update. I clicked on it. Fang had posted a video on my wall. Stunned, I looked at the date it had been posted. He had posted it yesterday. Bracing myself, I clicked the play button.

Fang's face popped up on the screen and my heart threatened to beat out of its chest. Fang sat on a stool placidly, his guitar in his hands. I could tell he was sitting in the music room at his house. He didn't say anything, didn't even look straight into the camera. He played the opening to a song a vaguely recognized and then started singing.

I once knew a girl
In the years of my youth
With eyes like the summer
All beauty and truth
In the morning I fled
Left a note and it read
Someday you will be loved.

I cannot pretend that I felt any regret
Cause each broken heart will eventually mend
As the blood runs red down the needle and thread
Someday you will be loved

You'll be loved you'll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved

You may feel alone when you're falling asleep
And every time tears roll down your cheeks
But I know your heart belongs to someone you've yet to meet
Someday you will be loved

You'll be loved you'll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved

You'll be loved you'll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved
Someday you will be loved

I was taken aback. What was with Fang? One minute he's singing Love Drunk and now this. What exactly is going through his head?

Fang POV:

Looking up the guitar chords for Secrets Don't Make Friends made me feel like shit, so I abandoned my quest. I started dinking around on Youtube and finally came across Someday You Will Be Loved by Death Cab for Cutie. I listened to the song for God knows how long.

The lyrics seemed to take hold of me and live inside of me. I had to make it up to Max. I had to repay her for everything she did for me. I had to at least make things right. I had to set Max free. Let her know that she could move on. Kyle had been right. Everyone makes mistakes.

I quickly looked up the chords to Someday You Will Be Loved and set up my video camera.


I had posted the video I made for Max on Facebook. I knew that she didn't check her Facebook very often, but I hoped against hope that she had at least checked and seen the video.

I logged on and saw that I had one update on my Facebook. Excited and apprehensive I clicked on the update.

Max had posted a response video on my wall. I wasn't sure what it was, but I couldn't bear not knowing. I clicked the play button.

Max POV:

I stared angrily at the screen. How could he post something like that on my wall? What right did he have? What was he trying to say? "I'm over it now, Max. Why don't you get back on the market, too? So, you know, I don't feel like such a dick."

I snorted. "You can be so childish, Nicholas." I hissed at the screen.

Standing up, I went to the cupboard and grabbed a bottled of some random alcohol. I wasn't even sure what it was. I just bought as much alcohol as I could get my hands on and stuffed it in the cupboard.

"Two can play at this game," I muttered taking a swig of what I think was whiskey. Really cheap whiskey. I gagged slightly as the semi-sweet liquid burned my throat.

I set up my webcam. I had the perfect song for Fang. I put on the background music I needed from my ipod and started the song, whiskey bottle in hand.

Here's the thing

We started out friends

It was cool, but it was all pretend

Yeah, yeah, since you been gone

You're dedicated, you took the time

Wasn't long 'til I called you mine

Yeah, yeah, since you been gone

And all you'd ever hear me say

Is how I picture me with you

That's all you'd ever hear me say

But since you been gone

I can breathe for the first time

I'm so movin' on, yeah yeah

Thanks to you, now I get what I want

Since you been gone

How can I put it, you put me on

I even fell for that stupid love song

Yeah, yeah, since you been gone

How come I'd never hear you say

I just wanna be with you

Guess you never felt that way

But since you been gone

I can breathe for the first time

I'm so movin' on, yeah, yeah

Thanks to you, now I get, I get what I want

Since you been gone

You had your chance, you blew it

Out of sight, out of mind

Shut your mouth, I just can't take it

Again and again and again and again

Since you been gone (since you been gone)

I can breathe for the first time

I'm so movin' on, yeah yeah

Thanks to you (thanks to you)

Now I get, I get what I want

I can breathe for the first time

I'm so movin' on, yeah yeah

Thanks to you (thanks to you)

Now I get (I get)

You should know (you should know) that I get

I get what I want

Since you been gone

Since you been gone

Since you been gone

Fang POV

I stared at the screen. Had she really posted that? Did she really feel that way? Why did she have a rum bottle in her hand? Or was it whiskey? Whatever. Point is, she's drinking? Max never touched alcohol. Not after she quit her partying days.

I looked closer at her right hand. Her ring was gone. Anger rose up inside me. I punched the wall. Was I that forgettable? Did she really not care? Did our time together mean nothing to her? Why did I let her out of my sight? My God, I fucked up big time. Kyle was right. People make mistakes…but, I think Max would have been willing to work things out. I was the one who exploded on her. I had sent her out of the country. What if she doesn't come back? She probably thinks she has nothing to come back to.

I stood up and started pacing. There had to be something I could do. She obviously thinks I'm a total dick for posting that video on her wall. It was meant to be a peace offering. Like, maybe we could still be friends?

"Still be friends?" I said aloud. "Yeah right, Fang. Don't be so sappy. There's no way in hell you guys could ever go back to the way things were."

Frustrated, I punched the wall again. This time my knuckles broke open and small dots of blood popped up against my skin. I sighed and shook my hand out. I had to come up with something. I couldn't just sit idly and do nothing. What if she finds some hot French guy? Wait, why am I getting so jealous all of a sudden.

I grabbed my phone. I hit Iggy's name and the phone started ringing.

"Yes, Fang?" Iggy asked, almost sounding impatient. We hadn't exactly left things well after our last gig.

"Get the band together and come to my house. I have a problem that needs immediate fixing."

"I swear to God, I never thought you were going to see the light, Fang." Iggy muttered.

"He finally realized that he needs Max to function normally!" I heard Gazzy yell from the back of the room.

Rolling my eyes, I clicked the phone off.

I'd wasted three months of my life being an idiot. It was time to reclaim my old life. The old life that has Max in the equation.

Max POV:

I clicked off the webcam and posted the video on Fang's wall.

"Suck on that, bitch," I spat.

I leaned back in my chair, satisfied, and took another swig of the whiskey. I was starting to doze off when someone started knocking on my door.

Annoyed, I hid the bottle and checked my breath. I was fine. I went to the door and opened it. That French boy from earlier was standing in my doorway.

"What do you want?" I snapped.

"I'm single," He replied with a grin.

"I don't give a shit," I quipped. Talking in French was a little hard when your brain was foggy with alcohol.

"You have a lovely singing voice. I could hear you down the hall," the boy stated, ignoring my grumpy demeanor.

"Whatever. Leave, okay?"

"Let me take you out."

"What? No. Go away."

"Oh, come on. All you do is stay in your room and drink. At least come drinking with people."

"I don't drink." I said defensively.

"Yes, you do. You reek of alcohol. I can smell it on your breath." He sniffed the air as if to emphasize his point. "You could buy some nicer stuff. The cheap stuff gives you a weak buzz."

"That's none of your business."

"All of the other Americans come out for drinks. They really know how to party." He winked suggestively at me.

"I'm not going out with you," I answered, hoping against hope that he'd leave.

"It's Friday night. Let's go have some fun." He proposed. "Did you know that you can have fun without drinking?"

"Yes, I know that," I snapped angrily.

I looked back in my room. I really didn't have any reason not to go. I had posted that video on Fang's wall right? I had moved on right? Why couldn't I go out with this French guy?

"Give me five minutes to change," I muttered.

He smiled. "I thought you'd come."

"Don't get used to it."

"My name is Gaspard, by the way," he called after me. "What's yours?"

I slammed the door in his face and started changing.

Ok…so that's it for this chapter. Sorry it took so long to update. I'll try to get another chapter up tomorrow…maybe.

So…I'm thinking there are maybe three chapters left in this story. So, yeah. Dorm Ride is finally coming to a close. Be on the look out for my next FanFic that I'll be co-writing with a friend.

Hope you liked it.


57. Chapter 57

Ok so I'm not gonna babble at you guys. I'm just gonna get going on the story. Hope you guys like it.


Max POV: Chapter 56

I riffled through my bureau. I hadn't gone out in a long, long time. Sweatpants and hoodies had become my fashion choice staple.

Brushing aside all the baggy clothes, I managed to find something I could go clubbing in. I found a black pair of skinny jeans and pulled them out, along with a purple top that had black lace and a plunging neck line. I found a pair of black boots with a bunch of buckles and slipped them on over my jeans. I grabbed a hair band and quickly put my hair into a messy bun. I grabbed my eyes shadow and swiftly applied some makeup. Double checking my reflection in the mirror, I smiled. Smiling looked weird. It seemed broken and empty. But, I had to admit. I did look pretty good. I grabbed a jacket and my wallet and hurried out the door.

"You clean up nicely," Gaspard commented.

"Whatever. Let's go."

I started walked when Gaspard caught my arm. "You're going the wrong way. It's this way. Maybe we should get you a map?"

My breath stopped in my throat and my chest ached. Images of me getting lost in Fang's enormous house went racing across my vision, blurring with what was currently in front of me. Images of Fang's face as he grinned and taunted me…saying I would need a map to navigate his house.

"No. I don't need a map," I muttered. "Come on. Let's go get some drinks."

Gaspard shrugged and lead the way. The club we were going to was the local hang out for the college kids. It was only about a block away form the university.

Gaspard and I didn't have to wait long to get into the club. The bouncer took one look at me and let us pass. I felt the adrenaline rush I often got when I used to party with Anna.

"That is the shortest wait ever," Gaspard told me. "I should bring you more often."

"You wish," I replied.

Gaspard encircled his arm around my waist. "So you don't get lost," he whispered in my ear, his perfect blond hair grazing my cheek.

"I can take care of myself," I snapped, trying to free myself from his grasp.

"Look, there are a lot of drunk guys here. Let me play the gentleman and keep you safe from their wandering hands."

"What about your wandering hands?" I accused.

"They will stay above your butt and below your boobs. I swear." Gaspard winked.

"Whatever," I mumbled rolling my eyes. My body was all too aware of Gaspard's hand on my waist.

Gaspard and I sat down at the bar. The stools wobbling slightly as I adjusted my sitting position so my body wasn't inclined towards Gaspard's. I didn't want him to think that I was interested.

I looked up at the drink menu. The margarita on the menu called out to me. It had been ages since I'd had a good margarita.

"I'll have the margarita," I told the bar tender. "The biggest one you have."

Gaspard's eyes widened slightly. "Is that really a good idea? You've already had whiskey. Why don't you eat something?"

"What are you? My mom? Why do you care whether or not I get smashed?" I grumbled. "Most boys are stoked when girls get drunk."

"I know what alcohol can do to a person," Gaspard whispered.

"You used to be an alcoholic?" I asked, intrigued.

"No. My sister was," he replied in a hushed voice.


"She died of alcohol poisoning."

"Oh," I mumbled, not sure what to say. "Sorry," I finally said lamely.

I turned my face away from Gaspard. I didn't like the intense atmosphere. I tried to find something to distract me. So, I listened intently to the music coming from the speakers. It was a song I'd never heard before.

Tonight we drink to youth
and holding fast to truth
don't want to lose what I had as a boy

My heart still has a beat
but love is now a feat
as common as a cold day in LA
Sometimes at night alone I wonder
Is there a spell that I am under
Keeping me from seeing the real thing

Love hurts
but sometimes it's a good hurt
And it feels like I'm alive

Love sings
When it transcends the bad things
have a heart and try me
'Cause without love I won't survive

I'm fettered and abused
Stand naked and accused
should I surface this one man submarine

I only want the truth
So tonight we drink to youth
I'll never lose what I had as a boy
Sometimes at night alone I wonder
Is there a spell that I am under
Keeping me from seeing the real thing

Love hurts
but sometimes it's a good hurt
And it feels like I'm alive

Love sings
When it transcends the bad things
have a heart and try me
'Cause without love I won't survive

Without love I won't survive

Love hurts
But sometimes it's a good hurt
And it feels like I'm alive

Love sings
When it transcends the bad things
have a heart and try me
'Cause without love I won't survive

Love hurts, oh
Love hurts
Without love I won't survive

Love hurts, oh
Love hurts
Without love I won't survive

"What band is this?" I asked Gaspard suddenly.

He looked slightly taken aback. "Is it an American thing to suddenly change the subject?" He chuckled slightly. "It's a song by the band Incubus. I think it's called Love Hurts."

"Well, I don't agree with their lyrics." I stated. "Someone can survive without love."


"Yeah. And how could love be a good kind of hurt? Love is what hurts us the most…and I don't think it feels good."

"But," Gaspard began, "without love, what do we have to look forward to? What would be the reason to stay on this planet? Seriously, if we don't have love then what do we have waiting for us? What do we look forward to? Death?"

I shook my head. "No, booze." I answered as the bar tender slid the finished margarita to me.

Fang POV:

"So, what do I do guys?" I asked Kyle, Iggy, and Gazzy.

They guys had come over to my house and we were having our conference in the music room.

"Well, Fang," Iggy started.

"It's Christmas break," Gazzy continued.

"And you have a lot of time off school," Kyle added.

"So, you need to-" Iggy began.

"Buy an airplane ticket to France!" Gazzy and Iggy shouted together.

"That's ridiculous!" I exclaimed.

"Oh, come on," Gazzy scoffed.

"That's totally what you were thinking," Iggy finished.

"That's why you called us over here, right?" Kyle added.

"I…um…" I mumbled. "I don't know!" I collapsed on the piano bench.

"Sure you know," Gazzy stated, handing me my laptop.

I looked at the screen. It was open to a travel guide page. Four tickets for Paris France were waiting to be purchased. They were for December seventeenth. Two days from now.

"Why is it four tickets?" I asked.

"Do you honestly think we'd let you go alone?" Iggy asked.

"We're gonna be your back up," Kyle informed me.

"I take I'm footing the bill though?" I muttered.

"We weren't the ones who sent her to France," The twins chimed.

"I really hate it when you guys do that," I commented.


The next two days went by in a flash. Before I knew it, Iggy, Gazzy, Kyle, our band stuff, and I were on a plane to France.

"Remind me why we are bringing our instruments?" I asked Iggy as we squished into the crappy business class seats.

"You'll see when we get there. I think they'll come in handy though," Iggy replied.

"Wise sage Iggy can be really annoying sometimes," I hissed.

Iggy smirked. "Here," He said handing me his ipod. "I found this really cool band called Incubus. They have some pretty awesome songs. Check them out."

I sat down heavily in my seat and popped in the ear-buds. The first song on the Incubus album started playing.

I dig my toes into the sand
The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds
Strewn across a blue blanket
I lean against the wind
Pretend that I am weightless
And in this moment I am happy...happy

I wish you were here
I wish you were here
I wish you were here
I wish you were here

I lay my head onto the sand
The sky resembles a back lit canopy
With holes punched in it
I'm counting UFOs
I signal them with my lighter
And in this moment I am happy...happy

I wish you were here
I wish you were here
I wish you were here
Wish you were here

The world's a roller coaster
And I am not strapped in
Maybe I should hold with care
But my hands are busy in the air saying:

I wish you were here
I wish you were

I wish you were here
I wish you were here
I wish you were here
Wish you were here

My breath caught in my throat. I could actually feel the sting of tears behind my eyes. Before now I had just been angry. Now, I felt the immense weight of loneliness and sadness.

I cleared my throat and pushed the tears away. "They sound really cool." I muttered to Iggy.

58. Chapter 58

Ok….so like there's gonna be this chapter… and maybe one more after it…omg…that's so sad. I've been writing Dorm Ride for like a year. That's insane. It's gonna be weird not writing it. It's been a part of my life for a whole year. But, anyway, I won't talk about that right now.

There's still more story to be told!



Max POV: Chapter 57

"Really, Max," Gaspard said earnestly. "You do speak better French when you're completely smashed."

"No! I totally don't!" I slurred, tripping over myself as we walked back to the dorms from the club. I had about three margaritas and a couple shots of vodka floating around in my system. "Did you know that you have a giant purple potato nose!"

"I'm going to take that with a grain of salt since you're drunk…but, if I end up getting plastic surgery on my nose, I expect you to pay the bill."

"Hahahaha!" I laughed slowly. "That's funny, Gasped…Gasper…Gas….Gaspard! Hey, I said you're name right!"

"Would you like an award?"

"No thank you. I have no room for it."

"Um…okay." Gaspard paused. "I really think you should stop drinking," he advised in a hushed voice.

"Why?" I asked, my attitude turning surly. "All your serious talk is killing my buzz."

"Max, why do you drink?" Gaspard demanded quietly.

"Why do you think?" I challenged.

"Lost love?" Gaspard offered up.

"Well, aren't you just as sharp as a dull pencil!" I exclaimed.

"Max, that doesn't make sense."

"Shut up. It doesn't have to make sense…I'm beautiful!" I yelled, feeling way too good for my current walk in life. I felt like I was floating across the pavement, even though I knew I was probably stumbling like a baby just learning to walk. "Heels make it hard to walk." I observed.

"Being drunk makes it hard to walk."

"Don't get sassy with me!" I ordered. "And, the world tips that way!" I announced as the world tipped to the left and I went with it.

"Oh, no you don't1" I heard Gaspard say as his strong arms wrapped around my waist stopping me from crashing into the ground.

"Heehee…that was so chivalrous," I giggled. "Oh….I think it's gonna come up."

"What's coming up?" Gaspard demanded.

"Too late," I mumbled, as all the alcohol I'd had in the past three hours came spewing out of my mouth.

"Beautiful," I heard Gaspard mutter. "Come on. Let's get you home."

"Bite me," I snapped. Barfing had put me in a suddenly very unhappy mood.


"Ok, Max," Gaspard murmured in my ear. "We're at your room."

"You know, I don't recall ever telling you my name." I realized, still pretty buzzed from all the drinks.

"You had to show the bouncer at the club your student ID," Gaspard answered.

"Well, if that doesn't make you a stalker, I don't know what does," I replied, leaning in the doorway for support. My legs couldn't hold the weight of my body.

"Anyway," Gaspard started, "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Mmmhmm," I said, leaning forward. For some reason my body was starting to incline closer and closer to Gaspard's. "You can kiss me now," my voice said without my consent.

Gaspard gently put his hands on my shoulders and shoved my back lightly. "No thanks."

"Is it because my breath still smells like vomit?" I demanded.

Gaspard shook his head. "No. I don't kiss drunk girls. That would be taking advantage."

"What?" I asked, taken aback.

"See you," Gaspard said as he turned and walked away.

I stared after him. Feeling empty…but somewhat relieved.

Fang POV:

The band and I stepped off the airplane and into the Paris airport terminal.

"Wow!" I exclaimed. "This airport is huge." I feel ridiculously buzzed. As if I had taken a hit of cocaine or something. But, I hadn't. I just hadn't slept for 48 hours. I was too nervous and wound up to sleep the night before the flight and I hadn't been able to sleep on the plane. I just spent the whole 12 hour plane ride watching movies.

"I don't think I've ever seen Fang this chipper," I heard Gazzy mutter to Iggy and Kyle.

"Maybe we should find a way to make him an insomniac permanently," Iggy suggested.

"I feel like that could have some bad side-affects later in life," Kyle reasoned.

"I can hear you guys," I said, irked.

"Sorry," the three of them chimed.

"Whatever. How about some coffee guys!" I offered. "I think I see a Starbucks down the way a bit."

"Yeah…but I better order the drinks," Kyle interjected.

"Why?" Iggy and Gazzy asked.

"We are in France…English is not the dominant language. And I speak French," Kyle reminded us.

"Oh, yeah," I mumbled, feeling a really blond moment coming on. "No sprechen French."

"Yes, I know you don't speak French, Fang. And that's German. Not French. And at least conjugate the verb if you're going to speak a different language." Kyle rolled his eyes and went off to the Starbucks kiosk.

"Get Fang a double shot of espresso!" Gazzy called after Kyle.

"He really needs it. Seriously!" Iggy yelled.

"Ok, Fang," Gazzy said grabbing my head and forcing me to look in his eyes. "Focus on the task at hand."


Max POV:

"Max! Max! Open the door!" There was banging on the door. My head was pounding. It felt like some was knocking on my head and not the door.

"What!" I shouted.

"It's me."

"Well, then, will 'me' please shut up and let me sleep off this hang-over!" I yelled.

"Max," the voice said quietly. "It's 4:00pm. You've slept all day."

"Son of a bitch," I groaned in English. I had managed to start speaking French automatically and even think in French, but I guess cussing was still predominantly English.

"That may have been in English, but I understood that," Gaspard's voice chided.

I groaned again and rolled out of bed. "I'm coming." I hissed. I stalked over to the door, tripping on my feet a few times. "What do you want Gaspard?"

"It's nice to your smiling face this afternoon, too, Max. Oh, you had fun last night? Good. Me too." Gaspard winked.

"What do you want?" I repeated, my voice sounding like an angry growl.

Gaspard sighed. "Always straight to the point with you. No beating around the bush."

"If that was even a mildly sexual comment, I'm gonna kick you in the balls."

"No sexual connotation, I swear," Gaspard quickly assured me. "What I came to tell you was that I got us tickets for tonight."

"Tickets for what?"

"Remember the club we went to last night?"

"Sort of…"

"I thought as much. Anyway, there's this really cool American band that just flew in a few days ago and they are going to playing at the club tonight. Since you had so much fun last night, I figured you would want to go, but we needed tickets to get in tonight…so I went ahead and bought them. What do you say? Wanna go?"

"What time is the concert?" I asked.

"It starts at nine."

"Ok, come wake me up at eight and then I'll go with you. But, don't bother me until then. I need to sleep this hang-over off."

"Whatever you say, Max." Gaspard grinned, leaned forward, and his lips lightly brushed across my cheek.

My breath caught in my throat. Part of me leaped for joy and the other sank deeper into despair.

Fang POV:

"How did you get us a gig so fast?" I demanded of Iggy as we got our instruments ready backstage.

"Well, as soon as Max left, I researched the bars around the college and found out which one was the most popular and then booked a gig."

"I hate it when you go all Jedi on me and to crazy things." I muttered.

"As if," Gazzy snorted. "You love it."

"Whatever. How do we even know Max is gonna be here?" I challenged.

"She was a party girl in her former days right? Who's to say she hasn't relapsed." Iggy mumbled as he cracked his knuckles.

"I'd like to think Max is a little stronger than that," I mumbled.

"You hurt her pretty bad, man," Kyle muttered.

"Yeah, I know." I fingered my promise ring. I hadn't taken it off yet. "I'm gonna see what kind of crowd we've got."

I peeked my head through the black curtains. My breath caught and my heart stopped beating.

OK! So maybe…like, two more chapters after this. Idk. We'll see.

Hope you liked it.


59. Chapter 59

Ok…so this chapter will either be up today (Tuesday, the day I'm writing it) or Wednesday. Today I have my horse lesson so…I might not get this up until tomorrow… but if it does get up on Tuesday, I am soooo treating myself to some fatty ice-cream…then I'll feel bad and go work out for an hour. Hahaha.

Ok! Let's get the story rolling


Max POV: Chapter 58

"Wow, it's crowded," I muttered as Gaspard and I waited in line to get into the club. "What's this band called anyway?"

"Undecided Title. I guess they could never come up with a name so they just went with 'Undecided Title." Gaspard answered.

I chuckled softly. Iggy had once said something about calling out band Undecided Idiots since we could never agree on a name. He and Gazzy had gotten into many fist fights over our band's name. Suddenly, I wave of loneliness hit me like a ton of bricks. I shoved the onslaught of tears down. I really did miss the guys in the band. They had been the best friends I had ever had.

"Max, hey Max! We can go in now," Gaspard called to me and pulled me in after him.

I stumbled after Gaspard, thrust back into the real world and out of my past. A past I didn't welcome in my brain. I slid past the bouncer who gave me an approving smile. I was wearing a skin tight electric blue dress and black stilettos. They bouncer had probably let us in ahead of other people because of the way I was dressed.

Gaspard and I sat at the bar stools like we had the night before. We had the perfect view of the stage. Not far so we couldn't see the band, but not too close so we didn't get blasted away when the drums got loud.

"I'll have a margarita!" I called to the bartender. The margaritas here were stellar. I couldn't get enough of them.

"Don't you think you should try and cut down a bit?" Gaspard asked.

"Why? What's the point? Is there a good reason I should stop?"

"What about what I said about my sister?" Gaspard offered. "Doesn't that concern you?"

"Everybody dies. It's inevitable. Dying early because I like my alcohol doesn't seem like a good enough reason to stop," I replied, taking a sip of my margarita the second the bar tender slid it over to me.

"Then," Gaspard said, taking my hands off the drink. "Let me be your reason."

I opened my mouth to communicate my confusion when Gaspard's lips crashed down on mine. At first, his mouth was hard on mine, as if the kiss had surprised him just as much as it surprised me. Then, his lips softened and he tilted his head to deepen the kiss. His lips worked, varying the pressure on my mouth.

It was nothing like being kissed by Fang. Whenever Fang and I kissed, no matter how gentle or hoe brief, there was always an underlying feeling of intensity and deep passion. This kiss, even though it was nice, wasn't exciting. It was safe and boring. My stomach didn't flip and my heart didn't slam against my ribs. There was no heat. No passion. Nothing that would make me anticipate another kiss from Gaspard.

We broke apart, even though we both had ample breath left. Gaspard looked disappointed.

"Am I really that bad of a kisser?" I asked. My head was clear and everything was fully in focus. That kiss was nothing like the brain sizzling, heart stopping kisses Fang and I used to share.

"No…you're a fantastic kisser, actually," Gaspard replied. "It's just…something's missing."

"What do you mean?"

"Were you even thinking about me when we kissed?" Gaspard questioned.

My face heated up. "I…um…"

"I thought so. You're heart still belongs to that guy you left in America," Gaspard reasoned.

"I didn't leave him!" I said furiously. "He shoved me out!"

Gaspard opened his mouth to reply but was cut off by screeching feedback from the microphone on stage.

"Whoa, sorry guys," Said a voice coming out of the microphone behind me. And all too familiar voice that made my pulse race and my face turn even redder.

Fang POV:

I swept the curtain back and poked my head out. I swept the room and my eyes were drawn to a girl in a skin tight electric blue dress.

The dress hugged her curves in all the right places. Curves that were so were familiar to my eyes. The girl turned her head and said something to the bar tender. My heart stopped. It was Max.

She was sitting at the bar with some guy chatting with her. She actually seemed to be listening and talking to this guy easily. Jealousy flared up inside of me. And anger. I dropped over one grand to be here and she's already moved on?

I kept watching. Max was given a very large alcoholic beverage that she drank with eagerness. My heart contracted. Had she really relapsed like Iggy suggested.

The boy next her, with his annoyingly perfect blond hair, grabbed Max's hands, my Max's hands, and stopped her from drinking more. Suddenly, his head snaked forward and his lips were suddenly glued to Max's. I stopped cold. No way in hell.

After a moment, Max and Blondie parted. Max didn't even look bothered by the kiss. She certainly didn't try to run away like she had with me.

"We're on guys!" I yelled grabbing my guitar and rushing out on stage. I grabbed the mike so fast that feedback assaulted my ears. "Whoa, sorry guys," I muttered into the mike. I could see Max's back muscles tense. "So, I don't speak French. Sorry. But I think there's a translation board over my head. Anyway, we, The Undecided Title, are going to play some music for you guys. You pumped!" There was a little lag as the translation popped up, and then there was a loud roar from the crowd. "Okay, well we are going to start off with a song we would like to dedicate to a former member of the band, Max."

By now Max was looking right at me. Her face was red and her fists were clenched at her sides. There was an odd mixture of hate and relief on her face. I winked at her and held up my right hand so she could see the promise ring I still wore. Iggy counted us off and the song started.

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with every day
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
That's why I need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

And the reason is you
And the reason is you
And the reason is you

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you

Max POV:

I stared up at the stage. Tears stinging my eyes.

"Max, do you know those guys?" Gaspard asked.

"Shut up," I hissed. "I'm going to the bathroom. I'll be back in a second."

"Um, okay," Gaspard muttered, looking down at his Coca Cola.

I stormed into the bathroom. No one was in there. I let out a long, frustrated scream and started crying. I slumped against the wall and the tears flowed down, running my mascara over my cheeks.

"Get it together, Max. You're over him. Who cares if he his here? Who cares if he's here to stomp on an already broken heart?" I told myself. "You need to calm down. He's not here for you like you think. Don't get your hopes up."

He's obviously here for me. Just like you wanted. He's here to make things right. It's just like you dreamed. He's your black knight here to fight for you.

"I don't need some knight in gleaming armor. I can take care of myself." I argued back.

You call drinking yourself silly every night taking care of yourself.

"He made me like this!" I yelled. "And now I'm fighting with my own inner voice! Who the hell does that!"

"Apparently, you do," said a deep voice from the doorway. "Hey, Max."

I whirled around. "Nicholas. So now you've moved up in the ranks to a pervert who goes into the girls' bathroom."

"Actually, this is the guys' bathroom. So, that makes you the pervert," Fang muttered, his mouth quirked to the side slightly.

My heart tripped. He smirk had always gotten me. "Why the hell are you here?" I demanded. I meant for my voice to sound angry and cutting. Instead, it was helpless and thick with tears.

"Max," Fang began, pleading in his eyes, as he took a step forward. I stepped back. "I...I came to apologize."

I glared at Fang, a lump rising in my throat. "You're about three months too late for that," I hissed. I brushed past Fang and stalked back to the bar. I grabbed Gaspard's shoulder. "Come on, we're leaving. Now!"

Okay, I know it's short…but I managed to get it up on Tuesday! Ice cream time! Ok…there will be more. No worries!


60. Chapter 60

Ok, so I'm super sorry that it took so long to get this chapter out…I just wanted it to be perfect :)

So, this is the last chapter of Dorm Ride. *sniff sniff* you guys have been the most amazing readers ever! Thanks so much for a great year of comments and reviews…and death threats when I wasn't updating…haha. You guys are awesome!

So, be on the look out for my next FanFic. I'm co-writing it with Ostrobogulous. It's going to be a City of Bones (the mortal instrument trilogy) and a Maximum Ride crossover. Be on the look out for it in 2011!

Alright. So let's get this wrapped up guys.

Hope you like it!


Fang POV: Chapter 59

I watched as Max grabbed the French guy and they exited the club. Dammit! I shouldn't have been so sarcastic in the bathroom. I didn't come this far just to ruin it. I can't fuck up. Not again.

"Guys," I called to the band. "Keep them busy. I'll be back later."

"What the hell are we supposed to do!" Iggy yelled.

"I don't know…just don't let Gazzy sing whatever you do!" I shouted back and sprinted out the door after Max. I couldn't let this happen.

Max was it. She is it. She is everything. I had just been stupid and taken too long to realize. Hopefully I'm not too late. Please tell me I'm not too late. I can't be too late. I don't think I'll be able to take if I'm too late.

I rushed down the street. Max's blue dress was in sight. I could still catch up. I pushed myself to run faster and started gaining on Max and the French guy.

Max POV:

I grabbed Gaspard's arm and forced him out of the club with me.

"So, you do know those guys," Gaspard stated.

"Yes," I replied curtly.

I glanced sideways at Gaspard. There was no doubt he was gorgeous…but, he wasn't Fang. I swallowed hard. Why was I still comparing Gaspard to him? They were totally different. But, which one did I mesh better with? Which one would I trust with my life? Which one would I save from drowning first? Which one could I see myself having a future with? Which one do I want to be with? The answer to all those questions:


I mentally slapped myself. Fang didn't want me. He made the perfectly clear when he had said that he didn't want to see me again.

As Gaspard and I were walking back to the dorms, the sidewalks and streetlamps faded as they were replaced with harsh white hospital lights.

"I…I was going to tell you. Today actually," I muttered, shifting from foot to foot.

"But, you didn't try hard enough, did you?" Fang accused, his voice like ice again.

"Well, maybe you should ask me first before you go and take Sam's word as law!" I yelled, angry that Fang would immediately believe Sam.

"Then why don't you tell me!" Fang shouted.

"Fine!" I yelled.

"No… you know what? I don't want to know. I don't care," Fang hissed. "You lost your chance to explain your side. How could you keep this from me!"

"Because I knew you'd have this reaction!" I fired back.

"This reaction! What do you expect me to act like after my sister got the living day lights beat out of her because some jack-ass wanted our money!" Fang whisper shouted. Gazzy had lifted his head and was looking in out direction.

"I…I was afraid," I murmured.

"Don't give me that shit!" Fang yelled, punching the wall. "This isn't always about you! Don't give me the "I'm a damaged child who has trouble trusting people" act! I know all about that and yet I opened my heart to you! You saw Nudge was married to him! You knew the danger! You knew he wanted to rob the house! Are you so concerned with your own feelings and well-being that it doesn't matter if other people get hurt!"

I took another step back. "Fang… I'm sorry." Tears started to well up in my eyes.

"Save it!" Fang hissed. "I don't want your apology. I don't even want to see you."

I sucked in a deep breath. I reverted to anger instead of sadness. It's much less painful. "Well, that's gonna be kinda hard since we live next door to each other," I replied, my words dripping venom. The tears were gone from my eyes.

"Well, maybe you should live somewhere else next year," Fang suggested.

"Idiot! We go to the same college! You're going to see me no matter what!" I yelled. This time I took a step towards Fang.

"Then maybe you should take your French teacher up on her offer and go to France this coming year," Fang suggested. His voice was a mix of steel and shattering ice.

"You…you want me to go to France?" I asked, my world crumbling before me.

"Yeah. I think it would be best if we didn't see each other for a long time," Fang whispered. He almost sounded like he regretted speaking those words. Almost.

"Well, fine then Nicholas. This is the last time you'll ever have to see me,"

I said, my voice hushed and laced with oncoming tears.

I turned and ran down the hall towards the parking lot.

Tears stung the back of my eyes. I pushed them away. Fang had made it clear. Perfectly clear that we were over. What I did was unforgivable. There's no going back to the way we were. We couldn't

"Max? Are you okay?" Gaspard asked, he sounded legitimately concerned.

"Yes," I lied, my voice a little thick with tears. "Just fine."

"Are you cold?"

"No. Why would I be?" I questioned.

"You're shivering," Gaspard observed.


Gaspard shrugged off his jacket and draped it over my shoulders, and then his arm was around my shoulders. As if the slight body contact could warm me up. Strangely, it did.

"Hey! Hey, Max!" I heard a voice I knew all too well call from behind.

My heart leapt and my stomach plunged to my feet. He actually came after me. But, he'll just yell right? He's just going to rub it in my face right? Tell me he's going out with some hot chick with giant boobs. Like Lissa or someone like that. Fang had always thought that red hair was pretty.

"Keep walking," I muttered to Gaspard.

"Max! MAX! STOP, DAMMIT!" Fang cried.

He actually sounded broken. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around. Fang was standing about 100 feet away from me. My broken heart repaired and shattered at the sight of him. I didn't know what to do. I was frozen.

I look of apprehensive hope passed over Fang's face as he slowly approached me and Gaspard.

"I'd appreciate it if you'd take your arm off of her," Fang demanded of Gaspard.

It took a moment for Gaspard to process but then in perfect English: "And why is that? Who are you to her?"

"Her boyfriend." Fang stated.

Gaspard looked at me in question. I was still frozen. Finally, his words began to register and my body started to come to life again.

"My what?" I asked slowly.

"Boyfriend," Fang repeated, less confidently than the first.

"As I remember, you broke up with me. We're done. You said so yourself."

"Yeah. I think it would be best if we didn't see each other for a long time," Fang whispered.

Fang shifted slightly. "Well…I've revised my thinking. Can we go and talk somewhere in private?"

"Revised your thinking? Like you would revise a song to make sure the lyrics sounds good, the melody is right, and all the syllables line up? I'm not some song you can just redo whenever you want to. This is life. Not a song. You can't change your decisions and revise them like you can revise a verse when the syllables aren't quite right!" I hissed, my voice steadily rising.

"That's why I want to talk to you," Fang muttered. "I want to tell you that I took another look at my past actions and I want to start fresh. A new song. Not change the old one."

"I'm confused," Gaspard started, talking to me in French. "Are we talking about songs or the fact that he broke up with you?"

"Both," I said quickly. I had almost forgotten about Gaspard. When Fang is around, it feels like he's the only one. I turned to Fang and switched back to English. "I feel like we said all that needed to be said in the hospital. You've already formed your opinion of me based on Sam's words. You killed the old song and there is no possible way to start a new one without some threads of the old song clouding the verses."

"Max, please can we talk. And stop using a damn song analogy. You're confusing the poor French guy. Can we just talk face to face about what happened?" Fang insisted.


"Why do you always do this? You always avoid confrontation." Fang stated. Sounding more hurt than angry.

"Max," Gaspard whispered. "You should go with him. He seems sincere. He needs you just as much as you need him."

I spun and looked at Gaspard. "What?" I insisted, speaking in French again.

"I can tell. He is the one who has your heart. He always will. I never stood a chance," Gaspard replied. "Go with him."

I chewed my bottom lip and turned to Fang. It was true. Fang does have my heart. And I think he always will. And, I do want to go with him. I want to tell him how desperately I've missed him and how badly I want to start over with no secrets. But, I couldn't just act like nothing happened. He really hurt me. He broke my heart. That sounds so cliché but it's true. He is the first person to really break my heart. He really screwed me up. But, he's the only one who can put me back together. Even if it's at the risk of breaking my heart again in the future because Fang will always be the only one who can put it back together.

"Fine," I ground out, glaring at Fang. I hated that he had this power over me. Hated it and loved it. I am as high as a kite when I'm with Fang and down in the deepest dumps when he's gone. He's the only one who can make me feel so much. He's the only one who can make me feel, really. "I'll go with you."

Maybe it was my imagination, but I think Fang's eyes lit up when I said I would go with him.


Fang POV:

I fought down my smile when Max said she would come. I have to play it safe. I'm still on thin ice. Really thin ice.

"I saw a café down the road. We could go there," I offered tentatively.

"Yeah sure," Max muttered. She turned to the French guy and said something to him in French. I still marvel at the way she can switch from one language to another so easily. I marvel at everything Max does. I don't why I let her go.

The Frenchie replied and nodded in my direct as a sort of goodbye. He gave Max a kiss on each cheek and left.

"What the hell was that?" I demanded as the guy's back disappeared into the blackness of the night.

"It's how French people say hello and goodbye. Don't sweat it," Max mumbled. "What was with you calling yourself my boyfriend?"

"Um…let's just go get some coffee and we'll talk about it then," I suggested quickly.

"Whatever," Max grumbled.

She took a few long strides so she could walk ahead of me. I could tell by the set of her back that she was determined not to talk to me. I smiled faintly. Still the same old stubborn Max. But, I could also tell there was something different and it scared me, frankly. I'm not sure if this new side of Max still loves me…and I'm afraid I'm the reason there's this new side to her.

I gave Max her space and walked behind her. We'd have plenty of time to talk in the café.

Max POV:

I knew the café Fang was talking about. I walked ahead of Fang, formulating what I was going to say. But, most likely it would all come out as weird incoherent gibberish. It was still worth a shot though.

We walked into the café. We were the only ones there. A blessing and a curse. I called the waiter over.

"Un table pour deux, s'il vous plaît," I asked the waiter. (A table for two, please.)

He nodded and led us over to a table that was tucked away in the corner. It was a booth and there was romantic candle lighting and everything. It reminded me of the time Fang and I went to dinner the first night we met.

Fang and I walked into the small Italian restaurant and were given strange looks by the people who were leaving. I guess wearing paint-splattered clothes isn't so stylish I just smiled and waved. That got me even weirder looks. Fang smirked.

"Table for two, please," Fang asked the waitress.

We waited for a few minutes, and the busty waitress came back, smiling, and holding two menus. "This way," she said cheerfully.

We both exchanged glances and tried not to laugh at her super happy voice. She led us past the front dinning area and up a flight of stairs. She was leading us to a back room that said "The Godfather Room" on the door. That looks pretty cool. As we were about to go in I spotted a glass door. There was a pretty terrace outside with a few seats. Fang looked in the same direction.

"Can we go out there?" he asked.

Wow, it was like he read my mind or something.

The waitress looked shocked, "You don't think it's too cold?"

We both shook our heads. I had a sweatshirt with me, and Fang, well, he just doesn't seem to be affected by the weather. He was still in his wife-beater tank top, which was covered in purple paint, and when we stepped outside, he didn't shiver once.

The waitress nodded and led us to the outside tables. "You can pick a spot; no one else comes out here."

Fang nodded and led me to the only table that was under a cover that had vines growing up it and small lights planted within the greenery. It was really pretty. The waitress looked slightly disappointed. Then it dawned on me. It was a romantic spot. Did she think I was Fang's girlfriend? Fang and I sat down and she set the menus in front of us.

"Kind of reminds me of our first dinner together," Fang said as he slid into the booth. The candles made shadows dance across his face, highlighting his perfect cheek bones and making his eyes sparkle like diamonds.

"I was just thinking that," I whispered. Fang smiled but didn't say anything. "What do you want me to order for you?"

"Just a black coffee, thanks," Fang answered not even looking at the menu. In fact, he was staring at me. He'd been staring at me the whole time. I blushed slightly. Hopefully the dim lighting concealed it.

I turned to the waiter. "Je prends du café avec le sucre et…il prend du café aussi mais pas du sucre." (I'll have coffee with sugar and he'll have coffee also but no sugar).

The waiter nodded and smirked. "The girl orders? Interesting. I suppose he doesn't speak French."

"So?" I demanded. "I don't suppose you speak English."

The waiter flushed. "I'll go get your coffees."

I nodded and turned my attention back to Fang. Had I just defended him?

"Thanks," Fang murmured.

My eyes flew open in surprise. "You understood that?"

"I got the basic gist of it. I sped read a French words guide book for tourists on the plane ride over," Fang replied.

"Um…wow," I muttered. "So, why did you hop on a plane to France exactly?"

Fang sucked in a deep breath. "I had to see you."


"The way I left things wasn't right. Just, what happened in general wasn't right."

"I know. I'm sorry," I said in a hushed voice. My eyes widened. Had I just apologized? It surprised me just as much as it surprised Fang. Honestly, I had wanted to apologize for so long…but why was I doing it now? I supposed to be playing hard to get. But, I'm just putty in his hands.

"Why are you apologizing?" Fang demanded.

"I should have told you about Sam," I answered as though it was obvious. I mentally slapped myself. Playing hard to get, Max. Come on!

"Ok, yeah, but I shouldn't have gotten so hot under the collar. I wasn't thinking straight because Nudge was hurt."

"How it Nudge, by the way?" I cut in.

"She's loads better. They let her out of the hospital about a month ago and when she came home she demanded why you hadn't come to see her and why you weren't at home waiting for her return."

Tears stung the back of my eyes. "She wants to see me? After it was my fault that she ended up in the hospital?"

"She doesn't blame you. She said she understands why you didn't say anything. I guess girls get stuff that I just don't."

I smiled slightly. "Yeah. It's a girl thing to make things ridiculously complicated."

"So I noticed. I guess it's a guy thing to overreact and be stupid at the most crucial moments."

"Yeah, I noticed that as well."

Fang smiled. "Things aren't right at home without you, Max. Angel misses you. Nudge misses you. Mom and Dad miss you. Rondie is getting fat again and won't let anyone catch her. And the guys in the band miss you. And Ella misses you. And…and…"

"And?" I prompted.

"And I miss you. I miss you a whole hell of a lot." Fang finished. "Life sucks without you. You gave me a purpose and a direction. Seriously, as corny as it sounds, I was like a lost soul floating around before you came along. You brought me back to life."

Tears pricked at my eyes again. "I kept so much from you. I don't deserve this kind of forgiveness. You have done so much for me. You picked me up out of the raging storm I was lost in. You made my life bright again."

"But I also ruined it and made it dark again. I'm the one who needs to be forgiven."

"No, it was my fault too. I shouldn't have kept everything from you. And trust me, I've forgiven you. It's more myself I'm mad at for screwing up the great thing we had going."

"Max, is there a chance we could start over?" Fang pleaded.

"How could we?" I asked. "When so much has happened how can we start fresh?"

"Hi, my name is Fang Martinez. I'm almost 20 years old. I'm a sophomore in college at University of Portland. I'm in a band that has a really shitty name. I play guitar, violin, and I sing. I used to be in a gang. My real name is Nicholas Martinez. I used to go by Dagger in my gang. I have a scar on my back that says worthless. And I'm hopeless in love with the girl who is sitting in front of me."

I stared at Fang. Tears freely streamed down my face. He really did want me back. "Hi, I'm Maximum Ride, but everyone calls me Max. I used to be a wild party girl and later a thief. I ruined many people's lives including the life of someone I love the most in the world. I used to be in a band that now has a really shitty name. I play guitar and sing. I'm an ex-alcoholic because the man sitting before is my reason not to drink and I'm hopelessly in love with him."

"You're still in the band with the shitty name, sorry to say." Fang smirked. "So, we'll have to up with a better name. And you didn't ruin his life. You make his life seem like heaven. And…" Fang slipped out of his booth and came and knelt in front of me. "That guy would like to know if you would always make his life like heaven."

Fang slipped a black velvet box out of his pocket and popped it open. A silver band that twisted at the top and had one amethyst and one black diamond nestled together in the twists sat in the black satin inside the small box.

I looked up at Fang with wide eyes. "This is…"

"A huge leap, I know. And I know we're young. So, we don't have to get married until we graduate. But, while you were gone it made me realize that I can't live without you. So. What do you say?"

I opened my small clutch bag and took out the old promise ring Fang had given me. I slipped it onto my ring finger on my left hand.

"Yes. A thousand times yes," I smiled through the tears that were streaming down my face.

Fang smiled his smile that he saves just for me and the world lit up like there were a thousand suns shining on us in the café. Fang carefully took the ring out of the box and slid it onto my ring finger so it was stacked on top of the promise ring.

"I love you," he whispered.

"I love you, too." I muttered.

Fang's face drew closer to mine and his lips met mine in a gentle but passionate kiss. All was right with the world again.


I slipped into my dorm room. My lips tingling and my left hand feeling happily heavy. I had sent Fang back to the bar to tell the band the good news while I packed my things so we could return home on the flight that was leaving tonight at midnight. It was like a fairy tale.

I quickly packed all my and changed into some comfy sweats and a hoodie. I opened the cupboard that held all my alcohol. I didn't even want a sip. I shoved all the bottles into a cardboard box and started to make the trek down to the large dumpster behind the dorms.

As I was going down, I ran into Gaspard.

"Getting rid of all the alcohol I see," he commented.

"I don't need it anymore." I stated happily.

"Why's that?"

"Remember when you said I should stop drinking and I asked you what the point was?"

Gaspard nodded. "I said that earlier this evening."

"Yeah, well, I have my reason. Fang is my reason not to drink. He's always been my reason and he always will be."

Gaspard smiled. "I figured as much. After everything Iggy and Gazzy told me about you two, I knew he was the only for you."

"What? How do you know the twins?" I demanded.

Gaspard smiled even wider. "When their dad was in high school he did an exchange program and lived with my dad's family for about a month. They kept up their friendship over the years and visit every couple of years. The twins and I are really good friends. Anyway, they were worried when you came to France and asked me to keep and eye on you."

I stared openmouthed. "Then why did you kiss me?"

"Because, I knew you'd compare me to Fang. I knew you'd realize that any other guy is just sub-par," Gaspard reasoned.

I smiled and shook my head. "Those two. Taking care of me from across the ocean. Thank you, Gaspard."

"No problem. I hope we can part as friends."

"Of course. I would love that."

Gaspard gave me a hug and kisses on my cheeks. "I'll throw this stuff out. You better get back to the bar so you can catch your plane home."

I nodded. "Bye Gaspard. If you and family ever visit Iggy's family, let me know!"

"Will do!" Gaspard called as he waved me off.

I smiled to myself as I walked back the bar. I had the best friends in the world and the best fiancé a girl could ask for. I internally squealed at the word fiancé. Life had been shitty before I met Fang. Life was shitty when I was away from Fang. Therefore, and logically, the best way to live is with Fang in my life, indefinitely.


I walked into the bar to find it deserted. The only people left were Fang, Iggy, Gazzy, and Kyle. They all smiled brightly when they saw me.

"1…2…3…4," Fang counted off.

I got your runaway smile in my piggybank baby
Gonna cash it right in for a new Mercedes
You were worth the hundred thousand miles
But you couldn't stay awhile
I got your little brown shirt in my bottom drawer baby
And your little white socks in the top drawer
You were always leaving your shit around
And gone without a sound

Yeah I'm the first to fall and the last to know
Where'd you go?

Now I'm heels over head
I'm hangin' upside down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound

I got a first class ticket to a night all alone
And a front row seat up right by the phone
Cause you're always on my mind
And I'm running out of time
I've got your hair on my pillow and your smell in my sheets
And it makes me think about you with the sand in your feet
Is it all you thought it'd be?
You mean everything to me

But I'm the first to fall and the last to know
And where'd you go?

Now I'm heels over head,
I'm hangin' upside down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound
And when you hit the coast
I hope you think of me
And how I'm stuck here with the ghost of what we used to be

You're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes
Yeah you're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes
You're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes
Yeah you're burnin' bridges baby
Burnin' bridges, making wishes

You're a chance taker, heartbreaker
Got me wrapped around your finger
Chance taker, heartbreaker
Got me wrapped around your finger

I got your runaway smile in my piggybank baby
Gonna cash it right in for a new Mercedes
If I drive a hundred thousand miles
Would you let me stay a while?

Now I'm heels over head,
I'm hangin' upside-down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound
And when you hit the coast
I hope you think of me
And how I'm stuck here with the ghost of what we used to be

Now I'm heels over head,
I'm hangin' upside-down
Thinking how you left me for dead
California bound
And when you hit the coast
Maybe you'll finally see
And then you'll turn it all around and you'll come back to me

I smiled and tears of happiness pricked at my eyes. It was the first love song Fang had ever sung to me. It had swept me off my feet then and it had just swept me off my feet again.

"Hey, Max?" Gazzy asked.

"You okay?" Iggy inquired.

"Earth to Max!" Gazzy yelled.

"Use this," Iggy suggested.

Gazzy took the square plastic object Iggy held out. It was a drink coaster. Gazzy pulled his arm back and chucked it at me, hitting me right in the face.

"Dammit, Gazzy!" I yelled rubbing my nose. Last time Fang had sung that song for me, Gazzy had chucked a pine cone at me. It was way softer. It still hurt, but it was softer.

I ran up to the stage and was bombarded with a group hug. I couldn't help it, I cried. I had missed everyone so much. After the group hug, I got individual hugs from everyone. Knowing I had to thank the twins I pulled them aside.

"Guys, thank you so much for sending Gaspard to look after me," I muttered.

The twins winked and tapped their noses. "Let's just keep this our little secret," they chimed. "Fang doesn't need to know we were the master minds behind this reunion."

I smiled. "But, we promised no more secrets. I'll tell him when we get back to the states."

"Make sure he's in a good mood when you tell him," Gazzy muttered.

"Pretty sure he's gonna be on cloud nine for a long time, Gaz," Iggy replied. "It's good to have to back, Max."

"Good to be back." I smiled and crushed the twins in another hug. A girl couldn't ask for better friends.

I ran back out on stage and grabbed the mike. I hadn't sung in a while. At least, I hadn't sung sober in a while. I hope it sounds okay.

"I have a song for you too, Fang," I murmured.

Guess this means you're sorry
You're standing at my door
Guess this means you take back
All you said before
Like how much you wanted
Anyone but me
Said you'd never come back
But here you are again

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Baby I was stupid for telling you goodbye
Maybe I was wrong for tryin' to pick a fight
I know that I've got issues
But you're pretty messed up too
Either way, I found out I'm nothing without you

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Being with you
Is so dysfunctional
I really shouldn't miss you
But I can't let you go
Oh yeah

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

I knew that I had already sung this song for Fang, but it applied to us like no other song. I looked down at Fang. He was smiling my special smile up at me. I jumped off stage and into his arms. I didn't wait for his head to snake forward. This time, I bent down and crashed my lips onto his. Fireworks erupted between us. Everything in my life was as it should be.

"Good God! Get a room!" The twins and Kyle yelled at us.

OMG! So that's it. THE END! Dorm Ride is officially over. Thanks everyone for reading the crazy roller-coaster ride of a story that my strange and twisted brain came up with!

Like I said before: be on the look for the new story I'm going to be co-writing with Ostrobogulous! We'll probably post it under my pen name. We'll see. But it'll be a City of Bones/ Maximum Ride crossover! I hope you enjoyed Dorm Ride! Thanks so much for reading.

Nightwings93. *sniff sniff*my last time signing off of Dorm Ride….