Finding Home by piperchick

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Drama, Romance
Characters:Fang, Max
Published:2007-06-03 21:28:10
Updated:2014-03-16 18:17:48
Packaged:2021-04-21 22:57:26
Summary:Takes place after MR2.Max was gone. Four years have pass and now she's back. She can't hide from her secrets. And her biggest one may destroy them all. FAXNESS and some IggyxNudge

Table of Contents

1. Milk Cartons and Heros
2. My Lover's Gone
3. Precious Cargo
4. The Truth
5. Waiting on the World to Change
6. Home's Rejection
7. Don't Let Go
8. Breathe and Fang's Smile
9. I Can't Read You
10. Reunion
11. The Truth Hurts
12. Doorway Bliss
13. Chasing Cars
14. Jess and Define Normal
15. WallyWorld Relationships
16. Before the Dawn
17. Stupid Boy
18. Speechless
19. Tree, Swing, and Voice oh my
20. Crash and Burn
21. Colorful Insightful Secrets
22. A Pinch of Brian and a Dash of Rum
23. Drunken Ruckus
24. My Hero
25. Through Dark there is Light
26. Deathly Ultimatums
27. Cold, Broken Hallelujah
28. The Deed
29. History Lesson
30. Unwelcomed Visitors
31. Cat's Out the Bag
32. Continuation
33. Chatper 33
34. Continuation part deux

1. Milk Cartons and Heros

Howdy all, it's my first fan-fic so please leave me some criticism. If you don't like it, that's okay but please don't leave rude stuff. Let's play nice.

I don't own any of the main characters James Patterson created. He's awesome so he gets the credit.

Enjoy the ride!

Chapter 1.

Milk cartons, or more so the faces on the milk cartons. No one ever wishes they were the owner of the face. No one but me. At least if I had my face on a milk carton that meant someone was looking for me, someone somewhere cared for me and missed me.

I take the last sip out of the carton and crush it on the table in front of me. Don't get me wrong, I had people that cared for me, five in fact. But that was then, and this is now.

Back then my biggest problem was trying to keep my five alive. And trying to figure out how to save the world. Hah, yeah. What problems could be bigger than that you may ask. Well, right now I'm trying to think of what to do next. And being completely clueless and completely alone is in all pretenses worse. I've changed. I'm colder, I know it. I push a piece of my very stringy and messy hair back behind my ear. And right now I probably don't smell to good either. Heh.

A slight movement to my right catches my eye and I glance at the small bundle in the booth. I rearrange the blanket content with the lack of movement and continue to stare off into oblivion.

Inhale, exhale. Just breathe, Max. You can do this. You've saved the world and those you've loved. You should be happy, your mission is accomplished and for some odd reason you've survived. My pep talk to myself has failed. Remind me never to try for a career in motivational speaking.

Yeah, those faces on the milk carton have it easy.

Chapter 2.

Okay, let me not get a head of myself. It's been four years since Itex. Yeah, we blew it up, yay big deal. We thought that was the end. No, not even close.

We stayed around south Florida for a while thinking that if the erasers or Jeb came looking we could hide in the many islands off the cost.

I feel a small smile on my face. I loved those weeks. We decided early on that looking for the flocks parents would be put on hold. I just think we wanted to be together again without the fear of separation lingering in the distance. Iggy was all for that plan.

There we were. We spent the day light hours flying around the islands, discovering secret caverns that were darn near impossible to get to by foot. We stayed in a cave Gazzy found, which I must say he was very proud of. That boy can boast let me tell ya. And both Fang and I found all the coconuts and banana's a hybrid could eat. Ig tried to fish (which again, was quite a feat. I mean a blind boy trying to grab a fish…) and after a tremendous amount of coaxing we got Angel to umm politely ask the fish to jump into makeshift pan. So as you could tell, we were living the high life.

I can still remember the last night on the island. Nudge and Angel decided we needed a party. Angel said it was Total's birthday, I just think she wanted an excuse to go shopping. Nudge must have encouraged her. So we all went out and bought some nicer looking clothes for the occasion.

I have to say I looked pretty good in my light blue spring dress. Even though it was December it being Florida the summer weather never stopped. Nudge and Angel settled for skirts and tank tops of a variety of colors. They of course were adorable.

Gazzy took on the role of tourists with a capital T. He decked himself out in cotton shorts with a tee-shirt and a button down floral shirt on top. With, get this, purple and orange flowers. He also wanted a new pair of sandals. By the way, sandals are NOT the best shoes for flying. Oh no. Iggy looked very handsome with a light cotton collard shirt, green, and shorts. And Fang, Fang. He looked good that night too.

My breath catches thinking about him and that last night. He shocked all of us when he opted out of his black wardrobe and settled for a cream button down silk knock off with white light cotton pants.

He turned to me in the store smirking at my dropped jaw and shrugged saying, 'It's just one shirt. And it's Total's birthday. Special occasion.'

I don't know why but ever since I was trapped in the tank and freed my feelings about Fang were changing. I found myself letting him take on more responsibilities around the camp and not arguing with him about who's taking which watch when. And he noticed. I might have casually told him that black made him seem darker and more standoffish and how it would be nice to see him in another color, say beige or cream. I definitely think he noticed.

So we get back to the camp and the girls are off trying to make jewelry out of the local shells. They came back with a very nice necklace for me and a flower head band. They are talent wrapped up with wings. We all sit around the fire cooking our fish and enjoying our fruits.

'Max, I need to speak to you for a sec,' Fang said as he got up from the sand and walked to the edge of the shore.

I turned and check on the kids. Angel was cuddling up with Total about to drop, Nudge making a new jewelry masterpiece, and Ig and Gazzy were busy playing a game with bark, rocks and seaweed. Don't ask. I got up and followed Fang, taking extra awareness of the way his shoulders outlined that shirt and how his dark wings looked more dramatic against the lighter colors.

I stood next to him. He was staring off into the ocean. 'Yeah,' I replied, 'What's up?'

He nodded towards the sea. 'Do you feel small? Standing here looking out. Do you feel small and a little scared?'

He asked me out here to see if I felt small compared to the ocean. Taking a deep breath I replied, 'Naturally. I am nothing compared to that big thing out there. We are all small compared to it. But that's not what you wanted to talk about is it?'

He grinned. 'You were gone, Max. You left us. And the only way I could really tell that the fake Max wasn't you was from her insisting on cooking. I'll never forgive myself for not noticing sooner.' He shook his head and his eyebrows came together. He glanced at me and then back out to sea.

'Fang, they had a fake Max. I was even having a hard time remembering who was who, and I'm the original! I don't blame you Fang, so neither should you.' I was shocked. He blamed himself, and to top it off he admitted it! This boy who won't open up even a crack.

He turned and stared at me. His eyes looked so serious. He just stood there and stared. He took me in I could feel his gaze go from my face down to my bare feet. I started to feel a blush rise to my face.

Oh the things that boy's look could do to a girl. I shifted my wings, nervous habit but I kinda wanted to cover up my body from his piercing eyes.


'Max, I do feel responsible. You need someone too, you need a protector. You need your own Max. And I feel like especially lately that I'm that person. I don't know when it happened and I don't care, but I am him.' He took a deep breath and continued, he looked almost in physical pain.

'Life is too short, Max. We are too small against the bigger picture. We are nothing and yet you are everything. You've been told that you need to save the world. But you don't Max. You just need to save yourself and stay alive because to us, Max, to me and to the four kids up there you are the world. You're our world. And when I found out you weren't you, that I had no idea where the real Max was I was scared to death. For the first time in my life I was scared beyond anything else I've ever experienced. And damnit Max, I'll be damned if I let anything happen to you again. So there, I just wanted to let you know that. You are the leader and protector of the flock and I'm the protector of you.' He was looking at me waiting for a reply.

Fang doesn't talk. I mean he does but not really. I couldn't believe all the words that came out of his mouth, so taking those words and understanding them was more unbelievable. He wanted to be my protector, my hero, my Max.

All of a sudden all we've been through crashed down on me on that very moment. Our first meeting at the school, our life with Jeb, what we went though to get Angel back, Anne, the high school, Lisa, Sam, the chip, the beach, the kiss, the hall way in Anne's house… the kiss, his comment on my eraser face being cute, him kissing my head, him catching me when I fall, him being there during my lapse in judgment with the chip and shell, just him in general. I shook my head in disbelief. He already was my hero in so many ways and just didn't know it. I said it before and I'll say it again, I couldn't imagine my life without Fang. It wouldn't be worth living.

'Umm, Max. What are you thinking about?' He looked a little worried with his hands shoved in his pockets.

'Fang, if Lisa and I were dangling from a cliff and you had time to save only one of us which one would you choose, and no I don't have wings.'

'What! What type of question is that.' He looked bewildered.

'Just answer it okay. Please.' I was pleading and my body was jumping on the inside which I'm sure was reflected on the outside.

'Max..', He took a step closer still shaking his head.

'Fang..' I did the same.

'Well, if for some insane reason that was the case, I would pick you. Like I said you are my life.' He paused. 'That sounded really cheesy, didn't it?'

'Yeah,' I grinned and took another step towards him. I glanced down at his lips and back to his eyes. They were fixated on my mouth as well.

'Well this changes things.' He whispered.

'What does?' I murmured loving the feel of his hand as it touched my cheek.

'This.,' And with that he leaned in and kissed me.

It started out a nice innocent kiss. But I think I made it not so innocent when I launched my body into his and grabbed hold of his head with both hands. Oh, how I melted into him. I needed him and I finally had enough guts to admit it. He pulled me closer with one hand while the other took hold of my neck and turned my head for a deeper more, well, everything type of kiss. And get this, my knees actually went weak. He tasted of Fang, sweet and dark. He smelled of Fang. I wanted to get closer to immerse myself in him. But like all things in my life this good moment was short lived.

'Ahem… um guys,' Gazzy smirked.

We jumped away and Fangs hand shot out to steady me since I still felt like jelly. Now I really did blush and from what I can tell Fang was a few shades pinker himself.

'What Gazzy!' I practically shouted, but was out of breath so it sounded like a wheezing monkey.

'We just wanted to let you know that we are going to bed now, so yeah,' He was trying to speak but his laughter was making it difficult. His shoulders were shaking so hard I thought he would pull a feather or something.

'Thanks Gaz,' Fang replied. He let go of my arm went back to his Fang look of a half smirk and all attitude.

Gazzy went back to the fire and I could hear Ig ask, 'They weren't- were they-no.. I don't want to know.'

Thank god Nudge and Angel were already asleep. I'll just have to intercept those two before they could tell the girls in the morning. I turned to Fang who just looked at me and smiled.

'What?' I smirked back. His smile always makes me feel things. Odd things.

He took a hand out and tucked a piece of my hair behind my ear. 'Your hair and my wings. That'll be good.' He took my hand and started up the beach.

'What's my hair and your wings? What are you talking about?' I was confused to put it lightly.

'What they'll look like. It will be several years from now, but I think that's the best combination.' He lowered his voice as we got closer, his fingers interlaced with mine.

'Who?' I was getting irritated. I like to have straightforward answers to my questions.

'Our children.'

Okay, that was very straightforward.

2. My Lover's Gone

Thanks for the reviews.

Again not my characters, JP rocks.

Chapter 3.

One kiss, just one kiss and he was already thinking about kids! Max, you know the kiss meant more. You and Fang mean more. The Voice nagged.

Voice, oh how I've missed you. Not! And you do not have an opinion on what just happened between Fang and I and if you do don't tell me. This was so not the right time to be having a conversation with the thing in my head.

Max, I may not agree with some of what Fang said like you DO have to save the world. But he has realized his role in this game, it might be a little soon but this is good. The Voice went on.

My hand tightened around Fangs as we got to the others. Voice, shut up. Not now. Go away.

No response. Good.

'That might have been a little blunt,' Fang said. He let go of my hand and sat down on a log. His eyes still refused to meet mine. Awe, he was embarrassed.

'Just a bit. But we can talk about it later. Right now I need to think…. and sleep, so—', I paused shifting from one foot to the other. Oh man, this was awkward.

'Yeah, I'll take first watch. You sleep,' He blurted out. Still focused on the fire.

Oh, this would not do. 'Fang, its okay. I mean, a little confusing and scary and weird and stuff but not bad weird.' I licked my lips. Well, that did not help at all.

'Ahhh,' I grunted. Angel shifted a little and I lowered my voice. In one deep breath I let it out hoping it would clear the air and we could get over this pink elephant in the room thing.

'My feelings for you have changed' I whispered. 'That kiss was the most amazing thing I think I've ever felt. And you and the flock are my life as well. Especially you. I kissed you on the beach when you were hurt and that made me start thinking about you… and us. And then when I saw you kiss Lisa,' I paused trying not to puke. 'Well, I was beyond jealous. I'm 14 but I feel like I'm 20. So yeah, okay, we just kissed. And sure, we would more than likely become more than what we are now. So, I guess this was good. Crap, I'm babbling and cant- I just mean- Ahhh, this is so not coming out right…. Fine! Our kids will have my hair and your eyes!' And with that I walked over to him and kissed him hard. 'Goodnight Fang.'

Fang blinked in amazement. 'Night, Max.'

I turned and found a nice patch of sand. Thoughts running through my mind. Fang. I'm in a relationship with Fang. Right? Do we even have relationships? I mean, its not like I can go date anyone I want. But Fang. Wow, Fang. How are we going to tell the flock? What will they think. He is the father figure for the kids. Kids. Our kids. OMG! Fang and I having kids. That involves more than kissing. Much more. I smiled. A stupid giddy smile that I prayed Fang couldn't see over the flames. I moved a piece of twig that was jabbing me in the face. And who decided we should sleep on the beach tonight!

I drifted off to sleep and woke up around, not quite sure when. Couldn't find the time when a hand was over my mouth and a gun pointed at my head. Ari. They found us.

I turned to look at the rest of the flock. They were still sleeping soundly and Fang was slumped over with blood running down the front of his face. My eyes bulged out in concern.

'Don't worry birdy. Lover boys alright. Quite a moment the two of you had near the water, huh.' Ari spoke in my ear. His breath was kickin and he almost knicked my ear with his teeth. 'Come with me and they'll live. Fight me and I'm so going to shoot them. I'm tired of this Max. This ends tonight.' And to prove his point he made the other erasers hold out guns pointed to the rest of the flock.

When in the hell did they get guns! I nodded, not wanting to chance it. He grabbed me up by my throat. Hurt much! I had my mouth free and couldn't resist. 'Peeping Tom, Ari. You sick dog.'

He dragged me into the nearby woods. And who was there waiting. Jeb. Well duh. Ari released me but still had the gun too close for comfort. 'Hello Max. As Ari said before, it ends tonight. You have a choice to make, a very simple one. Come with me now or I'll have the flock shot a point blank.' He looked tired and angry but when his eyes met mine they softened.

I wanted punch the softness out of him. I wanted to do a lot to Jeb. And Ari. I just stood there and listened. He means business.

'No more playing around, Max. This is it. We have a deadline vastly approaching and you are a critical part in this. I'm getting sick of these games.' His eyes went up into a smile. 'And if you do come with us, you have my word that the rest of the flock wont be touched, ever.'

I laughed at that. 'Since when did your word ever mean much?' I was getting very mad, very quickly.

'I mean it. We wont touch them we wont even look for them. We can't anyway. We have no way of finding them without you being with them.' He stared down at my arm. The chip. So it was me who was leading them to us. I was the reason they were in danger. I almost felt sick.

'So if I go with you, the flock's free. That's it. That's all.' I wasn't buying it.

'Yes Max. You were all we wanted anyway. And we will of course let you go once the mission is accomplished if your still alive. So it's a win win situation.' He took a step forward and rested a hand on my shoulder. I wanted to break it but just shrugged it off.

He presented a suit case and opened it. Money all neatly stacked. 'Look. They can have this to get their life started. We can't even trace them. They would be completely off our radar.' He paused and closed the case. 'We really need you Max. Need you to cooperate with us and we know how much the flock means to you. Max, this is serious. They. Can. Be. Free.' He looked at me with a combination of pure evil and remorse in his eyes.

I was in shock to put it lightly. Leave the flock. Give in to the bad guys. Loose.

'One life for five. Sounds like a great deal,' Ari spat out. I turned to him and gave him a shut up before I kick your dog ass look.

I turned back to Jeb. 'If I live I go free. You won't keep me for anything else?' I can't believe I'm considering this.

'Saving the world is all we want you for Maximum. So yes, you go free. If you live.' Jeb looked hopeful.

I knew he was lying. More than likely he'd leave the flock alone. That I believed. But after I was finished with God knows what, they wouldn't let me go. I would be theirs until I die. But it was either my life or theirs. And I'm too selfish. I need them alive, want them alive. Even if I cant be their with them.

I swallowed hard and held out my hand. Jeb looked at it questionably. He glanced up at the other erasers near camp they cocked their guns.

'Deal, Jeb. We have a deal.' I said quickly. 'Let them go and take me.' He took my hand and shook it. I wanted to cry. Its all falling apart.

'Talk to Fang. Tell him not to look for you. If they interfere our deal is off and we will take action.' He started and then spun me around dragged me behind some boulders. I could see them drag Fang through the sand over to me.

They through some water from a bottle on him. He freaked awake. And four erasers were on him fast. One with a hand over his mouth. Jeb pushed me towards him. I clinched my teeth trying to stop the tears from falling. I was failing.

'Fang,' I squeaked. 'Umm, I have to break my promise, our promise. I'm so sorry Fang.' He looked at me with eyebrows up in shock and struggled to get free. Oh man, how he struggled. I could hear him screaming in the paw over his mouth.

I looked up to the sky wishing that we could just fly away. 'They're letting the flock go. No strings attached. They wont ever hunt for you again. You and the others are free. Free, Fang.' I smiled trying to look happy. I crouched down even with him on his knees. I took his face in my hands. 'They just need me. Only me.' He struggled even harder and his eyes went big. He shook his head over and over again.

I started crying harder. 'They were going to kill all of you and make me do it anyway. This is the only way. The ONLY way Fang.' My vision blurred. His eyes looked like pools. 'Don't come looking for me. If you do they will kill you and all I've done would be for nothing. Do you understand Fang. If you come for me all we have been through would be for nothing. You need to live. Make the flock happy. Make them live on.' I paused and glanced a Jeb who's face never faltered.

'And Jeb said that after I save the world I can leave too.' I glanced back at Fang. His head still in my hands. Forgetting all around, I kissed his head and pryed the hand from his mouth. He started to say something but I stopped him with a kiss. My last kiss. Our last kiss. Our tears mingled and a pathetic whine came from me.

This was not supposes to happen. We were supposed to win. I stopped and placed two fingers over his mouth. 'I'm so sorry.' I whispered. 'I think our children would have been beautiful. I love you and if you love me then let me do this for you. Let me be Max one last time.' And with that I got up and stood beside Jeb.

An eraser came up with a needle. What the hell. And stuck it in Fang. I lunged forward to stop him. 'Relax Max,' came Jeb. 'It's just a sedative to ensure we wont be followed. He'll wake up in six or so hours.'

'I hate you so much.' I replied. He took my elbow and started to lead me deeper into the forest.

'I know, but it is for your own good. You were created for this. And your destiny needs to be fulfilled.' He turned to me with his own needle. And jabbed it into my arm. I stumbled back. Oh this is just great. He grabbed me and picked me up. 'Just so you'll come more willingly. Just in case.' He said.

It was all murky. Everything was fuzzy. I couldn't see right. I felt like my whole life was torn away. I wanted to cry until no more tears came. We had lost. The flock was separated and I agreed to it. And Fang. I crocked out a cry again. We were so close to something amazing. I know it. I could feel it. And now its gone. I don't care anymore, the only people I've ever loved are gone. Voice where are you? Why didn't you say anything?

The best death is one that is for the one's you love, Max. You made the right decision. This cat and mouse game had to end. Like they said, it ends tonight. The Voice interjected.

That was the last I heard as I slipped into darkness.

3. Precious Cargo

Very appreciative of the reviews. Keep 'em coming.

Disclaimer: Again, not all mine, again, JP's awesome.

Chapter 4.

That was also the last time I saw any of my flock. Last time I saw Fang. If he only knew.

I stretched back into the booth, careful not to let my wings expand much. I took out the piece of paper in my pocket and looked at the address scribbled down. I folded it carefully in half and placed it safely back into my jacket pocket.

A woman turned the sign at the front of the store. Time to go. I thought as I grabbed some change from the other pocket and through it on the counter. I picked up my precious cargo and made my way to the door.

'Miss. It's mighty cold out there. Are you sure you want to start out now,' The waitress asked.

I turned my head. 'I need to get going now before the weather worsens.' And shamely added, 'I don't have a car.'

'I know. You could stay in the back 'till the storm passes. You don't need to be out in the storm right now, especially with -.' She nodded at the bundle in my arms. I tightened my hold.

I swallowed hard. Not many people have talked to me since I left and nobody has offered to help. Can I trust her? She just wants to help right. She doesn't look eraser like, or like a white coat. They couldn't have found me already could they?

'Miss, I don't mean no offense. I just think no person should have to be out in that when a warm place is waitin here empty.' She glanced at me again and back towards the back door. 'Don't be skittish. There is a clean cot back there with a sink so you could wash up. Normally I'd stay here if I work the night and have to come back for the mornin shift. No reason to go home for four hours.'

'Umm.. the owner wouldn't want a stranger here.' I said weakly. But I really needed some sleep and I can't afford pride right now.

'Well, the owner won't mind. My names Maggy, I'm the owner.' She said back and grinned. She was missing a front tooth. Her face seemed nice and sincere. Most important she didn't want to hurt me.

I, Maximum Ride have pride and I don't trust others easily but I sucked it up and pushed passed it. 'Okay, thank you. I promise I'll be out of here by morning.'

She grinned and pushed open the back door. Into the small hall I went and to the right. There in a small room was a cot with several dark stains, a sink that might have worked and a wooden chair with only three legs. It was heaven.

'There is a couch in the office right next door. I'll be in there. I'm gonna finish up with the diner, you just get some rest. Let me know if you need anything.' And then she left with me still standing in the middle of the small room.

Oh God, what am I doing? Pull it together. Just stay here for one night and move on. I shifted the bundle to my other arm and reexamined the paper with those hopeful letters. A small cry snapped me from thought. I gazed down at her. I turned to lock the door, no surprises for the nice lady.

I sat down on the bed and laid her down and started unwrapping the layers of blankets. I kept at it until I saw her wiggle her little legs. I couldn't help but smile. She was awake. She gurgled and swung her arms high. A natural fighter.

I stood up and shrugged off my own layers of coats. My wings stretched out as far as I could manage. I felt cracks and snaps and pops. All signifying the wounds received while completing my destiny. That's crap. My destiny sucked. I stood in front of the sink, no mirror, thank god. I found a rag that looked clean enough and started a poor excuse of a sponge bath for myself all awhile keeping an eye on her.

When I seemed to be semi-clean I went over and started on the baby. I wiped her little feet and toes as she kicked like crazy. Trailing the rag up on her legs I traced the fine skin finally looking at her, really looking at her for the first time. I stopped when I got to her cloth diaper. Yeah, cloth. Like in those old movies. I think I did an excellent job at making one for her, considering scraps was all I had. I rummaged around in my jacket for the plastic bag with clean cloths. I changed her, she's a good baby. Never really fusses unless it's to be fed or changed. And with our track record that's a great thing. I continued to bathe her little body going over her little stomach finally reaching her face. She tried to suck air and I gave her my finger to pass the time before I fed her again. I cleaned up her arms and the grime and crud around her face. Her fuzz of blond hair didn't really need much washing. At only 4 months her hair was just getting considerable. Her wings were tightly tucked behind her. I carefully unfurled them expanding the midnight black feathers as I washed them as well.

I picked her up to feed her one last time before we both went to sleep. I unbuttoned my shirt and allowed her to breastfeed.

Yes, I had a baby. Yes, I carried her. Yes, I love her and yes, she's Fang's.

Faith Ride was born on a cold metal slab in an underground bunker to me. I fought to keep her alive while I was carrying her and I fought to get her away from the monsters who broke their word. This blond hair black wing child is the product of science but I love her and I was right when I told Fang all those years ago, she is beautiful.

4. The Truth

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Keep them up. The more reviews I get the faster I'll post more chapters.

Disclaimer: Based off of JP's books. Because he's cool like that.

Chapter 5.

As I fell asleep with Faith tucked in close to my side, I could remember clearly what happened when I reawaked after getting taken from the flock. All of it fresh and frightening, all still so real.

'Get her out! What is she doing inside a cage? What did I tell you!,' A loud voice boomed.

Uhh, my head throbbed and it wasn't from my little friend Mr. Voice, I don't think. Darkness, why is everything so dark? Oh, eyes closed. Yeah, that would do it. Open eyes, come on Max, I can do this. Crap. What did Jeb give me?

A blinding light slashed through. Eye's opened. And sure enough I'm in a cage. But surprisingly Jeb is out there screaming for them to let me out. Wow.

'You pathetic excuse for-Damn fools,' he bellowed. He walked over and personally unlocked my cage.

I couldn't move much. Not enough to fight. Then again, do I even want to try to escape? They said they couldn't track the flock, but… could they? It wouldn't be the first time they lied; it certainly wouldn't be the last.

'Max. I'm sorry they put you in here. Come on out, come on,' he reached in extending his hand. I took a deep breath and struggled to grab it.

Once I was out he led me to a door. My legs felt like concrete but I walked on, not giving Jeb the satisfaction of further helping me. We went down a hall I didn't recognize. Infact, nothing around here looked familiar.

'We're not at the school,' I said, more of a statement than question.

'No. We are far from it. Actually, we are in Europe. I won't bore you with specifics.' He turned and smiled at me. 'I also don't want to assist in you escaping, so information is on a need to know and you don't.'

I looked at him shocked. He said it in such a sweet and obvious manner I felt a little hurt that he would think I would try to escape. Even though I have tried and succeeded the past times.

'Jeb, I made a deal. My life for the flocks. I won't escape, won't even try. So let's just get on with this.' I whispered. My throat felt like sandpaper.

He stopped and turned, 'Fair enough,' and opened another door to his left. This was more of a conference room of sorts. A long glossy wooden table took up most of the space. There were big chairs that lined the table with pitchers of water and platters of food too. A jumbo projector screen was on one of the walls. There were also around 12 men in suits sitting in these chairs. Oh boy.

'Okay Max. You said you'd work with us completely so I'm going to be frank with you,' Jeb started. He led me to one of the chairs and poured me a glass of water. I took it and drank greedily.

I could tell the suits were staring at me. Hey if a chick with wings came in a crashed your meeting I guess you'd gawk too. I twitched my wings for effect. Their eye's looked like they would come out of their heads. If I wasn't so thirsty I might have spewed the drink on them.

Before he could say anymore a suit with glasses piped up. 'This is it. This is the project, what we are going to use. Are you serious?' He half laughed half scoffed. His accent was French.

'You may address her as Max, and yes she is the one who will conduct this mission.' Jeb answered. He seemed beyond angry at the second guessing of the suit.

'Let's get started,' he shouted as the lights turned off and the projector turned on. Faces of men and women appeared on the screen. Their basic information followed, along with companies, corporations, and business statistic.

I understood exactly none of it so I just resorted to listening to Jeb as he stood at a podium of sorts in front. I also grabbed for the nearest food tray and started eating.

'As the 1990's were approaching all thought the Cold War was coming to a close. The Soviet Union was disbanding and Mikhail Gorbachev's reform plans were working,' Jeb took out a clicker and started passing through the projector slides. The suits were making notes in black books and shuffling through papers. I was still eating.

Unfortunately a small legion of communism fanatics were still ever present and making their cause known to the influential leaders at the time. When Gorbachev declared peace with the U.S, the legion went underground. They called themselves the Красные Пальто Свободы or the Red Coats of Freedom or RCF's for short. The RCF's main goal was to free the USSR from the control of a more American or democratic way of life. Grobachev passed laws creating economic reforms allowing private ownerships of stores and started to allow international business dealings to occur, especially with America, Britain and France.' He stopped and drank some water. I was getting bored but stayed focus since this is what I left my family for.

He continued to basically say that the RCF's were bad guys. Really, really bad guys. They started bombing buildings and businesses that did business with foreigners, especially America. They also tried to rig elections to get reformers out of office and their supporters in. There was never enough evidence to blame the RCF's and the evidence authorities did get always disappeared, hinting at RCF involvement all the way up the political ladder. Wow, we thought our government was sketchy.

The real interesting part came up when they talked about the recent developments of China being involved. Apparently China has been funding some of the bigger attacks and it seems some of their head scientists have gone 'missing'. Scientists in specialties involving nuclear weapons. Oh yeah, real bad dudes.

'We have all gathered here for the same reason. We need to stop the RCF. Intell has leaked out that they have acquired nuclear bombs. What they want to use them for is still unknown. It can be anything from trying to start a war between countries, using them as propaganda to get their message heard, or God forbid position them so that they can take an entire country hostage.' He came over and took a seat next to me.

' The RCF has made headquarters in the mountains off the boarder with Russia about 16 years ago under the disguise of a research facility for sound wave reverberation techniques.' He turned and looked at me. 'It is surrounded by land mines, a 500 ft electric fence and damn near impossible security. We started on a solution to this problem precisely 15 years ago and succeeded in a developmental answer a year later.' He held his hand out towards me and continued. 'This, gentleman, is our key. Maximum has been genetically engineered to overcome obstacles including those of the RCF. She will save us, she will save the world.'

Well damn.

5. Waiting on the World to Change

Here's another one.

Things may seem confusing but I promise it will all be explained and will make since.

Disclaimer: Not mine, all his.

Chapter 6.

I woke up naturally; it's been years since I've done that. I turned to see Faith still fast asleep in the protective circle of my arm. Like I said, good baby.

Last night's dream was still running through my head. Yeah, so Jeb wasn't lying when he said I had to save the world. I really did. It was hard and painful. After the initial shock from both me and the other men in room wore off, Jeb got down to business. I was to stay there (wherever there was) and live during this time. Every one was ordered to treat me civilly. It seemed that if you were the world's only hope cages were not a good incentive to do your best. I didn't see a single white coat, but my guard was still on high alert.

It seemed that their belief of an immediate attack was a little off. The action at their headquarters had died down so during that time I was put through extensive training.

I had to learn military maneuvers for hand to hand combat. Why, I don't know. I kept telling them I could just fly away but they insisted. I also had to learn every nook and crany of the RCF's base and the surrounding area's.

The worst part was the conditioning. They pretty much beat the hell out of me, allowed my body to heal then repeated. They said it was to get me prepared incase I was captured and to harden my body so it could continue to fight even if trauma occurred. I called it BS, especially since they let erasers do the deed. They would restrain my wings and put me in a room with tables and chairs and about 15 erasers including Ari.

Let's just say if we were related we sure got out our sibling rivalry. We both looked like ground meat before Jeb intervened.

I fought constantly with Jeb. Screamed and shouted and cursed him every chance I got. He kept reminding me of our deal and reassuring me that my success would allow even the flock to continue to live. I didn't need reminding. Knowing that I did this for them was the only thing that kept me going. I didn't even consider the possibility that the flock disapproved of my decision.

It took a year of training before they decided I was in 'good form'. Then we waited for the RCF's to make a move. I kept insisting I just barge in there and blow the whole thing up. I kinda forgot about the bombs. The plan was to not blow up the facility but to blow up the mountains around it so that the nuclear bombs would be buried deep within the mountain range.

It didn't take long. After a few weeks of waiting the RCF tried to connect with the global satellite system. We 'mobilized and made our way to the target'. Other military personal and erasers were my back up. Ari thought it was an exciting adventure, I just wanted to get it done and survive it.

I did, but so many others did not. It was horrible. They were expecting us. How? I don't know how they knew. So much gun fire, so many screams. I can still hear the screams, the shouts in languages I couldn't understand but I could hear the pain. I still remember one guy, Frank. He was British and in the MI5. A type of special opts for the Brits. He was a nice guy, most of them were, but he would try to crack jokes at the most inappropriate of times. I found them funny.

They were suppose to distract the RCF guards while I flew over everything and placed the detonators. But like I said, they were expecting us. It was a long fight. It was awful.

How can man destroy each other without any mercy? How could I? I killed that day. A lot. And I never second guessed it. I lost it when Frank was killed. Saving me.

He saw the gunman behind me and just pushed me out of the way and got the bullet instead. A simple gesture all hero's do in movies. But he didn't need to. I could have just flown away or something. He forgot that and so he died a senseless death. I became a killing machine. All I remember seeing was red and the streams of light from the gun shots, everything smelled of gun powder, it was chaos. It was hell.

When it all ended 27 men on our team were dead and so were 10 erasers. Including Ari. I don't know how he died, but I did feel loss when I found out. After all these years he's really dead, really gone. But that was a little while later since I was captured and tortured for 3 days.

I shuttered remembering the mission. That was the past. No use dwelling on the pass. I got up from the stained bed and did my morning routine of crunches, push ups, and stretches. The stretches were the most imperative, if I didn't do them I would cramp up and not be able to move very much. So stretches were a must. I did all of these in a rush since I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible.

I heard movement from the bed signaling Faith had awoken.

'Hey baby,' I cooed as I picked her up and sat down. She smiled and wiggled. She started moving her wings so I situated her more carefully on my lap to allow her to explore with them. She was still getting use to them, like any baby bird would I suppose. She would wack herself with one every once in a while like just then.

'Oops', I said trying to soothe the mortifying look on her face. 'Don't worry sweetie, you'll figure them out.' She just looked back and smiled.

After I changed her, fed her and dressed her we headed out. The diner was still closed; glancing out the window I saw the storm had passed. We were good to go. I heard Maggy in the kitchen, she was singing along with the radio. I couldn't help but smile, she sounded horrible.

'Excuse me,' I shouted. Maggy came out wiping her hands on a towel.

'Hey darling! Sleep well?' She asked. She stood in front of me and wiggled her finger at Faith who I had propped on my hip. 'I didn't hear no cryin.'

'Yes. We both slept well. Thank you so much. Nobody has ever- and just thanks,' I studdered.

She looked back with kind eyes. And shook her head. 'If your in any trouble, if you need help I might have a number or can find one that can..' I waved her offer away.

'No. That's alright. I actually have an address that we're heading too.' And a family hopefully waiting for us to give them one heck of a surprise, I thought to myself.

'Oh really, were at? Is it close by? Can you make it in a day?' She asked.

'I think so. It's in a neighborhood called Lake View. It shouldn't be too much further.' I replied, automatically bouncing my girl up and down reflecting my want to leave.

'Lake View, eh. Well that's the nice country community a ways that way,' she pointed behind her. I already knew that. 'But its still about 50 miles, can you make it?'

'Yes,' flying has its perks, that is when my wings don't buckle. Stupid destiny. But something she said caught my attention. 'Country community?'

'Mmhum. Big houses and huge yards. Nearest neighbor could be half mile away. Who ever your seein had done pretty well, if ya know what I mean.' She smiled again. 'Good luck dear, and if you ever need a job I'll have one for ya.' She handed me a plastic grocery bag, inside I could see foiled objects. 'For the road, its food and stuff.'

I bit my lip to stop from crying. She's a good guy, thank goodness. I thanked her again and left the diner with Faith who just discovered the joy's of grabbing my hair in her little fists and pulling.

I slid my hand through the plastic bag and situated Faith so she was inside one of my zipper jackets. It was like one of those front baby slings but without the sling. I thought of it myself, I'm pretty proud. We entered into the forests as I started eating some of the food. Rolls, sliced meats and bless her…. cookies.

I found a clear spot and shrugged out my wings. More noises followed and once they were straight I tested their ability. They didn't look like they used to. They mainly looked burnt and my right one was a little bent and disfigured. Faith's head snapped up and looked in awe as her mama winced.

'Come on Max, jump and flap', I told myself. 'One, two, three,….jump'. I jumped up in the air and pushed down hard. More noises followed including my own blend of pain gasps. But I did it, I was up. 'Holy crap. Okay. This is good,' I said looking down at Faith. 'Let's go find daddy, hun and pray that they still want us.'

And with that we headed off in the direction of Lake View. I couldn't stop thinking, If there is a God, please let this be right.

6. Home's Rejection

Hokay, a bunch of yall are asking how did Fang and Max have a kid. I promise it will be answered coming up. Everything will be explained in time. Oh, and you guys are awesome reviewers, so thanks-a-million.

Here is a short chapter. If I get more reviews I'll post the next one up later today.

Disclaimer: JP rocks, I don't. Enough said.

Chapter 7.

I was making good time I believed. Only a few stops mainly to see to Faith, as of right now she was occupied by the buttons on one of my jackets. The sun was about to set and the clouds suggested rain. Great. I came to the community and spotted the huge plated sign on a bolder at the entrance, Lake View. Wow.

I took a deep breath as I crossed over the threshold. And Maggy was right. The houses were huge, bigger than Anne's if you can believe that. And the yards were impressive. There had to have been at least half mile, probably more, in between the houses. Unbelievable.

I swooped down in the tree's near the front. The disadvantage to wings is that it's hard to see street signs so far up in the air. I grabbed the address from my pocket and started walking. And walking, and still more walking. I was beginning to second guess that Belleplaine Court even existed but it was there, in the very back of the neighborhood. This road had even more forests separating the homes.

142 Belleplaine Court. I stopped in front of the mailbox. I couldn't see the house from the road but there was a gravel drive way, and get this, it was aligned with huge oak tree's. Like those old southern plantation homes had. I headed down it and noticed Faith was about to fall asleep. I took in the surroundings. It was beautiful. They had land, a lot of it. The outskirts of the large green yard was forests and I could tell further back behind the house the land rose to a small hill. There was a tire swing on a tree that was near a lake. Their lake. It wasn't a big lake but big enough to entertain 4 rambunctious kids.

I started to make out the house. Tree's blocked most of the view. But there it was. Oh, Fang. You did good.

It was white, and three stories. I stood in front of it awed by the wrap around porch and the balcony that that wrapped around the second story as well. There were many windows, with deep green shutters. The driveway led to the left of the home so I followed a small path to the steps leading to the porch. Saying that it was big would be an understatement.

Oh man. I was having trouble catching my breath. This was it. I was shaking and wanted to throw up.

I took one step and then another. I vaguely heard the thunder rolling in the back, my own ears were humming from the blood rush. I stood in front of the matching green door. And just stood there… scared.

Damn. I stood there, tears started to form and I blinked them back quickly. I glanced down at Faith, asleep. I owe this to myself. I owe this to Faith and to the flock. But I just stood there. I closed my eyes trying to gain courage, gain guts.

All of a sudden the door burst open, my eyes shot up and I came face to face with a very tall, very grown Gazzy. He took one look at me and his eyes widen. His grip on the door harden and I could see his mouth form my name. I nodded my head slowly still in shock.. Silence. All was silent. It's them. I found them. I started to reach out my hand to him, my voice being useless. He seemed to snap out of his own trance. His eyes took on a look of horror, he stepped back into the house and slammed the door in my face.

With my hand still stretched out I just stared at the door. Oh God.

7. Don't Let Go

Wow! Yall reviewed! Sweet!!

So here's the next chapter. Again, the more reviews, the quicker I'll get them up.

p.s.- you guys rock with the number of reviews. This is my first story so I was a little iffy on how it would do.

Disclaimer: See previous disclaimers.

Chapter 8.

You have got to be kidding! This is NOT happening. Not really real. I kept repeating those words over in my head as I sunk to the wooden porch. I don't really remember how I got down there, if I collapsed or gracefully went down. But down I was and wanting to crawl in a hole and die. I just kept starring at the door wishing I could have gone back in time about 15 seconds.

The door opened again and my breath caught. It was Fang. He took up most of the space in the doorway as he glared at me. He stepped out towards me and crouched down to my level. His eye's sharpened as he looked at me.

'Max.' He whispered. He just looked at me.

I managed to find my voice and strength and stood up awkwardly grabbing hold of the porch post to steady myself. He shot up just as fast and took on almost a fight stance.

'Fang,' I gulped in air trying not to pass out, 'It's me.' I finished weakly. The rain started to fall and some came in under the porch with the wind. It was mixing with my tears but I hardly noticed.

He took one last look at me and stepped back in the house. 'Get in,' he said reluctantly.

I stepped into the house and sighed as hot air hit my face. I glanced up to Fang who apparently didn't remove his eyes from my mine. He was beautiful. His hair was shorter but still fell across his forehead in wisps. He was bigger, taller, and wider. My eyes dropped to his chest, on the plain white shirt he wore and then lower to his black sweats. Oh my God, did he grow up.

Faith shot out a hand and Fang's head snapped down to her. His eyes squinted and then softened.

'Living room.' He said as he turned and walked down the short entry way into another room. I noticed a couch and immediately went to put Faith down on it and away from my newly damp clothes. Fang stayed in place in the center of the large room. Hands into fists, mood completely on guard.

I laid her down and turned to look at Fang. I opened my mouth to say something but closed it over and over again. He took the initiative.

'What do you want?' He spat out.

'What,' I was behooved. 'I came to look for you guys.' I turned back towards the front of the house. 'Gazzy slammed the door, I-… what's going on?'

'We've had visits from the copy Max.' He stated.

'Oh,' was my only response. They thought I was her.

'Were you followed?' He asked and took a step to me.

'No, no. I made sure.' My breath was coming in rushes.

He licked his lips. 'How did you find us? We're not exactly listed.' His tone was ugly.

'I'm not her. I'm not the copy. I'm me Fang. Believe me.' I replied. That was the wrong answer. He grabbed me by the shoulders and yanked me to his face.

'Are you. She tried to kill us twice, Max. We thought we had you twice, Max. She said the same thing. What am I suppose to believe, MAX?' He shouted.

I did not come here for this. I was getting mad. My tears fell as I yelled back.

'I'm sorry! I've been through hell and I'm sorry if you can't tell the difference. If you don't want me, fine! I'll leave… I didn't mean to hurt you or the rest of the flock or bring any p-pain.' I sobbed and continued, 'I- I- I left and had no where to go. I tho-thought you would want-..but I was wrong. Oh God, I was so wrong,' Deep breath and I whispered, 'Look at me Fang. Look at me. I'm Maximum. It's me. It's me. IT'S ME!' I looked up at him and saw tears glistening his eyes.

He still held my arms tight. 'What did we talk about the night you were taken?' He asked. His gripped hardened as he searched my eyes.

Through my tears I replied, 'We talked about the ocean. How you didn't want me save the world. And…and...and how you only wanted me to..' I sniffled a cry and gasped for air, 'to just stay alive.' My head bent down as I wailed, 'and that you wanted to be my hero, my M-Max.' I glanced back up at him. His breathing was hard and his nose was flaring. A tear fell down his face and I longed to kiss it.

'And then you said you wanted our kids to-.'but I couldn't finish. He crashed my body with his in a hug so tight I thought I would suffocate. My hand slid up to his shoulders and held on for dear life as I sobbed into his shirt.

'Oh God. Your back. Oh God. Oh God, oh God' Came from his mouth as he fisted my hair and hugged me tighter. He fell to the floor and I followed. We both were shaking.

I don't know how much time had passed but when he let go of me his shirt was beyond wet and my eyes were so swollen they stung. He took my head in his hand and touched his forehead to mine.

'Forgive me, Max. I had to be sure it was really you. She never got that question right. Never.' He said eyes closed fingers laced with mine.

I squeezed his hands harder into mine and heaved a sigh. My chest hurt and I had a headache.

'Are you leaving again?' He asked picking his head up and looking in my eyes, pleading.

'No.' I whispered.

'No,' he gasped.

I shook my head. And tried to smile.

'Never again.' He whispered back. He got up dragging me with him. He hugged me again before releasing me, never taking his eyes off mine.

'Where are the others?' I asked weakly. I started looking around the room waiting for them to pop out.

He stepped towards one of the large windows my hand still in his, so I followed. 'They all left. When Gazzy ran in here and told us Max was at the door I made them leave for their own protection.' He turned to me and shrugged allowing his fingers to trace my face. 'Our rule is three days. They'll be back in three days.'

A small part of me was extremely pissed that they used the copy Max to terrorize them. But a bigger part of me was relieved that I was here, I was safe, I was home. Such a big part that I didn't realize I was fainting right there in Fang's living room. He caught me before I could face plant into the floor.

'Damn, Max. You must be exhausted,' he whispered. He picked me up and led me down a hall and into a room.

'The baby..' I managed to say. I saw his eyes wince but he quickly recovered.

'I'll bring her to you.' He laid me down in the bed and started taking my tattered coats off. I haphazardly ran my hands on the bedspread. It was soft and cool. My body felt so heavy and yet light at the same time. Still having a hard time catching my breath I closed my eyes and breathed in deep. The room smelled of Fang. I never wanted to leave.

He came back seconds later with Faith in his arms. Father and daughter. I felt like crying. So I did. Fang placed her next to me and I rolled to take her in my arms. She was still asleep. My body shook with sobs as I felt the bed sink and then two strong arms wrap around me. He slowly traced the bones of my wings as he soothed my tears with words. I felt safe, I felt relief, I felt hope. After years of pain, suffering, and utter terror Fang's arms gave me solace.

I was almost asleep when I felt wetness on my back and heard staggered gasps. Fang was crying, he thought I was asleep and finally, he as well, broke down.

'My God, Max. What did they do to you?'

8. Breathe and Fang's Smile

Thanks for the reviews. Someone suggested I use "…yo…" instead of the '…yo…', I will but I already have 17 chapters typed so I'll start doing it for the ones after that, thanks.

Again, more reviews, faster posts. But yall are so good, I might post another up tonight or early tomorrow.

OH, and because you guys are awesome… I'm posting 2 chapters!

Disclaimer: same as before.

Chapter 9.

I woke up to the squirms of my four month old. She was hungry and more than likely wet. I rolled over onto my back allowing Faith to fidget and myself to take every thing in. Fang wasn't beside me but I could hear clanging noises and smelled the scent of heaven. He was cooking breakfast.

After a changing job accomplished in record time I settled in an old rocking chair near a bay window and started to feed Faith. Why would Fang have a rocking chair in his room? I mean really. But then again looking around this room everything seemed old and so not Fang.

His bed was a four poster mahogany queen size. You know, I didn't even know that I knew what the color mahogany was, but I'm pretty sure this bed would be it. As a matter of fact, all the furniture in the room looked to be of that color. It was a set! The boy got a set. I let out a slight chuckle causing Faith to look up questionably. A laugh from me wasn't heard often by her little ears.

'I know baby, I know. Maybe we'll both learn to laugh again,' I whispered to her, smiling. My gazed shifted as I took quick inventory of the room.

The bed was in front of me. The comforter was a dark blue color, almost black it was so dark and to the right of us up against the wall was a large set of chester drawers. It was one of those big tall ones, not so much wide as is tall. Then on the other side of the far wall was another set of drawers. Never knew he had that much clothing. This one was wider and had a 3 face mirror on top of it. Next to that was a small but stable desk, looked like an old desk. On top of the old fashion desk was a laptop and enough technical stuff to make any computer geek happy. I knew this had to be Fang's room. Looking around I spotted pictures of the flock on the drawers and bedside tables. There was also an acoustic guitar propped against one of the walls. He always wanted to play guitar. It was clean. Surprisingly clean. He never kept his room clean back at the old house. Then again, he is 18 and many things have changed.

I turned and looked out the window smirking at his royal blue curtains. We were still on the first floor. Interesting. It faced the front of the house and I could see out onto the lawn and part of the lake. It was still raining and the trees were swaying like crazy. My eye's followed the sway and I started to rock with the motion. I noticed Faith was done so I sat her up and started patting her back anticipating the little burp all moms waited for. My head rested against the chair and back and forth I swayed. The rain's noise against the window pane was lulling me to sleep again. That was the best part. I was relaxed enough to let it happen. I could sleep in the middle of the day now. I could just rock in this chair, hold my baby and just be. I let out a sigh just as Fang quietly walked into the room, arms busy with a tray pilled high with food.

I let out a small laugh at the sight. He smirked at me as he put the tray on the bed. I started to blush, figures.

'Thought you would be hungry, so,' he said as he waved a hand towards the food.

'You thought right,' I stated as I immediately rushed over to the tray and started eating. I would have used both hands if one wasn't holding Faith. Yeah, I was that hungry.

'Wow, your appetite still amazes me. You pig,' he shook his head and let a small grin touch his face. I was about to throw a piece of bacon at him, thought better of it and tossed toast instead. He laughed as he handed me some orange juice.

'After your done eating the bathroom is right next door on the right,' he went to the taller chester drawers and pulled some clothes out, 'It's not much, but wear these until we can get you some clothes of your own.' He tossed them down on the bed and turned to look at me. I was still shoving food into my mouth, what a sight to be seen.

'Do I smell that bad?' I asked teasingly. I did and I knew it.

He smiled and bent to kiss my forehead. I tried to lift my head up so he could reach my lips but he pulled back.

'I have some things to do…I need to clear my schedule for the next couple of days so I can be with you, get everything situated.' He said and started to make his way to the door.

'Are you leaving?' I replied fast. I didn't want him to leave. I was still having trouble thinking all this wasn't a dream. If he left, I might wake up.

'No. Of course not. I have a home office. I just need to make some calls. I'll be in the house, don't worry.' He gave me one last smile then left the room.

Wow, Fang has a job. And an in-home-office type of job. I looked down at Faith who was smiling and waving again. The child loves to wave her arms.

'Okay, girly lets get us clean.' I grabbed the clothes and marched to the bathroom giddy at the thought of a hot shower.

I entered the bathroom and again was shocked. It was not huge but a really good size. He had a bear claw tub, the one's in the old country houses not connected to any wall. There was a separate shower which was huge. It had three spray nozzles, three! And was in the most beautiful green marble I've ever seen. The sink was separate and was also in the green marble. There was also a wicker shelf with all the towels in it. There were rugs in the bathroom, shaggy rugs. I've never seen shaggy rugs in a bathroom. The tile was a marbly white thing and there were two rather large frosty windows both by the bathtub. It was down right breathtaking. The bathroom looked like it came out of a countrified catalogue. I'm starting to hope that Fang had a decorator come in because if not I'm going to worry and how in the hell could he afford all this?

Faith started to pull at my hair so I just shook my head, 'We are going to have to talk to daddy about all this.' I said and turned on the shower heads. Shower, such a wonder thing.


Chapter 10

A shower. Easier said than done. Trying to shower holding a 4 month old is quite possibly impossible. I was going to ask Fang to watch her for me but decided against it. He didn't even look at her earlier, not the best start but I wasn't expecting him to jump all over the idea of me with a kid. So, back to the shower situation. Yeah, really hard to do but I'm happy to announce that I successfully showered AND shaved using one arm, Fang's shampoo and conditioner, which I felt kinda sappy knowing that I'd smell like him afterwards, I wonder if he'll notice, oh and I used his razor, which I hope he doesn't notice. So after much mayhem both Faith and I were clean. Cleaner than we had been in a long time.

We got out of the shower and I laid faith on her belly on one of the shaggy rugs so I could dry off. I caught myself in the full length mirror he had behind the door and paused. I looked, well, warn and used. I took a good look. It was painful but also necessary.

This is my body, proof that the last four years happened. My legs were still bruised and I could still see the scars on my thighs. I inhaled sharply as I traced the long red scar down my belly. They used that scar over and over again. So while they opened me up many times, only one scar remained to show. The scars and burns on my arms still showed up, after over a year the marks still had yet to fade. I didn't even look at my back, the wounds there brought back horrid memories. The funny thing is, Jeb and the other men didn't hurt me, well, not until the very end. It was those damn RCF soldiers and their damn torture techniques. The only good thing about that experience is that they didn't kill me. I was a freak with wings so they thought I was a valuable asset and experimented on me instead.

Remembering all that was done made my body revolt on itself as I rushed to the toilet and retched up my breakfast.

'Oh God,' I whimpered as I clung to the porcelain rim. I sat back on my heels and closed my eyes.

You're okay Max. You're safe and Faith's safe. You're okay. I kept repeating this over and over again for some minutes. I opened my eyes and notice Faith had flopped over towards me still wrapped in her towel. I rinsed my mouth out doing a quick brushing job with the toothpaste and my finger. I hurriedly changed into Fangs clothes which consisted of gray shorts that came down to my shins, thank goodness they had a pull string, and a yellow tee-shirt with the words 'shift happens' boldly written. Yeah, computer nerd he is. I hand brushed my hair and gathered Faith up and went back into the room to put a new diaper on her.

I walked into what I could only assume was the living room, baby in tow. Fang was already sitting on the couch with another laptop on his lap. He looked up from it when we entered.

'Hey,' he said. He placed the laptop down on the glass coffee table and stood up.

'Hey,' I replied. I looked around the living room. Yeah, just picture a very spacious mixture of old country meets swanky up town and that was what the living room looked like.

I just had to ask, I couldn't keep it in anymore. 'Umm, your house looks very…. creative. Why? I mean, like, you have a rocking chair in your room and an old fashion tub.'

He stopped walking towards me and blinked. His lips turned up into a half smirk and he let out what I believe was a laugh.

'Out of what I thought our first conversation would be like, our house's appearance was not one of them,' he stated, 'but if your just itching to know, I bought this house a little over a year ago from an older gentleman who wanted to travel the world before he died. It had been in his family for a long while but he was alone and the house was too big. So not only did I get a really good deal on it but it came mostly furnished, umm hence the rocking chair and old furniture. And as for the Pier 1 Import look,' he shrugged and came up to me, 'the women of our family have pretty good taste.' He took a strand of my wet hair and twirled it around his finger allowing the water droplets to slide down his hand.

He raised his eyebrows, 'You clean up nicely,' he whispered as he headed back to the couch.

Flustered and really wanting to just curl up on him right then I cautiously sat next to him allowing Faith to wiggle on the floor showing off her new worm flopping skills. He looked down at her and I just stared at him, memorizing his face not knowing where to begin.

'So, how do we do this? Where do we start?' He asked still watching Faith.

'Uhh, well. I don't know.' I moved a little bit closer to Fang; I was becoming more and more attracted to him every minute. And he watching Faith was only making me want him even more. I cleared my throat, 'You said that you bought this place a year ago. What were you all doing before that?'

He looked at me then his eyes blazing into mine. 'We were looking for you.' He shook his head and took my hands in his. He started twisting our fingers together and continued talking.

'We searched everyday after you left for about a year.' He squinted his eyes as I interrupted him.

'But I told you not to look for me! What if they found out. You all could have been killed!' I was getting a little angry. He didn't listen to me, I gave him and the flock an order and he didn't do it!

'You're kidding right? Of course we looked for you. You must have been out of your mind if you thought we wouldn't have come for you. We are a family, we stick together. Remember the rule, the one main rule we had?' He stopped and gripped my wrists and squeezed not too hard but enough to get my attention. 'Probably not since you blatantly went against your own rule. By the way, I'm still beyond pissed at your for doing that.'

'Fang, don't start that. It was the only way..' I tried to get up but he pulled me back down on the couch.

'Don't worry, Max. I'm not going to get into it with you about that right now. Later, yes, but not now.' He took his hands and framed my face with them. They were big hands, smooth and yet rough at the same time.

'We looked so hard for you. They almost went crazy. I think I did loose it for a little while. We were lost, emotionally and mentally lost.' Fang looked down and weakly said, 'I was failing you. I wasn't keeping the flock together, I wasn't making them happy.'

This time I placed my hands on his face and ran my fingers through his hair. My heart broke at his admittance to failure and at the same time swelled with emotion for him. Okay, I will admit it now. I'm in love with Fang. Yeah, everyone more than likely already knew it but now I'm saying it. I am so in love with this boy I ache. Every bone in my body aches for him and it's the first ache I've felt that wasn't pain inflicted. I snapped out of my love induced haze and shook my head at him.

'No. You were put leader in the most horrific and confusing situation we have ever had to deal with. You were doing the best you could.' I started to run my hand over his face, tracing every line. He looked up at me and drew me into a hug. He laid back on the couch and I rested on his stomach, my head tucked under his chin as he stroked my back in between my wings and finished his story.

'So after a year I figured I needed to get them normalcy or else they'd go crazy. We rented an apartment in D.C and I started looking for some people who could help me look for you, the flocks parents, and new identities for us. Jeb's money helped out there. The flock quickly waved off the search for their parents. They wanted you, not them. I couldn't get very far with it anyway. But I did manage to get us all new i.d.'s.', with him saying that I lifted up my head to look at him.

'New identities. Really?' He was a busy boy.

He grinned a little at my astonishment. 'Yeah. It wasn't that hard. People will do anything for the right amount of money. We're not all siblings though. Not again. That was a little too crazy. Ig, Gazzy, and Angle are all brother and sister, while Nudge and I are cousins. I'm adopted of course.' He added with a smile. 'I lived with Nudge and her mom, my Aunt Linda who just happened to be a mercenary and was good friends with the Robertson's, Ig's family, who are also messengers of the good Lord and his word.' I started to laugh at his emotional exaggeration and laid my head back on his chest.

'Well, both of our parental subjects went over sea's three years ago and unfortunately had a terrible accident involving a tiki hut, gorilla's, and papaya which led to me getting full custody of all the flock.' He stopped at my shocked look.

'You killed your parents! By way of monkey and fruit!' That was a little much.

'They weren't really our parent's Max. They never existed so never died by way of monkey and fruit. And how else am I going to get them? Relax, we don't really tell people how they died, they just did. And I have everything documented so it's all good.' He explained.

'Everything? Birth certificates, licenses, social security cards, everything?' I asked questionably.

'Yep. Even the adoption records and passports. We're all legal now. Well, illegally legal. But I pay taxes and that's all the government really cares about.' He said proudly.

'What about me?' I asked again looking up at him. My hands found their way to his neck as I ran them back and forth, neck to chest to neck.

'You,' he murmured, 'You are a family friend, Max.' He took a stuttered breath and closed his eyes. 'Someone who went out on a quest in search of herself and find how she could..,' he paused and grabbed a fist full of my shirt at my back and pressed me closer to him, 'how she could figure out how make the world a better place, save it or something. Someone who left us abruptly but would make it back one day, hopefully.' He stopped talking then and just looked at me.

'So my question is Max, did she save the world,' he bent up and kissed my forehead, 'Is anyone coming after her,' he kissed my temple and with his hand gently turned my chin to face him, our lips so close I could taste his breath, 'and why did she bring back a baby?'

Oh boy.

9. I Can't Read You

Here's the next chapter. So no throwing me off a cliff right? Thanks for the cookies, very nice.

Review and I'll put another one up tonight.

Disclaimer: blah, blah, blah, based of books from James Patterson, blah, blah…

Chapter 11

My eyes shot open and I quickly and rather clumsily got up off Fang. He looked up at me still reclined on the couch with determination, 'Max, what's going on,' he asked.

I let out a little laugh. 'Well, okay my turn. Well.. ,' I said and started pacing the room. Fang sat up but remained on the couch. Good he was giving me space. Good.

I stopped in front of him, 'Okay, yes. I did save the world. And I really had to save the world.' He looked up at me eyebrow lifted indicating confusion.

'I figured you fulfilled your destiny since we're still here and the world didn't end,' Fang said, 'but can you tell me what exactly you had to save all us from?' A little more sarcasm that time.

I shoved my hands in my pants pockets, actually Fang's pockets, and took a deep breath. I started telling him about everything dealing with Jeb, the RCF's and nuclear weapons. I told him about my training which got him a little riled up. I skimmed over the details about the mission and left out completely the details about my capture. He could tell.

'You're leaving stuff out. That's a pretty rough sketch of everything Max.' He stated and stood up and walked towards me. I started pacing again and ended up walking in circles around him.

'Well, Fang, war is not pretty. The details are not pretty. The whole situation sucked and I really don't want to go back there. So excuse me for not gushing out my entire experience. If I write a book about it I'll make sure you get the first copy!' I could hear my voice rise until I was practically shouting at him. Why was I screaming at him? Why did I want to just punch him for no reason? I stopped abruptly and turned to face him.

'I am so sorry, I don't know where that came from. You didn't deserve that,' I said. He didn't move, he just looked at me with shook his head slightly. After a minute he finally broke the silence.

'You have a right to be mad. You are entitled to be angry,' he shifted his feet and continued, 'You've been through hell and I can't even begin to relate. I'm the one that should be sorry. You don't have to talk about the specifics if you don't want to but if you do I'll always listen.'

I let out a sigh of relief. 'Thanks Fang. I will one day, just yeah.' I let out a small smile.

'So, next question who's the-', I cut him off before he could finish his statement.

'Yeah, is anyone following me?' A part of me didn't want to reveal Faith yet. 'No. When I escaped the compound no one followed me.' I smiled a little. 'They were preoccupied at the time.'

'Preoccupied with what? And are you sure?' He asked. 'Because these people seem to have a lot more resources than the school ever did.'

He was right. If Jeb and the school were masters of corruption then this group was the teacher.

'Anne set up a cover for me-.'

'ANNE!' Fang shouted. 'How the hell was Anne there?'

Oh yeah. I never got around to telling him Anne was Jeb's boss. Woops. 'Umm, Anne turned out to be the head of the schools research board. Jeb's boss so to speak.' I stopped and for a minute to let it sink into Fang. He looked livid.

'She was bad?' He asked.

'Yes and no. She started out on my evil lists but,' I trailed off. 'thing's changed.'

'Oh, right so now Anne and Jeb are singing your praises?' He scoffed over to a window. He was mad but I don't think at me. His jaw clinched as he tried to gain composer. If he was going to loose it from just finding out about Anne and the mission then I didn't want to see him learning about Faith and the other things.

He turned to me, 'And you said it only took you a year and a half to train and take down the evil Russians. Tell me Max, what were you doing for two and a half years? If Jeb and Anne weren't the enemy why couldn't they let you go?'

I threw my hands in the air and my laugh was weak and pathetic. 'I'm trying to tell you Fang! A lot of things happened, a lot of things changed. After I came back from Russia Jeb and Anne were no longer in control of me. Apparently the guys above them saw my potential…. for…other uses.' I shook my head and sat back down on the couch. My gaze dropped to Faith. 'Jeb and Anne had no control over what happened to me. They tried Fang, they really did. I'm sure they wouldn't have let me go right after I saved the world but...they never would have done what the other men did. It was worst than the school.'

I could hear Fang's breathing from across the room. 'So you endured it. And Anne helped you escape. And you rescued another hybrid captive, huh.' He said. 'You always had to be the hero.'

I looked up at him as he came and sat by me again. 'Yes and no, again. Heh. Yes, I rescued her from them but she's more than just a captive Fang.' I shook my head slowly and looked in his eyes. 'They did things to me. Experiments and stuff. They were interested in improving my abilities and really interested in expanding them. They couldn't reengineer another person, Jeb and Anne wouldn't help them so they acquired…certain…things and tried to,' I swallowed as Fang's forehead creased, 'they tried to create it natura—' The door to the front of the house barged in.

'FANG!, Fang! Where are you, OH MY GOD FANG!,' it was a girls voice and she sounded frantic.

I turned to Fang, 'Who-?' But he shot up and walked fast to the entrance to the living room.

She barged in then, gun in hand and her brown hair flying around her shoulders as she looked around the room. 'Oh God Fang! Your okay,' she looked scared and I could see some tears on her face.

'Jess what are you doing here?' He asked and she threw herself into a hug with him. I immediately stood and picked Faith up walking to the farthest corner away from the two of them. I also noticed Fang didn't pull his wings in. She knew.

'When the kids came over last night they were so scared and upset. They said she came back,' she glanced at me and back at Fang, her grip on his shoulders tightened. My eyes never left the gun.

'Jess put the gun away. Everything is fine, she did come back but it's the real her. Come on, put it away. Calm down. I'm fine' He rubbed her arms for comfort as she placed the gun back behind her pants. Watching him touch her made me want to throw up.

She seemed to gain some sense and wiped her face.

'I told them they had to go to school today so not to raise suspicion but that I would come by and check on you.' She laughed a little. 'Iggy and Nudge had to help restrain Gazzy who wanted to come with me. I stayed up all night trying to comfort Angel and Igg was trying to comfort me. I didn't know exactly what to do when I came here so,' she took a breath and smiled, 'I'm happy your alright.'

Fang laughed. He actually laughed at her. 'Yeah, I'm great.' He turned and looked at me for the first time since 'Jess' came in. 'Jess this is Max, the real Max,' he stated and turned back to the other woman.

'Hello,' she said cautiously never moving from Fangs side. That's okay, I didn't move from my fighting corner either. She turned back to Fang, 'Do you want me to get the kids from school and bring them back home?'

'Umm,' he looked from me to her, 'No. Let them stay at school go ahead and call them and let them know I'm okay though. When they go back to your house give me a call before you bring them over.' He talked to her in a natural tone.

'Sure.' She replied. I noticed her voice was very smooth and her eyes were almond shape. My heart sunk. She was really pretty and she seemed to know everything. He moved on.

Fang sucked in a breath and turned back to me. 'Max and I were trying to catch up so…' She took the hint and with a nod and a quick smile and wave at me turned to leave with Fang behind her.

I couldn't move. I couldn't talk or even function. I was in a state of utter shock. Of course he would move on. It's been four years. Wait, no. I don't even know if their a couple and if they were then what was all that on the couch earlier. He hasn't kissed me yet but he didn't kiss her either. Was she expecting a kiss? Did he just not kiss her in front of me out of respect? Is that why he followed her to the door? Oh, crap.

Fang reappeared and stood with his hands in his pockets. His face held the look of pain and sadness. 'Sorry about that. She's really protective of every-'

Finding my voice I cleared it and responded, 'Yeah. I noticed…. Friend?' I asked weakly.

He winced, 'Sort of. She's a really good friend, Max.'

'Right. Of course.' I swallowed hard trying not to cry. I've been crying too much anyway. 'You would….have…..and the flock likes her I guess. She knows about us?'

'Yes. She does. And yes, the flock really likes her.' He relpied. Each word cutting deeper into my chest.

'So you're just announcing it to the world now! Fine whatever! Have fun with your girlfriend,' I huffed passed him and headed for my room, umm, Fangs room. I saw stars and I felt like I would pass out soon.

'Max, no it's not like that,' he yelled after me. 'She is JUST a friend.' He followed me and stopped as I slammed the door in his face.

I stumbled over to the rocking chair, tears now blinding me. Faith started to whimper as I noticed it was past time for another feeding and her nap.

'Max, open the door. This is ridiculous.' He paused for a second, ' I'm not going to have a conversation with a wooden door,' another pause, 'Fine have it your way. But we ARE going to talk about this sooner or later.'

I wiped the tears from my eyes as I looked at Faith. She struggled to get her head towards my chest proving her hunger. 'Okay honey,' I whispered but my tears made it sound slurred. I allowed her to eat as I continued to cry.

They replaced me. He moved on and the flock replaced me. And to make it worse she seemed really nice. A non-Lisa redhead dizzy kind of nice. Nice enough to risk her life for Fang and the others.

My tears fell down my face until my own exhaustion stopped them. I didn't know how long I sat there staring out at the window but I never wanted to leave the room. I felt like a fool. So stupid.

'Max,' I heard him whisper but it was too close. I jerked my head away from the window and found my self staring into Fang's rich dark eyes.

He started to say something but his head lowered to Faith and her head wobbling under my shirt. He let out a small gasp. He's not dumb, not by a long shot. So I knew he could put two and two together.

He looked back up at me, 'She's yours.' He said, barley audible.

I nodded once and replied, 'And yours.'

10. Reunion

Mmmm, okay guys. Sorry it's a late post but I'm sick at the moment so that's my excuse.

OH, and some people were having trouble reading the rest of Chapter 11, so I reposted it. Look at the end again so you can see if you missed any of it. But here's chapter 12. Enjoy kids.

Disclaimer: I don't own MR, JP does so there.

Chapter 12.

'Max,' I heard him whisper but it was too close. I jerked my head away from the window and found my self staring into Fang's rich dark eyes.

He started to say something but his head lowered to Faith and her head wobbling under my shirt. He let out a small gasp. He's not dumb, not by a long shot. So I knew he could put two and two together.

He looked back up at me, 'She's yours.' He said, barley audible.

I nodded once and replied, 'And yours.'

He didn't move or say anything. He just stood there like a rod staring at me. He didn't even blink!

'Fang?' I asked. I started to stand up noticing Faith had fallen asleep. Again, he stood there not even moving his eyes when I got up.

'Fang?' I said again, more like a weak plea than a question. 'Damn it Fang!' The words came out harsh but they did the trick. His head snapped up and he turned to face me.

'What?' He stammered. 'What are you talking about?'

Seriously? Oh man. The nausea was starting to crawl up my throat and from the look of Fang he felt it to.

'Faith is mine and your daughter, Fang.' I said slowly. I was staring into his eyes but he was looking at the sleeping baby in my arms.

He took a deep breath but the look of shock still held his face. His jaw clenched and his forehead creased. He closed his eyes and for a minute I thought he would go explode.

'Explain,' was what came out of his clenched teeth. 'I never gave them any of my….guys. Are. You. Sure.?' He opened his eyes just to see the stunned shock in mine.

He needed an explanation. I knew that. But I didn't expect his reaction to be so, just mean. It's not like I expected him to fall joyously to our feet and confess his undying love or anything. But he looked like he wanted to punch something or worse kill something.

I turned to lay Faith down in the bed, he came up beside me and watched as she squirmed to find a comfortable position.

'I don't know how they got your DNA Fang, but they did. And they used mine.' I whispered. I turned and walked out of the room and into the hall way, Fang following.

'Are you sure? And how did this happen?' He asked once out of the room.

'I'm sure because they said they wanted to use the two best compatible avian hybrids. We were the two best. You had the best DNA sequence that was compatible with mine. I know this because I read the charts. And I don't know how this happened. I wasn't allowed to have any say.' I said all of that in such a rush I know Fang's mind must have been boggled. But I continued on. 'You wanted to know what I did for the other two and a half years, well there you have it!'

He looked at me for another second then turned and faced the wall. Both of his hands went up to the wall as he pressed his forehead against it. His wings tightened flat against his back. I knew that was a sign of anger from him. When we were younger we all knew not to talk or mess with Fang when he got in moods like this. They were rare but potent. Unfortunately this had to be said, especially after what just happened today.

'Listen Fang, I know you didn't expect this. You don't have to say anything now. You don't even have to have any decisions made,' he turned to face me and his eyes were still blank. No-emotion Fang, like always. 'When I broke out and I got her, I knew she would be my responsibility. You don't have to claim her and I wont tell the flock who her real father is if you don't want me to.'

I was lying, every word out of my mouth was a lie. I wanted Fang to stop me, I wanted him to say no and that he would love to be her father. That he would love to be with me, that he was beyond happy to have us both.

He shook his head repeatedly. 'I…I just need to think.' He said softly. 'I just…' and he turned to walk back into the living room leaving me there crushed, yet again.

Also yet again the front door flew open and shouts could be heard. I recognized them as the flocks with their excessive 'Where's Max? Max? Fang? Where's Max?' being yelled. I hurriedly closed the door to the bed room as not to wake Faith and ran to meet them. Through all the pain I still couldn't wait to see the rest of my family.

I stood outside the living room in awe of the four people that occupied it. They had all grown and looked so different. They must have heard my gasp because all of them turned towards me at once.

Angel. My little baby was not so little anymore. She was 10 now and more beautiful than ever. She screamed as she lunged for me in a hug. Her height being much taller than before almost knocked me over as I clung on to her. She started sobbing as I'm sure was I.

I saw Nudge come up and tried to get Angel to release one of my arms so I could grab her. The three of us shuffled into the living room where the two boys joined in on the hug. Iggy was much taller than me now and he had gotten more muscular as well. Gazzy was taller than me too, but him being 14 now, I wasn't surprised. Total even came up and licked my legs. I missed his furry little butt more than I realized.

All of us just hugged and cried for what seemed like hours. I noticed Fang was not in on our reunion but standing off to the side talking to none other than Jess. I mentally flicked him off and my attention returned to the others.

They were all talking at once; about what I didn't quite make out. Angel and Nudge kept touching my face and hair making sure I was really here. I was doing the same to all of them. It was like one of those warm hallmark movies were tears and kisses were given and happy music was playing in the background. I finally broke our love fest and insisted we all sit down. My legs were so wobbly; the suggestion was more for my sake.

I sat on the couch and Angel immediately climbed into my lap, well more so half way on my lap. Nudge took up the space on my other side. Gasman and Ig sat on the floor with Total going from lap to lap. They were still making happy shrieks as we settled into the awkward silence.

Nudge broke it. Go figure. 'Max. Oh my Lord! How did you get here? Are you alright? Where have you been and did you save the world? Are you okay? What happened?'

I cut her off before she could continue with a laugh I replied, 'I'm okay Nudge. Wow. Before I get into my stuff, I want to here all about you guys. You all are in school?'

Fang piped in, 'Yeah, I thought I said for you all to stay there today?'

'Once we heard Max was back, there was no way in hell we weren't coming to see her asap.' Ig replied.

And with that all of them starting to talk at once. It was great. They started to tell me about their lives. They all had social lives! They were all doing great in school. Nudge was even ahead one grade. She was one of the popular girls in the school, or so she and Gazzy say. She was always beautiful but she has grown into a stunning woman. At 15 her hair was straight and dark going just past her shoulders, her skin looked soft and she just looked perfect. There was no doubt that she was popular in high school. She also was on the speech and debate team! Yeah, fits her perfectly.

Gazzy went to the same high school with her. His blond hair made its way down to his collar. He said it was the cool thing now. He was tall and skinny. He almost looked like Ig at that age. It wasn't hard for them to seem like brothers. Oh, and he was in the science club and apparently is quite the ladies man. He blushed when Ig brought that up and tackled Ig to the ground.

Speaking of Ig, he's in college now. And Jess goes to college there too. (I didn't need to know that) It isn't a big college just a community one, but Iggy was kicking butt there and loving it. He was studying chemistry and also taking culinary classes. A blind kid, in culinary classes. Let's just say he is noticed around his class. He went on about a wedding cake he worked on that the teacher liked so much that she hired him to make it again for her daughters wedding. He was so proud and I was proud for him. His blindness didn't seem to attract bad attention towards him at all, which I was more happy about than anything else. In fact, Ig confessed to using his 'handicap' to get girls to help him get around campus, although he knows it like the back of his hand.

Angel on the other hand was not about boys at all. I saw Gazzy nodding his head in agreement when she started talking about how this kid, David, was passing her notes in class and following her around on the playground and how she just wanted to barf on him.

'Good choice, sis. Boy's are dumb until they are in their 30's. So don't like them until then.' Gazzy said, while Nudge threw a pillow at him in horror.

We all laughed as Angel continued to tell her woes of boyhood stories. Her curly hair dangled around her face as she smiled and lit up the room. She came to about my chest which was still tall for any 10 year old. I would bet she was the tallest in her class for both girls and guys. Oh yeah, she will be a heart breaker no doubt. She also developed a love of horses. And 'goody goody' Jess's family just happens to own a farm with horses that the girls like to go to on the weekends. I turned and looked at Jess, she just smiled politely. Erg.

Sometime during the conversations Fang brought in pizzas and we all ate and talked. He was still leaning against the wall but would get up every few minutes and leave the room. I wondered if he was checking on Faith. I hadn't forgotten our discussion earlier; I was just trying to ignore it. Ignore the black whole that was sucking me down. This was the flocks time, mine and the flocks time.

Jess was sitting on a recliner at first but as the night went on she ended up leaving. This sucked because I saw how much, indeed, the flock really liked her. They all gave her hugs goodbye and even said they'd see her tomorrow. Not liking her was not going to be easy for me.

11. The Truth Hurts

All yalls comments are awesome. I LOVE reading every one of them. I kinda like Jess but completely understand the hatred.

Some say that this fic is in character and flow really well, thanks so much. I've never written anything before so I'm happy this is up to par with yalls standards.

If I can get around 20 reviews I'll post another one soon, if not I'll still post another one soon… I'm such a push over. Oh, this chapter was hard to write, it may be too sappy. Sorry.

Disclaimer: Can this be a permanent disclaimer for all other chapters' preceding this? Good, not my characters JP's. They are awesome though.

Chapter 13.

When she left Gazzy turned to me and with down cast eyes said, 'I'm sorry for earlier yesterday. I didn't mean to slam the door in your face.' He looked like a wounded puppy.

I tried to hold back a laugh but it slipped as I wrapped my arms around him. 'Don't worry Gazz. If I was you and saw me I would slam the door in my own face too.' That got a smile from him.

'So Max. You heard all about us. Wanna tell us what you've been up to?' Ig asked. I could tell he was asking in a careful manner.

I glanced around and saw everyone looking at each other with reluctant faces. I cleared my throat and took another sip of my coke. Nudge cleared the paper plates and pizza boxes and came back into the living room and sat next to me on the couch. They all looked to me so I started to talk.

'Umm, okay guys,' I said and with a smirk added, 'get comfy, this could take a while.' And with that I explained everything to the flock. I retold them everything I told Fang about the Russians, the training and the purpose of my mission. Again leaving out the torture and the pregnancies.

They were all happy when I told them how I saved the world.

'Wow, Max. You're like a superhero now. Your Super Max!,' Gazzy said enthusiastically. 'If I ever create a comic book, I'm going to make you a super hero.'

I grinned at his proposal but added, 'I'm no hero Gasman. In fact if I did my job right no regular people should ever know what was going on. And Superman never had to do some of the stuff I did.' I added more reluctantly.

The whole time I talked to them I stole glances at Fang. He barley spoke any words but I could see his eyes tighten when I gave the flock an even more edited version of my mission. But what I did tell them had them all fairly mad. I was trying to find a way to bring Faith up. I knew that when I did, I would have to explain everything to them. Even more than what I told Fang.

Fate intervened when I heard her little cries come from the back room. She was awake and wanted it to be known.

'What is that noise?' Iggy asked, his supersensitive ears picking it up before anyone else did.

'I hear it too,' replied Nudge.

Heads started turning to find the sources of the whines. I got up and started to make my way to the room.

'Hang on guys. There is more. An important more.' I said as I left them and looked to Fang and saw him tense up and go into the kitchen.

I grabbed my babe and made my way back to the others. Their eye's fell on Faith and both Nudge and Angel let out awes and ooo's.

'What? What is it?' Inquired Iggy.

'It's a baby,' Gazzy responded bluntly.

'It's not just a baby,' I replied. I took a deep breath, 'It's my baby.'

That led to some gasps and a 'What the hell?' from Ig.

'Yeah. She's my daughter, Faith,' I turned to Fang but he was busy looking out the window.

'Guys, stuff happened after I was done with the RCF. When I returned back Jeb no longer had authority of anything. A new group, the ISL's, came in and took over.' I looked around at the confused faces. Fang turned to me since I never told him any of this.

'Who are the ISL's?' He asked.

'International Safety Leaders,' I replied. 'They decided that I had an ability that shouldn't be kept from the world. They wanted to duplicate me, they were even trying to look for you all. Jeb though stated that all contact with the rest of you guys was futile and that your abilities weren't as superior as mine. I remembered begging Jeb not to reveal the location of you even if he knew it. I told him that if he loved me in any way he wouldn't put you all in danger.'

'But our abilities are just as strong as yours,' Angel questioned.

'I know hun but for your own protection we lied. We all lied, called you guys mistakes.' I said. It was the only way to protect them.

'We all lied? Who was there besides you and Jeb?' Ig asked.

'Anne,' I said simply and at their reasonable response I went on to tell them Anne's placement above Jeb.

I continued knowing that the rest of the story was going to get harder. Not only for me to tell, but for them to hear.

'So, yes. Jeb and Anne were now in my predicament. They both tried to get me out, Jeb getting more angry than I've ever seen him,' I huffed, 'I just think it was because someone else took his toy and wouldn't give it back. Jeb and Anne refused to help with the engineering of other avian hybrid so ISL decided to create it naturally.'

That got some groans from the flock and a tighten jaw from Fang. He was gripping the window pane now.

'They used you as some sort of incubator, a-a- baby maker?' Nudge asked.

I took a gulp of air as I shifted on the couch. Bad memories, painful memories filled my head. 'Sort of. Their main goal was to study the functions, the development of the child.' I rubbed my free hand over my face trying to escape the visions. I closed my eyes, I couldn't bear to see the flocks reaction.

'Since they've never created an avian hybrid from start they didn't know anything about the development of the fetus.' My heart started beating faster and my breaths were shorter. This is what I didn't want anyone to ever know, ever.

'So they got you pregnant with Faith?' Gazzy asked. 'They wanted to study Faith?'

I shook my head as I continued, 'They couldn't use evasive methods, no ultra sounds, no needle tests. They wanted… they wanted to do all tests, everything. They … And the only way they could study all the developmental stages was to have a…' bile started to rise in my throat as I clutched my daughter to me, 'a specimen at each stage.'

I looked up at my family. Their eyes were wide with either horror, confusion or both. Angel had tears in her eyes. I knew she could see some of what was in my head. I was trying my best to block her out but my nerves were failing.

'At each stage? I don't understand.' Iggy said. His voice was wavering.

'Oh god! Oh my…' Angel got up from the couch and collapsed into Ig. Fang turned from the window and took several steps towards me as my shot out to Angel.

She had tears running down her face as she looked back up to me from Ig's arms. 'Max. That's horrible. It's..' She turned and buried her head in Iggy's shoulder.

'Max, what is it? Tell us.' Nudge whispered.

Tears came to my eyes as well. 'They got me pregnant and then they… extracted the fetus at the stages…so… they could study it. Their stages were in months. I'm not making any sense.' I gasped. I was rushing. It was like ripping off a band aid, get it over with fast.

'The first time I was pregnant for a month. They took out the fetus to examine it. A week later they would impregnate me again.' I heard Fang cuss and Gazzy as well. 'The second time they waited until 2 months passed and removed the fetus. And again waited a week… before…they did it again.' I couldn't breath. Faith started to whimper sensing my pain.

'Son of a bitch.' Gazzy let out. 'Monsters, pure monsters.'

Nudge and Angel were both crying silently. Iggy was still in a state of shock. I didn't look at Fang.

There was more. 'They kept me drugged through out it. I tried to fight them, I tried. When Jeb found out he said he would go all the way to the White House. He made such trouble for the ISL. Then one day he was gone. I never saw him again. That's when Anne came in. She threatened to take the whole company and me public. She said that they were killing me each time I got pregnant.' I took a deep breath. 'She was right. My body couldn't handle a cesarean one week and a pregnancy another. I was in and out of surgeries but all they wanted was their test results, their specimens. They decided to give my body a break after Faith. I think another pregnancy would have killed me.

Then about a month after Faith was born Anne snuck in my room. They just did another surgery trying to remove some scar tissue and Anne came in and handed me key. She said I would know when to use it and then told me where I could find Faith' I smiled a little through my tears when I remember that day. 'I think she blew up part of the compound which gave me the opportunity to escape using the key to unlock my restraints, grab Faith and then get the hell out of dodge.'

Silence took over the room for some time. Tears and sniffles were all that could be heard. I felt ashamed, dirty. My body has been violated in every way and I just told my family. I don't want their pity. I don't want to be reminded. Wow. I don't know why I told them the first day back. This had made a wonderful day into a crappy one in one conversation.

'How far along were you when Faith was born?' Fang asked. The first words he said in a while. His features were still stone and his voice held malice.

'Seven months.' I answered softly. I looked into his eyes.

'You were pregnant seven times.' His statement came out in a groan.

No. Tears fell, damn it, why did I always have to cry! I jerked my head and swallowed hard.

'Ten times. The first three didn't even make it a month. I was pregnant ten times,' I whispered, but it came out in little gasps while my eyes were screaming We were pregnant ten times, Fang.

12. Doorway Bliss

Wow. Thanks for all the reviews. All yalls compliments are awesome. Here's the next chapter. I know its short but a lot of my chapters are like 5 pages typed, I guess they look shorter on here. But I have a bunch of chapters so it should make up for it. Enjoy guys.

Again lets try for 20 reviews. But if not I'll still post, I love yall that much.

Chapter 14.

Fang looked absolutely homicidal. His breathing was becoming erratic and his fists were clinched tight.

'Okay guys. It's late and you all still have homework to do.' Fang commanded, never leaving my eyes.

The flock looked up in shock and blatantly refused. It came to an end with several more stern looks and responses from Fang, which held promise that I'd be here in the morning and that he needed to talk to me alone. None of them moved.

'It's okay guys. You all really need some sleep and I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.' I said with a small smile. Noticing their still sadden faces I added, 'The past is the past. We need to focus on now. I want to focus on now. It sucked, yes, but I got through it. And I'm here now.'

Reluctantly they rose and made their way to the stairs. Iggy paused at the foot and light heartedly said, 'Just to let everyone know, I'm not going to my room because Fang said so. I'm 18 just like him but I also have a paper due tomorrow and I've gotta start working on it. Just to let you know.' And with that, he followed the others up the stairs and out of sight.

Man I love that kid. He actually had me smiling. I gazed down at Faith knowing that she was hungry but I also knew I had to talk to Fang first.

Fang. He was still staring at me his body looked like it would snap at any second.

'Okay Fang. What is it you want to know?' I asked coolly.

'Ten. You were pregnant ten times.' He said exasperated. 'Max…' He took a staggered breath, his eyes were getting glossy. 'Faith was the only one that… that survived?'

I looked at Faith and smiled sadly. 'Yes. I wasn't even sure if she would be alive.' I got up and walked over to Fang. My heart pounding so hard, I was sure he could hear it. 'I could hear her cry, Fang.' It came out as a whisper, as a plea. My eyes widen as I looked to Fang. His breathing caught.

'I heard her cry when they delivered her. She was the first one I ever heard cry. I knew she was alive! I HEARD her! I begged them not to kill her. I didn't know if they did that to any of the others. I don't think any child can live so young but she survived.' More tears slipped down my face. I didn't wipe them, just allowed them to fall. 'I never pleaded and begged and fought so much.' He never faltered. But his lips were pressed hard.

'When I went to the lab, I went in not knowing if she was alive or not. I saw her there breathing, asleep,' I grinned and held her up to him, 'she's alive, Fang. Our daughter is alive.' I placed her on his chest forcing him to grab her.

He looked frightened holding her. His eyes big, his steady calm hands looking large and clumsy. It was beautiful. He gazed at her and I thought something passed in his eyes. I thought wrong.

'Max. I'm sorry Max. Take her, please.' He handed her back. I was mortified. I was beyond hurt. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. I took her and took a moment to compose myself.

I told Fang I wouldn't push. And I did just that. It wasn't his fault.

'I've got work to do. You should,' he waved his hand towards Faith, 'do what ever it is you need to do and get some sleep, it's been a rough day.' He turned to leave.

He needed to hear this. It wasn't his fault. 'Fang.' I said, and he turned back to me, 'I just want… I know me coming here with Faith has been a good thing but I also know it's messed up some stuff.' He raised an eyebrow again. Goodness, his eyebrows even turned me on. 'I just don't want to mess anything up you might have had before I came. If… you had anything with Jess, its okay. I know you… might feel like… you can't because of us. Just know that you can.' I wanted to throw up. I was pretty much telling Fang to be with someone else. Ahh!

His eyes closed for a second. He pinched the bridge of his nose, I never noticed that before. When he met my eyes his nose was flaring again.

'First off, Max, you don't know a damn thing. And second off, having a relationship with Jess is pretty much impossible with you now here.' And he then stormed off towards his office.

Oh, all this was exhausting. I was so confused about Fang. I madly made my way to the bedroom and fed and changed Faith. We were going to need to get her some stuff, my scrap diapers were running low. After she fell asleep in the middle of the bed, I turned and made my way to Fang's office. This was going to get ugly.

I swung open the door, 'What the HELL are you doing? What are you talking about 'I don't know what I'm talking about' crap. I'm allowing you to keep on keeping on with who ever!' He got up from his desk looking shocked first then amused. Oh, that ticked me off even more.

'No, you don't,' he replied.

'Don't give me that smug look! I see the way she looks at you, and the way you look at her,' I was yelling now and it felt good, 'I wasn't expecting everything to just fall back into place but you sure were acting like it on the couch this morning and then she comes in,' at the comment about this morning he huffed. He actually huffed!, ' I know she's not as messed up as I am and I know I've been gone for four years but you –.'

'Max, what-,' he questioned as he made his way to me. I stopped him with swipe of my fist.

'Don't Max, me! You were going to kiss me but then you didn't. Did you just forget you had a girlfriend? Did you! –.' I was rolling.

'Kiss? A girlfriend? I already told you-,' he stammered.

'And then you took her to the door and did you kiss her there? Were you too yellow belly to kiss her in front of me?' I shoved right into his face.

'Yellow belly? I did not kiss her. Kissing, is that what this is about?' His body steamed heat.

'I know you weren't expecting a child. I'm not asking you to. But don't clam up because of her, Fang! Don't treat her like a disease. Just be straight with me, damnit!' I yelled while he kept repeating kissing phrases.

'Be straight with you?,' he paused, our noses almost touching, 'All this over a kiss? A kiss that never happened?! I don't clam up! A disease? All because of a kiss?' His anger was tangible.

'Yes! A ki-,' I didn't complete my sentence.

He shoved his hands under my arms and pushed me hard against the closed door and shoved me up on it as his mouth came down on mine. My hands slipped up to fight him back but relented as he crushed my body with his. His mouth was savage, his tongue begged for entrance. I weakly granted it. My head was clouded by lust, by want. My fingers traveled up his chest and neck to tangle in his hair pushing his mouth harder against mine. And then just as soon as it happened, it stopped. He pushed away from me and took several steps back.

We were both gasping for air. I leaned back against the door for support. Fang shook his head.

'You,' he wheezed, 'All I've ever wanted is you…YOU, Max, and a family with you…… But I don't know how to help you or how to be a father to her. You both have been through so much, and I can't help you through it. I just don't know how. And as for Faith, I don't deserve her right now.'

I started to weakly laugh and cry at the same time. He wanted me but didn't want to be with me. And he's scared of his own daughter. Great, just great.

'Give me time, Max. Just give me that.' He turned away from me, 'And if Jess was ever a thought before, she is no longer now. So don't even think it.'

I nodded my head. My voice refused to work. I quietly opened the door and went back to Fang's room. I silently and methodically dressed in one of his shirts, my thoughts still shot, my body still numb. I climbed into bed. It's just all confusing now. Everything.

I was still thinking about what he said when I heard him come in. My back was facing to him but I could tell he was staring at me. I heard him change and then crawl in behind me. We're not together but yet sleeping in the same bed… with our daughter. So confusing. I drifted off to sleep feeling his wings brush against mine and still tasting his kiss on my lips. Oh, what dreams may come.

13. Chasing Cars

Mmmm…. Love the reviews, Lol. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. Enjoy.

Short chapter… sorry.

Again, lets try 20 reviews.

Chapter 15.

I drifted off to sleep feeling his wings brush against mine and still tasting his kiss on my lips. Oh, what dreams may come.

Horrific, terrifying, and funky. That's what dreams came to me that night. Nightmares describe them better.

Dreams of the compound, of the pregnancies. I dreamt that I was still pregnant, I could still see my stomach enlarged and swelled. And I was still on the bed, arms and legs tied by ropes. I could feel the baby kicking and moving but I knew what was going to happen. I knew as they wheeled me into the operating room that they were going to take the baby again. But this time I didn't hear Faith crying. Her little body wasn't pink like I remembered it but blue and white. I called out to the nurses and doctors. I started fight them off but the ropes dug into my skin and my drugged body only twitched. I fought and yelled. This was not suppose to happen, Faith was suppose to be alive and we were suppose to be with Fang. My body vaulted and seized as pain invaded every pour. The doctors left then. They just left. I was still on the operating table, my body still exposed and they just left me. I could feel the medication wearing off, I could feel my stomach still open. I cried out in pain, nothing had felt this bad. I continued to fight against the ropes, no use. I was going to die there. I was going to die and it was going to hurt like hell. I closed my eyes still fighting and whished for death to come fast.

'Max, Max,' a whisper in my ear. 'Max wake up,' I could feel someone shaking my shoulders.

'No, just let me die. No more pain,' I croaked out.

'Your safe, I wont let you die. Open your eyes Max. Stop kicking and punching' He said again this time I felt something press against my body.

My eyes shot open and there I was in the bed, safe with Fang literally lying on top of me. He had both my wrists in his hands pressed next to my head as his legs were weighing mine down. He was breathing hard and looked slightly medieval from the shadows of the moon dancing on his face. I rapidly blinked away that Shakespearian statement.

'Are you okay? Are you awake?' He asked breathlessly.

'What are you doing on top of me?' I asked oblivious.

He heaved a sigh of relief and rolled off me onto his back. 'You were having a nightmare,' he whispered, 'And it was a violent one since you started to wail on me and whimper.' He turned his head to look at me, I hadn't moved one muscle still a little sleep deranged.

'Oh, crap, Faith!' I turned to my side but she was gone.

'Don't worry, when you started to get active I moved her to the floor,' He stood up and crouched down beside the bed. When he reappeared he held her sleeping form.

'Thank God.' I silently prayed. 'I haven't had a dream that bad in a while. I could have hurt her.' I was mad at myself for being so reckless. He still stood there with Faith looking at me.

'You'll be fine Max.' He stated. 'She'll be fine.'

He climbed back into bed and placed our daughter in between us. 'Go back to sleep.' He said softly.

'What if it happens again?' I asked, more to myself then him.

'It won't and I'm here.' He murmured as he rolled to his side facing us and closed his eyes.

'Okay and I don't whimper.' I replied, still trying to shake my dream.

He snorted a laugh but didn't speak.

I laid back down sleep overtaking me again. I never knew nightmares could drain you out. I pushed Faith closer to Fang, so if I did have another nightmare she'd be safer. I fell back to sleep still yelling at myself for being so careless and just so screwed up.

I woke up, to get this, birds chirping! Yeah, birds. I hadn't had another nightmare, in fact I couldn't remember what I dreamt about at all. Thank goodness.

The sight that I saw almost made me cry again. Fang moved on his back but had Faith resting on his chest. Fang's eyes were closed but his hand was protectively rubbing her back as she slept. Her little fist was clutching Fang's shirt. It was a heart melting sight. I just stared at them not moving, not speaking, just taking it in.

He was falling for her just like I did. I know it will take time for him but he's holding her, and touching her. It's a start.

An alarm went off upstairs followed by a series of foot steps thudding around. The flock was up. Fang inhaled deeply rising Faith up with his chest, she started to squirm as both father and daughter slowly woke up. He turned his head towards me and blinked several times.

'Hey,' Fang mumbled.

'Hey,' I mumbled back smiling. I reached my arm out and rubbed Faith's hand slowly coaxing her awake. He glanced back from me to her.

'No more bad dreams?' He asked still keeping Faith on his chest. His hand came up to mine and just rested on it.

'No,' I whispered. I shifted my head closer to his, resting it on the same pillow. I felt like I was in heaven.

'Yo,' Gazzy came bursting through the door. Fang and I immediately separated and I struggled to sit up in bed, 'Angel needs $10.00 for a field trip and I want to stay home today, oh and so does Nudge.' He looked at the both of us in a 'no big deal' type of way. Like seeing Fang and I in the same bed was a normal thing.

I felt a blush creep up my chest, Fang just laid there all coolly. 'Get the money out of my wallet by the door and no, you will go to school today.' He said all authoritative like.

'Oh man. Just this once? Max is here.' He protested.

'No way, Max will be here when you get back. School, my friend, now.' He didn't even raise his voice but Gazzy didn't argue anymore and left.

Wow, I mean they did listen to me when I was the leader but I usually would've caved in. I looked back at Fang impressively.

'What?' He asked. He too pushed himself up into a sitting position holding Faith over his shoulder now. It was cute.

I shrugged and mouthed 'nothing'. I pushed a piece of hair dangling in his eyes off to the side and grinned. Nudge came barging in next and I quickly withdrew my hand.

'Okay, so, like, fine I'll go to school today but afterwards we should go shopping. Because no matter how nice your clothes are, Fang, they don't look that nice on Max and we need to get stuff for the baby.' She completed her statement with a sharp nod a little smile and then she left the room too.

'I don't know, I think they look good on you.' He smirked as he looked me over. Oh, geeze.

'Okay Nudge,' I yelled out the door. I saw Iggy walk by with a tooth brush hanging from his mouth and Angel following yelling for Gazzy to give back her homework.

Angel stopped at the door, 'Good morning,' she beamed.

'Good morning,' Fang and I replied.

'Eggs or pancakes for breakfast,' she asked, still smiling and looking at the three of us on the bed.

'Both?' I said. I could feel my stomach start to eat itself.

'Hokay!' She replied and turned away yelling, 'Ig, they want both so start cookin.'

'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' He yelled back. 'What do I look like a chef?'

'Are you serious?' Nudge asked as she went pass the door way again.

'Angel I don't have your homework, just tell your teacher the dog ate it!' Gazzy yelled back from up stairs.

'Not funny!' Total barked.

Apparently, having a room in between the stairs and the living room guarantee's a wakeup call.

'Is it always this lively?' I said chuckling.

'Every morning.' He replied, 'It's better than me having to drag them out of bed by their ankles, which I had to do for about 6 months when they started going to school.' He smirked.

'Your really good at this, you know that right?' I whispered. He has done such an amazing job. I honestly don't know if I could have had everything this normal for them. I grabbed his hand and laced it with mine.

'Geeze, Fang, everything is incredible.' I stated. Faith was awake by then and started to pick her head up to see who was holding her, she banged it against his chin. Fang kissed her forehead without a second thought and I sucked in a breath.

Our eyes caught and we just looked at each other.

'Who wants to take me for a walk?' Total jumped up onto the bed and flopped himself in my lap. Fang released my hand and got up out of the bed. I glared at Total.

'What?' He asked licking my fingers.

14. Jess and Define Normal

Hey all! Sorry for the short chapters but like I said, I've already typed now 20 chapters. I'll try to make them longer in the future. I'm tickled that some of you said that this is your favorite ff, yall's remarks are really sweet.

And because I like yall so much I've posted two chapters. Their both short so…

Enjoy, my friends.

Chapter 16.

'Get out, mutt. We'll go later,' Fang stated.

'Fine, this poor feeble dog only wants some affection, but I see how it is.' He then slowly made his way off the bed unlike his energetic entrance.

Fang rolled his eyes and turned back to me. 'Such a dog.' He groaned.

Faith started to whine so Fang handed her back to me with a, 'I think she's hungry,' excuse. He grabbed some clothes and started for the door.

'I'll make sure there's enough food left for us while you feed her.' He replied.

'Okay, hey Fang,' I stopped him as he peeked his head around the corner, 'Thanks for last night. The dreams are bad so thanks for waking me up.' I made my way out of the bed and started to walk to the chair.

He cleared his throat and I could feel his stare. 'Sure, no problem,' he stuttered. He let out a half smirk as he added, 'Nudge is wrong. You look really, really great in my clothes.' And with one final look he turned and headed down the hallway.

I glanced down to see what he was looking at and noticed that, yeah, I was wearing his shirt to bed and only his shirt. Woops.

I fed Faith and then found some other clothes of Fang's to wear. Nudge was right, I need to get some of my own, I was beginning to look like a baggy sports bum.

We made our way into the kitchen where the flock was eating breakfast. From the look of all the food on the table you'd think it was feeding 20 people instead of six. They all gave me random smiles and grunts but their mouths were otherwise preoccupied.

I sat down next to the Gasman and Nudge with Faith on my lap, grabbed a plate and started eating.

'She is just too adorable!,' Nudge exclaimed as she poked Faith's nose. Faith looked at her funny then sneezed.

'Yeah, but you can't have one,' Iggy piped in, 'at least not yet and even then that thought would be scary.' Nudge rolled her eyes.

'If you could only see, Ig, you'd notice the death glare I'm aiming towards you.' She replied.

'Yeah, if only.' He laughed back. He turned to where Fang was sitting at the head of the table, 'So, did I hear right earlier, are we going shopping for our new family?' He said that with a sweet smile.

'Yes. So when Jess goes to pick you all up don't make her take ya to the movies,' Fang looked at Angel, 'again.' She glanced up innocently.

'So does that mean Nudge and I have to share a room now? So Max can have her own?' She asked, not to thrilled about it. Hey, if I had my own room I wouldn't want to give it up either.

Fang shook his head as he started to gather the empty dishes and plates, 'I was thinking of making the game room into an nursery for Faith, but it's up to Max to decide where she wants to be.' He took the plates into the kitchen leaving me with Angel's questioning eyes.

'Umm… I don't know.' I said, 'It seems like you all have gotten used to your own rooms. Is there no other rooms here?' My voice cracked. Fang was letting me choose if I wanted to stay in his room. Oh man. That would make it our room, like the head couple of the house. If we were a couple, again errg with the confusion.

The flock shook their heads no. Gazzy spoke up, 'There was only five rooms, unless you want to sleep in the attic? That could be kinda cool.' He sounded hopeful.

'Why don't you sleep in the attic,' Iggy scoffed back, 'I think Jess will be here soon.'

And as if on queue a car horn was heard outside just as Fang came back into the room.

'Jess takes them to school?' I asked. Such a motherly thing to do, I was getting jealous again.

The kids rushed from the table to grab coats and backpacks. Fang turned and motioned me to follow. We walked with the flock to the front hallway.

'Yeah, she comes and picks them all up. The schools are on the way to the college so since Ig and her have the first class together it's just easier this way.' He faced me, 'You okay?'

'Bye Max, bye Fang!' Iggy and Gazzy ran out into the cold, still misty air.

'Man, I still can't find my homework!' Angel complained. 'Maybe I could –.'

'No!,' Fang cut her off, 'No playing with the teacher's mind.'

'Fine,' Angel huffed, 'Bye Fang, bye Max, bye baby.' And she trotted off.

'Well, I think Max should stay in your room Fang.' Nudge exclaimed, I was mortified, 'I really like having my own room and I really think Max likes your room. So you get stuck with the roommate.' And she smiled as she left both of us in front door waving them off and looking befuddled.

'Subtle much?' Fang said. He turned to me and grinned.

I was still in shock at how blatant Nudge was in trying to get us together and also at Jess's involvement in the everyday lives of my family.

'She takes them to and from school everyday?' I asked again.

'What?' He asked.

'Does she stay for dinner too?' I mumbled. I know he said not to worry, but guess what, I'm worried. Just because he has no feeling for her doesn't mean she feels the same way about him.

'Sometimes she does. But I already told you Max, don't worry about it.' He sighed and made his way back to the kitchen.

'I know, I'm sorry. It's just,' I followed him and paused trying to choose my words carefully, 'driving the flock to school is sort of a mother thing, right? And since I'm back, I kinda want to.'

He stopped loading the dishwasher and stared at me. 'You want to drive them to school?' he asked and I nodded, yeah, lame excuse but it's the only one I had at the moment.

He went on, 'Max, you don't even know how to drive well.' Well let him get to the heart of the problem, huh.

'I could learn. You could teach me!' I said. I was liking this idea more and more.

He slowly nodded and contemplated it for a moment. 'Yeah, I could….. And I will…. but not now. Maybe in a few days or weeks. Let just get you two clothes first.'

I smiled a really big smile that broke through Fang and caused him to duplicate it. We stood there over the dishwasher smiling.

'Nice.' I said.

'Yeah, nice.' He replied.

We stood like that for a few minutes then Fang had to do work in his office. With Faith on my hip I took for a self guided tour of the house, well not so much self guided. But Total was a crappy tour guide.


Chapter 17.

The house was bigger than it looked from the outside. After about 3 hours of wondering around I discovered that the first floor consisted of the living room, dining room (which the table is so big it sits 12), kitchen (where most meals are eaten at the breakfast table), Fang's bedroom, Fang's office, a bathroom, and another small room called the sun room. I call it a fancy-small-space-with-furniture-no-one-under-18-is-allowed-to-sit-on room. But that's just me.

The second floor had the flock's bedrooms along with 2 other bathrooms and the 'game room'. They all had their own room and they weren't too bad in size. Oh, and I'm so jealous! Iggy has his own bathroom. What the heck!

I was snooping and following Total into their bedrooms. Ig's seems very neat and orderly. Expected from a blind kid, nothing can be moved from where it was. He had figurines of hawks and other types of birds everywhere. Gazzy room smelled and had posters of scary looking excuses for human musicians on the walls. Which were painted a mixture of red and black by the way. Though if he just picked up his clothes from the floor it wouldn't look that bad.

The girl's rooms were a hoot. Nudge's room seemed like the purple clothes fairy exploded everywhere. Everything was light purple and white and she had cut outs of fashion stuff on her mirrors and walls. It was very cute, very girly, and very…. purple. Angle's room was, guess what color, come on, pink. Yep. Butterfly's and horses and flowers took up her walls. Frilly pillows and fuzzy animals invaded her bed. I spotted Celeste and smiled. She still kept her.

The third floor was pretty much one big room over the entire house. There were worn out couches and bean-bag chairs around a really big TV. Bookshelves trailed the walls stuffed with books. Fang always did like to read, impressive. A huge blue plastic matt was in one corner along with some sparing equipment. There was also a massive stereo system and a pool table. Total came bouncing around.

'So what exactly is this room?' I asked him as he plopped on a bean-bag.

'I don't know. They come up here and watch movies, or play pool. Fang mainly reads from up here.' He said yawning.

'I can tell.' I glanced at the equipment. 'I guess they wrestle to keep in shape?'

He sniffed the air, 'Fang insists on keeping in shape. Since we're not running for our lives he had to do it the old fashion way. Ig likes to take him on. He's also surprisingly good at the stick and ball.'

'Fang plays pool, huh?' I smirked. I could see it. Fang becoming domesticated.

'Well, yeah. But I was talking about Iggy. He's a shark!' He crooned.

'Huh. No kidding.' I noticed Total had fallen asleep. Lazy pooch.

I walked back downstairs to scavenge food and put Faith down for a nap. I smiled as I passed picture after picture on the walls of the flock. They looked really professional, all black and white with an elegant yet natural look.

Random pictures. The flock at the beach or them just hanging round the house. There were some with them swimming in the lake out front. The more humorous ones was the entire flock on horses. Fang looked absolutely beside himself on a horse. They all looked so happy and carefree. I started to laugh but stopped. These were Jess's horses; she just rubs me the wrong way. She was actually in some of the pictures as well. Arg, they obviously adore her but my jealous green streak was flaming.

Once I got Faith settled I made a couple of sandwiches, a couple meaning six, and grabbed two sodas and headed to Fang's office. I knocked on his door and entered. He looked kinda surprised to see me. He was talking on the phone and waved to me take a seat.

'Yes. Go ahead and get the advertisement from Jacobs and set it up to start showing in two weeks. Okay. No, I've sent the contract to them this morning. You should get it soon. Okay. Right. Let me know when you get them.' He sighed as he hung up and looked to me with a smile.

'I bring nourishment and entertaining company,' I gushed and passed him his plate and drink.

'Ahhh, then you may stay,' he teased back and grabbed the food hungrily. 'Hey, we're all invited to a cookout Friday, well, tomorrow. So you can meet some neighbors.'

I was taken aback, 'A cookout? As in with other people? You socialize with other people?'

He grinned, 'Yes, as in with other people. It will be fun. It's just a neighborhood thing.'

'I don't know. I'm not a good normal people person. Maybe you guys could go and Faith and I can just chill here.' I said encouragingly. 'I can start my people skills another time.'

'You'll be fine, I promise. And the sooner you start socializing the faster everything will feel normal to you.' He said as he nodded.

'Define normal,' I grumbled back but added a smile at the end.

I started eating looking around his office. It was nice looking, very professional and yet Fang-ish too. He had posters of sports teams and memorabilia hung and placed nicely around and an arcade type of basketball game in the corner. Yeah, definitely Fang-ish. What caught my eye was the plethora (good word, huh) of computer equipment he had on his desk and on the table behind his desk.

'So, wha ekackly doo you doo?' I asked mouth full of turkey. I guzzled my drink to clear it. 'Are you some computer whiz?'

He shook his head and finished chewing, 'No. I started a blogging community. It's a cross between your myspace and livejournal..'

'You…started it? Really?' I looked back amazed. 'Cool. So is it like for this community and the surrounding areas?'

He raised his eyebrows, 'Ahh, no. It's a little bigger than that.' He cleared off some of his desk and opened his drink. I could tell he was hiding something.

'Just how big?' I stopped eating and looked at him.

He cleared his throat, 'National. And we're in talks with Europe and Australia so hopefully global.' He shrugged his shoulders, 'Its nothing really.'

'Holy cow, Fang!' I gasped, 'And you created this? Like are the mastermind and stuff?' My jaw was touching the ground, I swear, I could feel it.

'Yep.' He replied. 'But I also do some private computer programming for other corporations in my free time. So 'BlogWorld' isn't the only thing I do.'

He started eating again, acting like it was no big deal. Well, I beg to differ.

'Wait, you not only run a successful virtual community but you write computer programs as well?' I was stunned. 'How did you do this, your only 18!'

'Thanks for the confidence,' he smirked. 'I started 'BlogWorld' while I was completing school and Jess's dad helped me get deals with companies.' He cringed when my eye's budged at Jess's name.

'Jess helped you? You've met her parents!' I swallowed what seemed to be an ice brick. 'How long have you known her?'

'A while, Max. Yes I met her father, he's the one who suggested we move out here and he's a good connection of mine,' he replied. I could tell he didn't want to talk about this anymore. He fidgets his cheek muscle.

'Connections? You have connections. I guess the laying low rule is no longer needed? Did you forget what we are, what we've been through?' I mumbled sarcastically.

He huffed, 'Of course not. Don't lecture me, please. I remember all we've been through, we all do. We haven't had any close calls beside the Max II finding us and she hasn't in over a year. Things are different now. We can have connections and we can have friends. Like how Jess is a friend, her father is a friend and a connection. It's called living life like normal people, Max.' He said quietly. He took a deep breath. 'I'm not going to apologize for allowing the flock and me to live like everyone else. They deserve it.'

I shook my head. 'I just….,' I looked down at my half eaten lunch, 'I've missed so much. I don't know what's going on anymore.' I glanced back up at Fang and saw sadness there.

I would never tell the flock how scared I was. I shouldn't have told them all I did last night but it I did. Fang was different, though. He knew when I was clueless or felt less than my Maximum toughness self. He knew… and I knew that he knew.

'I'm scared.' I said simply.

He leaned back in his chair and stared at me.

'Of what,' he whispered.

'Oh…well, I'm scared of not being needed. Of being replaced, of not knowing how to act now.' I smiled sadly. 'I don't think I can be normal, Fang.' I let out a weak laugh, 'And the more I'm looking the more I see that I might not belong here. I don't think I'll fit in. You all have new lives now and-.'

'Shut up,' he interrupted. He launched himself out of his chair and was around the desk and stood in front of me.

'What?' I stuttered. Did he just tell me to shut up?

He grabbed my hand and pulled me into a hug, 'Don't ever say that again. You belong, Max. You belong to me. And you fit here. You don't have to be normal. Just be yourself.' He tightened his hold on me and started to caress my back.

Woah, I had no idea I would get that reaction from him. I just stood there with my arms by my sides, to shocked to move.

'Okay, I'll go to the cookout.' I mumbled in his shoulder. 'Just don't make me wear a dress.' I joked.

He leaned back and his lip lifted in a half smile. 'Don't worry. I'm only going to make you wear a sweater or jacket.' He kissed my forehead and raised his wings and twitched them. 'They're our neighbors but they don't know everything about us.'

We both laughed and then finished our lunch with sporadic talk of the kids and their lives. It was like I was re-learning about them.

I made up an excuse of being tired and went to lay down with Faith. They really like 'normal' and I'm to chicken to even approach it. I've been through too much to just act like a regular person. I flopped on my back; all this thinking was giving me a headache. I know they've been through it all as well, but these past few years were worst than the previous ones with the flock. I can't be normal, I'm too paranoid, too suspicious. I'd probably deck a friendly neighbor if he innocently grabbed my arm or something. I thought it would be easy to slip back into life with them, but it's not. It's damn hard! I mean, they have a house! A permanent place to sleep, to eat, to play.

I fell asleep trying to picture myself in the kitchen wearing an apron and making dinner. No, normal I am not.

15. WallyWorld Relationships

Thanks guys. I was gone for the weekend so that's why I'm updating just now. ALSO, I just received my new work sched. and it has me doing c-r-a-z-y hours plus I am taking some college classes as well…. What this means is that I'll be a lot slower on the updates. I'll still keep writing them but I don't have much time to do so. blah… summer my butt

Oh and James Patterson has said that he's writing another MR book… great huh!


Chapter 18.

"She's so tiny." A small voice peeped waking me. I kept my eyes closed still hoping to drift back off.

"Yeah, kinda wrinkly looking." Another voice whispered back. It sounded like Angel.

"Don't poke her. She looks like Max. Not the wrinkly part." Nudge replied.

"Hmmm… I wonder who her father is?" Angel asked. I was getting worried now and stretched my arms and legs out to show I was awake.

"Max! You're awake. Great," Nudge said cheerfully, "We were supposed to wake you two up so we could go shopping for stuff but then we saw the baby, what's her name again?"

"Faith," Angel chimed in.

"Yeah, Faith, and we were just saying how precious she is!" Nudge continued.

I rolled out of the bed and smiled at the two of them. If I didn't say something quick Nudge would continue and bless her heart but no.

"I didn't know I've slept for that long. Did you guys get back from school already?" I asked. I went to wake Faith up and glanced at the bedside clock. It was already the afternoon.

"Mmhmm" Nudge nodded and continued to talk about her day.

Thank God Fang came into the room then. "Ready to go?" he asked looking at the other two and avoiding my stare completely. Great, what now?!

I made a quick 'yes' of a reply and grabbed Faith and headed towards the door. The guys were waiting in the hall all ready. I tired to find my shoes but had no clue where Fang placed them the other night.

"Fang, I need footwear." I mumbled as we walked to the front door.

"I had to throw away your shoes. They were practically falling apart anyway." He said and he opened the hall closet and handed me some black sports flip-flops. "Here, these will do until we get you real shoes."

I put them on but they were way too big. I looked up at Fang and he smirked. "There mine, sorry."

We finally got everyone out the door about 10 minutes later. Angel forgot her purse, Gazzy wanted to look up a name of a video game he wanted, and Nudge had to go to the bathroom…. 3 times.

I automatically let my wings out assuming we were going to fly to the store. The others were walking in the direction of the driveway.

"We're driving, not flying?" I asked feeling a little embarrassed.

Fang turned and gave a soft smile, "Yes. I don't think we could carry everything. And we mainly drive to places now." He opened the door to a rather large SUV.

"I get middle row," cried Iggy as he jumped gracefully into the vehicle.

"Middle," replied Nudge as she followed Ig.

Both Gazzy and Angel climbed into the back row both occupied with a turbulent game of thumb war.

"Do you guys not fly at all anymore?" I asked worriedly. Were they turning into a too domestic family? I hoped into the passenger seat noticing how big and nice the car was. Really nice.

"Oh no, we still fly around a lot," Fang said as he slid under the wheel. "Give Faith to Nudge to hold while we drive," I looked over at him and he said, "It's safer and less likely to draw attention."

I handed Faith over reluctantly to an elated Nudge and turned back to Fang. "Where do you fly to? It's not like y'all are on the run."

He made his way down the driveway and I realized Fang was a pretty good driver, like he probably passed his drivers test if he ever took it. "I own several acres and the wood back behind the house. We like to fly around there especially at night."

"Yeah, we even made a wicked tree house," piped Gazzy.

Huh, a tree house. We practically lived in tree's when were on the run. Why build a house in them?

"And we play games back there, like eraser chase." Nudge added.

I turned to the flock at that remark. "You actually play a game involving erasers? That's a little morbid don't you think?"

"No. Fang says it's a good thing for us to keep practicing. Keep our reflexes and fighting skills up. Everybody but one person is the eraser and that one person has to fight them or trick them." Angel replied.

"Yep. And I love kicking Eraser-Gazzy's butt." Iggy smirked. Gazzy flicked him in the back of the head.

"That's good then." I nodded, "Keeping up training in case they come back and we have to leave again." The flock stopped their doings and stared at me.

"What," I asked.

"They won't come back. We've been safe and we're going to stay safe," Angel murmured, "Right, Fang?"

Fang's jaw clinched as he focused on the road. "Right, Angel. No one's going to hurt us or make us leave."

Okay, so you know those awkward moments when you say something inappropriate but you don't realize it until afterwards when silence takes over and you feel like the person that just announced that there's no Santa Clause. Yeah, that would be me at that moment. I just sat there until we got to Wal-Mart.

Inside the store we decided to get stuff for Faith first then worry about me. The boys headed off in the furniture area along with Angel since 'boys have no idea what good taste is'. This just left Faith, Nudge and I starting in the baby clothes.

We were having fun looking at little dresses and shirts. Nudge wanted to buy the whole section of clothes that was Faith's size. She'd throw clothes in the basket, I'd look at some of them and put them back. It's was like a cycle, it was fun.

"So," Nudge turned to me with a sad look, "Are you okay?" She whispered.

"Huh?," I replied, "Yeah, I'm fine." I went to grab some baby shoes and her hand caught mine.

"No, Max. Seriously. I mean, I'm 15, a year older than you when you were taken," her eyes started to shimmer. "I don't know if I could have survived what you went through."

I patted her hand and gave a half smile, "It's okay, Nudge, I'm here now. I'll be okay."

"You don't really want to talk about it do you?" she grinned and quickly wiped her eyes.

"Mmm, not really Wal-Mart material I don't think," I laughed and she smiled. I then added more seriously, "No, not really."

We continued to walk down the aisles now making our way to diapers and bagoogles amount of ointments. Wow. Our cart was getting pretty full already.

"We aren't the little kids you needed to protect anymore." Nudge spoke up throwing some kind of toy worm into the cart.

"Nudge.." I warned.

"But Max, we aren't. We are all older and we can't help you move past your past unless you let us." She turned her head to me and quietly added, "But you won't tell us will you? No matter how old we get or how many times you'll help us with our problems, you'll never let us help you with yours."

She's been eating wise cereal since I've been gone. I smiled at her, "You all are my family, you're my flock and I'll always protect you no matter what. Age doesn't matter nor will I divulge something I think won't do you or the others any good."

Nudge sighed and grabbed a big bag of diapers, I nodded when she showed them to me and she shoved them in the cart. "Well, at least talk to Fang about it. He's older and you've guys have always been close." She gasped and grinned at me, eyebrows moving up and down.

"Soooo, what's going on with you and Fang now that your back!" She chanted. I groaned and that just fueled the fire of her little mind.

"That is definitely not under discussion." I sharply stated as I picked up some baby wipes.

"Oh, come on. Give me something!" Nudge whined.

"It's not under discussion because there is nothing to discus." I implied. Oh, baby rattles.

"So you mean to tell me you're not jealous or haven't thought about Jess at all?" She snide.

"Nudge! Enough." I said sternly but the look on my face gave it away.

She snorted, "Well, just for your peace of mind, Fang and Jess tried the whole relationship thing and it didn't work out so much." We continued to the next aisle, baby food.

My heart felt funny. They tried a relationship, tried, which mean that they actually had one. "What do you mean tried," I asked loudly. Nudge turned to me surprised at my voice.

"I…I just meant that they had one but that they broke up. Umm…" She looked like she was caught red handed. She turned to the jar foods and started putting some in the cart.

"Who broke up with who?" I insisted. I felt sick.

"I think Fang broke up with her. I'm not sure." She turned back to me, "But don't hate her Max. She's really nice and sweet."

I grunted as I looked at the types of mushy foods and picked some. "When did they break up? How long did they date?" I mumbled trying to keep the venomous tone back.

Nudge shifted uncomfortably, "Ehh, about 8 months ago they broke up. They started dating back in DC though."

I was shocked. "Wait, wait, wait," I huffed, "I though you guys were only in DC for one year? So Fang's been dating her for like over 3 years! What!" I was livid. "He said he was going crazy looking for me but he was with her the whole time!."

Nudge waved her arms in front of me, "No, No, NO!. We were in the apartment for a year, we moved to a house in DC they met while taking a class at the night college there –."

"Wait I thought she was taking college classes with Iggy?" I cut in.

"No, well sorta. She's a student teacher there. But she became our friend and they started dating before we moved out to here so technically they only dated for a little over 1 year." She said hopeful. Fat chance.

"One year, because that is so much better. So what she moved out here with you guys?" I sarcastically said.

"Her family lives out here and they said there was an open country house. We needed to move to get away from Max II. But I think you should give more credit to Jess." Nudge seemed a little ticked at me, well who cares.

"Why?" I spat out.

"Because she saved Angel and Gazzy's life from Max II. Because she's a really nice person. And because she reminds me of you." Nudge stated. I glanced back at her surprised.

Just then the boys came around the corner with two carts filled with boxes.

"Thank goodness," Nudge whispered.

Yeah, I felt like kicking some people, one of them being me.

16. Before the Dawn

Hey yall. Sorry for not posting more often. I've actually sprained my wrist really badly so typing is a pain right now. Again, sorry to say that the post will come less frequently.

Oh and someone pointed out that I got Gazzy's age wrong! Dumb me…. he is actually 12 not 14. So let's say that him and Nudge go to a school that's 6-12 grade and Angel goes to a school that's 1-5 grade. I feel like a doorknob right now.

Mmm, thanks for all the great reviews. You guys are so awesome and generous. I hope I can still keep ya entertained with my slow updates.

Chapter 19.

"Hey," Nudge quickly hollered as the other group came to us, "Wow, did you guys buy out the whole furniture section or what?" She laughed half heartedly, obviously happy to end our conversation.

Gazzy sighed and looked at Angel. "If we did get too much it's all her fault," and he pointed at Angel who just stuck her tongue out at him.

Fang came up to our cart and looked in it. I was still thinking about what Nudge had said so jumped when he touched my arm.

"What's up? You look a little lost," he glanced from Nudge to me. Nudge licked her lips threw the baby food she had in her hands into the cart and went over to the other guys to inspect their goods.

"What happened," he asked more forcefully this time. He looked confused and worried.

"Nothing," I mumbled. This wasn't the time nor the place and I needed to think. "If we're done with Faith I think I'm going to find me stuff." I started pushing my cart pass everyone.

"Want us to join?" Fang shouted. His hands were in the air clearly not knowing what's going on.

"No." I replied simply.

I turned the corner and heard Fang say, "Nudge, what happened?"

I busied myself taking an extra long time getting clothes. Hey, Fang is rich apparently, he can afford it. I looked down at Faith who was playing with a rattle and almost crashed into Angel.

"Angel! I didn't see you." I exclaimed. She popped out of nowhere.

"Sorry Max." She gave a quick smile then her face dropped. "Umm… I kinda felt something back there. I know you wanted to shop alone but… uh… I thought you might want the company."

"Really?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said cautiously.

We continued to walk in silence as I grabbed clothes that looked like they would fit me. I wouldn't dare use a changing room, you can't escape from those mirrors. Angel just stayed with me, playing with Faith, not saying much.

She could feel my hurt and embarrassment, I'm sure she could read what was going through mine and Nudge mind back there. I was thankful she didn't say anything.

It wasn't until we were in shoes that she spoke. "You're confused. It's okay." She wasn't facing me so I thought she was talking to Faith for a moment. I continued to try on shoes brushing her statement off.

"Nudge shouldn't have been the one to tell you." She continued. Now I knew it was to me.

"He lied… Angel." I whispered. "What do you think of these," I thrust my foot out showing a pair of black and white tennis shoes.

"I like them," she replied. She handed me some fancier looking heels. Like I needed heels. "Try these." I did.

"He didn't lie, Max. He just didn't think it was the right time to tell you." She slipped in as I slipped more shoes on.

I threw several pairs into the cart and turned towards Angel. She looked at me and then hugged me hard. "We love you Max." she spoke into my chest. I stroked her hair and hugged her back. "But you need to talk to him."

I breathed in hard. "I love you too, Angel." I whispered in her hair. My baby, my Angel…. growing up.

I didn't say anything else to her and she stayed quiet as well. We went to the drug area and I loaded up on hair brushes, tooth brushes, shampoos and conditioners (even though Angel said that they had an abundance of hair products at home, Gazzy likes to quaff).

The boys met back up with us, Fang giving me weary looks and Nudge mouthing 'sorry' every time she caught my eye. I ran my hand through her hair to let her know she didn't do anything wrong.

In the end we had four carts filled with stuff for mom and baby. I didn't look at the total but Fang just handed the cashier a credit card with out so much as blinking. Woah, he must really have money.

The boys were figuring out the best way to put the car seat in as we girls packed the back of the SUV with the rest of the stuff. We should have brought a U-Haul, but 20 minutes later Faith was secure in her new seat and I was about to explode in mine.

Fang turned the radio on and the kids were singing a song, Gazzy doing a great impersonation of the woman. Very scary.

Fang turned to me and mumbled so only I could hear, "We need to talk later on. Tonight." He stole a quick look at me and I nodded reluctantly.

So, back at the house we unloaded all of Faith's things into the game room but only put the bassinet together. The other stuff would be done over the weekend. Fang brought the small bed down to his room along with some essentials for Faith, diapers, wipes, clothes.

I went about the rest of the night acting as though the conversation about Jess never occurred. Fang was for sure going to talk about it later on so why dwell on it now. We all watched tv, ate dinner, and then I helped Angel study for her spelling test the next day. Apparently Friday's were spelling, and math test days. She really didn't need my help but the time with her was wonderful.

She showed me around her room and then after we studied she curled up in bed and I read her some chapters out of her favorite story. She's 10, I know. But I think she wanted to go back to before, when I use to read to her, before I left. She fell asleep in my arms and I could feel my own eyes becoming heavy.

"Psst." Fang hissed in the door way. "She's out for the count."

I looked up at him and slowly slid my arm from under Angel. I kissed her forehead and then walked pass Fang into the hallway.

He grabbed my wrist. "Everyone's pretty much asleep. I told Iggy to keep an ear out for Faith." He said quietly dragging me down the stairs. "Let's go flying for a bit."

My eye's perked up at that thought then quickly dimmed. I didn't want Fang to hear or see my struggle at flying. But I had little choice in the matter.

"Fang, I don't think now's a goo-."

"Now's a perfect time, come on." He led me through the dark house.

We went out the back door and he shot out his black wings like a flash. He turned to me my hand still in his and he waited. I took a deep breath and let mine unfurl. He saw my wincing and heard my wings. His jaw tightened and he squeezed my hand.

He pushed up with his wings into the air and halfway pulled me up with him until I got my balance right with my wings. We flew low into the back forest but the air and wind blowing my face felt heavenly. I could hear my feathers flutter in the wind and my shoulders eased. Peace.

I saw Fang drop down onto a wide plank in the trees. Ah, the tree house. I followed and landed staggering a bit. Damn. He was watching me as I sat down next to him.

Well…. silence followed. I brought my knees up to my chest and we both stared out into the darkness. I missed this, I missed him.

"Nudge told me what she said today," he said. I blew out air and balled my fists. I refuse to cry anymore.

"Oh, yeah." I said. I didn't meet his eyes but he kept looking at my face.

"Yell at me, Max. Do something, don't just stay quiet." He sounded frustrated.

"Were you ever going to tell me?" I whispered.

He paused thinking, "I honestly don't know," he shrugged.

"So you don't think that it was important. You had a long term girlfriend who you still have a relationship with. Even if it's not a romantic one." I said trying to control myself.

"It didn't seem relevant. And we haven't had a lot of time to talk." He stated.

I turned and looked him in the eye, "I asked you about her Fang! You could've told me then." I said angrily. My head dropped into my hands.

His hand came up and started to rub my back and neck. "I'm sorry. I should have said something but I didn't want to ruin it. Make you mad."

"Am I even allowed to get mad?" I mumbled in my hands. "Am I allowed to be jealous?"

I picked my head up and looked at him again. He didn't speak, neither did I. We stared at each other for a while, him still rubbing my neck.

"Nudge said she's a lot like me." I whispered.

He sucked his teeth and replied, "Yeah, she is."

"How? And be honest. Even if you don't think I want to hear this…. just be honest." I pleaded. I knew I didn't want to but I needed to know.

He removed his hand from my neck the cold breeze that replaced it made me shiver. "She's strong willed," he started, "independent, caring, smart," he shook his head, "but not you."

"But she was there." I added, hating even more now that I ever left.

He nodded off into the night, "She was. But she was only second best…. That's why I ended it."

I looked up at him. He continued to speak looking at me now, "I dreamt about you, you know." My eyebrows shot up in shock.

"I've had dreams about you before but this one was different. You were there, right in front of me and you were walking towards me." He shook his head as if in amazement, "You kept coming but you never could reach me. I grabbed for you and then as you slipped away you said you'd reach me one day," he whispered to me as he swept my hair behind my ear.

"You dreamed I was coming back," I whispered in response.

"And that's why I broke it off. I knew you were still out there and it wasn't fair for Jess or for me to continue something that I knew would lead nothing." He trailed his fingers across my forehead down my cheek to my chin.

"I never did quit looking for you, Max." He swallowed hard. "Even after we moved to the houses, I got people to search records, I used my new resources to try to get any information on you."

I let out a sigh, "That's good to know." It was sarcastic but I said it weakly.

I asked the question that was bugging me all night, "If—if —you didn't know that I was coming back or if I wasn't here now…. would you still be with her? Would you still want to?"

He didn't answer. He looked at me eyebrows creased.

"Tell me the truth," I said.

He took a deep breath and then moaned out, "Yes."

I then blurted out, "Did you love her?"

His body shook and he ran his hand through his hair. He cleared his throat. "I…um…I think so. I guess, yes."

I swallowed back tears and nodded slowly, "Thank you."

I went back to studying the darkness. I could feel his skin vibrate he was so tense. Neither of us spoke for a while.

"Do you hate me?" He asked breaking the silence as his voice cracked.

I let out a weak laugh, "No… Not even if I wanted to." I laid back on the planks and allowed my wings relax. "It's not your fault."

A tear fell from his eye. I allowed for some to come from mine too. "Every thing is so messed up." I muttered, "I should never have left."

He looked back at me, "Nothing's easy for us, Max. But it's not your fault either."

I let his words pass over me not really believing them. "I heard she saved Angel and Gazzy."

"Yeah. When the other Max came, they were home by themselves and she fought with them against her." He said as he sniffed back more tears. "She distracted Max II while Gazzy and Angel flew off. She was pretty beat up by the time we got there."

More tears fell from my eyes as well. She protected my flock when I couldn't. "So she is like me. I can see your attraction to her."

He turned and laid down beside me. "But she's not you," he whispered in my ear. He nuzzled his face in my neck and wrapped an arm around my stomach and it slipped under my shirt.

He looked up as he felt the thick scars. I sucked in a breath as he traced them. He lifted my shirt up a little more and his body started to shake. He felt my stomach, the ribs. He traced their crooked outlines and made his way to my belly and the dark scar there.

I tried to look at his face but it was really dark, I touched his cheek and found it wet. "I'm so sorry," he cried. "I should have looked harder. I'm sorry Max. I should have tried harder." He settled his weight over me enveloping me with his warmth.

I was so shocked, not only was he not repulsed by my scars but he was crying from them. I wrapped my arms around his waist trying to comfort him. "None of this is your fault. None of it, Fang," I whimpered back.

I've never seen him cry like this. He would be embarrassed tomorrow, I know it. But now even with him on top crushing me, I'd never felt safer. I rested my head on his shoulder still caressing his back.

After a while he shifted halfway off so I could breathe better. We both continued to stare at one another wordless. We were forgiving each other and forgiving ourselves silently.

17. Stupid Boy

Howdy, sorry for the long time in between posts. A little thing called life is getting in the way.

Thanks for all the replies… I believe we got over like 30+. Wow. I should put in an authors note to thank people individually. I may do that if I have time later on. Here's the next chapter. Enjoy, friends.


Chapter 20.

After a while my back and wings started to ache and if we didn't leave now I was going to fall asleep on a bunch of 2 by 4's. I sat up and Fang did the same. Our faces were still red and tear streaked.

"We should go back," I whispered. "It's really late now."

He nodded, stood up and opened his wings. I copied him just a little less gracefully. We headed back to the house with only the wind as sound. I wanted to hold him, I wanted to touch him and be with him. I just wanted him. But he seemed distant still. Non-emotional Fang cried on my shoulder tonight and I bet he feels humiliated now.

He landed on the back porch first and was already in the house when I landed. I walked in the back door feeling like we took two steps forward and then three steps back tonight.

"Fang, what is going on with you? What do you want from me," I whispered to myself. The living room was dark and I started to navigate towards the bedroom.

I felt a body press to the back of mine and arms come around my waist. I stiffened then relaxed when I realized it was Fang. I rested my head on his chest and rubbed his arms.

"I believe the darkness brings out the truth in people," he mumbled in my ear. His voice sent me shivers.

I started to speak but he hissed out a, "Shh..shhh.." that rocked my body.

I knew he felt it because he chuckled and added, "It also lessens inhibitions."

He started to rub circles around my stomach. The warmth of his hand was seeping into my skin. He slipped it under my shirt again and continued with the circles. I reached back and grabbed the sides of his pants. He was making me crazy.

"It's the drug of choice for your mind." He whispered. His hands were traveling up and he started to trace my ribs again. This time not to inspect them. They traveled to my hips, massaging them and then to my lower back.

I licked my lips and started to breath hard. Oh my God. I have got to be dreaming this.

Fang continued to talk as his fingers were captivating me. "We do things in the dark we wouldn't do otherwise. We can't see therefore our mind may choose not to believe it."

He bent his head and started to kiss the back of my neck. My legs collapsed but he held me so tight against him, I barley faltered.

"Fang…," I gasped air struggling to enter my lungs, "what is going on?"

He bit my shoulder and I let out a groan. Oh God, I wanted to die from embarrassment but stay for the pure bliss.

"We'd do things with out fear in the dark. Consequences leaving with the sun." He turned me around and kissed me hard.

I have no idea what his dark speech was about but I did know that he tasted good. My arms latched around his neck and he grabbed my hips anchoring my weight on to him. I could feel my blood begin to boil, I moved my head for better contact. He pushed my lips apart with his tongue and delved in. I savored his mouth, I ran my tongue along his teeth and gently sucked on his. I had no clue what I was doing but it felt right. I could hear our breaths becoming rapid as he started walking backwards taking me with him.

I didn't notice that I was on the couch until I felt the cool leather under me and Fang's hot body on top. I wrapped my legs around his hips and pulled myself closer to him as my legs pushed him down on me. Our make out session was becoming something more. He trailed kisses down my neck and on my chest. My hands reached for his back and struggled to remove his shirt. I let out little gasps as my fingers touched skin. His hands were on my draw string pants and paused as he had the tied knot in his fingers.

He looked in my eyes as my hands rested on his forearms. "Should we do this?" he asked. His breath was rugged and I could see the strain in his face.

"I don't know." Was my response. I honestly had no idea how things got this far. Did I want to… yes. Oh hell yes. But was it too soon… unfortunately yes. Did I want to spend the rest of my life with this man, very much so. And we're both adults now, and we were always older than what we appeared. So technically we could sleep together, I love him. I mean he's 18 and I'm 18. I watched television I knew people were sleeping together earlier than this. And especially guys, guys that look like Fang were always….. oh damn.

"Max… Max." Fang spoke as he shook my hips to get my attention. That apparently was not a smart thing. My hips grinded against his and that got us both sucking in air violently.

"Fang," I muttered. "Did you sleep with her?"

He stopped every muscle he was moving. His breath even stopped. Fang looked at me, I could see his eye's blinking rapidly. "Max…." he whispered. "Max, don't do that."

My heart dropped and I closed my eyes. My hands slipped down his arms. "Don't do what?" I asked.

He shifted up but my legs were still stuck around his. His hands went to his face, "Don't ask me that question, Max."

"Well then I already know the answer." I said. I felt like I was going to puke. I pushed him completely off me and stood up.

"Max," he exclaimed as he grabbed for me.

"No," I yelped as I swung his hand off me, "Its okay, I just…Its fine Fang."

He stood up too and I could see his chest rising fast.

I tried to look at his face but couldn't see anything. Damn. I turned and fumbled for the table lamp and switched it on. The look on his face was horrific. His eyes were wide and red, his mouth was open and his nose was flaring. He looked scared and determined but also ashamed.

I couldn't let him feel that way. "Fang, it's okay. It was expected." I said and turned away from him.

"Expected!," he exasperatedly replied. Oh, man. I didn't mean for it to sound like that. He was pissed, " I didn't sleep around Max!"

I turned back to him and held my hands up in defense, "No. No… I didn't mean that." I took in a breath. My body still ached for him. "I meant that… well, your 18. You're a good looking 18 year old. You don't see many 18 year old virgin guys. Come to think of it, I really should have known better." I started to mumble it all up but he got the idea.

His mouth snapped shut and he glanced at the wall behind me. I bit my lip and muttered, "And you had a relationship with her for over a year….. it was expected." I swallowed down the bile again, but it wouldn't stay down for long.

"I'm going to take a shower." I said as I stumbled out of the room, Fang was still fixated on the wall.

I crashed into the bathroom and again threw up. This could not be real. Tears flooded my eyes and I switched on the shower to drown out my small cries. I stripped and stood under the blazing heat. The water didn't wash away my tears it only added to them. I sighed and it came out in a wave of hiccups and sobbs. She had him. Jess had been with him in every way I wanted to. He loved her and made love to her. He probably kissed her neck and rubbed her stomach the way he rubbed mine. I wonder if he whispered in her ear as well. I sobbed some more. This crying thing was getting annoying. I never cried even in the compound. But Fang makes me cry. When I'm with him and when I'm without him I still cry.

He felt bad. I know he did. He shouldn't though. I mean, he thought I was never coming back. And he did say that he loved her. No, I shouldn't be mad at him. Shocked, yes. Mad, no. I don't even think I am mad at Fang. I'm jealous. Jealous of what they shared. She was his first then…. deep down I thought we would be each others. I don't know what I'm thinking any more.

I stepped out of the shower and wrapped myself in a towel. I didn't bring any clothes in, great. I silently opened the door and on the floor were some boxers and a shirt. He put them out for me. My heart hurt even more. I changed and went into the room. He wasn't there. I glanced out into the living room and found him in a makeshift bed on the couch.

I felt hurt. I didn't think he would do that. I climbed under the covers, missing both my baby's and Fang's warmth. I saw Faith still asleep in the bassinet and I struggled to push unwanted images away from my mind. Did they sleep in this bed? No, don't think that. I felt exhausted and begged for it to over power my conscious. It was working, I was drifting off.

Don't worry about now, Max. A sound cracked through slightly. You have plenty of that to do later.

The Voice. It was back. It couldn't be, I thought as I slipped further into sleep. I haven't heard from it in three years.

18. Speechless

Okay guys, another post smaller one though. I know some are saying that's its slow and the same angst over and over again and that its mainly about Max and Fang. But I think it makes it more realistic, I know from personal experience and from my friends experience that a relationship even one as great as Max and Fang takes time. Also they have 4 years of baggage tact on to the both of them that they need to get through. The years between 14-18 are big. A lot happens in those years whether you're an avian hybrid or 100 human. (Trust me, I'm 21 and those years still effect me). Also, it's being told by Max's point of view, argo, mostly dealing with the feelings of Max which happen to be mostly about Fang.

Don't worry, things will start to happen fast, there is a plot, and their will be more serious situations involving all the flock members. It's a slow process but I hope it's worth it.



Chapter 21.

Max. You have slept enough. An intrusion into my head made me wince. Stupid Voice.

Voice, I've thrown up twice more last night, so NO I don't think I've gotten enough sleep. I slurred back in my head. I moaned and turned over drifting back out.


Wake up, Maximum. It hummed in my head. This is not good for you. Get your butt up NOW!

Ugh. It had let me sleep more but now it was back. And mean. A wave of hurt crashed on my head along with a rather loud clap.

My eyes shot open and I found myself in bed with my face in a puddle of blood. Damn. I picked my head up and found it was coming from my nose.

A nose bleed. A nose gush of blood sounded better. Well crap. I quickly grabbed some tissue from the bed stand and with my face still bent down tried to stop the bloody tide.

I glanced around at myself and noticed that the blood had only messed up my pillow. It was close to getting in my hair but I woke up in time.

Hey, Voice? Did you know this was happening? I asked in thought.

Yes. It replied. I know why your body is responding this way.

What way? The nose bleed? I was kinda happy the voice answered because it meant I wasn't loosing it but then again, my head felt lighter without this unwanted company.

The nose bleed, the nausea, the crying. I know it all. And there will be more. It sounded a little ticked. Either that, or my feelings were leaking into it because I was pissed.

Well, would you mind informing me of why I feel like crap with blond hair and wings? I screamed in my head. That just caused more pain to develop and another moan from me.

It sighed. The voice actually sighed! In time. You will know in time.

Why are you back? Didn't I save the world! I mumbled.

Yes you did. And I am very proud of you but now I'm back to help you again.

Okay Voice, first you suck at helping and second…go to hell. I grimaced and rolled out of the bed.

The blood had stopped and I threw the tissue in the trash. I'll wash the pillow later. I turned and noticed Fang sitting asleep in the rocking chair.

His image stopped me cold. He slept there all big and strong. His forehead even creased in his sleep. I slowly went around and sat against the foot board of the bed facing him.

I just stared at him. I memorized his face shifting my gaze down to his lips…. his neck…his shoulders . I rested my head back pulling my knees up to my chest.

"My dumb best friend," I smiled, "I forgive you. I love you. I miss you." I whispered. I knew he wouldn't hear me. I also knew I couldn't say it to his face.

I know I talk more than he does. But when it comes to actions, especially between the two of us, he is so more forward than I am.

My whole body was hurting. Whatever the voice knows about what's going on I hope it tells me soon. I better not be getting sick. I huffed at the prospect of being ill in bed. I started to rub my temples trying to ease the headache I could feel coming. My body felt tight and achy. I focused on my breathing and tried to relax. I started to fall asleep again.

I saw his feet move and looked back up. He was awake and staring at me.

We stared at each other waiting for the other one to say something. What happened last night played over and over in my mind. I wish I had done things differently, never brought up Jess. What would have happened then? I stared into his eye's loosing myself, or attempting to.

"I love you," he spoke. Those words made me jump and my mouth fell open. He continued saying every word slowly, methodically. "I've made mistakes. If you can, forgive me….. if not, that's okay too. Just know…. I love you."

I stared at him not speaking. I blinked back tears and felt my heart skip and rush and stop all at the same time. I moved my gaze to the floor. He loves me! Oh my bejesus. Really! Really? I mean, seriously! Does he mean it? Seriously? Calm down Max!

My body was cramping even more. Wow. A small smile was hinting across my face but I caught it and didn't let it show.

I looked up at him, he was still gazing at me waiting for a reply. What, am I suppose to say I love you back? I mean I do but am I suppose to reply like that. Come on, I just found out like 8 hours ago he was sleeping with another girl. Sure it was his girlfriend but… what would posses him to tell me this now! This is so not a romantic moment. I feel like I'm going to hurl and I bet there is still blood on my face. No, no… I do love him but I can't tell him now. I… just… can't. What if he hurts me….

"Let's make breakfast before the others wake up." I found myself saying. I stood up and held my hand out for him to take.

He gave me this shocked expression and closed his eyes for a minute and shook his head. He grabbed my hand and we both made our way into the kitchen.

We worked together silently making eggs, toast, bacon, and pancakes for everyone. I know that wasn't exactly a graceful response but… oh well.

I grunted. This silence was driving me nuts. I decided to break it and waited until he turned his back drinking some coffee. Let's break the ice…

"So, how many times did you guys do it?" I said biting my lip.

He choked on the coffee and started a coughing fit. He spun around towards me his eyes looked like they would bulge out of his head. Well, that got his attention.

"I…don't… think… ," he sputtered trying to catch his breath, "Max… what… no!"

I went back to flipping eggs, "Oh, come on. I already told you its okay..." I turned back to him, my stomach flipping like the eggs. "I just wanna know…. ."

He still looked beside himself as to how to answer. He just shook his head continuously.

Now, I really wanted to know. At first, the question was just to stop his moodiness but now I really really wanted to know.

"I already know you two had sex, so just tell me!," I pleaded. I continued to watch him fumble over his cup and the toast.

"No!," he exclaimed. Concentration was centered on perfecting the buttering of toast.

"Well, why not!, What… you can't remember? Was it that many you can't count?" I laughed. I was enjoying the new color his face was turning.

He turned and the look in his eyes made me stop teasing. "Oh…," I mumbled, "that many times huh?"

"I am not talking to you about this," he stressed as he plopped two more pieces of bread in the toaster. We looked at each other for a minute.

The alarm upstairs went off and we could hear the flock make their way down the stairs.

"Do I smell food?" Gazzy shouted in the living room.

Fang turned and headed to the table with plates of bacon and toast.

"Hey, am I now out of the job?" Iggy asked as he made his way into the kitchen.

"We thought we'd give you the morning off," I replied smiling.

"Cool," he smirked. I handed him a plate with the eggs and nudged him towards the table.

Fang came back and started buttering more toast. I put the last of the bacon and eggs on another plate and turned back to Fang. A vibe came over me and I got an urge to see him squirm.

I bent up to his ear so I could whisper without being over heard. "Well, at least you'll know what you're doing when it's our time." The knife he was holding went straight through the toast as I turned and walked to the table with a genuine smile on my face.

19. Tree, Swing, and Voice oh my

Chapter 22.

I returned to the table and greeted the flock with a smile and a plate full of food.

"Morning," I said and took my seat next to Angel.

I got random replies but all eyes turned to Fang when he entered the room and silently put down the plates of toast and pancakes. He was still blushing and apparently that color wasn't seen regularly on his face.

"Umm, Fang, what happened to the toast?" Gazzy asked as he picked up two pieces that were shredded. It appears that he had a hard time buttering several slices.

Fang gave me a quick look and I just smiled. "Just eat it," he replied back to Gazzy.

The Gasman shrugged then joined the others in breakfast mayhem. I started to eat some bacon but my stomach felt funny again so I just stuck to toast and pancakes. I poured myself a large cup of OJ, if I was getting sick the vitamin C wouldn't hurt.

"Where's Faith?" Nudge asked as she drained her glass of orange juice and started on her coffee.

"Still asleep," I answered and held up the new baby monitor I had next to me. "Aint technology grand!"

The phone rang and Fang grabbed it. "Hello?" He paused then handed the phone to Iggy.

"Yo!," Ig sang into the phone, "Huh, really?... No I hadn't heard….. They closed the whole area down?... The whole day?... Yeah, great!... Sucks for you….Yeah, I know… I'll tell them. Okay. Later." He turned the phone off and pumped his fist in the air.

"I've got no classes today!" He bellowed. We all stared at him waiting.

"Pray tell," I wondered as I grabbed another pancake.

"Jess was on the line and well, some wonderful person knocked the hose to the giant fridges off in the culinary department. The kitchen part of the building is completely flooded and all the food and ingredients in the freezers are ruined. And since my only class today was that 7 hour culinary lab I am class free!" He beamed.

"You'll have to make it up." Angel replied, "Wont it put you all behind too?"

Ig thought for a moment and then replaced his goofy grin with a scowl, "Crap. Yeah. Man! This sucks. Why is it when I'm in college cancelled classes is a bad thing?"

"Because you're paying for time you're not being taught," Fang replied coolly, "You can make something ridiculous to bring to the cookout tonight if you have a dire need to cook."

At the mention of the cookout the table erupted in talk of whose gonna be there, clothes to wear, and what to bring. I just grumbled silently, bit my lip and stared at Fang who himself was silent as normal.

"You can wear the red shirt that goes with that skirt and I can borrow your purple one." Angel coaxed Nudge.

"It's way to big for you. We'll figure it out later. Isn't Ashley coming with her new boyfriend?" Nudge questioned.

Gazzy was in deep conversation with Ig about whether or not the Baker twins were going to be there and what CD's he was going to bring with his stereo. Ig was listing ingredients he would need to make enchiladas.

"Get ready for Jess. She's still coming to pick you guys up," Ig told the others. "The nursing area wasn't affected so she still has to teach her class." He stood up along with the others as they hurriedly placed their dishes in the sink and continued their pre-cookout plans up stairs.

Fang and I were left staring across the table at one another. He got up and started dish duty while I put the leftovers away. I found myself glaring at his back and watching as his wings twitched knowing I was behind him.

Okay, so maybe I was a little blunt. A lot blunt. Time, that is all we need. Time heals all wounds. I puffed air in my cheeks and squinted.

"I'm going to get Faith up," I muttered to his spine and he grunted an acknowledgement.

I took my sweet time changing and getting her into clothes. I also changed into clothes that were actually for me. Very nice. I looked like a girl now. I heard the kids leave and settled in the rocking chair to feed her. I was beginning to like the chair, it was a nice chair, a nice chair that rocked nicely.

After a while I heard a knock on the door. It was Iggy and he held a stroller in his hand.

"Uh, what's up?" I asked.

"Self explanatory I believe. Isn't this a baby stroller?" He replied reaching and feeling the object in front of him.

"Yeah, it is." I answered, "So… walk?"

"Walk," he grinned. "Fang's got business stuff to do and we haven't talked much and I want Faith to get to know her Uncle Iggy."

"Uncle Iggy," I laughed, "Is that so."

"Yep. Come on." He turned to lead the way and then swung back quickly, "Oh, and one more thing…. don't wear shoes."

Weird kid.

We walked out the back and I didn't even bother telling Fang we were leaving, let him stew in his thoughts. It was a nice morning. I felt the warm sun on my face as I strapped Faith in the pretty white and pink stroller. She looked around oddly but smiled and started wiggling.

My baby…. a wiggle worm.

I glanced up at Ig and he was grinning with his face turned up to the sun.

"Great time for a walk. Nice and warm." He stated.

"Yeah, it is." I agreed. I looked at the backyard this time in pure daylight. It was gorgeous. So much bigger than it looked at night. There were several flower and plant arrangements all scattered around the back.

"We can just walk the perimeter and stuff." Iggy said as he started off into the grass. "Are ya bare foot?"

I looked down at my feet and wiggled my toes. "Check, captain."

"Then be amazed by the feeling of…… the grass." he praised as he slowly and delicately walked into the green thick mesh.

"It's grass, Ig. I know what grass feels like." I laughed as I copied him.

"Oh no, this is not just any grass. Its special. It is thick and luscious and soft." He stopped and twisted is feet for effect, "It is critter free with no dry spots and the best part is…. there is nothing fake about it!" He looked like a proud papa.

"Would you two like to be alone," I smiled.

"Hey, if you spent every other weekend taking care of this huge lawn you'd be singing its praises." He replied. We started walking again and in actually the grass did feel really really soft.

"So you take care of all this?" Amazing.

"With the help from the girls, yeah." He shrugged. "I like the smells and feels of the gardens while the girls are all into the colors and shapes. I think we are coming up on the bed of daisies and pear trees."

Sure enough we did. He continued to talk about all the types of plants that were planted. Apparently Gazzy knows which plants live well with other plants from his research on the internet so they compliment each other. It looked nice.

I started noticing little black boxes fixated on trees in the forests and in the separate gardens. I didn't think anything of it first but the number of them was becoming excessive. They were hidden though, done in a way where they blended in with the surroundings.

I walked off from Ig for a moment and into the woods. My eagle eyes could see a good distance and my careful inspections could see more black boxes.

"Hey, Iggy." I yelled as I made my way back over to them, "What are all these black things doing around the yard and in the woods? Their boxes and they are everywhere."

He looked confused at first then lit up, "Oh, those are the sensors."


He nodded, "Motion and video. They feed back to Fang's office."

Okay, next dumb question. "Why?" I asked.

"For lookout. They are programmed to turn on for anything bigger than a deer. You know for let's say a fridge size eraser or something." Iggy explained as we kept strolling along.

Ig went back to explaining the foliage and the care for the lawn. I was responding in positive yeses but my focus was on the sensors.

"Wait, let me interrupt. So you guys still watch out for erasers?" I asked several minutes later.

He paused mid tree talk and turned to me, "Yeah, Max. We aren't off guard." He stopped walking and looked towards me for a second. "You know, Fang I think still does watches."

My eyebrows raised, "Really, as in stay up all night?"

"Mmhum, he says it's to do work but I know better. He stayed up for weeks after the attacks from Max II back in D.C.. I would find him asleep in the living room when we got home from classes and then I could hear him awake at night." He shook his head, "Unbelievable. When we moved here he set up all types of precautions…. It may not look like it but if anything large comes onto our property I guarantee Fang would know."

"Well, did you guys know I was coming?" I asked. Did they see my less than perfect entrance into their house.

"No. You came to the front door, no sneaking. And you're smaller than a fridge." He smiled.

"And I guess erasers and the people from the school wouldn't exactly use the front door, huh." I guessed.

See, Max. No need to worry. All is well. I jumped as the voice caught me off guard.

"Damn it," I mumbled. Ig stopped pushing the stroller and looked to me again.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Uh… nothing. I just….don't feel like myself." I sighed and rubbed my temples. Anything else you want to say, Voice?

"Max, I know it's not nothing," he placed his hand on my throat and another one on my head.

"Your pulse is racing, like even for us, your pulse is much faster than our normal one" his eyes squinted, "Your kinda warm and sweaty too."

"Gee, thanks." I waved off his hands and held on to one of them. "It's nothing, Ig."

"That's bull and too much has happened to lie now so spill it." He looked serious and squeezed my hand.

"It's the voice….. it's back." I said reluctantly.

"Was it ever gone?" he made his way around to Faith unbuckled her and picked her up. He rested her on his shoulder as she flopped her head down droopy eyed.

"Yeah, it was gone for about 3 years. Ever since I started training for Russia." I groaned as my head continued to throb. Ig slid his finger in a loop of my jeans to guide as I took up pushing the empty stroller.

"Mmmm," he muddled over in his head. I could just see his wheels turning. "What has it said?"

I wondered whether or not to tell him. What the heck, why not.

"Nothing really, it just tells me not to worry about things now," I glanced at Faith napping in his arm. "It says that I will have plenty to worry about soon. Oh, and that I'm sick. Or at least I think its saying I'm sick or will be sick. See, its all vague."

Iggy crossed his brow and pursed his lips in deep thought. I cracked a smile. "What does Fang have to say about it?" We came to the lake and was circling it.

"Eh," I grunted, "he doesn't…exactly know. Hey, I'm really liking this tire swing."

"You haven't told him?" he ignored my attempt at changing the subject.

"No. I haven't had a chance. And it's not that important." I made my way over to the tree and swing, Ig not far behind.

"You just said that the voice told you you're sick. Fang needs to know that." He bellowed.

"Do I look sick to you? Never mind… I feel fine." I climbed up on the swing, "Watch out, I'm gonna swing." I warned Iggy.

"You do not feel fine, fever, sweaty, abnormal pulse…. ring any bells?" he was delicately switching Faith to his other shoulder while trying to chastise me. It was cute, he's a great uncle.

"I'm good Ig." I reassured him. I started flapping my wings and swinging my legs to get momentum on the swing.

It's been forever since I've swung on a tire swing. It made me feel like a little kid again, back at the house before Jeb disappeared. I felt the wind woosh past my face and kick my hair up off my neck, my fingers dug into the ropes and the butterflies in my stomach made me a little giddy.

"Max, I still think you should tell Fang and take it easy…," Iggy continued to talk but I mentally blocked him out.

It was just me and swing and the open sky. If you don't have wings, swinging as high as you can in any type of swing is a pretty close second. My wings pumped down and the air pushed them back up. I leaned back almost vertical and put more of my weight into the thrust.

Max, you shouldn't be doing this. The voice interrupted my happy place.

I ignored it.

You have barely any food in your stomach and this is not good for your equilibrium. It was getting anxious.

My equilibrium is fine, I freaking fly thousands of feet in the air. I mocked back. Are you going to tell me what's up?

No. You know I can't do that. It spoke.

Whenever you're around, bad things happen. I said back.

Perhaps, but I am trying to help you.

Am I going to bring something bad to the flock? I asked weakly.

The voice didn't respond. Wonderful.

I am getting so sick of this. You were gone. You were freakin gone for 3 years! 3 years!! I save the world, I did my part. You should be gone. There is nothing else left for me to do! I screeched in my head.

I was feeling a little light headed but I contributed that to rapid swinging back and forth. I didn't slow down. The voice only made me go faster like the faster and higher I went could make all this confusion disappear.

"Max, I can hear your breathing, I think that's enough swinging." Iggy said. I tried to look at him but he became a blur and his next sentence was lost as the wind howled in my ear.

Max, stop this now. You're going to make yourself sick. I pushed back the voice from my head.

"Max.. stop now!" Ig screamed.


"Max, come on. Your going to break it."

My breathing was getting faster but I was almost there. I was almost to something… I don't know what, but I could feel it. My skin was tingling.

Maximum, you stop this now. It's not healthy. You are going to pass out. The voice bantered in my head, I could feel it giving me a headache.

Well, maybe then you'll tell me what's wrong with me, huh? I launched back at it.

My eyes were getting watery and blurry. My lungs were burning, funny, they never burned before even when I was flying. My body was tingly and felt light and heavy at the same time. I felt dizzy but that's the best part of swinging right?

"Max, please.." Iggy pleaded, "Stop being a jerk." I could hear the ropes rubbing against the tree limb. It might really break. The idea that I could just made me go higher to see. I could feel the sweat on my skin and the urge to puke hit hard.

Come on Voice! Tell me what's going on… Tell me. I yelled at myself.

"I don't feel so good." I mumbled. My fingers slipped from the ropes and I fell backwards.

My feet were still through the tire itself so I hung there for a bit laid out like a sacrificial object swaying back and forth through the air.

Oh no, Max. I told you. The voice replied. Are you trying to self destruct?

Iggy cursed and I could hear him yell for Fang.

I stared straight up at the sky noticing the blueness and the lack of clouds. So pretty. My fingers hung out and the air brushed against the rope burns I caused from gripping the swing so tight. I could hear my breath in my own ears and I closed my eyes. My nose tickled and went to rub it. Blood. Another nose bleed, perfect.

Voice…am I dying? I mumbled in my head.

I was too exhausted to fight mentally and physically. I felt on fire and yet my body was shaking.

A long paused followed and I thought the voice chose to be mum again. I could make out a large blur running sideways at me, Fang. He was talking but my ears chose not to register.

The voice came back as Fang was lifting me out of the swing and into his arms. I do not believe you're dying Max. But the child you're carrying may be.

20. Crash and Burn

Holy Wow Yall! 40 reviews for the last chapter! Yall are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Keep them coming! I might post another one up soon, ah what the hey… I'm going to post 2 chapters up. I like yall that much. (smile) Let's try to get 40 reviews again…

Chapter 24 has a LOT of foreshadowing.. I mean a ton. Tell me what you think it all means in the reviews. I might pm and let you know if your correct.

Just amazing.


Chapter 23.

Ahh…. no. I definitely did not hear that correctly. No way. No way in hell.

"Put me down," I mumbled as I struggled out of Fang's arms.

He stopped walking to the house but his hold tightened. I struggled even harder to get out of his grasp, I needed to talk to the voice. This was all ridiculous.

"Get off ME!" I yelled. I shoved away from his chest as he practically dropped me to the ground.

Fang tried to take my hands as I hurriedly got to my feet. "Max, what's wrong? Are you okay?" he asked.

Iggy started to tell him about what happened. I turned away from them and stared at the ground. Everything was still spinning and I saw droplets of blood land on the grass from my nose.

Voice! Voice, explain NOW! I yelled in my head. I let out a groan which caught the guy's attention.

Fang lifted my head in his hands and I abruptly turned away from him. "Max, what in the world-,"

"Not now…I just…," I turned and walked away from the both of them, "I just need to think… not now." I said leaving them both looking baffled.

"Talk to ME!" I yelled out loud to the voice. It stopped talking. I walked into the forest tripping and catching myself several times using the trees for balance.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no….. This can not be happening again. I griped a tree trunk and slid down. I felt like crap and the world turning constantly was not helping. I swallowed back bile and rested my head against the bark.

I'm sorry Maximum. You should have known sooner. The voice said. But it is true. You are with child….again.

No…. I. Am. Not. I responded back. They said I could rest, my body could rest-

Do you really think that, the voice interrupted. During the surgery-

"No," I said out loud. I didn't want to hear this. It can't be true.

During the surgery for the scar damage-

"No, no… ," I shook my head. It kept talking.

Damnit, Max, during that surgery they implanted another embryo into you. The voice said louder and with more force to get through my thrashes of objections.

"Don't tell me this," I argued. "It's a lie. This can't be happening." Tears started to fill my eyes and I tried to sniff them back only to get a throat full of blood.

"I don't believe it," I cried. "It can't be real. It's not real!"

Don't be foolish Max.

"No. I would have known before. I've been gone for 3 months. And I've just now gotten sick… so no. I'm not pregnant. NO!" I said to myself reassuringly.

The voice sighed, Max there is a logical explanation for this. But you need to start taking care of yourself. This is not a normal pregnancy.

"I'm not pregnant so quit saying I am!" I shouted back. I turned to see both Fang and Iggy were still by the house. Good, this is the last conversation they needed to hear.

You don't understand. This is going to be bad. You NEED help! Just calm down and give yourself some time to accept this. I'm sure Fang and the oth-

I cut the voice off, "No… Fang and the others are not going to know about this. There is nothing for them to know. I'm not knocked up!" I took several deep breaths and rubbed my head. "I'm just a little sick that's all…. I just need some rest and food and not be bothered by YOU!"

The voice kept telling me that I was indeed pregnant and I kept arguing with it. It kept explaining when it happened and I continued to scream obscenities in denial. It was quiet while I sobbed for a bit not willing to believe it. No… it wasn't true. No.


"No! Shut up." I said as I stood up. My balance was coming back to normal.

You can not just ignore this. It stated.

"Watch me," I muttered back as I made my way back to the house.

There are more symptoms to this then you realize. You are going to change, if you even want your baby to have a chance at surviving then you need help. It kept talking like it didn't even hear me

"The only child I have is Faith and she's doing just fine." I retorted.

You need to find Anne. The voice exclaimed.

That made me stop in my tracks and my eyebrows rose as my pissy level elevated.

"You have the damn gall to bring her up! There is no way in hell I am going to see her." I felt like I was seething at the mouth. I wanted this whole conversation to just disappear.

She can help. She's the only one that knows what's going on. It explained.

No. I shot back, mentally this time as I came closer to the boys.

If you want your child to survive then you-

For the last time… there is no baby. Now go away. I pushed hard a block into my brain.


GO AWAY! I yelled as I came up to Fang and let out a smile pathetic excuse for a smile.

"You okay?" he asked gently.

I nodded, "Yeah…just," I wiggled my fingers in the air, "issues."

"You're really pale," he stated as he help guide me back to the house holding my elbow. I shrugged it off.

I'm Maximum Ride, I don't need any help. Wow. What's gotten into me?

Ig followed behind still holding Faith who was sleeping peacefully.

"I'm sorry," I told both of them, "I'm just in a mood… and… I feel….woosh." I flung both arms out to illustrate and I could see Fang's eyes grow wider with concern.

"You are making no sense," he crossed is arms in front of his chest in a business like manner. We made our way into the living room and I sat on the couch.

Fang went into the kitchen which just left Iggy standing beside me.

I was feeling nauseous and my head was pounding. Not to mention my outburst left me feeling exhausted both mentally and physically.

"Hey, Ig," I muttered. I sounded drunk.

"Yeah," he said cautiously.

"I really liked your grass." I replied as I laid down on the couch resting my head on the cool pillow. Wow, I never noticed how nice this couch and pillow felt.

"Umm, thanks Max." He turned and walked out, "I'm going to put her down."

"Yes, yes," I said back loudly, "Faith, my one and only child. Yes. Sure."

Fang returned then with a towel and washrag in one hand and a cup in the other. He sat down on the coffee table in front of the couch and placed the towel over my nose.

"You and nose bleeds," he whispered. I could see a million questions running through his dark eyes I could also see something else. I didn't know what it was.

"Here, drink some of this," he thrusted the drink in my face as I struggled to sit up and drink it. It looked like water but tasted sweet and weird.

"What is this stuff?" I gagged.

"Pedialyte." He replied. "If you're sick this will help"

"Oh", was all I could say. I was getting tired.

"Why don't you rest. Put this on your head," he placed the cool rag on my forehead it felt nice and I let out a sigh.

"Thank you," I mumbled. And closed my eyes.

There was a long pause and I thought Fang had left.

"We don't have to go to the cookout, you shouldn't go." He said.

I opened my eyes, "No!," I said quickly, "No, no. Let's still go….. I, ah… I want to. I want to meet your friends…. I want to meet people." He crossed his eyebrows in my sudden change of attitude.

"I want to get on with things…you know… put the past behind me." I said with a smile. "I want to move past it all have it out of my life. Start a new life, now….. forget everything that's happened….I need this… please." I pleaded sounding like a little girl asking her daddy for a toy.

He studied me for a good bit and I feared he'd still say no. I needed to get out. I wanted to get away from my voice, from it all. This was a good way to ignore a situation if there was a situation to ignore…. which there wasn't.

"If you're sure…" he started to say but I cut him off.

"I'm sure." I slowly smiled and nodded. Good, this was a good start. Getting involved with stuff, focusing on other things… good.

"Well then rest for the day and take it easy. If you still look like crap then we're not going," he sounded so parental.

"Yes, dad," I snide back as I arranged myself more comfortably on the couch.

He got up and put the blanket that was on the recliner over me. "Please don't call me dad because you are in no way anything like a daughter to me…. thank God," he whispered back.

I snorted, "Why don't you spend some time with your daughter, huh?" I mumbled half asleep. My eyes were closed and I let out a yawn. "I bet you treat Total better."

"There is something going on. You're not acting right." He said again as he pushed my hair out of my face.

I let out one more yawn," You have no idea."


Chapter 24.

"Max…. I'm coming for you." Anne told me. I smiled a little thinking it was odd saying that as I was sitting next to her in the coffee shop.

She held the coffee mug with both hands and lifted it to her lips. My nose wrinkled as I smelled the coffee and I coughed as I felt it slide down my own throat, as though I was the one drinking it instead of Anne.

She was dressed differently. Her jeans were faded and the black sweater she wore looked two sizes too big. Her hair was also in a messy heap on top of her head. And she wore glasses.

I felt at ease.

Very odd.

"Why? You can't find me anyway." I said back. My stomach growled and instantly a plate of French toast appeared on the counter in front of me. Nice.

"Well, I don't know about that. But for yours and the baby's sake lets hope I can find you, and fast." She replied back with ease. She turned her head slightly as she poured sugar into her cup. She lazily stirred it with the spoon.

Our tones were light as if we were discussing the weather.

She stared straight ahead as she continued to speak. "You need to understand that the child is not normal.."

"Yes, I've heard that. A little birdie told me." I stopped and smiled, "Pun totally intended." I started to pick at the French toast with my fork. I chewed some of it up, but it tasted like card board. I could still taste the coffee Anne was continuing to drink.

She smirked at my response, "You... need treatment." She turned and looked at me. Her eyes were filled with concern and fear.

Well, shoot, I never expected to see that. Then again since I'm dreaming this, it's not really a reality. Therefore, she's technically not really expressing these feelings. It's just what I want her to portray in my inner most subconscious thoughts. If I wanted to I could make her hug me and tell me all sorts of warm fuzzy things. But that would be out of her character and I want my dreams to reflect somewhat of a normal atmosphere …. Hah, take that dream analysis people.

She obviously found my silence as sign to continue to speak, "The child was given gene therapy before invetro. This therapy was the reason you were on so much medication while pregnant."

She grabbed an old fashion napkin dispenser, looked at herself in the steel reflection then shoved it into her purse. Oookay, odd again. She raised her hand and a cook came out from the back kitchen and handed her some metallic rectangle objects. They were thin, silver, and about the size of a stick of gum. She slid them over to me on the table. She smiled back up at the man who wore a name tag labeled GUY. He turned around and left.

She placed a finger in her coffee and stirred it again, with the finger. It was hot and I hissed as I felt the heat go through my finger as well.

"That is what's keeping us from finding you," she said and nudged with her head to the metal objects. "I'm trying to get to you using another way, but those block heads of scientists back at the compound are still looking into reversing that…," again gesturing towards the metal.

"The baby," I spoke trying to shift her conversation over.

"Oh yes," she sucked on the coffee finger for a second then wrapped her finger in a napkin, "the medication given to you was to counteract the effects of the modification in the child."

She reached into her purse and started to hand me several items. "Until I reach you, you need to lessen the effects yourself. You'll need this," she handed me an orange and a compass, "and this,"—an ice cube—"as well as this,"—rope—"oh and this too,"— a picture of the flock. "Here are a couple of other things… ummm…" she dumped some other trinkets on to the counter top by me and got up from her seat. I caught a little miniature radio before it hit the ground.

She went to get her jacket from the back of the chair but it turned into a blue body jumper with snaps going from throat to crotch. She started to slip into it as though it were her everyday jacket wear. "Fang knows, or will know soon. His advancement is very pleasing." She was snapping her self up as my eyes tightened on the words she spoke. "Amazing how he keeps it from you." She muttered.

I opened my mouth to question her about Fang but nothing came out. I also couldn't move from my seat or lift even a finger.

She finished dressing looking like a blue thing and sighed as she gazed at me, "So sorry, Max. It should never have gotten this far. They shouldn't have done what they did to you." She sniffed once and smiled and smoothed down my hair with her hands.

"Give yourself over to Fang, dear. He was created for this….he was created for you. He will help you through this if you let him." Her smiled dropped, "If you try it alone you will do more harm than good. Oh… and don't ignore it. If you do, you and the child will die."

She turned to leave and the cook came out still in his white uniform and followed her. "One more thing," she glanced back at me, "try to control yourself. You will feel things… reactions stronger….. hopefully we shall get to you soon, at least before they do." She smiled again and left the shop. I blink in confusion.

I also heard little whimpers that I recognized as Faith's. I opened my eyes vaguely remembering what I had just dreamed but I knew it was important.

I shifted realizing my body was stiff and achy. My headache lessened but was still there. I turned over on the couch and found father and daughter sitting on the floor.

Fang was attempting to put a diaper on Faith and she was giving him a hard time. I smiled. Faith also looked wet, water was still on her hair and there was a towel resting beside them. In fact, Fang looked wet too. He was shirtless and water was dripping from his chest. He looked so very yummy.

He picked her up and was looking at her fingers and toes. I watched as he counted them in awe of this moment. He turned her over in his arms and scrutinized her wings. He was rubbing her back and kissed in between her dark wings. Oh damn, I want him. Let me marry him right now, I don't care who he's slept with.

He raised out his wings and brought them around his body. He stretched one out and placed it next to Faith's. He touched his wings then touched hers, comparing the two colors and textures. Side by side they looked identical in color. She was his, I could see a smile creep onto his face and he turned Faith back around. He laid down placing her on his chest.

"She has your nose as well," I said breaking up the moment.

He barley flinched at my surprise interruption. He looked from me back to Faith. "But she has your lips." he retorted.

"Sleep well?," he asked not moving from the floor.

"I think so," I replied, "sorry about before. I guess I should eat more and lay off the swinging challenges. Can't get sick." I said with a small laugh.

"Drink more," he pointed at the table with my cup on it. I took it sitting up and gagged couple more swallows, ugh.

"Mmm, so why does it look like the two of you battled the sea?" I asked resting back on the couch.

"My attempts at giving her a bath failed." He smirked and continued to play with her. "Do you know how slippery babies are?... Very slippery."

I laughed at the horrific look on his face. I dropped to the floor and crawled over to them flopping down beside Fang.

He turned his head towards me, "Hey, is everything all right?" He whispered slowly.

"Mmm," was my response. I was trying to remember what I dreamed. It started to nag me.

"Before you slept you said some things to me. They weren't like you, Max." He paused for a moment waiting for my reaction. I didn't give him one. I refused to lift my gaze from his impressive arm muscle. I was also trying to remember what I said.

"If something's wrong," he continued, "you need to tell me…… We should have no secrets."

I raised my eyebrows at that comment. Somewhere I felt that what he just said meant something, something important.

"But you have your share of secret's, don't you?" I mumbled back to him. "Big secrets…. We all have secrets." He inhaled deeply and turned his head away.

"I was tortured….. And it was bad." I broke the silence with that admission. His head snapped back at me and his brows creased. "Back in Russia…. I was captured and held prisoner for 3 days." I took hold of his hand. "They did things… bad things…. I can't remember all of what they did…but it mutilated my body." I looked up into his eyes and he squeezed my hand. I continued, "They tried bird poison on me," he jerked back at that statement, "It doesn't work by the way… we just get really sick….. They also drilled holes in my hip bones," I cringed from remembering the pain and buried my head in his arm. "They tested my skin with different flammability things…. And…. They broke some of my wing bones….. I think they took some of it as well."

I looked back up at his blank stare. "It was the most painful 3 days I have ever experienced. It seemed like 3 years. I wanted to die several times….I wanted them to kill me and get it over with…..I had never felt more helpless than at that moment." My voice was strong and even though I felt like I was going to cry no tears came down.

"So, that's a secret I kept from you. The worst part…. until…," I nodded towards Faith "Your turn…tell me a secret, Fang."

I felt like I knew he was keeping something from me. Just deep down I knew there was something he wasn't telling me. I griped his hand harder and continued to stare into his dark chocolate eyes.

He looked on at me. It felt like he was seeing past me, through me. His lips moved but no sound came out. I could feel his heart beat vibrate his body.

He closed his eyes and licked his lips, "I…I found my ability…while you were gone."

He opened his gazing into my shocked ones. "Nobody in the flock knows…. but now you do.

21. Colorful Insightful Secrets

Thanks everyone for the ff reviews. I'm sorry if I don't respond to everyone's review. I'm taking classes and working so I have very little time to do much else. Finals are coming up in a few weeks, after those I should be able to post quicker until school starts back in the fall.

Review… Review!! Yall are awesome. I did this in the early morning so please forgive the grammar and spelling errors.

Chatper 25.

I was taken aback slightly but even though my eyes were wide with shock my lips formed a small smile.

He's found his ability. I knew it! I knew he would have one. I bit my lip and my grin grew.

"What are you thinking," he asked cautiously. He sat up holding Faith and I copied him. We were sitting legs cross across from each other.

"I'm… I'm happy for you, Fang." I whispered. He's finally got something, he won't feel left out now.

"You are?" His eyes brows rose.

I nodded and said, "Tell me what it is. Can you fly fast, or see through things, or… umm… shoot fire out your hands… tell me… and why didn't you tell everybody?." I was all excited. A new gift. Why would he want to hide it from the flock, is he embarrassed by it?

He shifted his eyes and he shrugged. "It wasn't a big deal." A pause. I waited to see if he would tell me.

"Fang… no secrets." I reminded him, although I still had a really big one.

He licked his bottom lip and took a deep breath. " I… can feel things." He stopped and looked at me, " I feel emotions, Max."

I snorted a laugh, "Well yeah, we all feel emotions. It's called being human…. You're just now feeling them?"

He shook his head and winced. "No… I mean, I can feel other people's emotions….when I touch them."

My smile faded fast. What!

"What," I said voicing my thoughts. "You feel emotions?" I stuttered looking at his nodding head. "You can feel my emotions? When you touch me? You know what I'm feeling?" I got up shocked. He knows what I'm feeling. Does he know everything? Oh, God! Does he know about the baby?

"It's not that easy…not that simple." He replied standing up as well. "Sometimes I get these feelings when I shake someone's hand or hug them or make any physical contact with them." I lifted my arms and shook my head for him to continue.

"Max, I don't know… I felt people's pain, their happiness, their fears. I also knew when they weren't completely honest or when there was something not quite right….. I believe it's helped me at my job, but it doesn't happen all the time…" again he shrugged his shoulders.

"When did it happen?" I asked. He reached out to grab my hand and I moved before he could touch it.

He took a deep breath, "I got them a little over a year ago." He started to add something but stopped.

"Can you feel me… my emotions? Did you…" I swallowed back fear.

"Especially you. Especially the night you came back." He whispered and took a step towards me.

Iggy decided to enter the room at that time both Fang and I stopped and watched him go into the kitchen, he shut the door behind him and we could hear pans banging.

I turned back to Fang and he started to speak again.

"It's not strong, normally. Just a small feeling but with you… it hit me like a truck. I could feel your feelings coming off your skin. It was like electricity to me." He sucked in a breath and stood in front of me. Faith turned in his arms and was playing with my hair.

"Max," he stated as he pushed a piece of hair behind my ear. "I felt your relief… your fear… you hope… and your pain. I felt it in here." He touched my heart with his hand, "and in here." He picked up my hand and placed it on his heart.

I kept it on there for a few seconds then slowly took it away. "Can you control it?"

"No." he responded sharply, "It's not a bad thing. If it's not bothering me…"

"Well, did you ever think that it would bother the other people?" I snapped back. "It's an invasion of privacy, Fang! It's like…like," I waved my hands around, "like reading someone's diary!"

He looked amused, "I don't feel words or know situations. Just emotions."

"It's the same thing!" I shouted back. I don't think he knew how upset I was.

He looked at me all silent. This was obviously not the response he was expecting from me.

I shook my head and looked up in disbelieve. "I cant believe it…Fang the non-emotional show no feelings type of guy can now 'feel' everyone else's." I snickered, "The irony is uncanny. You don't feel neither do you show any emotion so you have to get them through us… hah… God has a warped since of humor." I regretted saying that the moment it left my mouth.

I looked at Fang then down at my feet. I totally screwed that up.

All was silent until he spoke, "I'm sorry you feel that way… That's why I hadn't told the flock."

"I didn't mean it—," I glanced back up at him.

" I'm sorry if it's a shock to you," he sat down on the hearth of the fireplace with Faith on his knee. "I don't know anything you've gone through that you haven't told me. I don't know if your keeping anything else from me, which I suspect you are, but that's only because its you." He paused again. "I…I haven't felt it much since the first day, and the longer you stay here the less it occurs."

I breathed a sigh of relief and sad on the ground beside him. "I shouldn't have over reacted… I'm such an ass."

He snorted a laugh and I felt his hand run through my hair, "At least you're a cute ass."

"Mmmm…," I replied. "I just don't like you knowing what I'm feeling sometimes." I felt him laugh and I blushed when I realized what he was thinking.

"That dirty, huh?" He laughed.

I turned to him and rested my chin on his knee. "How would you like it if the tables were turned? If I knew all your deepest, darkest feelings about certain things?"

I watched as his face paled. "Point taken and understood." He said face more serious.

I smiled and closed my eyes trying to process this new information. Okay, so I just can't react strongly to the baby. I can't feel anything about it or about other things… Okay. I can do that. I can just ignore it. Hey, that's what I was going to do anyway. This can work. Okay.

I looked back up at Fang and Faith and found both of them looking at me. "I think we should get started on Faith's room." I said and stood up taking Faith from Fang.

Fang nodded and we both went upstairs and into the room between Angel's and Gazzy's. It was the smallest out of all the bedrooms but still a decent size for the Faith. We first pulled out this jumping thing that clamps on to the top of a door frame that we could put Faith into and that can allow her to jump a lot. I had no clue what it was called but she seemed to love it.

With her occupied and safely out of our way we started by cleaning out what was already in the room that was not baby related. The game room had a foosball table, ping pong table and some board games in the corner. There was also just a bunch of boxes and stuff from the previous owner in the closet and littered around the room. We moved all of it up to the third floor with the other game table. I personally think they used the game room more as a storage area and less as a place to play games.

Once that was finished and Fang got an ice pack (injury due to collapsing table) and I got a band-aid (injury due to catching collapsing table) we next had to paint the room.

"We have pink, purple, and yellow." Fang groaned one hand on his head with the ice pack.

"I don't know. Girls like pink don't they?" I asked back taking the ice pack from his head, flipping it over and replacing it.

"You're asking me?" He looked back behooved.

I sighed and looked out into the hallway where we replaced Faith to get her out of paint fumes. She was still bouncing up and down but looked like she was falling asleep using her stuffed lamb as a pillow. I hurriedly put my hair into a pony tale getting it out of the way of paint.

"Let's do one wall each color and leave the other one white." I said taking authority and started to open the paint jars.

"Wonderful, she'll be living in a rainbow." He chuckled. "A colorful Barney type of rainbow." He dumped some purple paint into one of the trays and started to paint the farthest wall.

"Hey, our daughter is going to have color. And… and this isn't Barney, its variety!" I said back. "She is so not going to take after you and be one dimensional in her color choices, oh Black One." I started working on the pink wall.

"I like color." He paused painting and turned to me. I laughed. "I do! Incase you haven't noticed my room is not black. It's a nice multitude of color, manly color."

I nodded in agreement and turned my head thinking, "Yeah, I noticed. All the way down to your frilly curtains I noticed…. Did you just grow out of black? It was like your trademark… Fang equals black." I rolled the roller back and forth and my nose wrinkled at the bright color….pink.

He shrugged as he flew up to get the top boarder on the wall.

Side note: Wings are soooo cool. Even in home improvement.

"It just got old. And somebody told me that black made me more depressing and less approachable." He turned and gave a grin that went straight to my toes. "I still like black," he continued, "but I figured I could still be mysterious but not in a way which suggest I want to kill myself or others."

"Fang, you weren't that bad," I laughed. My stomach leaped when he recalled our conversation on the beach.

"I know. And black is what all color resonates as, so technically my liking black just states that I like every color known to man…" He looked up proudly.

"Whatever," I said rolling my eyes.

We both continued to paint in silence. I should tell him. I should. I really really should. But… man, this whole situation just sucks. He's just getting used to Faith, we really don't need another child to throw into the mix.

Max, you need to tell him. The voice piped in.

Ugh… will you please not interrupt me when I'm having a conversation with myself. I argued back.

Fang will find out. And I think it would be better if you told him before he finds out some other way. It continued to talk.

Guess what! He already told me about his ability to feel emotions. I know already. I also know to just keep all things unborn baby related away from my emotions. I retorted back.

That's not going to work. In fact that is one of the dumbest idea's you have ever had. The voice lashed back.

I knew it. But I didn't want the voice to know that I knew it. So I replied with the only suitable comeback. Is NOT!

The voice sighed. Maximum, Fang will find out even if you keep your emotions locked up.

Oh, really. How? I asked. Stupid voice, doesn't know what the hell its talk—

By his other ability. It said. Well, I did not expect that.

What other ability? What! He has another one! I stopped painting, my jaw fell open and I stared at Fang.

He turned to me eye brows crossed, "What?" he asked

"You have another ability?" I asked, more like yelled.

He not only rolled his eyes but the man's head rolled as well, "Mr. Voice tell you that," he asked. He dropped the paint roller back on the tray.

"Maybe." I snide back. And threw my roller into my tray as well.

"Well," he moved his brows again, "what else did the voice tell you?"

"What else are you hiding from me?" I asked and walked up to him.

He paused for a moment, I could see his brain thinking of what to say next. "Maybe I can't tell you." Oh, wrong answer.

"What do you mean you can't tell me! That makes no sense what so ever." I shook my head and put my hands on my hips. "We don't not tell each other. You know all my abilities." My voice was rising. Aw hell, I was yelling.

He stepped up into my space bubble, "Only because you showed them or experienced them in front of us. This is something that I don't even understand yet and until I do—,"

"Ah-ha! So you admit it! You do have another ability." I pointed my finger in his chest. "You need to tell me. It could be important."

"No, I don't." He replied and looked down at my accusing finger.

"As leader of this flock I demand to know." There, I pulled rank, I said it.

His eyes shot up and I could see his chest rise and fall. He slowly took my finger off his chest and held it in his hand, "Max.. you're not the leader, not right now." His voice was so soft that it took me a second to realize what he just said.

"Like hell I'm not! I'm the oldest, I'm in charge, this is a Max-ocracy remember!" I ripped my finger out of his hand and pushed him… hard.

He came back at me shaking his head and got up right in my face, "You have been gone, Max. I had to take over. You told me to take over. And as of right now, I think I'm the best one to care for the flock and to act in its best interests…. You have no idea what's going on around here… You're barely sane!" He voice boomed the walls.

I took a step back feeling like I had been slapped in the face. I had to get my breathing under control. It was fast and loud. I'm sure I had tears in my eyes and my whole body felt hot as a flush went straight to my face.

Fang also took several steps back and rubbed his chin and face. "Listen Max, when you get better… when you figure everything out, then you can be leader again. But you've only been here for what… three days? That's not that long. Give it time."

I was quiet. I looked at the ground. I'm not the leader anymore. He might be right. Damn it, he is right.

Yes, he is correct. Let him be the leader right now. The voice barged in again.

Oh My God! Shut Up! I screeched back. My fists were clinching as I glanced back up at Fang.

"Fine," I replied, "lets finish the painting." I mumbled with less enthusiasm. I picked up the brush and continued.

Fang continued to look at me not moving. He sighed and came up to me.

"Hey," he took hold of my pony tail and gave it a tug. "When I can, you'll be the first person I tell. I promise."

I turned back to him with cold eyes, "That makes no sense, Fang. We said no secrets."

"You tell me yours and I'll tell you mine," he replied just as coldly.

"I already told you..." I whispered back. His face was leaning into mine.

"There's still something else." He was towering over me, his eyes digging into mine.

I quickly shifted my eyes over to the wall, "If we want to get the painting done before the cookout we need to hurry." I said changing the mood of the moment.

He bent down, his lips grazing my ear, "You can't hide from whatever it is." His breath was like honey so soft and hot. I swallowed a hard lump in my throat but didn't respond.

We finished the room with minimal paint on us and just as the flock was returning from school.

I think they could sense the tension between Fang and I or maybe Iggy just told them not to bother us much. After saying quick hello's and grabbing a snack from the kitchen they all went up stairs to either work on homework or get ready for the cookout. My guess was on the latter option.

Nudge wanted my opinion on clothing and Angel wanted me to put her hair in braids. First off, I'm horrible as picking out clothes and me and a brush don't get along. While I was helping them Fang took over getting Faith ready. The girls then decided that I needed assistance in getting ready for this cookout get together, whatever it was.

Since when was a neighborly cookout the next fashion party, or dating circle, or the next big event? I mean really, good grief.

I still hadn't talked to Fang since the painting. I had a feeling tonight things were going to get awkward.

22. A Pinch of Brian and a Dash of Rum

Here we go yall. I won't be able to post for a while, I have finals coming up next week… but after finals I shall have a few weeks of free time which I'll use to write up a storm.

I have two more chapters already typed after this, the more reviews the more likely I'll put it up.

And I have to say that the reviews yall give me are great. You really make me feel like I'm not just writing for myself. It's amazing that people actually like this story and even more so when you all place it as a story alert or favorite story. I'm flabbergasted and feel giddy each time I see a positive review. So…I just wanted to ramble and let yall know that I'm grateful for each and every reader and reviewer.

I know I'm taking the characters of MR beyond what we've imagined them as so thanks for sticking with me and this story.

fang-is-mysterious: yes your right, and you'll just have wait and see. Wink.

Oh I TOTALLY wrote this at 5 am so mistakes are bound to happen, sorry in advance for poor grammer.


Chapter 26.

"Come ON, GAZZY," Angel yelled from the living room.

Everyone was ready to go, including me reluctantly, except the Gasman. Go figure.

"Man, my enchiladas are getting cold!" Iggy grumbled shifting the big dish in his hands.

"Oh, pu-lez," Nudge teased as she took Faith from Fangs arms.

She was becoming attached. I do believe I have a babysitter now, if I ever need one. Big IF.

"What is this?" She bellowed lifting Faiths jacket and shirt up. Faith wings were loosely tied with strips of fabric.

Fang looked back at Nudge and lowered his brow. "What? She can't control her wings and we don't want her showing them at the cookout, now do we." His tone was cool and hard. He looked up at me expecting a harsh response.

I just shrugged my shoulders. "I used shoe string when we were out in public. That's probably more comfortable. It's fine Nudge." My tone was droll. My head hurt and stomach was feeling queasy.

"We are leaving Gazzy." Fang shouted walking towards the door. He grabbed his brown fitted leather jacket out of the closet and put it on over his grey collard shirt. The colors looked great with his dark blue jeans. He's appearance seemed effortless, stylish yet original.

I also wore jeans but at the persistence of Nudge and Angel my shirt was a long sleeve low (and I mean low) cut white blouse that buttoned all the way down. I don't like blouses but my outfit looked pretty good. I matched it with some black shoes and added my black jacket and I must say I didn't look half bad. Oh, and my boobs looked great! They said it looked young and sophisticated which would help make a good impression tonight.

They both wore those flowy skirts. Nudge's was white and Angel's was a peach color. Then Nudge wore a peach shirt with a light blue sweater and Angel paired her white shirt with a black sweater. They were cute, colorful and cute.

The boy's, well, they just wore slacks and collard shirts. Yeah, I know slacks… shocking. I had a feeling that this cookout was going to be a high society get together. I wondered if we were going to have 'tea'.

I followed the girls who followed Fang out the door. Iggy was behind me still yelling at Gazzy. I could hear him run down the stairs and cringed when I heard him fall the last couple of steps.

"Damn, man. Are you that nervous about seeing Allison?" Iggy laughed.

"No!" shrieked Gazzy. He picked himself up and did a quick bodyparts check and headed out the door behind Ig.

I was going to ask about this Allison but the look and blush on Gazzy's cheeks made me stop.

"Are you going to be okay holding Faith?" I asked Nudge. We were walking to the cookout which was only 4 doors down but with the yards this size it was going to take us about 15 minutes to walk there.

"Yep!" she smiled and resetteled Faith on her hip. Angel was busy playing with Faith's face. My baby was all smiles. It was good that Faith was getting used the flock. And I was getting less and less protective every time I let one of them hold her or watch her. I was giving myself a pat on the back. Good momma.

I stared at Fang's back. He really hadn't said anything to me. He was mad, I was mad, the both of us had so much pent-up energy I thought the whole world could see us shake with it. I wanted to tell him. I did, I just…. Ugh!

I walked faster to catch up with him. When I got up next to him I could see his eyes slant at me. Before I could say anything he opened his mouth, "Most of the people tonight are nice. Just be yourself and you should be fine. I have to talk with some people when we get there but then I'll find you guys."

He was leaving me alone with the neighbors? What? "This isn't some small thing is it?" I asked already knowing the answer.

"No." Was all he said. Well, perfect!

We got to the overly large house. Which was perfect and Fang went straight into the house by the front door as the rest of them went around the back. I was confused. I followed the rest of the flock into the back yard and gasped in awe.

Holy Hell! This was NOT a back yard. This was a freakin field! It was like, woah! There was a stable and four red painted barns. FOUR! There was also a small wooden stage where music was being played out of 2 big speakers. Across from the stage was around 10 rows of tables all decked out with table clothes and plates. The arena by the stable held two horses that some children were taking turns riding. There was a lot of people out there but most seemed young around my age and younger and some mom's and dad's. They didn't look that snobby. Hmmm..

I made sure Nudge and Faith were doing great and it seemed so as Nudge was taking Faith to pet the horses still in the stables. I then quickly turned back around and ran into the house to be with Fang. I didn't want him to leave me here.

When I opened the door I found out where all the old people were, in the house. It was more like a museum then house. There was classical music playing in the background and a really old guy in a penguin suit (not the animal, the overly dressed suit) came up to me and asked for my jacket. I glared at him and shook my head no.

I brushed pass him quickly to look for Fang in the many small rooms filled with people standing and talking. They looked… what's the word…. posh? I don't know. They looked rich. There was waiters with trays walking room to room with either glasses of wine or little finger foods. It was different from the out side party. Like small town bbq meets up town flashy dinner. I felt underdressed and under aged.

I saw Fang standing with some people and made my way to him. I had to squeeze past a lady who smelled like flowers dipped in perfume and another couple who smelled like a library. When I finally got to him my eyes did a double take. He was with Jess and a couple I could only assume was her parents. And they were talking, and smiling, and even Fang was smiling. GREAT!

I walked up slowly and stood by him. He didn't notice me but Jess did.

"Max!" she smiled and came up to me and guess what…. She gave me a hug!

Fang stopped his talk with the man and turned to me. His eye's softened when he met mine.

"Umm… hi." I mummered back as Jess released me.

"I'm so happy you came. I didn't know if you'd be up to it but when Fang said you'd be here I got all excited." She smiled again and turned to the two older people. "These are my parents, mom, dad, this of course is Max."

They replied with hello's and I reciprocated. "So, you've been on a sabbatical have you? I wanted to do that when I was younger. Go travel and see the world! You're very lucky. You were in Africa and Asia Fang told us! Living with the indigenous people, huh." Jess's father said.

I turned to him and nodded. He wasn't as old as I thought he would be. He wasn't very tall, taller than me but not as tall as Fang. He was also balding but his eye's were warm and his voice was warm and happy. I looked at Fang quickly and saw him smirk. Africa? Asia?

"I guess you're not use to all this then." Her mom inquired. She looked like Jess. Brown hair to her shoulders, big expressive eyes, straight nose and a warm smile. Perfect. I felt like the ugly duckling with these people. "Don't worry, Max. We do these parties about once every month to keep the facade alive. I don't really like all this hubbub," she motioned around the room with her hand, "I much rather be in jeans and boots." She smiled at me again.

"So this is your house?" I asked. My fake smile was hurting my face and I was itching to run away. So many people, any of them could be erasers. Well, not really, they were too old.

"Yes, it is. Just make yourself at home like the rest of your family and enjoy the night. Excuse me I need to check on something," Mrs. Jess's mom left us. I really need to find out her last name. And Fang continued to talk to Mr. Jess's Dad although he did rest his hand on my back and was lightly rubbing it.

I could tell the talk was about business and I could see Jess roll her eye's smiling and motioned for me to follow her. Was she serious…

I did of course. We headed to another room, less crowded and she sat on a fancy couch and patted the seat next to her. "So, how's everything going?" she asked.

"Uh… Okay, I guess." I replied. Was she trying to be my friend? Fat chance.

Her smile faltered and she fidgeted and bit her lip. "I… I know this must be hard for you. Doing what you did then coming home to this." she looked at me and gave a sad smile. "I'm hoping everything will turn out alright. They've really missed you, you know." She looked away quickly and swallowed and turned back to me.

"I've missed them too. Thanks for the encouragement." I said dully.

"You probably don't like me and I don't blame you." She said, "I hope one day, when you get to know me better, you'll consider me a friend too…… He loves you. Not me." She whispered the last part and her eyes looked sad.

"Excuse me," I asked my own eyes widened.

"I didn't try to replace you, in either their eyes or his," she paused a second, " You all have been through so much and deserve to be happy. So, try to be happy, okay. You're back now. You're safe, and you have a family that loves you and a guy that is in love with you….. cherish it." She smiled weakly again and stood up and left.

I sat on the couch for a few more minutes, stunned. I didn't know whether to take what she said as a compliment or insult. It sounded like both.

I got up in a daze and tried to find Fang again. I saw him with a different group of old people near the far wall, he turned with a wave and left them. I followed him and as I passed the group I overheard some talking.

"That was that Fang kid." An old man sneared.

"Yes. I still can't get over his name!" The woman next to him relplied.

I stopped walking and continued to ease drop. They couldn't see me as I was behind the wall.

"Have you heard what the other one's are called?" Another womanly voice said.

"There all dreadful and barbaric," A nasaly female voice added.

"He's from new money," A man said. "New money in this day in age using technology." He sighed disapprovingly.

My fists were clinched and I had to force myself from doing something rash.

"I think it's a good thing. I think his success at a young age proves how determined he is. That drive in a person is a great quality." A younger british male voice added.

"Oh, you have no idea what you are talking about. It is his kind that is tainting this community! Our names next to his….. it's embarrassing!" The woman clucked.

"But I honestly believe..," the younger man was cut off by and older man.

"And have you heard that another one has just returned. And I hear she's just as unruly. And she brought a baby back with her! The scandal! Well, where there is one skank in the family there is bound to be more… such scandal!"

I had had about enough. I marched out of my hiding place and into the conversation. With the sweetest smile on my face I lit into them.

"Excuse I couldn't help but over hear." I said sweetly. They all stopped and looked at me surprisingly. "I think it is unfair to slander a person when they are not around to defend themselves. And to degrade an entire family with out knowing really any knowledge of them is just tacky." I raised my hand to stop a woman from speaking, "I understand you pride yourself on your 'old money' and sophisticate snobby attitude, but while you were born into this lifestyle others worked very hard to provide the best for their family. Work that you have never had to do. So it would be appreciative if you commend your fellow man for succeeding. Not all of us can be born with a silver spoon in their ass."

I heard gasps from both the men and women in the group and saw a smile play on the younger guys face. He was nodding his head all the while I speaking and looked pleased.

"Young lady…" A gumpy old man whose face was the color of a plum shouted.

"I believe it's time to leave," the younger guy reached across and grabbed my arm and spun me around dragging me away from the still shocked oldies.

I let him drag me out side onto the back porch. I had no idea I would say all that, it just sort of fell out of my mouth. He let go of my arm and just looked at me still grinning. He was kind of cute. Tall, blondish brown curly hair. His eyes were hazel and his nose was also straight. His cheek bones were prominent and his ears stuck out a little from his head, lips were full and soft looking and his skin was creamy and white. He was wearing a cream color sweater that clung to his muscles on his arms.…. Oh boy! No, no, no…. stop looking! Now! STOP!

"That was impressive," he said, his accent sounded like music. "I've never heard anyone talk to the Winchesters that way." He smiled widened. He had great teeth.

"They're a whole family?" I asked still amazed by his white teeth.

"Oh yeah, they're the big guns around here. Bloody Hell, purely amazing." He said again, shaking his head.

"Thanks," I said. I turned to look out the back for my flock. So many people, it was hard to do.

"You're not from here are you?" The British guy asked.

"Umm, well I just sort of moved here I guess." I replied still looking.

"Well, then, I'm Brian Winchester. Pleasure to meet you." He crooned and held his hand out.

"Max." I replied. "Wait, did you say Winchester!" I groaned.

"Yeah, but don't hold it against me." He replied grinning. "I'm a nephew and unfortunately related to them." He pointed with his thumb behind him back into the house.

"Max, huh. So you're the new addition to the Ride Robertson clan." He hummed.


"Fang, Iggy, Nudge…" he explained. "Am I right?"

"Oh, yeah." So Fang took my last name, I never knew that.

"Might I ask what or whom you're lookin for?" He asked noticing my lack of attention to him. He shoved his hands in his pockets which just looked so cute.

"Umm… my family. Fang, specifically." I said trying not to look at him.

"Okay. Can I help?" He said and started to walk down the wooden porch steps.

"Do you know them?" I asked following him.

"Not real well. I've been at Uni over in London and only come here on holiday. I've seen them around but I'm a big fan of his work, Fangs work. I also chat some with Iggy." He started walking towards one of the barns.

"Oh." Was my only reply. I still felt like crap for what I said about his family but he didn't seem to mind.

"Here, this barn has all the food. They might be in here getting some." As he spoke he entered into the large complex and we both were greeted with smells of holy goodness. Tables were lined up with multitudes of trays and containers and dishes all with food in them. Pot luck at its finest.

"Talk about a change from in the house," I muttered.

"Oh yeah," Brian said, "Normally those in the house don't leave. There's a separate dinner for them with all the trappings. Silver china, wine, nasty food that cost a cow but taste like shiiit." His British drawl made me smile. " I don't see them, hey would you like a bite?" He motioned to the plates and food.

Oh I was hungry but I wanted to get to my family now. I shook my head but my stomach and other plans. It growled and I swallowed down bile. "Maybe something to drink." I said.

We walked to the drink table and he got two large cups from the drink bowl. He sniffed it and grimiced. "Well, I think the people who made this added some cheer to it." He tasted his and handed me my cup.

I drank some and coughed. It was spiked! The burning sensation slid down my throat and I could feel it enter my belly. But it did taste good.

"What's in it?" I asked my voice wheezing.

"I think rum and coke," he replied and downed the rest of his and got more.

Max, you're pregnant. Think about the baby. The voice entered my head.

"Uh, is there anything non buzzy." I asked looking at the drinks. There were some sodas but most was beer and liquor. Good Lord! What were the kids to drink?

Brian laughed again and pointed to another table. "Water and juice for the sober ones."

I nodded a thanks and started to walk to the other side of the barn. I past the entrance and caught sight of a brown jacket and black hair. I saw Fang standing by a table in front of the stage and he wasn't alone. He was talking to Nudge who was eating and a few other girls who were sitting with her. I didn't see Faith and I started to panic. I walked faster to the entrance of the barn and stopped as Fang moved a little to the side.

She was holding my child. Jess was holding Faith and playing with her. She was sitting across from Nudge with Angel on one side my child in her lap and Fang standing on her other side. I started to feel sick and pissed.

"What's up little fire ball." Brian said coming up beside me and looking to where I was staring.

"Aww, there they are." He pointed holding his drink. He squinted his eyes, "Oh…and Miss. Calhoun is with them."

So that's her last name. Jessica Calhoun.

Fang bent down did something to Faith when he came back up he was smiling and both Jess and Angel were laughing. I wanted to cry.

"Are you alright?" Brian asked. He looked at me fully and turned back to them. "Oh, just a guess, but you're not really related to Fang are you."

I shook my head.

"And another guess is that you two had a thing, have a thing, want…to… have… a… thing…" he was bobbing his head for effect.

I turned back to him with a straight face. "I don't even know you. I'm not going to tell you about anything I've had with anyone." I turned back to Fang as he did a 180 degree turn. Jess stood up beside him with Faith still in her arms and they talked seriously for a bit.

Oh, that's it! He's sending me so many screwing signals. I threw my hands in the air and turned back to drink table. The alcoholic drink table.

Max, what are you doing. The voice asked as I got myself another cup of 'cheer' and downed it all in one gulp.

Screw OFF! I yelled back and shut the door of communication in my head. Let's see if it worked.

I poured myself another and Brian came up by me. "Hey, pet. Are you sure you're okay."

I shrugged. And tears started sliding down my face.

"Bloody Hell" he whispered and looked around. "Come on, this way. We need some fresh air." I grabbed my cup and let him take out through the back of the barn.

My whole body felt like it was giving up. I didn't care anymore. He led me about a good 200 feet away from the crowd to the low stone fence on the edge of the property and sat me on one of the stones. He sat next to me but didn't talk. I continued to cry silently and drink out of my cup. The alcohol was helping. It was slowly making me feel less pain. I know it's stupid and I should be going to hell for drinking while carrying a child, but frankly I don't give a rat's ass. It's numbing and I need to be numb right now.

"When I was 16 the girl I loved both filled and broke my heart in one solid summer." Brian looked out into the horizon. "I was down here visiting and she was visiting her cousins. We fell in love but at the end of the summer I was going back to Europe and she back to the east….. It turns out that I was more in love with her than she was with me." his voice trembled and he drank some to calm it.

"If that is suppose to make me feel better, it didn't work." I mumbled.

"It was Jessica. I was and more than likely still am in love with her." He looked at me then and pathetically nodded when I realized he was talking about Jess.

"Yep," he replied, "haven't spoken to her since. But I did hear that she met this great guy over in Washington, D.C. a while ago. And that they were together." He closed his eyes facing the grass. I knew how he felt. "People would have thought they were serious but the guy was a lot younger than her…. well, not a lot. But a little bit. She's 23 by the way." He drained his cup as did I.

I held mine out to him. "More." I whined. He took it and left for a few seconds coming back with another two cups full.

"So, what else." I asked. I started to feel warm and I could feel all worries start to float away. Woooowwww…. nice stuff.

He cleared his throat and blink several times, "Well, I also heard that he stopped it after a while. And she told her mom who told a friend who told my aunt who told my mom who told me," He squinted, "I think…. that she was more in love with him than he with her!" he laughed as he drank to that. "And it also seems to me just in that brief whatever back there that you are following that same path."

"Yes, well, as you can see, Mr. Fang still has it for Jess." I slurred back to him. "What's the point Brit man. If it's to tell me what a pathetic case I am…. I sooooo already know that."

"Point, is my dear girl…. the heart is a git. You can't control it, it controls you. I have had many relationships since that summer, naturally. BUT, I've compared them all to her." He scratched his head lazily, the effects of the drink getting to him as well. Again, I handed him an empty cup and he went out and came back with full ones. Amazing.

"Is she really that wonderful?" I asked a few minutes later breaking silence. "She seems wonderful. Really sweeeeet, and niiiice."

Brian looked at me with a smile, "Yeah. She's a sweeety. She broke my heart and I still can't say anything bad about her."

"She's takingmy spot I--I think." I mumbled to him my words becoming more run together.

Brian grunted. And I continued, "Maybe she should…. Youknow you don't know me verwywell. I'm kinda screwwed up." I slurred.

"No your not. Your fine. Your young, your savvy, your…. Sexy!" he added with a smile. I grinned back, I knew he wasn't interested. Even if he was he didn't frighten me.

"I'm 18 but I feelalot older." I raised my eyebrows, " I have a kid. Helloooooo oldfarts."

He started laughing I don't know why but he just broke out in a fit. And seeing him like that made me crack up until we were both laughing so hard tears were coming down our faces.

"Well, a baby does change some things." He still laughed.

"Yeah, and, and… I think I'm pregnant again!" I laughed too. He slowly stopped and looked at me.

I still giggled a little and when I saw him stop I raised my cup to my lips gulping again. I just messed up, huh.

He looked from me to the drink and back again, "You don't want it do you?"

I smiled weakly and looked up at the twilight sky, "Not really." I whispered.

"Oh, the tangle webs we weave," he muttered looking up at the sky as well.

"I don't know what to do." I responded.

"I can't answer that for you," Brian sighed. He bumped my side a little with a small smile, "If it makes you feel anybetter I may not be pregnant but I was kicked out of my graduate program, fired from my internship, and was told that my roommate back in London committed suicide blaming me."

I blinked several times looking back at him, "Seriously!"

He shrugged, "Okay, maybe I quite the graduate program. That's why I'm back here. No place to go."

"I mean about your roommate," I stuttered.

"Mmmm… Charles…," he took a deep breath, "He was having issues. I thought I could help him but I thought wrong." He laughed an insane laugh, "The prat mailed me this letter the day he offed himself and when I got three days later he said that it was my fault!," again he chuckled but I could see tears in his eyes, "said that I wasn't there for him enough that I didn't try hard enough, what a load of shiiit." He shook his head and looked to me, " I mean, he's a grown man. I'm not suppose to be incharge of a grown man right! His own man, that's what he was." He gulped, "not my fault…. No."

We sat in silence again drinking, drowning our sorrows in rum and coke and doing it with the twilight and the music and lights from the cookout as our background.

"Don't give up, Max. Tell him about the baby. If you all are as close as you say then you need support now anyway." He started to pat my head, he tried to rub it but it came out as a lop-sided pat.

"He'll know soon anyway. He always knows when crap happens." I replied. "He's like Sherlock Holmes or CSI or something… always figures it out. Just not in an hour."

He snorted a laugh and I smiled at it. I looked up at him seriously, "Don't blame yourself. Are you getting help, seeing someone?" I felt really bad for him. Being told your responsible for your friends death was mind boggling.

He shrugged. "I know what it's like to do something bad, or be told that you did something bad and then not want to find help," I said, "trust me… Queen of it. But you do it. You give your roommate the bird because he obviously had many wires crossed in his head and that definitely was NOT your fault."

"Yeah," was all he gave me. " I miss her."

It took me a minute to know what he was talking about. "Maybe you should talk to her again. Rekindle the ol'flame." I rocked back and caught myself before I flew over the wall.

"I'm too fuc[i[/iked up for her," he spurted.

"Now you're sounding like me," I replied.

"Do you love him?" he asked.

"Do you love her?" I asked changing the subject.

Brian laughed and sighed, "We are two fools in love."

"Wanna share that love?" A griddy voice boomed through our conversation.

Both of our heads turned to see a group of about 8 young guys march towards us. I didn't see them at the cookout and from the trash they were wearing they didn't seem like the type who lived around here either.

"Who they hell are you?" Brian asked standing up. I followed as well but both of us were slightly crooked and stumbling.

"We heard about the party and wanted to join," The head guys snarled. They all looked about Brian's age and cocky. The one doing all the talking was in the front and he looked at me and licked his lips.

"So why are you two far from the others? Having your own party?" The thing said wiggling its eye brows. I wanted to vomit.

"You should leave now." Brian said more assertive and looking more sober now than a minute ago.

"I don't think so. She looks like she could use a real man. And you Brit's are such pussy's." The guys started to walk towards us.

Okay, this reminded me of Ella and those creeps that I took down for her. But, um, I wasn't drunk then and there are a hell of a lot more now.

Brian stood in front of me. "Run, Max." he whispered. He must be joking. I can fight better than him, even if I am drunk.

"I don't think so," I whispered back.

"So you think the two of us can take all of them?" He asked again a little more cautiously as we continued to back up from the advancing mob.

Normally I'd say yes, but I couldn't even walk that straight, "I don't think so," I replied weakly. Damn, I couldn't even fly away, by the time I opened my wings and got speed they'd be on top of me…. damn.

"So we're pretty much screwed," Brian asserted.

"Yeah," I said back.

That's about the time all 8 of the assholes attacked at once. Ah Hell!

23. Drunken Ruckus

Sorry guys. I had finals that I HAD to study for. Here's the next chapter. Again the more reviews the faster I'll post. Thanks again for all of them, they make me want to write more.


Chapter 27.

Brian pushed me aside as five of the jerks slammed into him. I, being the dumb idiot and drinking drunkenly tripped over my own feet and fell to the ground with an impressive thud.

Next thing I know the head man is on top of me pinning my body down. I started flinging my arms around trying to get them out of his grasp. I'm a really good fighter, I mean, hello, I saved the world but he was big and he was on top of me…. and I was screwed.

Not good… so not good.

I managed to get one arm free and jabbed the heel of my hand up his nose. I heard a satisfying crack and a squeal from him. Both of his hands went up to his face and that allowed me to punch his chest with my balled fists.

I missed and went a little lower than I aimed. He let out a howl and rolled off me. I stood up only to get punched in the shoulder by one of his other goons. It sent me sideways and I tried to do a roundhouse kick on him. I was seeing double from the alcohol and that not only made me miss him but made me land on my butt yet again.


I shouted out a curse and turned to see Brian punch a guy in the face as two other ones were wrestling him to the ground. As a normal guy he was a pretty good fighter. I felt a blow to my head as jerk number 2 and 3 were trying to keep me down and assists their leader. I winced at the pain but jumped back up and smashed my cupped hands over one of the guy's ears along with kicking him straight in the chest. He fell down moaning.

Two down… I turned to help Brian who was getting the crap beat out of him when the third guy kicked my legs out from under me.

Womp! Face plant – hard!

"You little bitch!" he yelled. I couldn't think or even move. My face hurt and it felt like all my teeth fell out of my head.

He flipped me over and grabbed me by my jacket and punched my face. I balled my fist and punched him back. I tried to move my legs but he was sitting on them. My punch startled him and he turned my face over in the dirt and grounded it in. I could feel the coolness of the earth against my cheeks and struggled to hold my breath. Him turning only my head made my waist and legs burn from the muscle strain.

I finally tried to unfurl my wings. If exposing us was going to save me, then so be it. My wings cracked under me. They were cramped and just barley moving them felt like they were being cut out.

I released an elbow to his gut and he sucked in air and let up a little. I turned and punched him hard sending him flying off me.

Hell, hell, holy hell! I coughed hard spitting out dirt and rocks. I got to my knees and tried to crawl away. My arm hurt and I could tell my face was bleeding. I tried my wings again. They moved a little but not enough to support me getting away. Just my luck… I haven't been doing my morning exercise routine that I needed to keep my body and especially my wings loose. I wanted to cry from desperation.

"Brian," I croaked. There were still three guys on him and I saw three more look at me.

Where did they come from? They just wouldn't stay down! I took a deep breath and staggered to my feet.

"Your gonna be my feisty bitch! It's gonna be fun." One of the guys taunted. They made a circle around me as I tried to get my balance.

"I am nobody's bitch!" I spat back. I jumped in the air to kick one of the guys with both of my feet and that's when I saw the silver gleam he pulled out of his pocket. I kicked him in the chest and he fell back sending the knife through the air. One of his buddies caught it and I saw him drop to the ground as he swiped it at me.

Hot pain flashed in the back of my thighs as he cut my jeans and skin in one swoop. I let out a whimper and faltered forward at the same time a guy came up in front of me and kicked me…. right in the stomach.

I doubled over first instinct was to protect my middle and the unwanted child living there. I gave the man an uppercut to the jaw and heard it pop. I was still clutching my stomach and spun to get the guy with the knife.

He was limping over to Brian who was being held behind by both arms and chest. Brian looked bad. His face was all bloody and I could see blood on his clothes. The guys holding him didn't look in any better shape. They too were bloody and hobbling around. I'm guessing Brian gave out some broken bones.

"All I wanted was some fun with the lady," the knife man said as he spat out blood on the ground. He taunted the knife in front of Brian but Brian's face was solid. If he was hurt he didn't show it. The man with the knife went to thrust it in his stomach.

I let out a scream and ran towards him. The guy was stunned as I ran full force hitting his body sending both of us careening over. The other three holding Brian let him go as they ran to us. Brian fell in a heap to the ground but struggled to make his way over to me.

My lightheadedness worsened as I felt another kick to the belly. I could hear the men trying to help their leader up but then I heard a buzzing in my ears. I curled up in a fetal position covering my stomach with one arm and my head with the other.

I felt a mixture of tears and blood running down my face and I wanted to puke. They were still kicking me and I could make out Brian being handled again. My stomach cramped which made me curl in a tighter ball. I tried to kick out with my feet to stop them but it did no good.

Then it stopped, it all stopped. I didn't look up still thinking they would return. I heard screams, muffles, cracks through the buzzing noise. I finally lifted my head and they were littered on the ground.


I winced as I got to my knees and noticed Fang ruthlessly punching one of the guys into the ground. Iggy was getting up from the ground as well leaving behind another bloody guy. I tried to speak but my throat felt raw. Fang was still on the guy even though he long passed out.

I crawled to Brian who was laying breathing hard and all bloody. He barley got his swollen eye open to look at me.

"You okay?" he whispered.

I nodded my head. I looked back up as Fang proceeded to go to each body and kick and punch them, again. I struggled to my feet but doubled over in pain again.

Fang heard me gasp and spun to me. The look in his eyes made me suck in air again and take a wobbly step back. He walked fast over to me and hugged me tight.

"Are you alright?" he asked trying to get the blood matted hair out of my eyes.

"I think so," I mumbled lightly. My arms were still wrapped around my middle and the cramping was getting worse. I felt nauseous and my body was killing me.

"Fang? What--," a voice interrupted as Jess came running up to the scene. "Oh. My. God!" she yelled looking at the guys on the ground.

"Fang heard screams and when we came up here we found them beating up Max and some other guy," Ig explained pressing his hand to his forehead where a cut was.

Brian managed to stand at that point but only holding on to a side of a tree. He was clutching his ribs and squinting.

"Hey, Jessie," he hoarsely called.

Jess, who looked baffled a second ago turned to face Brian and her jaw dropped. She let out little whines and moans from her throat, she looked like she wanted to either cry or scream.

"Brian?" She cautiously asked. She slowly walked up to him.

I was out of Fang's arms, who was watching both Jess and Brian closely. I turned my back to them focusing now on the pain rippling through my body. I grunted and made my way over to the wall leaving a small trail of blood.

Oh, God. I thought. Was it from the cuts on the back of my legs or…. the baby?

I knew what a miscarriage felt like, I had a few back at the compound. This was beginning to feel no different. I felt new hot tears spring from my eyes. I've messed up! I've hurt everything and everybody!

I saw Jess take Brian's shoulder and forcing him to use her as a crutch. They stood eyeing each other. She looked a little upset and mad and he just looked in pain. I pushed them out of my head and sunk to the ground.

"Fang…," I airily whispered. He picked me up and started carrying me out.

"I'm taking her home. Are you okay here?" He approached Jess.

"Yeah," she said back sharply still looking at Brian. Her gaze shifted to anger.

Brian looked up at Fang and me, he reached his hand out to mine and squeezed it real quick. I knew he was whishing me the best. I let out another groan as a wave of pain hit me again.

Fang marched into the woods with Iggy close behind him. "Four steps more and fly straight up," he called to Ig. It was dark and I couldn't see anything but I heard wings flapping and Gazzy yelling from above.

"Is she alright? Nudge and Angel went home with Faith? Did you find her?" Gazzy yelled as Iggy went up to him.

"Hold on, Max, we're almost home," Fang whispered as I felt him get out his wings and jump into the air.

My head was spinning and if felt as though my insides were being ripped out, my legs were throbbing and I think I broke my arm. I continued to cry into his chest until I passed out. The darkness felt better anyway.

24. My Hero

Here ya go guys. Thanks again for the comments. Please excuse the crappiness of this. I wrote it around 4 am. I really need to stop writing at the dead of night. I'm leaving for a while until the 13. (Going to visit my family… haven't done so since February.) And there is no internet connection there.

So if I get a bunch of reviews I might post another chapter on Tues or Wed before I leave.

(oh, did you know that your tongue can get stuck to a popsicle?... embarrassing moment)

And who is pickin excited about Eclipse…. 3 more days!


Chapter 28.

When I woke up I was in bed and in A LOT of pain. I felt like I was going crazy. My head throbbed, my legs were burning, my face hurt, and when I tried to open my eyes it felt like razors were attacking them.

I tried to move my right arm and moaned from the pain. So much pain. A cramp took hold of my stomach and I cried out. My eye's managed to open into slits and I tried to focus through the tears.

I need to tell Fang. He need's to get Anne. I couldn't move my head, just my eyes. I could hear a dull roar and strange hiccup sounds. I tried to yell but nothing came out. I couldn't move my lips. Another cramp washed over me stronger than the previous one. The pain lingered.

I swallowed and chocked on blood. What is going on? Help! Somebody! Anybody!!

Tears started to fall from my eyes and the roaring sound got louder. It's me… the noise is coming from my mouth. Oh, God… I'm going to die! Fang! Iggy! Faith… Anybody! Screaming in my head was not working.

"Get them out." I heard a voice shout from the distance. It was Fang.

"What's going on? Who were you talking to?" Nudge yelled back.

"Why her!" Ig shouted.

I moaned and whined louder. I tried to get the shrilling sound louder so they'd know I was in here, I was awake.

"Don't ask just do it!" Fang sounded mad. I could see half the door burst open out of my vision. The noise coming from me came faster as did the tears. I tried to move my head and arms again…. no luck. It just sent more pain through my body.

"Not until you tell me why you called her!" Iggy followed Fang into the room.

Fang came up to the bed and held my face to look at his, "You're going to be okay. Just relax and breathe."

He seemed so calm but I could see fear in his eyes. My breathing became rapid as I was trying to communicate to him. He yelled for Nudge and she came running in with blankets, bandages and other things.

Fang threw off the blanket on top of me and started to take off my shoes and pants. I couldn't move but I wanted to pass out from the embarrassment.

He turned back to Iggy, "I do not want any of you here when she comes. Now get the others and leave." He spoke quietly to Ig and Nudge grabbed his hand.

I groaned. What are they talking about? I want to know.

"Come on… it has to work… it has to," she tugged softly on Iggy's hand to lead him out of the room.

What has to work? What's going on? Fear was getting to me. I couldn't move or speak and the cramping was now affecting my entire body.

"If she's not a threat anymore than why can't --," Ig started.

"Because I'm not sure and because it is safer." Fang interjected peeling off my blood soaked jeans. "Faith, she can't go back there, no matter what you keep the others and Faith safe."

I grunted my teeth and let out a shriek at the mention of my daughter. Fang came up to my face again, "Breathe Max. Come on baby… just breathe."

I hissed out a staggered breath and he bent and kissed my head.

Iggy let out a curse word but allowed Nudge to lead him out.

"So much blood," Fang whispered. I could feel him examining my legs and wiping the blood away. "They got you good with that knife."

He remained silent but I saw his jaw clinch. He was wrapping my thighs with bandages when another wave of pain made me shake and he glanced up.

I felt more wetness on my legs and I knew where most of the blood was coming from…. and it wasn't from the knife wound. I wanted to scream and cry.

He grabbed more towels and used them to try and stop the bleeding. He shoved them everywhere, modesty be damned. He looked up at me and knowingly placed his hand on my stomach.

NO! NO! I'm so sorry! Oh, GOD! I screamed. Fang shook his head several times and I could see his chest rise and fall violently. Anne, get Anne! I tried to send him that thought. The one time I wished he could read my mind. I felt his other hand in mine.

More spasms erupted throughout my body and he grabbed on tighter.

"Anne's coming. I called her. Hopefully it's not too late." He said removing his hands and getting a wet cloth. He started to wash my face and I winced as it stung.

Anne. How did he know about Anne? Did I say something earlier? I tried to think back at the cookout. No, I don't think I did. Maybe I woke up and told him before I blacked back out.

He got out butterfly band-aids and placed one on one eyebrow and another one on my cheek.

"You had to get drunk and get in a fight," he mumbled. He grabbed some ointment and started unbuttoning my shirt. I felt his fingers next to mine and miraculously managed to move my fingers against his. He placed his hand in mine again and used the other one to clean and treat cuts on my neck and chest.

"I don't understand you, Maximum." He said quietly. He used my full name, not good. "Do you hate the idea so much that you'd rather kill yourself and our child then have another one?"

Oh, no. He really knows now. He knows. I can't tell what he thinking. I can't tell what I'm thinking. I wanted the pain to stop, I wanted to tell Fang the truth. I don't know what the truth is yet but I don't want Fang to be mad at me. I was going to tell him, soon. Now… he thinks I hate him.

I tried harder to talk to move again to do something. The only sounds that came out of my throat were indistinguishable.

He can't think this. I was going to tell him, soon, like tonight. No. This can not be happening. How did he know about Anne and the baby? Ugh… I desperately squeezed his hand, the only part of my body that could slightly move. He looked up from my wounds and his black eyes stared into mine. Pain or anger, I couldn't tell which they held more of.

"We're gone!" Ig yelled and we heard the front door slam shut.

Fang breathed a deep sigh and turned back to cleaning the blood from my chest. "They're all safe, Faith is safe, the flock is safe. And I love you even if you don't love yourself, I do, enough to try anything to keep you safe." He was mumbling, his voice not loud enough to travel from the room.

I would have gasped, yelled, cursed anything to let Fang know that it wasn't true. I did love myself and I loved him. And how dare he say different! I am Max, Maximum Ride. I kick eraser ass and save the world from nuclear war! I'm a freakin Super Hero, as Gazzy puts it.

He turned the bed side lamp on and directed it towards me. He pulled out tweezers and I felt him dig them to the right of my chest. It hurt but the pain from my abdomen hurt more.

"How did you get glass here?" he pulled out some slivers of the shiny substance and placed it on a towel. He continued to put ointment and bandages on my chest and stomach. "Ig says you broke two ribs and bruised around three. Your left wrist is broken as well as two of your fingers. You sprained your right ankle, I haven't looked at your wings yet but I think you've broken some bones there two. Your hair is matted with blood, your eyes are almost swollen shut, your nose is most certainly broken and you have a busted lip. And even though you like a bloody pulp I still want to kiss you so bad I can't think straight."

I listened intently and made a small noise at his last sentence. How I wish I could move. How I want to just go back in time and tell him everything.

Fang's jaw clinched. He got a pair of scissors and started to cut the rest of the shirt off me. "Sorry. Hope you didn't really want it," he said.


So there I was, only in my bra and blood. My best friend and the love of my life cleaning up the blood thinking I hated him. And my body was still unable to move although it clinched and shook when ever another wave of cramping and pain took over.

I started to cry. The tears fell silently from my eyes. This sucks, just sucks. Nothing ever goes right. I can't move. I'm probably loosing this child and it seems I've already lost Fang. Pain, so much of it. So much worse than before.

When Fang finished he placed a light sheet over my naked body. Thanks. He then sat next to the bed again, held my hand and just looked at me. He didn't speak. I tired to communicate with him, I did, but nothing happened. Tears just dropped and my nose started to burn. He slowly wiped them away from my face and continued to sit there.

After what seemed like hours the doorbell rang. Fang rapidly blinked away his thoughts and stood up slowly. He rubbed my hand and placed it back on the bed.

"It's Anne." He walked to the bedroom door and stood with his hand on the knob. He turned back towards me, "I hope it's the right thing to do. I hope… if its not, if things go bad and she takes you….. I'm sorry, Max. I love you." And he walked out leaving me sick with fear.

She's here, she's back. Is she good, I don't know. I ran from her and the others only to have her come back. She now knows where the flock lives. Oh, God. Fang exposed them all to save me. Again, how did he know about her? Damn.

I heard the front door creak open and female voice boomed over the silence, "WHERE IS SHE!"

25. Through Dark there is Light

Arg! Okay. So here is the other chapter I promised. I wrote this late at night again and I can honestly say that I don't have anymore after this at this moment in time. I will type up the other chapters when I'm away at home. I should get several done. Again, I will not be posting for about a week, so forgive the tardiness.

Another thing: I have gotten several comments about how this story is similar to others on the main page. Well, look at the publishing date and see who wrote their story first. I did. I don't really care if others are taking my ideas, I have more important things to worry about. I DO read these other stories and yes, I definitely see the likeness. But most are going off on their own plot lines and I guarantee that mine is heading in a different direction. So if some of those people are still reading this, it's OKAY. I'm kinda flattered. But you'll loose your creativity if you don't take your own chances with these characters. Perhaps they can improve on this story with theirs, its doubtful though.

Sorry I went off on a tangent but I just want people to know that this entire story that is separate from JP's stuff comes from my own deranged, weird, manic, flippant head. I have so many odd stories floating around up there it's scary. I'm 21, in college and getting a minor in English so give me some credit. (All my mistakes in this story are blamed on lack of sleep and stupidity)

So, enjoy my friends.


Chapter 29.

I heard the front door creak open and a female voice boomed over the silence, "WHERE IS SHE!"

I swallowed hard. It was Anne. I recognized her voice immediately.

A few seconds later Fang opened my door and came in followed by Anne and a young guy dressed in white. He looked vaguely familiar.

"My God," Anne whispered as she came up to the bed. She turned to Fang, "Can she move?"

He shook his head and came around my other side and took my hand. "Save her," was all he said. He looked brutal.

Anne looked at my face and smile softly, "Every things going to be alright. I'm here now." Her face dropped back into a state of shock and fear. Anne quickly lifted back the sheet and removed some of the towels to inspect my wounds. She then felt around my stomach which caused pain and I hissed.

Fang squeezed my hand and I noticed he never took his eyes off of Anne.

She reached her hand back to the other guy who placed a big black bag in it. She took out different vials of clear liquid in small glass bottles reading the labels. She also took out a needle.

If I wasn't already horizontal I might have just past out. Needles, I hate needles. No matter how many times they were used on me I'll never get use to them.

Anne started to fill the needle up with several amounts of several vials. She was also barking orders to the guy who scrambled with another bag pulling out other medical objects. I already had panic rushing through my body but the sight of the needle was making it boil.

She flicked the needle and squirted it a little, clear liquid flew across the room. I started to hyperventilate. She looked back at me her own eyes wide and she took a deep breath.

"This should stop the bleeding." Her hand rose above my stomach aiming below my belly button. My breaths started to come out in wheezes.

Fangs hand shot out and grabbed Anne's. "If this doesn't work…. You'll regret ever living." His eye's were blood thirsty, it frighten me almost as much as the needles.

"You called me, remember." Anne's short retort held firm and her face never wavered. Fang released her hand and she stuck the needle in fast injecting it even faster.

When she finished she looked at me a little frightened. She still held the needle in her hand and looked down at it like she never seen it before.

"Please let this work," she pleaded.

The three people in the room were staring at me waiting for any type of reaction. I felt a warm sensation rush through my body. It was comforting at first but then it turned annoyingly warm. It felt like a heating blanket turned up high. The warmth increased until it became hot…. really hot. Excruciatingly hot.

It hurt, it felt like my body was on fire. Sweat started pouring from my head. My breathing became erratic. Fire… fire, pure fire. What did she do? My toes burned my nose burned. I could feel every piece of the hair on my head burning. The sheets rubbing against my skin made the burning sensation worse adding friction. Anne's fingers were on my wrist checking my pulse which was racing.

"Anne, what the hell did you do!" Fang shouted as he took in my appearance.

"Wait… just wait. It should work." She begged her breath becoming faster as well.

She turned to the guy in white and repeated, "It should work, right?" The guy nodded frantically.

It wasn't working. It felt like the blood leaving my body now was pure fire escaping. I gasped air as a new wave of pain crashed down below my waist.

"Damit!" Anne yelled. She grabbed her bag and rushed down to the end of the bed. She yanked the sheet and pushed up my legs until my knees were up in the air.

"Give me another needle and the gauze and retractor and the Augmitosin bottle," Anne prattled at the guy who was handing her the requested objects.

I felt more pricks and even more burning. Tears gushed from my eyes.

Knock me out! What can you just knock me out! I shouted in my head.

"Anne..," Fang warned. "Fix it! FIX IT NOW!" His shout reverberated through out the house.

Anne continued to scramble and I could see worry and fright on her face. I didn't care, my body felt engulfed.

Then as soon as I thought I would burn to death the heat and pain stopped. It rushed out just as fast as it rushed in. It was an amazing feeling and my stomach stopped hurting instantly. My pulse slowed and relief flooded Anne's face.

"There," she whispered. She returned by my side wiping her bloody hands on a towel. "that should do it." She went back to the towels and after cleaning me up with them she let out a weak laugh. "No more bleeding. No more… oh Lord."

She looked like she was going faint. She touched my knee and smiled with tears in her eyes.

Fang had his eyes closed and bent to rest his head against mine. I could feel his sigh of relief as his breath shook.

Okay. So… no more bleeding. My own relief was mostly due to the relief from pain. But not bleeding to death was a welcoming comfort. I still couldn't move though. I tried to move again but still nothing.

Anne was back in her black bag getting other vials out. She came back quickly with another needle. Good grief.

"This should loosen your muscles so you can move," she said as Fang lifted his head from mine and glared at her.

This time I didn't shutter at the needle. The needle was my friend, especially if it gave me back mobility. She stuck in my arm and again I felt the liquid as it moved through my body rapidly. It kinda hurt…. nothing should pass through a person that fast but the effect was almost immediate.

I wiggled my fingers and slowly turned my head to Fang. He was wide eyed and his own fingers tightened around mine.

"Move your toes, Max." Anne ordered. I did but my eyes never left Fang's.

"Try to speak," she commanded.

I licked my lips and opened my mouth, "I… I'm sorry." I slurred to Fang as tears rushed down.

His breathing hardened and his nose flared. He kissed my forehead but his face was still passive.

Anne was taking my pulse and blood pressure when I turned back to her. The guy was next to her taking blood from the thigh vein. I didn't even feel the prick of the needle.

Anne stared at Fang and I, something passing over her face. She looked warn out like the rest of us. I guess receiving a threat from Fang would worry just about anybody. "Clean her up." She directed at Fang.

"She's stabilized." She started to put things back in her bag. "I still need to do test," she held up the tube of my blood, "Do you have a room we could set our equipment up at?"

"Yeah… the room around the corner." Fang spoke. He rubbed his eyes with his free hand.

"Okay." She nodded. Anne stood there for a second looking at me. I felt like I grew a third eye or something.. This will help you sleep. You shouldn't move for a few hours, your body needs to heal." Anne said tiredly. She grabbed another needle and went to put it in my shoulder. "We need to find a sonogram so we can see if the child survived."

"Wait, you mean it didn't work?" Fang asked.

Anne squared her shoulders and held her head up. "We saved Max. That was our first priority. It now depends on how much blood she lost if the child is still alive."

I gulped and closed my eyes. Realization came crashing down. I didn't want this child to die. I was scared but…. it's not the baby's fault. I squeezed Fangs hand and watched as Anne and the other man left.

My face was turning red as I felt Fang's gaze linger on me. He hates me and has every right to. I didn't want to look at him. I didn't want him to see my face. I didn't want to see his.

He silently released my hand and grabbed the wet rag and went back to cleaning my legs and stomach. We didn't talk to one another. I barley looked at him. He managed to change the sheets with out moving me too much and he helped me into one of his large shirts. He noticed I winced a lot at even the smallest of movements and he tried to lessen them.

He kicked the towels into a pile and my nerves finally gave up. I had no idea exactly what to say but I had to say something.

" Fang." I whispered. He stopped with his back to me. "I know you're mad at me."

"I'm livid." He interjected. His voice was rough and I could see his wings twitch.

"And you have every right to be. I messed up." I bit my lip, well tried to. It tasted like a balloon since it was so swollen.

He turned to face me. "You more than messed up, Max. You almost killed yourself and the verdict is still out on our child." His voice trembled as he brought up the baby.

"I know," I cried. "I know. I was scared… I wasn't thinking…. You should be mad. You should hate me and I know --."

"What in the hell were you scared of?" he asked behooved.


"Me, wha—" he looked like he was just slapped.

"Yes, you." I tried to use my hands for effect but they still hurt. My broken writs was wrapped and I couldn't move it.

"How were you scared of me! You couldn't tell me you were pregnant because you were frightened of me!" He rolled his eyes completely pissed.

"You were exactly thrilled about Faith so excuse me for not telling you about another child when your just getting used to the first one!" I shouted back at him.

He stopped cold and gave me a blank stare. I continued on my tirade.

"I was going to tell you. I was confused, I just found out I was pregnant. I didn't know. I did not know how you were going to react, I didn't know how the flock was going to take it, I… just…didn't… know! I don't want to cause any more trouble than I already am—," I was cut off by a shake of his head.

"You are no trouble and this was important. You have to stop keeping secrets from me because you think I can't handle it or you think it would cause more trouble. It has to end NOW!" he came up beside my bed and dropped down on his knees. The pain medication was wearing off and I shifted my weight to try to ignore the pain.

"Max, there is only so much I can do for you. Only so much I can do on my side of this. You need to trust me, trust our family." He paused and let out a small laugh, " I was so angry with you earlier I thought I would have to leave the room. I still think I might, but you have to get it through your thick blond head…. if we're not honest with one another it can only lead to bad news."

He took my good hand again turned it over and kissed the palm.

" I don't deserve you," I whispered.

He gave me another heart melting, soul pounding look and rose to his feet. "I'm need to leave before I say something I'll regret. Sleep some. When you wake up, we'll ask Anne what exactly the hell is going on."

I nodded my head. My heart felt his distance but I knew he needed to think. I was really stupid and he's trying to forgive me. I'm lucky he's even doing that.

"Hey, Fang." My interests piped at one detail. "How did you know about the baby….. and about calling Anne." I could feel the sleep medicine start to take effect. "Please tell me."

He looked at me for a second, perhaps questioning whether or not to tell me. He sucked his teeth and glanced down at the floor. "The voice told me." He muttered glancing back up to me.

"Huh? My voice told you that?" I asked. My eyes were drooping.

"No, Max. My voice told me. I have one now too." He grabbed an ice pack from the side table and placed it on my face. "Here, for the swelling. I'll explain later, try to sleep." He turned and left the room.

26. Deathly Ultimatums

Here guys! Hope you like it. Classes start for me next week so these may come slower. Thanks again for the reviews.

Let me know what you think about this chapter. What would you do in this situation?


BTW… I'm promoting one of my favorite book series… Most of ya have read the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. If you haven't I encourage it. If you like MR then you will LOVE Twilight. Then the sequels are New Moon and Eclipse. Please check them out if you haven't.


Chapter 30.

You know those out of body experiences. The ones where you lift out of yourself and float a little bit in the air and then calmly sway back into your body. Your able to see around you, see yourself and those who are in the room with you.

Well, I sort of had one of those moments. Except there was nobody in the room with me and my body was flying all over the place and NOT with the use of my wings. I saw myself as I rose up, like really saw my body and stuff. And let me tell you, I wasn't very pretty laying there. I looked like I could've been dead. For a minute I let my mind wonder around the possibility of me being dead. But that was eased when I saw my chest rise and fall. Hey, breathing equals alive.

I felt calm. An odd calmness, kinda eerie. I wasn't in any pain and I felt…. happy. Almost relieved. Like everything that had been a problem before or a hindrance had ceased. It was almost a Peter Pan feeling, no growing up, no worries.

Then I started moving. Like a damned popped balloon weaving around in chaotic formations. I flew around the room for a bit, it made me a little giddy. Then I shot through the side wall and into the hallway. I spun around down the narrow hallway, even my floaty self was getting a little nauseous. I knew where I was heading before my body slung me there. I stopped abruptly out side Fang's office.

Okay body, what now. Am I supposed to knock? I debated doing just that for a second but then my body, in reply, pushed me through the closed door and I hovered in the air staring down at the three people who just saved my life.

"How long will she be out?" Fang asked. He sat back in his chair glaring at Anne who sat across from him.

"Umm… it depends." She responded. She turned to the other man who was standing over a microscope set up on a green card table in the back corner of the room. "How long, Guy?"

The man turned around looking somewhat flustered. "She will be asleep for however long her body needs to heal. She'll have zones. Enter in and out of consciousness." He paused and swallowed the lump forming in his throat. His huge Adams apple bobbled around.

Fang stared at him and grimaced, "Her body heals fast."

"Yes I know that. Externally she will be fine in about five days. But her internal wounds…. we have no idea at how severe they are." The man coughed out. He looked back at Anne who had her head lowered and turned to continue with his slide.

Some time passed with Fang shooting deathly looks towards the miniscule man and Anne who was still focusing on her folded hands.

A huff escaped Fang and he agitatedly stood up. "She was beat up by some guys…. She had worse. What--."

"It's different." Anne whispered. She looked up at Fang and I thought I saw her eyes brimming with tears. Wow, Anne has a heart, or at least tear ducts.

"How?" Fang demanded through clinched teeth. His fists were balled up and I could feel the tension rolling off him. I would not want to be a physical presence in that room just then.

"I… I should really wait until she's awake and… tell you all then." she spoke. "There are more factors to take into consideration besides her reckless fight." She rubbed her head with her hands, I could see exhaustion hitting her face.

"Other factors… like her pregnancy." Fang mumbled. He was looking out the window still behind his desk. He slowly stretched out his wings, not thinking about it as he did so. I knew when he was in deep thought he unconsciously did this, I got whacked a few times when we were younger during heated games of chess.

"That's part of it….. a big part." Anne leaned her head back against the chair. She closed her eyes and a few tears fell down her cheek.


"I never thought it would get this far," Anne slurred. Sleep shadowing her. "I just…. I just wanted to help." Her head was haphazardly shaking back and forth rolling along the chair. More tears were quietly streaming down her face. "Then they had you, all of you. They only needed her…. but they got greedy." She sniffed and wiped her still closed eyes.

Fang's look of confusion and bewilderment was, I'm sure, a reflection of my own. The man named 'Guy' had stopped what he was doing and looking at Anne too. She continued on with her weepy confession.

"I shouldn't have done it…. No, no. I tried to fix it. We both did, you know. But they knew and they fought us." She paused, swallowed, took a deep breath and continued. "Then their damn idea of a copy," she snorted a weak laugh, "Nothing can beat the original, can it." She looked up at Fang who's eyes showed no emotion and who's body was strung so tight it looked about to snap. "But it worked. She did it. We did it." Her tone was almost zombie like, it was freaking me out a little. "We should be punished, I should…. But I swear it was the right thing. At the time at least it seemed so. So beautiful, such a shame. I shouldn't have done it. Two wrongs don't make a right. I shouldn't have done it. At least she wouldn't have been here if I didn't. You all, maybe, but not her."

"Anne…" Fang spoke slowly trying to coax her out of whatever psychotic state she was in.

Anne glanced up at Fang again and smiled softly. "So you see, nothing is as it seems. You make one mistake, even if you thought it was for the best and it can ruin so much."

Yeah, I understood that completely. Story of MY life!

Seeing Anne break down was almost too much for me, I could tell Fang was clueless at what to do, and that poor guy in the corner, yeah, his jaw dropped several feet but he continued with his little science experiment a.k.a. my blood.

Fang was starting to say something but I felt the tug at my middle signaling another round of Frisbee me.

No! Not now, I want to know what she's talking about. I know it's about me. Come on floaty body thingy… just a little longer.

Oh, it so did not listen. It jerked me away from the office and I flew erratically for a few seconds in the hallway before I flew back into Fang's bedroom and plummeted right into my body.

Ouch! Gentle out of body experience my ass. More like a roller coaster on speed.

What was all that she's talking about? Seriously. What is Fang saying to her? I need answers. And I need them now.

My eyes were still closed and my body while I could move it, was dreadfully painful to do so. I heard this humming noise and what sounded like choppy and disgruntle voices. Familiar voices. Trying to whisper and failing miserably. I couldn't help but internally laugh at their banter.

"Is it in yet?"

"Yes I think so."

"Are you sure you know what your doing? Here let me hold it."

"No! Hey, who's the non-blind one here, uh!"

"I could still fly it better than you, I built the stupid thing."

"Yes, now let me fly it…. You know, you could have made it less ugly looking. Like, add colorful wings or something to it."

"What! Are you serious. Yes, because that was my main priority. To make the camera look good. Now don't hit her in the head!"

"Well, if your going to disguise it as a dragonfly it should at least LOOK like a dragonfly! And I'm not going to hit her anywhere so chill out."

"You know what, Gazzy never argues with my ideas!"

"Uh-hu. And you two always end up blowing something up. And I would rather it not be our home! Don't fling that branch at me. It's bad enough you have me sitting in the bushes, I don't need to be manhandled by the shrubbery."

"Psh, that's beside the point. And I'm not hitting you with bush branches. Damn woman! And… and the whole idea of the dragonfly camera is to see if Max is okay and what is less conspicuous? A small bug—,"

"Metallic clunky loud bug."

"Fine, metallic bug or a large oversized bird?"

"Wha—What! Large.. who are you calling large, buddy?"

"Oh geeze, Nudge…"

"I'll have you know that while I may be the tallest girl in my grade I am also one of skinniest, well maybe not the skinniest, but one of the best looking girls when it comes to body shape. I am not a large bird! I have some of the best body proportions out there and if you had any sight at all you would see that…"

"I could care less about your body proportions or whatever--."

"That is sooo not what you said the other ni--."

"Shh, will you keep your voice down, girl!"

I had just about enough of Iggy and Nudges flirtatious rapture. I slowly and painfully stretched out my arms and grunted loudly. Ouch wrist! My eyes were able to open somewhat. The swelling already lessening around my face.

"Hey did you hear that?" Nudge said.

I saw her poke her head up through the window in the corner.

"Nudge?" I murmured.

Busted she bobbed the rest of herself up and I could see she had a controller of some sort in one hand and Ig's shirt collar in her other. He came up beside her. Both looked a little sheepish and apologetic.

I looked up towards the ceiling and saw what appeared to be a metallic cigarette box with wings attached to it. Amazing. I watched it continuously fly up into the ceiling with a small thud and lower a few feet hovering and then shooting back up to the ceiling again.

No wonder Iggy was having issues.

I looked back at the two peepers, "What are you guys doing here?" I asked.

Nudge sighed and climbed through the window, Iggy gracefully following her. "We.. wanted to check on you. You know… see if…" She looked at Ig really quick who was just staring at my voice's general area.

"We wanted to know if you lived." He blurted out.

"Oh, really callous Iggy!" Nudge moaned and swatted at his chest.

"What? We were worried. Really worried. I mean you had Anne come here to help you. Out of all the devious maggots, Fang has to call her!" Iggy shrugged.

I gave a slight smile and tried to push myself up more on the bed. My body protested still achy in most areas.

"Um.. well as you can see I'm alive and kickin. Well, maybe not the kickin part." I winced. "Where are you guys staying at? Is Faith and Angel okay?"

"Yeah, everybody's fine. Gazzy, Angel and Faith are at Jess's." Ig stated.

I let out a moan in response to Jess. I know I should give her a chance but things are still awkward. And I don't trust many people with my baby.

Iggy noticed the noise and threw his hands in the air, "Now I know you don't like her but her place is safe and Anne doesn't know about it and Jess is hell with a gun! So…. it's all cool."

I rolled my eyes and stretched out my arm to swat at Iggy. Wrong idea, my muscles protested and I grunted from the pain.

Nudge, who had remained silent for far too long jumped up with concern.

"Oh, Max. What can we do to help? Anything at all, just ask and we'll do it. Or we'll find someone to do it. I still can't believe you fought all of them. Wow, Max. You're so brave and kinda foolish but that's you." Nudge said softly as she rushed to my side and tried to comfort me, smoothing out the blankets and trying to fluff my pillow with my head still resting on it.

I waved her overzealous hands away, "You want to help Nudge?" I said sleepy. She nodded her head and I paused thinking, "You and Iggy look out for the others. Fang and I, incase you didn't notice have issues to take care of…. I think I've brought more trouble since coming here….. I'm sorry guys."

Ig let out a grunt and rolled his eyes, "Not this again!"

"Max, you're no trouble at all. How can you say that?" Nudge questioned. "You and Faith are our family. Now our family is complete!"

"And our family is going to be two less unless the both of you leave… NOW," Fang was standing in the door way eyeing the two intruders, not happy.

Ig and Nudge jumped back surprised but Iggy crossed his brow and motioned towards me with his hand, "We are not done checking on her yet. We still have some concerns."

Nudge moved more behind Iggy trying to get away from Fang's expression. "Let's not ask right now Igg." She mumbled.

"Ask what?" I piped. I looked at Fang who was staring at me. I could see two other people behind him in the hallway.

"I really think we should leave now," Nudge protested but Iggy stood his ground. Nudge tried to take his hand again but he grabbed her wrists and held her firmly in place.

"No," Iggy whispered. "We have a right to know. They've already invited the enemy into our house I think we deserve to know why." His face was still gazing towards Fang, his blue eyes cool and focused, amazing for a blind boy.

"Iggy, don't. Can't you see this can wait?" Nudge objected. With out turning his head Iggy held a finger to her lips to silence her.

I was getting anxious. "What the hell is the question?" I shouted. My lips cracked and I could taste the blood. Perfect.

"Is she pregnant again?" Ig directed the question to Fang.

Both Fang and I stopped breathing and Fang's eyes widened a fraction. His gazed shifted between me and Ig. Nudge dropped her head into the space between Iggy's wings obviously frustrated.

Silence was followed by my slow breathing out. "How did you find out?"

"I overheard Fang's conversation with Anne last night." Ig said. "It would explain a lot if it were true."

"Well," I started, "It's true. I am pregnant….. again."

Fang closed his eyes for a second and when he opened them I saw emotions floating on the top.

Nudge stole quick glances at me and bit her lip asking, "Was….it, was it in the place you were…. before?"

"Did the compound do it? Before you escaped?" Iggy asked more clearly. He turned his to me and I could see tears in his eyes.


Ig and Fang both let out a hiss of breath and Nudge shook her head slowly in Iggy's back.

"Bastards," Iggy whispered. I could see his wings shake and saw him tense.

Some moments of quiet followed as the secret was finally out in the open. I was pregnant, I was stupid for drinking, I was hurt because of it, and I brought the enemy to our doorstep.

"I think you two should leave now," Fang said calmly. His voice was so smooth I had to watch his lips to make sure it was coming from his mouth. "We need to talk to Anne and we would like it if you were with the others now."

Iggy gave a curt nod and Nudge lifted her face revealing steaks of tears. "We'll call later," she muttered as she led Iggy by the hand to the window.

She gave one more sorrowful look at me and gave a weak smile before she turned and climbed out the window. Iggy just stood for a second, feelings and emotions playing across his face. His over expressive face revealing everything he felt. He finally nodded several times again and went after Nudge.

Fang was looking at me as I looked at the window where they left. He walked across the room and shut it. The dragonfly camera fell to the ground with a crash but I barley noticed. My eyes were only on Fang.

He dragged the rocking chair over to my bed and positioned himself in it. Anne and Guy walked in and they too had two bar stools from the kitchen. They sat them down at the foot of my bed and cautiously sat in them. They looked drained and apprehensive.

"You look better. Less ground beef like." Fang said with a smirk.

I gave one back to him and looked to Anne and the other dude. Fang nodded towards them.

Anne cleared her throat, "There isn't much time. Umm… Guy," she directed her hand towards the man next to her, "he may look familiar to you."

"Yes, he does," I responded. He did but I couldn't figure out where I knew him from.

"Well, he actually worked at the compound… when you were in it." Anne swallowed as I saw Fang become tenser. I reached out my hand and rested it on his arm. Guy looked petrified on the edge of his seat incase he had to run… from Fang. "He, under orders of course, was one of the men that monitored and delivered your children. Under orders now. And he helped you escape, Max."

She started using her hands, "The reason why the compound can't find you is that your transmission signal is no longer transmitting. Your arm, Max. The chip in your arm is no longer working. See, we secretly injected the site of the chip with a silver nitrate solution. The compound had no knowledge of this. Your DNA was able to accept it in your body but the computer chip was not able to function with this… it caused the transmission waves to cease at the surface of the skin. In essence it made you invisible to them. But.. it.. it also caused your blood cells to transmute as well. It's not life threatening to you as your body has already adapted to it, but it is threatening to anything outside of your direct DNA sequence."

She looked from Fang and I expecting us catch on. We looked on, gob smacked. Anne sighed, "One of the medications you were on during your pregnancies was to counteract the side effect it was having on your body. On your baby. The compound did not know we injected you with the silver nitrate. They had no idea, so Guy had to administer extra doses of the blocker so your child would be alright. It was to allow your child to accept your blood. They had to medicate you so as to filter out the mutated blood that went to it. Unfortunately we found out that the blocker also allowed the transmissions to go through. At the time the compound knew you were with them, so they never turned on the transmission device. Don't you see, Max. You haven't had any medication since you've been pregnant. That's why your sick. And your baby is very sick as well."

Fang moved his arm to hold my hand and he squeezed it tight. "Give her the medicine then," he said.

"Yes… go ahead. I don't care if it makes me loopy… a few months of craziness is fine." I replied. This is so unbelievable. I know our whole life is insane but the extremes these people go through to get to me is unfathomable.

"Its not that easy," Anne repeated. She shook her head, "If we give you're the medication for the baby it will allow for the chip to transmit. They will surely now have the transmitter running looking for you. If we give you this medication it will be like turning on a homing beacon telling them where exactly you are."

Fang and I stared at each other for a second. So much information was being given to us, our heads were about to explode. "So, wait, what exactly are you telling me? That I need to choose? I need to choose between my child's life and exposing the flock?"

I looked on in horror as reality set in. Fang squeezed my hand tighter as a tear fell from his eye.

27. Cold, Broken Hallelujah

Hey guys. I am so beyond sorry for the late updates but I might get around on in every couple of weeks or so. But here is an uber long chapter that I hope will make up for it.

Thanks so much to everybody who are telling their friends about this fic, who continuously come back on here and who still leave me reviews. I DO read the reviews and I really appreciate every single one of them. Its amazing that I haven't updated in ver a month and new people are discovering this fic. Oh and I just discovered the C2 communities and that this fic is on some of them…that's just wow! So you guys are awesome, if it wasn't for yall I would never actually write this story down it would only go on in my head. So Woot Woot for you readers!

Oh and I didn't have time to proof this it is 4:45 am here right now. blah…

So Enjoy guys, its long and I think you'll like it.


Chapter 31.

Hell. Hell on Earth was precisely the atmosphere in the room. My mouth turned into dust. I no longer felt the aches and pains from my broken bones, only the rapture of confusion that seemed to envelope my whole body.

If I was more conscious, more aware at that moment I would have recognized the stuttering stream of nonsense escaping my mouth. I had gone into shock, not physically but mentally. A barrage of information so catastrophic to all I love just crashing in on me. And the nods coming from Anne were not helping.

I could feel Fang squeeze my hand and stand from the chair. I didn't hear what he said to the two intruders only the pounding of my heart in my head. They jumped up from their stools and quickly left the room.

Fang turned back to me and took my battered face in his hands again. He was trying to sooth me with words, I couldn't understand him. I noticed I was hyperventilating, my breaths coming out short and shallow. My chest heaved and black dots were flying across my sight.

He looked irritated when he realized I wasn't responding to him. He tried to push away my sweaty matted hair, he got the cold wash cloth again and placed it on my face. No use, I was still rapidly wheezing and mumbling incoherently. He reached back to my face and after a slight pause did something unpredictable. He bent down and covered my mouth with his.

It wasn't exactly a kiss, more like my very own personal brown paper breathing bag with a body attached to it. When I stopped breathing he breathed into me with his own breath. My head tingled with the comprehension of this. Every time I went to hastily intake a breath he stopped me with a slight inhale of his own until my breathing slowed. He slowly moved my lips apart with his own and caused me to breathe in through my nose. The new found air into my lungs was a blessing. My breathing was now at a more normal rhythm but still his lips remained on mine.

His medicated process had stopped and moved into something more substantial. More primal. More natural. My bruised face and lips never felt better against his cool soft ones. His mouth moved against mine softly obviously not wanting to damage me anymore. His hand slowly rested against my face as his fingers searched for my hair. My own claw of a hand went for a more comfortable resting place against his shoulder, bandages and all.

He withdrew his face tracing my lower swollen lip with his tongue. I let out a hiss of air and my hooded eyes struggled to focus. He looked down on me worried.

"Are you okay?" He whispered slowly drawing circles near my ear with his thumb.

I could still feel my tears on my face. "I…can't choose, Fang." I said returning right back to the situation that had me freaking in the first place. Saying those words again tore open my soul and I sunk back into the pillows with defeat.

"Don't worry, Max. We'll get through this." He rolled over and laid next to me on his side. "Just tell me your okay now?"

"How can I be okay? I was given a rather ruthless ultimatum. She's not serious is she? She can't be." Panic started to rise in me again at the thought of loosing any of the flock. Hell would freeze over and pigs would ski there before I'd let it happen. But it seems to already be getting cold.

I heard Fang swallow and he came up on his elbow over me. "Max, I'm going to be reasonable for a second. We need to first find out if the baby is even okay. If something happened and there is no longer a baby, then it narrows down your decision. …. If the baby is okay, well then, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. But in the end, Max, it is your decision. And I'll stand by whichever you pick."

I just stared up at him. His face full of fear and sadness. "The baby's alive. I know it is." I said, my voice taking more control.

Fang looked at me and slowly nodded. "Okay, well just to make sure I already called Jess and she's bringing over a sonogram later tonight."

"Why did you have to tell her? Bring her into this?" I bellowed. I pushed his hand away from my hair.

He let out a sigh, "I know you don't like her. But come on, Max, she's a nurse and she's really really good at her job and she has access to equipment that not even Anne and that weird guy have! We need her. You need her, the baby will need her."

I grunted, he was right. I turned to look in his eyes, "Do you even want this baby?" My words were sharp.

He rolled his eyes, "Do you? You seem to be self destructive at this moment."

"You tell me since you can feel everything about me. Do I want this child? You should let me know so I won't have to make the decision." I could feel my body getting warmer and I kicked off the blankets.

He paused for a moment taking in the acid ness of my voice. I could tell he was thinking on how to respond and when he opened his mouth his voice was ever so calm. "Max, you know I'm blocking you out and even when I slip all I'm getting from you is mixed feelings. You're scared, angry, confused, joyful and even on occasion amusingly aroused."

My face turned deep red and I would love live in a whole right now. And he continued on.

"I'm accounting the fact that you're pregnant to explain your moodiness and assuming or at least hoping that you're turned on by me so no, Max, I can't tell what your feelings are for the baby, I can't even tell what your feelings are period!" He got up from the bed and started to pace around it.

"Well, I want this baby!" I shouted to him.

He swung around and shouted right back, "And I want it to, dammit!"

There, we both said it. I could hardly believe I said it. But as soon as those words came out of my mouth I knew in my heart they were true. I did want this child, I wanted all of them. Every one of them even the one's that didn't survive I wanted because they were part of me. They were part of Fang.

The two of us just looked at each other. I could see in his eyes he was relieved that I wanted this child as much as he did.

"I guess we're at a stalemate then." I whispered. We didn't have any solutions.

Seconds passed. Then a thought popped in, "Does your voice have any ideas? Mine is staying quiet." I asked.

He stopped walking, "You know what, mine stopped talking to me too. Truthfully it's more annoying than anything else." He glanced out the window.

"Welcome to my world," I mumbled.

"Wait," Fang practically shouted. He came to my side his eyes wide with anticipation, "Your chip! The one in your arm."

"Yeah," I agreed not having any idea, "the only one I got. Its still there, apparently making things difficult, hence why we're here."

He grunted, "No, I mean yes, the chip is why we are here… so can we get rid of the chip?" His voice was gaining enthusiastic momentum.

I gasped at his idea. It was so simple, so easy, so… wait, "You now want me to get rid of the chip! You practically skinned me alive the last time I tried to get it out."

"Last time your life and our child's life weren't in immediate danger. And we can have doctors do it and it just might work." He was looking so relieved and almost happy a smile broke out across my face.

"Okay, so we get the chip out, I take the medication and we have this baby and everything's fine." I replied. I sounded easy, too easy. It would never work.

He bent down and kissed my forehead, his lips felt so good against my skin.


"Absolutely not!" Anne shouted.

Fang had just retrieved the both of the to tell them of our genius plan. Apparently it didn't go over to well with them.

"And why not!" Fang asked. He was sitting on the foot of my bed placing himself in between me and Anne. My protector without even realizing it.

Anne pushed her hair out of her face. She looked exhausted. "Its dangerous. The chip is to far in, the surgery would be risky and you could--,"

"Loose the use of my arm or worse. Yes, we know this already. But it's the only way to save both the flock from being exposed and this child." I replied.

Anne closed her eyes and clamped her hands together in frustration, she let out a sigh, "Max, let me try to reason with you. It would ….to everyone's best interest if you just allow us to terminate this pregnancy."

"What no!" I shouted back.

"It's unnatural, it was never suppose to happen—,"

"Hell no, its my baby." My voice was high.

"Technically, Max, it's the labs baby. It wasn't--,"

"It doesn't matter.."

"It wasn't even naturally conceived! MAX!" She stopped my arguing coming over to me and kneeling next to the bed. She grabbed my non-broken hand. Fang never left my side and using all his willpower to stay nonviolent.

Anne looked pleading and her eyes were filling with desperate worry. She spoke fast and earnestly, "You have no idea how much this is endangering your life. We would have to wait at least another month for the fetus to be strong enough to survive your surgery and by then you'd both be in so much pain and… and…" She struggled for words, "I don't know if the both you would survive! Max, please, be smart, be realistic! You could have other children that aren't genetically challenged!"

Her words were falling on deaf ears. I slid my hand out of hers. "Are you done?" I asked coolly. "It doesn't matter, we are going to do this."

"Max," she started gulping air and tears.

"Why do you care so much?" I shot at her. I really wanted to know. What is her deal, does she really feel this guilty for all she's done.

Anne stood up and tried to compose herself some what. "You don't understand…. You have no idea."

"Enlighten me." I said blandly.

She struggled for a minute then looked up at Fang, " I need to speak to Max alone." That got a adamant no from him. Well, more like a hell no.

But I knew she was going to tell me something important. Its that feeling you get, that little buzz you sense with that nervousness of excitement. And the only way I'd get it out of her was to talk to her… alone.

"Don't worry," I assured Fang. "She won't do anything to me or our child. She knows you'll kill her if she does." I added that last part to see Anne's pale face grow whiter.

Fang slowly got up and left the room with the Guy fellow. Fang gave me a look as he approached the door way letting me know he'd be right outside the door if I needed him.

When the door closed I turned my restless gaze on Anne. "Okay, speak. Why the hell do you give a damn all of a sudden? Grow a conscience?"

She winced as sagged onto the bed, "Max, I care for you all so much. I care for you more than you realize."

"You have one heck of a way of showing it, lady."

"It never was suppose to get this far. Things went bad, very bad." She shook her head in disbelief. "I am so sorry, Max. If I knew what they were going to do to you I would have never volunteered."

"What are you talking about?" I raised my voice, "You and Jeb did this. You two were in charge, where you not?"

"Yes, but I never knew… we only thought it was to secure the world's future. We were doing what we thought was best!" She was sounding on the verge of hysterics.

"You are making no sense. You said you cared for us but you took us from our families, you make us into FREAKS, you almost had me killed, all of us killed! And yet you claim to CARE for us!" I was yelling at her now not caring about the tears on her cheek or the ones on mine.

I was not allowing her to make all she did to us seem justifiable.

"I do care for you. I love you more than you know… Max… don't you see! You've always known." She sniffed back tears and took my hand again. "You've known why you are so special, why you've felt a connection with Jeb and even Ari…. and me."

My head started to rapidly shake. No, I did not want to hear this.

"Max, I am so sorry. I've failed at this. I tired to make it up when we were all in D.C.. I tired so hard. I was so amazed when I first saw you. They wouldn't let me see you when Jeb took you out. I didn't know how much you looked…" She smiled weakly.

I knew this was coming, I knew this…

"Anne," I whispered through my tears, "Who. Are. You?" But I already knew. And that made me feel sick.

Her smile became sad and her eyes welled up, "I'm your mother, Max. I'm your mother and Jeb is your father."

"No," I gasped. "No freakin way." I jerked my hand free like it was on fire.

"I know it's a little hard to comprehend," She looked a little scared of me.

"Ugh, you think!" I felt like vomiting. Oh, this has got to be one of the worst moments of my life.

"My God, Anne! It's like telling me my mom is the Wicked Witch of the freakin West!" I rolled away from Anne and tried to get out of bed. My body strongly disagreed with the suggestion.

"I'm not that bad, Max," she huffed, "I did save your life and I've tried to make things right.."

"Only AFTER you put me and mine in these life threatening situations," I squawked. I was holding on to the bed spread allowing the rush of pain to ease around my legs and ribs.

I am not going to cry, I am not going to cry…. So my mom's a crazy scientists that's tried to kill me several times. That ran over and over in my head as Anne tried to speak again.

"I'm not perfect."

"Understatement!" I shot back. I can not believe this. I felt like fainting but dropping in front of mommy dearest was so not going happen.

She stood up and took on a more assertive demeanor. "But you have to understand. I can not and will not allow you to have this surgery. I am trying to turn over a new page and I won't watch you do something that could kill you!"

My scoffing noise made her stop, "Oh please, save it, Anne. You can not pick now to become my mother, I am 18 years old and you would be my last choice if I ever wanted one. And who the hell does what you did to their child." I made baby step towards the door holding on to the bed post and other furniture. "I would rather die than see anything happen to Faith, or to any of the flock for that matter… oh, well, what do ya know, Anne, I pretty much did…and at the hands of my OWN MOTHER!" I yelled sarcastically.

She threw her hands in the air and her voice was wailing, "Fine! Fine, hate me, Max. Hate me for all that it's worth." She came up to me as I was almost at the door, " but please let me help you."

"Get out of my way," I growled through clinched teeth.

"I have made mistakes and have lived everyday knowing the major consequences for my actions. It has torn my heart apart knowing what horrible messes this has made. But I'm only trying to save my child!" She expressed clutching her chest.

I inhaled deeply and tried not to see the similarities between the two of us standing so close. "Anne,"

"After so many years of screwing up, I am trying to save my child," she repeated again.

"Anne, so am I."

And with that I pushed her out of the way and yanked open the door to see Fang standing right behind it. From the look on his face I could tell he heard everything.

"Get her out," I told him motioning to Anne behind me.

"Max," he started to say. I knew he was going to say something apologetic or sympathetic, I didn't want either.

"Now," I ordered.

He stood looking at Anne. I wondered if he was really going to use physical force to get her out. I hoped Anne thought he would, maybe it would scare her into leaving the house for good.

As Anne was exiting the room she turned to the both of us, "I'm not doing the surgery. I won't kill my daughter." She turned and marched into the office.

"Then we'll find someone who will," I said back. My voice held so much hatred for her and for Jeb I wanted to scream and explode with it.

"I want her out of the house, Fang." I grimaced as I clutched the door frame.

Fang just stroked my hair with his hand. "I'll take care of it."

But he didn't have to. Another minute later and both Anne and the freak in white had their bags packed and were out in the hall.

"We're staying at this hotel. I figured we all need to cool down." Anne handed Fang a card with the hotel information on it. "I'll be back tomorrow, I'm not leaving. We still need to watch her. There is another syringe of the medicine cocktail you need to give to her tonight. It's on your desk. And watch for bleeding."

Her orders to Fang left him dumbfounded. He was on the edge his face showing him not knowing whether to listen to her for my safeties sake or to kick her out of the house and tell her never to return. My well being won out.

We both watched silently as they left the house. As soon as the car was heard driving away the house already seemed lighter and airier. I could breathe easier. I turned to Fang still by my side and he hugged me. I guess we both needed it more than we thought for I clung to him like a drowning person to a life raft. I inhaled his smell wanting to immerse myself with it. I wanted to forget everything that just happened.

"I'm so sorry, baby." Fang murmured into my hair. "I know how much you wanted good parents."

I snorted, "I would have settled for non-homicidal." I looked up at him. "I don't even think I'm accepting it. It could be another lie for all we know. They like lies."

He breathed in a sigh and his arms tightened around me, "Yeah, but I highly doubt she was lying about this one." He slowly started to rock us back and forth in the middle of the hallway.

"I know. I should have seen it, I should have known." I slurred. "But that chip is coming out. It's coming out and we are going to have our baby."

He stopped and slowly untangled himself from me, "I heard what she said. It could be dangerous for you Max."

"We've had dangerous before." I stated. Why did he question this, he was all for it before?

"Yeah, we have, but the unborn child has not and surgery could be life threatening to the baby." He laid his hand on my stomach.

"We're going to be fine." I assured him and reached up on my toes to kiss his mouth.

He quickly responded back by wrapping my hair around in his fist and pulling my face in closer. He turned with me and I felt the wall against my wings. I felt his body press mine into the wall as our mouths devoured one another. I put the fingers of my good hand into his belt loops and pulled his waist into my own for pure satisfaction. I could feel the burn in my body, that mixture between fire and ice that left me helpless. I felt is spread through my bones and stir in the pit of my stomach, it climbed up my chest and into my throat.

I pushed Fang away and ran into the bathroom as what I thought was lust ended up being dry heaves and morning sickness.

I felt him behind me pulling my hair out of the way as I heaved everything in my stomach and then some. He pressed a cool cloth against the back of my neck with felt like heaven. After a few minutes to make sure nothing else surprised me he helped me stand up.

"Wow, that was impressive," He chuckled as he wiped my face with the cloth.

"Thanks," I muttered back. He handed me mouth wash in a cup. My eye brows rose in question.

"So I can kiss you without tasting that," he pointed towards the toilet. I let out a smile and brushed my teeth quickly using the mouth wash as well.

"So you wanna kiss me now?" I asked as we both walked back into his room.

"Every chance I get," He replied.

We both looked in his room at the mess all around. The extra towels in the corner, the skewed sheets and medical trash from Anne's black bag. The whole place looked dreadful and felt stuffy and dirty.

I ended up in the living room the rest of that afternoon, relaxing, watching tv and sleeping. Even though my feelings for Anne borderline murder she was right. The more I slept the better my body felt, especially my stomach.

Fang spent it cleaning up his room, doing laundry, changing sheets and keeping me company on the couch. We were both folding towels and sheets when we heard Jess come in through the front door.

"Doesn't she knock?" I whispered to Fang as he stood up.

He grinned and bent down to kiss my ear, "Be nice." He whispered back.

"Okay," Jess said, "I brought the sonogram. Hell, getting it out of the institute. Fang you'll have to get it out of the car, it weighs a ton." She came into the living room and sat opposite me in the recliner. Fang went on outside to get the machine that would determine everything.

Jess stared at me for a second, "So, you're pregnant I gather."

"Yes, we hope so," I replied back still trying to fold a hand towel. I learned I'm horrible at folding things that aren't square.

"Uh.." she sighed, "Did you get pregnant by that place you were at or did you meet a guy after you escaped? Is the father the same as Faith's? I'm sorry, I'm asking too many questions aren't I."

I clenched my teeth. I didn't want to tell her anything but I also didn't want her to think I was some type of floozy.

"I didn't meet a guy," was all I said smooth and calmly.

"Oh. I'm sorry," she replied. She stayed silent for a few more seconds, "Well, its wonderful that Fang and the others are excited and accepting about the baby."

My head jerked up at her blunt remark. My eyebrows rose to their full extent as I waited for what ever else she was going to say.

"Especially Fang, he seemed to take a great interest in the baby. That shows how great he is." She babbled on. I could tell she was nervous and surprised at me being pregnant.

"Yeah, Fang is really great. I'm happy he's okay with this baby." I replied back.

"Yep," Jess added, "He's really stepping up, he's already like the other kids dad so I'm sure he'll have no problem being the father figure for not only Faith but for the other one," she motioned to my stomach.

"That's because I am the father of Faith," Fang responded from the door.

I gasped from his sudden appearance and Jess seemed to have jumped a foot from the chair. She now looked like she was being strangled.

"Y—you're the father?" She wheezed out. "Bu—bu—but how?"

"Evil scientists, remember," I replied softly. Jess really looked in pain and it pained me to see her like this.

She blinked several times, "Oh.. and this baby… then…"

"Is also mine," Fang answered.

I looked to Fang. I had to wipe away the tears that were forming in my eyes. He admitted it. He took claim of both his kids. And the fact that he told the one other person that may be fighting for his affection made me want to squeal with joy, but I didn't.

He reached over and I took his hand in mine. My smile must have served its purpose because he looked over at me and gave a little wink. Another tear fell from my eye.

"The um… the uh, others must be really excited," Jess said obviously still trying to get over the shock.

"They don't know yet. At least not about me being the father, nor do Angel and Gazzy know about the other baby." Fang said pulling me up off the couch, "Then again since Ig and Nudge know I'm assuming the other's now know about Max being pregnant.

"Yes, well, I guess… we should go then and uh—uh, take a look," she stuttered as she got up from her chair.

"I placed it in my room, figure there's enough room." Fang said as he led to the bedroom where a cream color box with a small black screen and buttons sat on top of a rolling cart with more drawers and buttons and wires.

"It's a little out dated but it's the only thing the school had. It will still work and since you can't exactly go to a regular doctor it's the best we had," Jess said as she started to plug in cords and flip switches.

"Its more than fine," I said, "We're just happy that there was one we could use."

"Yeah, okay…so just lie on the bed lift up your shirt. I'm going to put this jelly type stuff around your lower abdomen." She pushed the cart over to the bed as I laid down.

I lifted up my shirt about halfway and shivered as the blue jelly hit my skin. I could see Jess's jaw widen when she took in the appearance of my stomach. Yeah, that's what war and torture do to a body.

Jess looked up, "It's a little cold, sorry. But now all we are going to do is search around using this wand and when we find a heart beat we can…." She trailed off.

Fang who was holding my hand looked up quickly, "What, is there something wrong?"

Jess was staring intensely at the monitor and continuously kept pressing buttons and moving the wand around my stomach. She looked agitated and confused.

"I—I've… eh…"she huffed and I was beginning to panic. "I can't find anything!" She whispered.

"What!" Fang and I both screamed.

"There's nothing there! I can't even see your womb. Every woman has a womb… what is this?" Jess was starting to shriek and I was getting pissed and scared. I flew up on my elbows.

"I have a womb!" I screamed, "Believe me…I know…I've had babies"

"Well, I know, I'm just telling you what the monitor is showing." She answered.

"Then the monitor is wrong!" Fang bellowed. "Look someplace else." He took the wand from Jess's hand and started to move it all around my stomach.

"Fang, you're not going to find her womb near her lungs… now please give it back. I'm going to try something." Jess looked perplexed and held her hand out to Fang.

He reluctantly gave it back to her but his eyes were a reflection of mine. Pure fear. I must have been shaking because Fang's face came down and tried to sooth me in my ear with one hand on my head stroking and the other holding my hand.

"What are you going to do?" Fang choked out.

"Well, from the amount of scaring Max has on the external part of her body I'm only assuming she has just as much internal scaring. This scaring will interfere with the wavelength for the ultrasound so I'm going to set it to a different density and maybe it will show us pass her scars."

She didn't sound to reassuring but since I knew how much scaring I did indeed have it made some logical sense at that moment. And any logical sense was better than none then.

"Okay keep your fingers crossed." She held her breath. "Come on, come on…" She bit her lip and rotated a few more knobs. Both Fang and I held on to each others hands as tight as we could our breaths held as well.

"Ha! There! See it?" She exclaimed.

Fang let out a breath and I broke out into a smile so big I thought it could catch the sun. We started laughing and insane laughter of relief.

Jess was so fixated on the screen, "There's the heart beat! Wow can you hear that it sound like a swooshing noise like really quick waves.. and that little bean shape, right there, that the baby. You can see its hands and feet!"

"Does it have wings?" I asked and Fang's eyes jump up to the screen. It was hard to decipher, the black screen was only in black and white and so much fluid was moving around I personally couldn't tell very much about the baby.

"Yes it does," Jess replied and she pointed them out to us, "See right here, you can make out the beginnings of the bones that will form the back wings over time. Look you can see the face right here and about now your baby can suck its thumb, grow fingernails, you can see the umbilical cord here, and.." she turned to us with a huge smile on her face, "do you want to know the sex of the baby?"

I giggled, I actually giggled and Fang smiled and nodded, he brought my hand up to he lips and kissed it. Jess's face fell a little but then she recovered it. I don't even think Fang caught it but I did.

She turned back to the monitor, "Well, congratulations you guys… it's a boy! And its healthy with a strong heart beat and everything looks good."

"Ha!" I gasped. I started to laugh and cry at the same time. I reached up and Fang took me in his arms. We were both shaking with elation.

"A boy! Fang we're going to have a baby boy!" I laughed.

He was smiling so big it took my breath away, he was smiling and laughing and looked so happy there was no doubt in my mind that he wanted this baby. And after seeing him on the screen and hearing it heart beat how was there ever an instant that I considered not wanting him?

"Wow" Fang spoke. That one word encapsulated every bit of emotion we both had, wow.

Jess was smiling as well and went to check some other things from the monitor, mainly the length of the baby and weight. She was surprised how light the baby was but considering we as adults don't weigh very much the baby seemed fine.

"Can the baby be okay under sedation? Like if Max was having an operation?" Fang asked when Jess was wiping off the last of the blue jelly from my belly and putting up the cart.

"It in all honesty depends. I'm just a physician's assistant kinda like a super nurse but I don't think the majority of the doctors I work for would allow any mother to undergo surgery until at least 6 months along." She replied her eyes looking curious.

That brought a nice cold dose of reality back down on us.

"Okay," I looked up at Fang, "I just wont go under sedation. I'll just have like little pain medication and stuff. I can take it."

Fang was just shaking his head. "Max, there is no way you can do that! The shock alone could do serious damage. I don't want to risk it. I don't want to risk loosing you."

Jess quietly left the room I guess to give us piece.

"Fang, it's okay, I'll be fine…. This baby is healthy and I want the baby to stay healthy." I responded adamantly.

"Yes, fine, I want our child to be healthy as well, but I also want you to be okay too." He was looking at me and rested his lips against my cheek and moved to my nose, "It will be either you and the baby or just you…. either way I'm getting you. You're all that matters now."

And then, well, yeah, we kissed again. But in the back of my mind I knew we only had so much time before I got sick again, when we had to find a surgeon that would do the operation so both the baby and I could take the injections and not notify the company.

And it felt like we didn't have much time left.

28. The Deed

Hey yall. Sorry about the late updates. Told ya they'd be coming in slower now. Its my 4th year in college and its not easy so I'm sorry. And did you know you could get the flu twice before flu season even starts? And as I'm writing this I'm battling strep throat so… my immune system sucks butt.

So Jess and Brian's story has been rolling around in my brain. Its so unbelievable, almost as thrilling as Max and Fang's. DO YOU want me to further their story into this one? I'll still have Max and Fang and everyone else, it would just be longer since I have more to tell. Trust me you'd want to hear Jess and Brian's. I promise.

Also… I NEED YOUR HELP. I need some information. I need to know a description of Dr. Martinez and Ella, I need to know Ella's age. I'm too lazy to look in the book and since you guys are so freakin awesome I knew yall would know. So please tell me!

Umm… so that's about it. Thanks so much for hanging in there. Yall really are the best. Sorry again for a late post, but this is long and sooo good.

Hugs for all!

Disclaimer: I'll put another one in here…. Not my characters, JP's.


Chapter 32

"They're on their way home now," Fang said hanging up the phone. I scooted over as he came to join me on the couch.

"Good. Where are they anyway?" I asked. I wanted the flock back here as soon as possible. Jess said that they left earlier that morning but she gave them her cell phone to keep in contact.

"The zoo." Fang answered smugly. "Apparently they're not enjoying themselves. Animals in cages thing, not a comforting thought." He laid his arm behind my head and I rested against his shoulder.

"That's understandable."

Jess had left soon after the ultrasound. Brian had called here and while I was happy to hear he was at least alive, the look on Jess's face made me think her thoughts were otherwise. When she was leaving I could see her eyes were turning red and she was fighting back sobs.

I sighed against Fang. He turned his head and started brushing his lips against my hair.

"What are you thinking about?" He whispered kissing my temple.

"Jess…. and Brian," I replied. Fang recoiled and his face showed his shock.


I nodded, "Do you know what happened between them? Ya know, since you were… more than friends with Jess." That last part came out a little venomous but oh well.

Fang sucked in a breath and went back to consuming my throat and neck with his mouth. "I don't want to talk about Jess or Brian right now," he hummed into my ear. I closed my eyes and a shiver pulsed through my body as his lips grazed my collar bone. His hand behind my back tangled itself in my hair and he used his free hand to gently cup my still bruised face.

"What I really want to do right now would probably be illegal in 48 states," he smirked as he captured my lips with his.

Whoa, his intimate level just shot right up. Not something Fang would regularly say, nope not at all. But am I complaining…. umm let me get back to you on that. I kissed him back with just as much enthusiasm. My own hands were tangled in his hair, yes even the broken one and I was fighting against the pain from the brace. I felt myself fall back on the couch, Fang following.

Dejavu slightly. The memory of the other night flashed through my head but it passed by quickly. Not now, not anymore. I'm over it, he's over it. We've moved passed it. We had to.

I held him to me and felt giddy as he pushed himself against my body. A moan escaped my mouth and I could swear I heard a growl come from Fang.

He tried to lift his body off of mine, "You're still hurt--," I cut him off pulling him back to me for more kissing.

His hands were all over me, everywhere there was Fang and I loved it. There was heat rolling off our bodies and suddenly everything was too hot. I squirmed under him and hitched my legs around his waist using my one good non broken calf to pull him to me. I pushed back the pain from my ribs; the pure presence of Fang's body overshadowed the throbbing immensely. A stream of curse words came from his mouth as he moved from my lips to my neck down my throat and back again. He grabbed my hands from behind his neck and placed them above my head on the arm rest of the couch. He laced our fingers together and pressed the palm of his hands into my non broken one at the same time he stuck his tongue in the hollow base of my throat. A jolt shot through me. Fang repeated but this time adding a slight rocking of his hips into mine as well. He did it again and again and again, all simultaneously. I couldn't take much more of this. I want him and struggled to free my hands but he held them firm. I kissed whatever I could reach, his neck, cheek, behind his ear. He continued his extreme foreplay. The sounds coming from me increased and I felt my eyes begin to roll back.

Fang withdrew quickly and pulled me into a sitting position and stood up from the couch.

"We're Baaack!" A shout came from the front of the house. I could hear the kids enter the hallway and I took a quick look at Fang who was sitting in the recliner now.

I was still dazed from what just happened and from the look of Fang's face so was he. I struggled to get my breathing under control before the flock came in.

"Hey!" Angel came bobbing in all smiles. She rushed over to me and stopped with her arms open. "Can I give you a hug," she asked sadly taking in my still injured form.

"You better," I smiled back, my voice quivering and grabbed her to me. If felt so good to hug her. Nudge came over apprehensively and with a sigh bent down to hug me as well.

"Are you okay?" Her eyes and voice let me know the double meaning.

"Yes," I said back now trying to stand up. Fang was by me within seconds and wrapped his arm around my waist to stabilize me.

"Where's my baby?" I grinned seeing her in Iggy's arms. She was all bundled up looking like a little Eskimo.

I went to take her and as I did I heard Ig, "Everything's good now…. all good?"

I sighed, I guess they didn't tell the others about the other baby. A part of me was happy that they could keep a secret but another part dreaded having to tell them.

"Yes," Fang shot me a look and I retorted, "Everything will be okay, eventually." I just need to find a doctor to take out this death chip, I muttered to myself.

"Well, now that's all established there is something we need to talk about," Gazzy smirked as I noticed he had a plastic bag in his hands.

"Oh yeah," Nudge replied as if being reminded. "There is an issue with Faith." She said conversationally.

"An issue, what issue," I panicked. I started trying to take off her jackets to see if she was injured. Doing this with my broken hand looked clumsily and Fang stepped in to hold her before I dropped our child.

"No, no. Nothing serious," Nudge said once she saw how panicked we were.

Both Fang and I stopped and turned to look at Nudge, Gazzy, and Ig all standing together. Angel was on the couch trying to cover a laugh with her hands.

"What then?" Fang asked exasperated.

"Well, it just that," Nudge shifted and looked to the two guys who weren't budging, "… it's hard to take care of her. Not really hard, I really like taking care of her really I do. So not all of it was hard but some of it was. Like changing her and stuff but not that hard since we took diapers with us and toys and stuff when we had to rush out of here like bat's out of hell, Oooo sorry for cursing, I didn't mean it really." She cupped her mouth really quick then continued, "But the one thing that was hard was that, I guess well, she didn't like to eat. I know you said no baby food, Fang, so we didn't give her any but she wouldn't take the formula either we brought with us…. Really Max, your daughter is a very picky eater," Iggy rolled his eyes and finally rested his hand over Nudge's mouth.

"Max," Ig clipped, "We can't feed Faith the normal baby formula. She kept throwing it up. So we came up with a solution if you want us to keep watching her."

"This!" Gazzy held out the shopping bag.

Fang and I stood there both of us still holding Faith looking confused and worried. I shot him a look saying, What in the hell are they talking about? He shrugged.

"What's in the bag?" I asked almost not wanting to know.

"It's not that embarrassing, well, maybe it is." Gazzy shrugged and smiled. He reached in and pulled out a box with a type of suction and pump on it.

Oh, dear God!

"That is so not what I think it is, is it?" I asked.

Fang's eyebrows were up and his eyes were closed, a sign of amusement for him.

"It's a natural thing for every mother to have, honestly I don't know why we forgot it when we went out to get all the other stuff," Nudge said.

I slowly took the breast pump from Gazzy leaving Faith in Fang's arms which were jerking from his lack of hiding laughter.

"Thank. You.," I said shortly. My teeth were clamped down and I was embarrassed. Well not so much from the breast pump but from the fact that my flock saw the need to get me one.

"No problem!" Gazzy smiled. He started rubbing his chest, "And trust me…. it works. I may leave bruises though."

"You didn't…." I started to ask but stopped when I saw his embarrassing smirk.

"Well, we had to see if it worked and I lost rock, paper, scissors to Ig, so…" He flushed and kept rubbing the right of his chest.

"It didn't do anything but make Gazzy squeal like a girl," Total jumped in and settled himself comfortably in his doggy corner. "The zoo sucked by the way… ha, get it sucked!"

Both Ig and Nudge started laughing so hard they were practically holding on to each other. Gazzy punched Iggy in the shoulder and went to sit with his sister. Who by the way had tears going down her cheeks from laughing.

I closed my eyes and counted to ten… okay, maybe twenty. Yes, it was funny, really funny. Gazzy was a moron but we had more important things to discuss.

Fang suggested we tell the flock that not only was I pregnant but that he was the father, tonight. I looked back up at him and saw that his fit of humor was over.

He cleared his throat, "Umm, guys, we have something serious we need to talk about."

They all quieted down quickly, too quickly. Almost like their calm nonchalant behavior before was an act, like they were waiting for bad news. Nudge took Iggy's hand and dragged him to the couch.

There, all four flock members assembled in a row with Fang and I standing in front.

"Oh no," Nudge whispered. "I knew it was bad."

Angel dropped her eyes to the ground and picked Total up who had wondered from his mat.

Fang grabbed my good hand rubbing my palm with his fingers. "Max, we just found out is pregnant. Again."

Iggy and Nudge didn't say anything, Nudge just shook her head in disgust. But Angel and Gazzy looked dumb struck. I watched as their mouths dropped and eyes widen.

"Damn," Gazzy whispered. "Sorry," he blinked catching his word.

Angel mashed her lips together, looking mad. "They did it?" she asked softly.

I nodded but smiled, "I'm around 3 months along and the baby is a boy."

Nudge smiled and claps her hands together. Gazzy huff a sigh and settled back on the couch.

"Nice," Iggy said.

"So you're going to keep it?" Angel asked still looking somewhat upset.

"Of course," I replied looking at her. She nodded slowly and a grin crept up her lips.


"There's another thing, several other things but this is important," Fang said. He gazed down at Faith for a second and them up at me.

"I'm the father. Of both Faith and the new baby." His eye's never left mine as he told the flock.

"Wow," Nudge and Gazzy squeeked.

"I knew it!" Angel laughed.

"Man, that sucks!" Iggy announced.

That got both of us to look up at him shocked.

"Excuse me?" Fang growled

"Well, man. You two didn't get to do the deed, you know." He frowned. "I mean sure they're yours. Don't you feel a little cheated?"

Nudge took one pissed off look at him and smacked him up the head.

It was my turn to look shocked. My mouth dropped and I turned to look at Fang. His expression was expressionless, of course. Did he feel cheated? Is that why he's so touchy feely now? Did he want to sleep with me just so he could feel validated in having kids.

"Shut up, Iggy." Fang said smoothly.

"So was that why you were all, woohoo," Angel asked moving her hands around in front of her like a drunken person.

I turned away from Fang and shook my head. Man, I didn't want to tell them this yet. But I guess I needed to. No telling when this new bodily peace would last and I would go back into convulsions, paralyzing convulsions. They had to know. Damn.

I sat down on the coffee table and Fang went to perch himself on the edge of the couch balancing Faith on his knee. I looked at her and smiled.

"I'm sick guys." I said trying to sound cheerful. I heard groans and smirked, hadn't we already had our quota of bad news for the week.

"It's kinda bad, but not really." I glanced into each of their faces trying to reassure them, "You know that stupid chip in my arm. All we have to do is get it out and then the baby and I can have the medication that will make us all better. See simple!" I smiled but it definitely didn't change their worried faces.

"Why can't you take the medication now?" Iggy asked.

"If I did it will interfere with the chip and lead the bad guys to us… the compound people."

"Isn't taking the chip out dangerous?" Nudge asked her eyes crinkled in thought.

"No…" I lied.

"Yes it is," Fang whispered. "Not only for Max but for the baby as well." The flock turned their eyes back to me.

"Then why just leave the chip in and take the medicine? We can take anything that comes our way." Gazzy huffed sitting up straighter.

"No way," I shot back. "There is no way I am leading those monsters here. Not in a million years."

"What if you didn't take the medication? Would you die?" Angel asked weakly.

I swallowed hard and found my hand automatically resting on my stomach, " I would be in pain, yes, and I would loose the baby."

"But would you die?" She asked again.

"I don't know. The baby dying wouldn't help my health any." I squinted to her trying to figure her out.

"If you got rid of the baby… before it could hurt you, would you be okay?" She was plotting at something and I could see it.

"Perhaps, Angel," My voice heightened on the edge of anger. The rest of the flock was looking between Angel and I and their faces looked aghast. "But I'm not getting rid of this child so the answer is irrelevant."

"But Max, if you could live—."

"Enough Angel! I don't want to hear it," I shook my head and stood up trying to end the conversation.

"But Max, I don't want you to die!," Angel stood up too and started to sob uncontrollably. "I thought you died once and then you come back here alive. Your alive now! Don't you want to stay that way! Do you want to risk dying from what they did to you," She was crying so hard her words barley made sense.

I turned back to her and started to hold her for a hug, she lurched back away from me, "Angel…" I protested.

"No! You go and leave and then you come back and you're wanting to leave again?" She yelled.

"I'm not leaving!," I said back.

"You're going to risk your life again! Your going to leave us! I know it… you're thinking it!," She pointed to her curly blond head. "You think that as long as the baby's alright that it would be okay for you to die or become injured or really really sick! How can you be so selfish?" She screamed her last sentence choking on her tears.

I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I turned to look at Fang and he had his eye's closed, jaw tight. Gazzy and Nudge had tears coming down their faces, Iggy looked zoned out staring at nothing.

"Selfish… how can you call me selfish, Angel," I snapped back. "I endured four years of pain for the flock. FOUR! I would give up everything if it meant keeping you safe."

"We never asked you to, Max." She wailed. "We never wanted you to leave. Quit trying to save us! Stop trying to save the day…. Stop please!" She pleaded, "This baby was created by the scientist that would want to kill you, what makes you think that this is what they want to happen. That if you did escape they would want you to die from it!"

"Angel, honey, your being ridiculous," I grunted through my own wet eyes and clamped teeth.

"No I'm not. You are being selfish. We all think it! You're willing to die for the baby, willing to die for us. But we don't want you to die, Max. You want to, you want to die for it but we can't loose you again. We don't want you to die. Please, Max. Please. We don't want… I…don't… want," and she bent down on her legs crying into her hands. Her wings came out and circled around her protectively.

My heart broke then, seeing my first baby in so much pain. I shook my head not knowing what to say, how to comfort her. Her body shook so violently her wings vibrated. The rest of the flock didn't look much better.

Nudge was crying into Iggy's shirt, he was trying to sooth her, his own nose wrinkling in effort to hold back tears. Gazzy had turned, his face buried into the couch crying. I didn't look at Fang, if I saw reservation there I wouldn't know what to think.

I didn't know this. I had no idea how much it hurt her, how much it hurt them. I tasted my own tears and looked back to my small baby, my broken angel. I walked slowly to her on the ground and crouched down beside her.

"Angel," I whispered as I wrapped my arms around her. "Angel… look at me," I said more sternly.

She raised her head up still crying and wailed again, "Please—don't—leave me," She cried in my arms. I looked up and heaved a hurting breath. I cried with her, my own sorrow sounds mixing with hers.

Once I got my voice back I lifted her chin to my face, "Angel, I promise I won't leave you." I said with more conviction in my voice than I thought I ever had. She let out more whimpers and I sniffed shaking my head, "No, I swear I will not leave any of you again. Do you hear me? I'm. Not. Leaving. I'm not going to die," she cringed at this and more tears fell. I pulled her into a hug and rocked her back and forth, "Angel, my baby… I swear to all that I've ever know true, I won't go anywhere. I won't die, I won't leave any of you," I turned to look at the flock, "Understand? I'm not planning of sacrificing myself; I'm not going to die! I. Will. Not. Die!" I said convincing myself of this as well.

I shook her shoulders slightly to make sure she got it, "Angel… I wont leave you again, I promise." I whispered and kissed her forehead. She nodded but continued to cry as I continued to rock her.

I finally glanced at Fang, he was swaying back and forth with Faith. Apparently she fell asleep during all this. His eyes were red but no wet streaks on his face.

"We need to find a doctor, Max," he stated lightly rubbing Faith back.

I nodded in agreement. I knew just the person. Hopefully she remembered me, well, I know she'll remember me. I mean it's not everyday you see a mutant girl with wings. I just hoped she'd be willing to help me, after all these years.

"I know a doctor, Fang." I quietly replied. I laid my cheek down on top of Angel's head. "Is there a way for you to find a number in Arizona?"

Fang's eyebrows arched down and then he nodded understanding. "That vet?"

"Yeah, Dr. Martinez. I think maybe she can help." I said. "Can you find the number?"

"I'll get the number." Fang replied he looked down at the girl crying in my arms. "Angel, I'll get the number and she'll come and she'll take the chip out and Max will be okay." She looked up at Fang.

"Do you trust me, Angel? I've never lied to you before." His eyes held hers as she nodded.

Fang sighed, "Okay. So, now that we have a plan are you all hungry. Did you eat dinner yet?" He was going back into parent mode, trying to keep things good for them. Steady. I loved him for that.

"Yeah, Fang." Iggy said "We stopped on the way back. We ate a ton." His voice was dull almost dead, he was exhausted. Ig got up softly pushing Nudge off him. "I'm going to take a shower. Classes tomorrow." With that he made his way up the stairs.

"Oh, man. Classes." Nudge said choking on some tears. She wiped her face on her sleeve and stood up herself. "Umm, I just think I'm going to do some homework. Didn't get any of it done this weekend, you know, leaving and all…. I just think," she pointed up the stairs after Iggy, "I'm just going to go." She walked passed Angel and I and stooped down to hug me, "I'm happy you're okay. I'm so happy." She kissed my head and walked away.

I looked to Gazzy when Nudge left. "Hey buddy, you okay?" I asked. Fang ruffled the Gasman's hair and gripped his shoulder.

"I'm going to put Faith to bed, then I need your help with something. Go on into my office I'll be there in a minute," Fang told Gazzy who looked up at him from the cushion of the couch. Gazzy stood up with out even looking at me and dragged himself into the hall disappearing behind the office door.

Fang looked at me and lifted his eyebrows, "Okay with…?" he asked me glancing at Angel. I gave a quick nod. "We'll talk later," he said and went to put Faith to bed.

I sat silent with Angel in my arms for a while. Past the time for Gazzy to help Fang with whatever it was Fang made up to distract him, I saw the Gasman stumble up the stairs and Fang followed. Probably to check on the others.

He's a great dad. He's a really great dad. I could feel more tears coming to my eyes but not from the previous argument. No, these tears were for Fang. The overwhelming urge my heart had to leap out of my chest when I thought of him. I know it sidetracked me, I had to focus on Angel now and the other flock members. I had to keep them trusting me. Believing that I would indeed keep my word.

"Angel, baby, it's time for bed." She stirred in my arms. "I would pick you up, but I can't right now. Barley keep my self up at the moment." She heard me this time and slowly got to her feet but didn't let go me. I kept my arms wrapped around her as we both made our way up to her room.

I helped her get out of her clothes and into some pink and yellow pajamas. I laid with her on her bed until I knew she was asleep. I then had to work her hands loose from my shirt and with a kiss on her nose I slowly crept down the hall. I opened Gazzy's door and found him fast asleep and then went to Nudges room. Her bed was empty and just as panic started to rise I heard voices come from Iggy's slightly opened door.

I peeked through the crack and saw Nudge laying on Ig's bed facing Ig. Iggy was at his computer.

"She won't die, right?" Nudge whispered again.

"No. Fang won't let her. I won't let her." Iggy said and turned in his chair to his bed and caressed Nudges face. "Get some sleep, Nudge." She pulled one of his throw blankets up to her chin and curled up into a ball.

I went down the stairs in a daze. Nudge and Iggy? Maybe… I need to talk to Nudge soon. As I went into our room I saw Fang standing by the bay window. Boxers and black wife beater all that stood in the way of me and his flesh. I picked up my own shirt and boxers from the draw and dressed right there with Fang still looking out the window. I knew he knew I was in the room yet he didn't move an inch, even with my naked body less than 5 feet from him. After I was dressed I went up behind and wrapped my arms around him resting my head on the space between his wings. I heard him sigh.

"That kinda sucked," I muttered into his back. He snorted and turned around holding me to his chest.

"Yeah." He brushing his lips on my forehead. "Angel's had it worse. She's scared."

I rubbed my head into his chest inhaling him, loosing myself in him. I was tired I now realized. All the day's energy felt sucked out of me and all I wanted to do was sleep for years.

"I don't want to leave, Fang." I murmured into his chest. "I don't want to die. I don't want to fall." The words slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them.

I felt him stiffen, "I will not let you die. I won't let you go. I won't let you fall." He moved his arms from my back up my arms to my face and held it gently. "I will keep you safe, I promise that. And I will catch you every time you fall." He kissed my lips with his.

What started out as a soft, reassuring kiss became much more. I pushed myself closer to him trying to forget everything that happened today. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled myself up. His arms resting on my waist dropped to my butt and picked me up so I could wrap my legs around his waist. Our kissing deepened and I knew what I wanted. I knew what I needed. I moaned into his mouth as our tongues fought and our teeth grazed over each other.

I didn't know he was walking to the bed until I felt him lay me back and the cool, soft bed spread met my back. I scooted back on the bed dragging Fang with me until he rested his whole body on top of mine. I brought his face back to mine and continued to kiss him like crazy. My mind which usually would be spinning with thoughts was at ease, nothing was stopping me now. I reached down and my fingers grabbed the bottom of his shirt. I yanked up and caught Fang by surprise. He released my lips only long enough to get the shirt out of the way then he claimed them again.

My temperature rose as I softly touched his shoulders. My lips dragged from his and found their spot on Fang's collarbone. He raised himself up on his arms as not to crush me and my healing body. I traced his olive color skin with my fingers laying kisses where my hands had been. Fang was shaking as I explored his chest. The soft smooth muscles behind his arms, my lips traced those as well, the muscles on his abs which were so defined his physical beauty took my breath away. I traced the scar on his side which he got from that horrible day at the beach so many years ago. That day I almost kissed him again, that day I thought he was going to die, that day I believe my world was going to end. I looked into his eyes and saw him staring at me.

My hand drifted to where his heart laid and I closed my eyes feeling its rapid beating behind my hand. He's alive, he didn't die, and he's here. I picked my head up and kissed where my hand had been, I kissed his heart, I kissed my heart. I heard his quick intake of breath and felt his forehead on mine.

"Fang," I whispered on his lips, "Make love to me." The words flowed from my lips so easily, so carefully that I had no regrets in saying them.

He lifted his head to look at me, "What?" He asked barley audible. His eyes shifted around my face and I could feel his body's reaction to my words.

"Make love to me." I repeated. "Everything's been leading to this. Iggy was right, you were cheated out of this. I don't want to be cheated anymore." My breathing was staggering and my hands were back on his chest roaming the body I wanted so much.

A flicker passed over his eyes and he bent his head to kiss me again. This kiss was so passionate and heated. I griped his arms and yanked him down. He didn't budge but his kiss became harder. My head was spinning, I was becoming dizzy. I let myself go and floated around him. Hands were now tangled in his hair and every silky strand felt like heaven against my fingers. Even my broken hand felt no pain running through it.

He let out a struggling moan and came up for air. I lifted my lips to his but he pulled back at each attempt. We stared at each other and then he nestled his face in my neck.

"Max… oh Max." he whispered in my ear. "I have waited for those words for so long… But we can't."

I stopped running my hands through his hair, I stopped moving my face towards his, I stopped breathing.

"Why," was all that came from my mouth. He wanted this, didn't he? "I thought…" I sputtered out. "You don't want to now?" My voice was becoming more shrilled. I yanked his hair up hard enough to see his face.

He winced in pain, "I do Max. It just… you're still hurt. You have no idea how much I want you but…not with half your body broken."

I still looked at him confused. He untangled my hands from their death grip on his head. He was slowly caressing my face.

"And certainly not with you thinking I want to sleep with you because I feel cheated. No." He took my broken hand and kissed the brace and then my wrist. "And after your promise tonight, I don't have to be so worried."

I tilted my head at his word, "My promise? What did my promise have to do with this?" My voice trembled as the effects of his rejection hit me.

He kissed my quivering lips and shook his head in pain, "Before I was trying to be with you incase you did decide to run off, to save the day again. I know it was wrong of me, I was being a complete idiot but…. if you did leave, I wanted us to have this moment. That moment when we were together. I wanted to be with you before it was too late."

I slowly understood his words and fought back tears, "You thought I would leave too? You thought I would abandon you again?" I let a tear slip and felt Fang's mouth catch it.

"Yes," he said weakly. "But now you feel pain, you feel confused and hurt. You want to make love to me to drown it, to push it away. I love you Maximum Ride and I will wait. I will wait until you're ready."

"But I am ready," I cried. More tears slipped down my face and I knew what he said was true. He was touching me and he could sense my emotions. The strongest ones not focused on him anymore. My hormones were going crazy.

He let a small smile touch his lips and rubbed our noses together, "You think you are. But we both know you're not. Your first experience will not be like this, it will not be because you're scared and you want to be numb. I won't let it."

"I'm sorry," I choked. I felt mad, I've been rejected. Well, not totally rejected, just put on pause for a while. But still, this strong independent hybrid is not use to wanting something so bad and then not getting it. What am I saying, I'm so totally use to wanting something and not getting it…. this just adds to fates cruel joke of my life.

Fang rolled off me and gathered me into his arms. I heard him snicker and fought the urge to wallop him with my good hand. "Now you're angry," he remarked.

"Turn it off Fang," I muttered referring to his eerie power. I didn't try to fight his arms, I just laid there in them.

"Not until you understand," he spoke. "I want to make love to you, more than you'll ever know. But for you, for us, it needs to be special. It should be because of any reason other than how we feel for each other." He pulled me closer and pressed his lips to my ear, "We have been told that I could loose you and I almost did. Both of us are on edge and even though its causing me extreme physical pain I don't want to take advantage of that situation."

"I don't care, Fang. You can take all the advantage you want!" I said, my voice back to normal and my emotions really getting the better of me. "I was ready… I mean I was really ready. I wanted you, I still do if you want to..." I turned in his arms and tried to look at his face. "I'm ready." That came out as a whimper.

He bent down and kissed my lips, "If only that were true," he hummed. "Sleep Max, your body needs to heal," he rested his hand on my stomach, "Our child needs to heal."

I drifted off to sleep, still upset about what happened, or should I say what didn't happen. But it was so close, so very close.

Next time I want to be ready, I will be ready whether Fang wants me to be or not. Things were looking up. The flock knew, the baby was alright, we'll try to call Dr. Martinez tomorrow…. everything will be okay.

I relaxed into Fang my last memories were of him rubbing circles around my small stomach.

29. History Lesson

Terribly short. I'm sorry. I am writing more though. This was done in the hospital so that's why its not the longest post.

Thanks again and again I'm sorry for the delay.


Chapter 33

Days flew by and so many things seemed to happen at once. First off, I feel much better. The brace on my wrist is gone which is good because the smell was starting to irritate more than the pain, and the leg and ankle feel a million times better. And I'm happy to say that the swelling in my nose is down and while I don't think its broken anymore if I sneeze I want to cry and although my ribs are healed when I cough or bend down to pick Faith up the fire shooting around my chest is almost unbearable. But Iggy assured me that those things should fade away in time. Yeah, right.

The morning after I made a fool out of myself with Fang he got to work in trying to locate Dr. Martinez. It took him with the help of our little cyber hacker Nudge, all of 30 minutes not only to find out her number but her address, social security number and the amount of parking tickets she got.

He then proceeded to do one of those obnoxious phone tricks where he dialed the number then threw it to me just as she answered to phone. I sounded like a frog for a few seconds. Yeah, I was nervous. I hoped she remembered me. She did….. exuberantly. I gave her the cliff notes version that went something like, "I was gone working for the bad guys for 4 years and now I'm pregnant and the only way for me and the baby to be okay is to get this freaking Satan of a chip out of my arm."

Short. Sweet. Simple.

She flipped.

Then agreed to get on the next available plane after she got her stuff organized back at her vet clinic. Ella had to stay a few more weeks because of school but would be following her mom once winter break started. Which is in only a few weeks.

Speaking of Ella, she's 17 now. Wow.

I wonder how the Martinez's will feel being in a house full of mutants. Fang didn't seem too happy with the idea. But he agreed because of the life or death consequence. The rest of the flock seemed to have mixed feelings. But they turned once I told them that they'd be treated to the best damn cookies they've ever tasted. Oh yeah.

So after that phone call Fang went on equipment patrol. Dr. Martinez faxed him a list of things that he'd need to get a hand on to help with the surgery since I refused to go to a hospital. For reasons that are duh. Nothing good has ever happened to us in a hospital. Nope.

Oh and we can't get rid of Anne no matter how hard I try or scoff! She comes to the house everyday to "make sure I'm not dead". Insert rolling eyes. She's also giving Fang more needles with the clotting medicine for me.

At least she wants to keep me alive for the present time but she says that its only temporary and that we have no idea when the medications will no longer work. I'm counting my blessings that it hasn't become defective.

Because of my fear of needles I told Fang to just surprise me with it and get it over with. He's having all sorts of fun trying to figure out the best way of giving me the shot. The bruise on his arm and his black eye administered by me are the results of his not so best ways.

So it's been a few days and we just have to wait a few days more for Dr. Martinez to come. We have a plan. And for once, it's a good plan.

At the present moment I'm in Faith's room tying to cut slits in the backs and fold up her little baby clothes from laundry baskets so that they can all fit in her drawers and fit her wings. We'll need another draw for the other baby…. and another crib too. Wow, two babies. Still have to get use to that.

Faith's sleeping which is good. She's been cranky lately. I think she's noticing the ever glooming doom that seems to surround our family. That and she has a bit of a cold, which stinks even more because she's begun to grab her wings and is using them to wipe her face and runny nose. Major yuck in so many ways. But that's my baby, gross and moody.


I jump a little and spin to find Jess looking at me from the doorway.

"Good grief, you scared the ever lovin crap out me," I sigh and motion for her to enter.

She does and I kick over a basket for her to start unloading. "Sorry, I knocked and knew you were home so I just came in and…" she trailed off.

I raised my eyebrows, "You just came in?" I handed her a pair of extra scissors and she mimics me putting cuts in the clothing.

She shrugged, "I know, sorry. But I wanted to talk to you and since Fang's out and the kids are at school I thought now would be good." She glanced at me quickly then went back to picking at some lacy stuff on a dress.

"Okay…. So talk." I swallow. She takes a breath to start and I interrupt her, "Wait, before you do I have something I want to talk about too. Like Brian? Like why you hate him when all he's ever done is love you. Even though I don't personally think you deserve it. And like why he hasn't been over to see me. We did spend several hours together that night and most importantly bonded over almost being killed together." She started to talk again and I pointed to her with the scissor clad hand stopping her again. "And I know he would be over here if he could so there has to be something more wrong with him than we think AND why in the hell are you helping me when I know for a fact that you hate the idea of me being pregnant with Fang's child—,"

"That's not true!" She shook her head vehemently.

"What?" I asked not knowing which of my accusations she was answering. I noticed how close the scissors where to her face and quickly withdrew my hand. "Sorry," I murmured.

She waved it off and repeated her statement, "It's not true at all. I'm very happy you and Fang are going to have a baby, another baby. Really I am." She paused and looked embarrassed and mad. "And my relationship with Brian is really none of your concern." She scoffed shifting from one foot to another.

"Uh, yeah, it is. He's my friend and he loved you, still loves you infact and you're treating him horribly."

"What! Me. Max you have no idea what you are talking about. You don't know anything about us." She glared at me and turned back to hacking the baby clothes.

"I know that he loves you and you broke his heart," I said smoothly cutting my own baby clothes.

She chewed on her lip and without glancing up from her job whispered angrily, "He's not the only one still in love and I most certainly wasn't the only one who broke any hearts in that relationship."

I stopped and looked at her, my interest peaked. She felt it and continued.

"When he left he destroyed me. He left, Max. Not me. I just didn't return the calls. He broke it completely. And I refused to help clean it up." Her lips trembled but she stayed focused on her basket of baby clothes and sat on the ground with a sigh.

"Broke what?" I asked softly following her down.

"Us." She whimpered. "He broke us. What we had, what we fought so damn hard for that summer he broke. And then blamed me for it."

"I don't understand." I asked. Didn't he say that he gave his heart away and that she stomped on it? That it was her doing not his?

She gave a small laugh and lifted her watery eyes to me, "He made me fall for him and then left for England to be with his fiancé."

"WHAT!" I bellowed. Faith stirred in her crib and I bent my head toward Jess, "NO WAY," I whispered, "He wouldn't do that. That's not true."

Her face lifted in a sad mocking way, "You're right. It wasn't true. But I didn't know that at the time. And he didn't know that I didn't know so there was a lot of unknowing."

"Wait, wait, wait," I waved my hands, "You have to start from the beginning."

"I would rather not," she replied and bent her head back down.

"Come on. You practically know everything about Fang and I. And now I don't know if I need to be pissed at you or Brian now. Please." I begged. "Help me like you more. I really really want to like you."

Jess slowly nodded her head and mashed her lips together in defeat. "I really want you to like me, but telling you what happened may make you dislike both me and Brian. We come out two complete idiots in the end, not very appealing."

Just then Fang's head popped into the room, "Hey I though I heard voices in here."

"Fang! You're home." I said standing quickly.

"Yeah, I just got a car load of some medical stuff. You know you can buy things from certain suppliers for dirt cheap and then if you go into those free clinic that seem sketchy you can take pretty much whatever you can shove in your coat and they're too busy to notice?" He started listing the things he stole but said that he wrote out a very generous donation check and left it at the front counter.

All the while I'm trying to shush him and it's failing, "Okay Fang… good now go." I finally say.


"Yes, go. Jess and I are talking!" I say as I try to push him out the bedroom.

"But-but-I need help get--,"

"Okay fine, get Gazzy when he comes back from school but this is girl time." And I grab his hands and kiss his face with one big push.

"Girl time?" The look on his face is priceless.

"Yeah, girl talk now leave…shoo." I pester and with that I manage to get the door closed and turn to Jess with a smile. "Now…. please continue."

Jess gives a little shake of her head, "Max… I really don't know. It's uncomfortable and really just makes me hurt when I think about it." She stands up and wonders to the window by the crib. I can see tears on her cheeks.

I realize that this isn't some small girl talk conversation. It's real and I'm beginning to feel bad for her. "Come on. If you talk about it, it can help." I slowly coxed.

"I don't know where to start," she shrugs.

"Well… since we have all these clothes that need to be done and the kids won't bother us for a while you can start from the beginning. Like did you know him before you were 16?" I ask and nudge myself against the window looking at her.

Her mouth goes up in a grin and I can see her eyes crinkle with a small smile. She turns her head slightly in remembrance, "I knew of him but never met him before that summer." She turns with a goofy grin, "The first time I met him I saved his life while he almost ended mine."

"Excuse me." Like seriously.

She let out a laugh and tossed her hands about, "Okay get comfortable," and we both sat back down on the ground.

"I saw him around the last two summers I spent here with my aunt and uncle. My family and I didn't move here until a few years ago when Fang moved as well but I always spent the summers at Aunt Sharon and Uncle Joe's. I guess Brian started visiting his relatives too because I think I would have noticed him sooner. He drove a motorcycle. Not one of the nice quite one's either. It was loud and big and you could hear is three streets over. And you know the distance between the roads.

"But anyway that's how we met. I was out running and I saw him coming down the road and I waved. That's all I did but he turned to stare at me, which he later says is because he thought I was flicking him off. So not true, he was just checking me out. But yeah, he turned around and came back towards me and tried to pop a wheelie to show off but hit a pot hole and the damn motorcycle flew out from under him. It came flying into me and I had to jump out of the way into the ditch on the side of the road. The cycle crashed into a mailbox. So I crawled out of the ditch and saw him lying there, I thought he was dead and I ran over determined to put the first aid and CPR training to good use. He was wearing a helmet but he didn't have it fastened, I'm sure that it save his life anyway. I was trying to talk to him and look for any wounds on his body when I heard a snap from where the mailbox was. The motorcycle was still revving and going just on its side but it had crashed into the wooden mailbox and now the tires were shredding the wood to pieces and launching them in every direction. The metal part of the mailbox came towards us then so using my girl power skills I grabbed his shoulders and rolled back into the ditch with him landing on top of me. That apparently woke him up and he managed to get the visor up from his helmet. The first words out of his mouth were, "Next time you can be on top." To which I called him an immature reckless jackass of a pig and it was love at first sight."

"You're kidding," was all I could respond with. What a way to meet.

30. Unwelcomed Visitors

Ugh. Life has absolutely sucked these past months. I am unbelievably sorry for my lack of update. You, the readers deserve better and this story deserves better.

Funny thing is I have bits of the story written but its different events (pivotal events) and they aren't in order so I DO have the story its just going to be a while before the updates come flowing.

And DAG-GON, I didn't even realize I was writing the last chapter in present tense instead of my normal past tense. Thank you to the reviewer for pointing it out. Its what happens when you are simultaneously reading the Twilight Saga (again) and the Great and Terrible Beauty Trilogy (again). One's in past tense and the others in present tense.

Oooooo, and because I'm behind on the cool books, have you guys read the SWEEP series by Cate Tiernan? Good Lord they are positively spectacular! The whole series (14 books, 1 novel) is up there with the Twilight books and of course MR. My new loves are Hunter, Edward and Fang. OMG…. Just damn!

So this is short, sorry, really sorry.


Chapter 33?  maybe?

I was all for hearing the rest of Jess and Brian's weird little love story but it got very interrupted by a flushed looking Nudge when she barged in the door.

"Nudge!" I grunted but stopped when tears filled her eyes. "What's wrong?" I immediately stood up and grabbed her shoulders.

"Max… they followed us…and…we tried to stop them," she hiccupped. She was shaking her head and her body. Her wings trembled inside her jacket causing it to flutter.

"What?" Jess asked. She tried to look behind Nudge. "Where is everybody else?"

My eyes widened, "Nudge, what happened? Where is the flock?"

"The woods behind the house," she cried. She lifted up her hands to wipe her tears and I noticed they were scratched and bloody, her jacket was caked in dirt as well.

"Who attacked you Nudge," I asked as I pushed passed both of them and literally flew down the stairs. I was out the back door before I heard her reply but that one word sent chills down my back… Erasers.

No way! How could they have found us! Oh my God. What have I done…

I raced towards the woods searching for my family. I had no idea if Nudge told Fang yet, I might be the only one with the element of surprise. I stopped when I reached the line of the woods. I couldn't see anything as I scanned the deep wooded area. I closed my eyes and opened my ears. Please don't let me be too late, I prayed.

I heard rustling to my right and dove straight in through the trees. I still couldn't see them but I knew they were this way. I heard grunts and ugly laughter, I was getting close.

I opened my wings thinking to fly overhead to get a clear look. They cracked loudly and I stopped walking and held my breath.

"Is that another pretty birdie?" A growl erupted just ahead of me behind the huge trees.

Well, I blew my surprise plan. I pulled my shoulders back and set my face in stone, just like before. I walked to meet the monsters.

"Hell, it's not just another birdie but the head birdie!" An Eraser laughed as I entered the small clearing. I did a quick check and found Iggy to my left holding Angel up, she clutching her face. Gazzy was on the right, he had a gash over his eyebrow but still standing and looking a bit frazzled.

I turned my gaze back to the two Erasers in front of me. One of them held a gun by his side the other licked his dog like lips. "Angel," I called not removing my sight from those animals.

"I'm alright," she moaned. "I ran into a tree." She moaned a little into Iggy's coat.

"They haven't attacked us," Iggy said. "Yet." He straightened himself up and moved slowly towards my voice.

"What do you mean?" I asked cautiously. "Why are you here? How did you find us?"

The two dogs looked at each other and one of them laughed into a slobbery snort. "Maxie, Maxie, Maxie… you don't remember your old friends?" The one with the gun started to approach me. "We saved the world together and we get treated like this!" He raised his arms up.

I crouched down ready to spring at a seconds notice, Gazzy did the same. I glanced at Angel.

Angel, honey if you can hear me, acknowledge. She moaned again and I took that as a yes.

Okay, when I give the signal, grab Iggy's coat and U&A okay. I looked up at the trees hoping she could guide him through the mesh of limbs that hung overhead.

With another whimper from Angel I turned my attention back to the dogs on crack. "If we are such pals there's no need for a gun. Or for any violence… right?" I gave a slight smirk trying to calm the atmosphere.

Before, I'd be for antagonizing them and allowing me and the flock to fight them. But looking at their worried faces reminded me that they had little fighting for 4 years. They didn't look forward to it anymore. I didn't blame them.

The main mutt moved slyly weaving his body around to me like a snake, "Well, you see Max. You have a lot of people looking for you."

"We. Are. Friends." I reminded him forcefully extending my wings to their full length. I hadn't moved an inch.

He closed one eye, thinking, "No. No. Not anymore. Once Jeb disappeared we got new bosses." He grinned and his tongue flopped out of his mouth joyfully. "And they are so much better! We can fight more and the best part is," he bent his head to glare at me less than a foot away, "Oh, the best part…. they want us to kill now. They encourage it!" He hissed the last part and I saw his dog nose flare up in anticipation.

My skin turned to ice and my head started to swim. I knew who they were working for; the gun was standard issue for the Company. They've employed the Erasers. Hell's dogs. They were more malevolent than ever.

I had to get the gun away from him before I could let Angel run. I raised my hands in a surrender type motion, "What does the Company want from me? I saved the world. All is done." I glanced down at the gun.

"You escaped!" The other Eraser chimed in stepping up to me and his buddy. "And you took something that doesn't belong to you." I hunched back surprised at that last statement and I heard a low gasp come from the one that just talked. He nudge the gunman and snickered, "See I told you she was. They'll be very interested to know it lives."

Both of their eyes went straight down to my stomach and I realized my sudden movement exposed my small baby belly. My hand reflexively went down to protect the bump.

The Eraser holding the gun looked back up with an impish grin, "Well, it looks like you took two things that didn't belong with you. The girl and that one growing inside you." he pointed towards my stomach and then acting like it was a game took the gun and aimed it at it.

I heard Angel cry and Gazzy start to move, "No!" I shouted and he stopped. "They won't kill me or the baby. Not if the Company wants us alive."

The Eraser cocked his head and bounced up and down like a little boy, for all I knew he could have been. "I'm not like your dear dead brother. I don't play by all the rules." He looked vicious now growling loudly showing off his sharp teeth and snatched out his furry paw and snarled my hair into his claws. The force pulled me to him until the gun was pushing into my stomach and my head snapped back. I wanted to cry out; I wanted to cry in pain and anger. I bit my lip instead and tried to look menacingly back.

His long muzzle grazed my cheek and I could feel his nostrils flare against my skin. "They've sent us out everywhere looking for you. Teams split up looking in past locations of where you hid out. They don't know our exact location yet, but when they find out that not only did we find you but the whole rest of you bird freaks we'll be treated like heroes!"

He was sniffing my hair and paused at my ear, "We followed Anne and she led us here. Poor Anne, now we have to kill her too. Trying to do the right thing, that bitch. She turned her back on her own creation; she stopped working for the Company to try to be mommy to you. But you're too good for that, aren't you. You've been deceived and you hate being lied to right? Does your little family know all that you have done? Do they know what a killer you are, what a murderer you became? Did you lie to them about your past with us?" He licked my ear and I shuddered in disgust.

"No," I grunted through my teeth. "They know it all."

"Mmmm, all Max?" He licked the side of face from my chin to my eyebrow. I shook feeling my blood boil. I knew what he meant. "You never succeeded incase you forgot," I bit back.

He yanked my hair harder obviously angry with what I said, "Not all the way but I got the closest. And now I'm going to finish it." He started to walk me back until my back hit the trunk of a tree.

Oh God. Like hell he would rape me here. In front of my family, in my own yard, while I could still breathe. No way in hell. My eyes started blazing and my breath came in gasps. Memories flooded my mind, horrific ones of shouts, fighting; being woken in the dark to groping hands with sharp claws, fighting off being tied down to succumb to their wants and needs. I promised myself that they would never again violate my body.

"Does the Company know where you are?" I hissed at him. I needed to know if we were exposed before I killed them. He arched up against me raising me a few inches and I saw Iggy and Angel being held by the other Eraser. Gazzy gazed on at me in horror. I saw tears rolling down his face he was too stunned to move.

He had a gun to my womb and no one could do anything about it. That small piece of metal held our futures and our future was in the hands of a crazed psychopathic abomination of nature who wanted to take away the last piece of my innocence before he would probably kill me. I knew when I did act I would risk my life and the child's life. And that made my heart hurt as I glanced at my family. I brought this hell back to them and now I needed to rid them of it.

I swallowed down the bile that rose in my throat and looked straight at my captor. "Do they know?" I asked again more forcefully.

"No," he hissed, "Not yet." He shoved his hand up my shirt and I took that chance to grab the hand with the gun still at my stomach and knee him in the groin.

A shot rang out scattering the birds that were hiding in the nearby trees. My eyes widened as I looked at the Erasers eyes. I felt wetness on my chest but no pain. Interesting… death is painless. How I wish it came sooner for me.

I heard the flock scream but then the Eraser holding me moved both his arms down to his side and took a lopsided step backwards.

I glanced down and noticed that it wasn't my blood on me, but his. My gaze shot back up to see Jess standing with the gun held out. She looked petrified but steady.

"Another one," the Eraser slurred and raised his hand with the gun at Jess.

"No!" I screamed and managed to get a roundhouse kick out of me. It sent the Eraser down on his knees and the gun flying out of his hand in the direction of his buddy.

The other Eraser loosened his hold on Iggy briefly reaching for the gun. I took the chance, "NOW, NOW, U&A, NOW!" I screamed on the top of my lungs and I saw three winged figures shoot straight up in the air, Iggy ripping off his jacket in the process.

I, too, lunged for the gun but was too slow. Jess aimed her gun at the other Eraser but the first one tackled her. I turned to help her ignoring the gun shots grazing over my head. I grabbed the Eraser around the neck and pulled him off of her. I got his upper half up and Jess helped by jabbing his muzzle up. We both were trying to break his jaw or neck.

Our grunting and screams were overhauled when the buddy Eraser yanked me back by my hair and took aim at Jess with his gun. I swung my legs to knock his out from under his. He went flying back and I stumbled to get up before he did.

Just then I heard a wooshing of air and Fang landed hard in a crouch right between the Eraser and I. Fang was growling and making noises I never heard. Jess made a noise still wrestling with the shot Eraser who wouldn't die.

Fang stood up with such speed I gasped and he kicked the Eraser in the chest, hard. The gun flew out of his hand and Fang caught it deftly without even looking and shot the Eraser in the chest as he was still stumbling back from the kick. The kick and gun shot was so hard the Eraser flew into the brush and Fang just as quickly grabbed the other Eraser off of Jess and with a heave threw him with his friend.

"Leave now," I heard him growl and I knew he was talking to us. I bent down and latched on to Jess's arm and flung her up so fast I was carrying her for a second as we ran out of the wood towards the house.

I didn't know what Fang was doing. But I knew what I would do if I was him and that thought made me run even harder with Jess in hand. We barged through the back door into the screams and cries of the flock.

"Oh my God!" Angel cried and rushed into my arms. Nudge was behind her crying as well.

"We heard the gun shots and I thought…", Nudge whimpered.

"No one's hurt," I said trying to relieve their panicked faces. I pushed them into the living room. "Where's Faith!" My voice suddenly shrieked. Did they come in here for her while we were out there? Was there more of them?

"I have her," Iggy said coming into the living room grasping my baby like she was gold. "I needed to check too, after hearing what they said."

"Thank God," I whispered as I took her in my arms. Tears stung my eyes as the full effect of what happened sunk in. "Where's Gazzy? Did he come back with you?" I glanced around for the blond child that was missing.

"I'm here!" Gazzy said loudly, he was shrunk in the corner of the room. I could see his body shaking and stains of tears.

"Are you hurt? Is everyone okay?" I looked over everyone grabbing arms and chests and checking them for injuries. Angel's eye was scrapped and bruising but nothing more serious.

"How about you Gazzy," I asked and motioned him forward he shook his head and fell further back into the corner, I can see his sobs raking his body. "Gazzy what's wrong, what happened!"

I stood up and handed Faith over to Jess who seemed to be the most coherent of the bunch. I hurried to the Gasman and took his face in my hand to check his head. Just the cuts, I felt his arms for anything and came up clear; I looked at his chest and quickly glanced at his wings. Everything seemed to be fine.

"What's wrong?" I asked again smoothing his hair trying to comfort him in some way.

"I'm so sorry!" He cried, "I could have stopped him…I …. I froze… I was too scared!" I shook my head and pulled him in for a crushing hug, shushing him. He continued to chastise himself, "I couldn't move… I couldn't stop him… Iggy and Angel were held down and I was free and… I just…froze!" He sobbed into me shaking. "I'm horrible Max! You could have died because I am a coward!"

"No, no, no!" I spoke quickly trying to reassure him. I knew he was scared, I knew he froze but I did not blame him in any way. This was my fault. I looked at the others who were watching avidly.

"He had a gun Gazzy," I spoke loudly, "I didn't want any of you to do anything that would give him reason to use the gun! You did just as you were told! You stopped when I told you to stop and you flew away fast as lightning when I told you to." I grabbed his face and made him look at me, "You did everything right! This is not your fault, okay. No one got seriously hurt, everyone's okay."

The abrupt command seemed to sooth Gazzy and he stopped crying long enough to catch his breath.

I turned to the flock an arm still around my blond headed boy, "Is everyone okay?" I saw all heads nod, "Alright, lets just sit tight until Fang comes back then we'll figure out what to do."

I turned to face the back door and walked with Gazzy to the couch. We all sat around, silent waiting for him to come in. Waiting to hear the outcome.

31. Cat's Out the Bag


Hi. So yall are probably wondering where in the hell I've been. Well, it's a long story but pretty much I've been working almost 10 hour days. AKA- growing up sucks. AND I've been without my computer for almost a month.

We had a lightning storm and lightning struck our apartment and fried all are laptops. When I got mine fixed I discovered the chapters I had written were deleted along with almost 8 Gigs of music, 3 Gigs of pictures and movies. Can you sense my complete and utter anger at Mother Nature and its unfair wrath? I haven't had the time to rewrite them but here is the next chapter I found saved on a memory stick.

Yes, I will write more I promise. Stupid freakin lightning. No damn joke, sparks flew out of our electric sockets.

Chapter 35

That lasted for all of five minutes. I couldn't just sit still. I started pacing around the living room with Faith in my arms, a million thoughts running through my head.

Fang wanted me to stay here. I knew he was concerned for me and the baby but, come on, I can not just stay here while he's out there.

"Here," I handed Faith to Nudge. "Stay in here, don't go out side no matter what."

"What?" She asked.

"Max, don't go," Gazzy whined. "Please."

Iggy stood up and walked in front of me, "Does Fang want you go out there?"

"No," Jess answered. She stood up as well and together she and Iggy blocked me from the door.

Anger and frustration was rising up in me. The love of my life was out there and hell be it, I'm going to get him.

"Move," I simply commanded.

"No," Ig answered.

I growled and narrowed my eyes at the both of them, yes, I know it was fruitless with Iggy, "How often do I follow Fang's directions? Now move."

"Maybe you should follow them more often. Maybe you wouldn't be so sick or even in this mess. So no, Max, I will not move and Jess will not move and if we have to we will tie you and - ."

I grabbed his shirt and whirled him around against the wall, "I will make you move. Iggy I don't want to hurt you but I will," I whispered to him.

"Max," Jess came up behind me and I turned around to her ready to strike if she tried anything. She saw and lifted her hands in surrender.

I was loosing control. My breathing was becoming rapid, I could feel my body start to shake, my vision was starting to blur as I swallowed back the anger. My fingers tightened their hold on Iggy's shirt, his blank eyes were wide with shock mine reflected his.

The feeling to fight, the need to strike was building so intensely every fiber in my body was shaking. My wings whipped out and the cracking noise reverberated through the silent room. I glanced quickly over and saw the rest of the flock and Jess petrified at my actions. My body shifted as I fought the overwhelming lust to kill.

I knew this feeling. It was the ever present rage that was built into me, the rage that released itself when needed. The power that I fought so hard to control and contain, that up until that moment I had affectively kept guarded. This is what the scientist bred me into, this was their killing machine begging to be released.

I could hear my teeth as I ground them together fighting the urge to strike out at Iggy once more. My heart and my head knew they were trying to help and that my action's were damaging but my body was reacting on its own. My subconscious was fighting to act and it would remove any obstacle in its path. Even if that obstacle was my family.

I took some deep breath's and with mental anguish released my fingers. I fought hard as every bone pleaded to be used in violence. I took a step back and clutched my fingers together taking every breath carefully.

"Iggy," I whispered, "I'm going to get Fang and I need you and Jess to protect the others," I turned to Jess, "You have a gun, use it if you need to."

The front door smashed open and we all jumped from our initial mood. Brian came into the living room frantic, "What's going on? I heard gun shots and screams…"

"HOLY SHIT, YOU HAVE WINGS!" He screamed and fell back against the wall clutching his chest.

The look on the flocks face was utter bafflement. Angel made a squeaking noise and Gazzy mumbled a curse word.

Jess walked towards him, "Brian, we can explain," she quickly tried to calm him.

"Fuck no! I-I-I'm just gonna leave now." He stuttered his next few words and turned on the wall to claw his way to the front door obviously scared out of his freaking mind.

I fuse blew then, "Screw it, I don't have time for this. You are not going anywhere," I said as I walked up to him and with simple yet effective moves grabbed him by the front of his shirt and tossed him on to the couch. I heard some screams and shouts come from the other people in the room but didn't think much about it.

The furniture moved a few feet back at the force of his body and he scrambled into a sitting position. "M-M-Max," he cried out.

I pounced on him crouching over his body to look straight into his eyes, my temper was boiling, "Brian if you want to live you will sit here, not move and never breathe a word about what you're seeing to anybody, understand?" I spoke quickly and softly.

Brian nodded quickly and with that I turned towards the door ignoring the shrilling voices I left behind.

My mission's before allowed me to loose control and attack all that was around me. This time I had to hone in on one specific thing, Fang. I had to find him and my body's natural reaction was not helping.

I was pissed. I was pissed that I allowed the eraser's to get so close to us. I was pissed that I didn't stay to help Fang. I was pissed that I was loosing control over my temper and I was really pissed that I was so pissed. This made me even more pissed which only fueled my warrior complex.

I also knew that once Fang was found there would be hell to pay back at the house. And a lot more explaining to do for Brian.

I raced towards the woods and ran straight for the area I last saw Fang. It was now getting darker and all traces of the fight were fading with the light. I looked around for anything, the gun, clothes, body's.

I shot out my wings and started to run out into the open yard to gain speed. I flapped up hard twice and caught a breeze which help lift me up a few feet. My wings hurt so badly I wanted to cry but I pushed it back. Where was he?

"Fang?" I shouted into the dark. I rounded the edge of our property turning again to go deeper into the back wood, "Fang?!" I saw a shadow flit across the trees and angled myself to it.

Just then I heard a bone crack and my right wing faltered. I did a quick corkscrew downward and hit the ground running and tripping towards the movement. I tripped twice catching myself with my hands before I could loose my footing.

"Fang!" I shrieked breathlessly as I pushed through the low tree limbs and the thicket bushes. I felt them tug and tear at my clothing but I barley felt the stings. I grunted in frustration as the shrubs were becoming more and more dense creating more of a jungle I had to push through. It clawed at my body and multiple times I had to stop walking to untangle my shoes from vines.

I heard rustling to my left and I stopped and held my breath for more. "Fang?" I shouted. More noise followed and I plunged to the left. I saw a darker form over 50 yards in front of me. I couldn't make it out even at that distance but I knew it was large and that it had to be Fang.

"Fang, stop!" I yelled. I pushed through the heart of the thicket and found less foliage and more open running room. I ran full speed.

I heard another noise coming from behind me and thought that more eraser's had come. My heart bottomed out at the thought of more. I slanted a look backwards to see how many, tripped over an upended root and fell flat on my face.

I quickly got up and crouched low to surprise my follower. He surprised me as I felt two hands grab me from behind and haul me up to my feet.

I let out a scream and gave an elbow into his gut reaching around to do damage with my fingers.

Fang let out a painful grunt and held me close to his body.

"Holy Shit!" I repeated Brian's words as I flung myself into him. I hugged him hard trying to catch my breath and emotions. "You're okay."

He held me to him as well digging his fingers into my hair. "What in the hell are you doing out here?" He said loudly and out of breath as he held me out arm's length. "I told you to go to the house, I told you to stay away!" He wiped my face and I noticed blood and dirt on his hands.

"There was no way I wouldn't help you!" I replied back breathless.

"I didn't want your help Max. What if you had gotten hurt? You have the baby to worry about now and damnit you are not healthy yet!" Fang shook his head behooved and sucked in much needed breath. He kissed my head and grabbed my hand and started to walk back to the edge of the woods.

I allowed him to drag me back a few minutes then stopped abrubtly.

"I'm sorry, its just.." Tears choked my throat as I realized how ridiculous I was acting. I took his shoulder and turned him to me hugging him again. "I didn't want to loose you and you didn't come back and I couldn't find you!"

I felt his chest sigh as his hands lingered on my back, "I was okay. I had to get rid of them and after I was already in the yard I saw your butt hightailing it from the air onto the ground and running like hell fire into the woods. I've been following you the whole time. I'm sorry you got worried, Max."

My body froze as realization hit me. "You've been behind me the entire time?" I walked out of his arms and turned back to where the black figure had run off.


"There's someone else out there Fang." I whispered to him. "I was following him, I thought it was you."

He slipped an arm around my waist and pulled me more into him, "Are you sure?"


"Positive? Max, it is really dark. And I scouted the area after the attack to make sure it was clear." He turned my face to look at his. "Was it an eraser?"

I tried to remember back at the form. I couldn't make it out. Was it human or canine? Or was it another animal like a deer?

"Umm, I don't know. It was a dark figure, it was something moving and I followed it." I cringed at my own voice noticing the lack of certainty.

"Could it have been a deer?" he asked looking up past my head into the darkness.

I shook my head confused, "Maybe, I don't know." My body started to shake in a delay reaction to the events.

Fang noticed and rubbed my hand. "Come on." He gave my hand a little pull and we continued trailing back to the house.

We walked in silence for a few moments but the wanting to talk to him about before bothered me, "Thank you." I stated.

He didn't ask for what but gave a short nod. "Were we made? Do we have to leave?" He asked.

"No. They hadn't informed the Company and as far as I could tell they didn't know where the eraser's location was at." I spoke quietly wondering if he had witness any of what was said before the fight between the erasers and I occurred.

He beat me to the subject, "One was still alive enough to run is mouth when you left. He said some things, implied some things."

We had gotten to the edge of the forest and walked onto the short neat grass of the back yard and stopped. I glanced up at him for a quick second and looked away.

"If what they did to you back at the compound makes it so you don't want to be physical or makes you feel uncomfortable I'll understand. I'm sorry Max, it never occurred to me that you could have been raped." He talked soothingly, not judging, not angry.

The word rape caught my attention and I jerked up, "But I wasn't." I shook my head and moved closer to him, "They did things, yes, but they never got that far. It never happened and…" I moved my face closer to his, "you, you make things better. You make me feel better," I rested my forehead on his lips, "You make the pain and memories go away when you kiss me."

Fang smirked and kissed my forehead. "I still cant figure out how they found us," he murmured over my skin.

I looked up at him, "They followed Ann. They said they had to kill her now too. I don't think she can ever go back there."

He considered that and sighed, "I guess she's running for her life now too." He looked uncaring and moved his arm around my shoulder to continue up to the house.

"Umm… when we go back into the house, its not going to be pretty," I said biting my lip.

Fang stopped and looked worried, "Did someone get hurt?"

"No, no, not at all," I replied quickly. His scared demeanor reversed and he continued with his casual stroll. "Well then, what happened this time?"

I licked my lips and took a deep breath, "I kinda flipped out on Iggy when he and Jess tried to stop me from coming after you." I glanced up at him and continued, "I mean I really lost it. Fang I almost hit him." I was starting to shake again and tears filled my eyes.

We got to the back door and I paused seriously, "Fang, I really really almost hurt him. I almost hurt one of the flock." I was shaking my head upset.

He gently cupped my head in his hands and shushed me, "It's okay, we'll figure it out. Maybe your hormones are waking out, you were under a lot of stress, I'm sure it wasn't that bad."

"No, you don't understand," I spoke slower hoping he'd comprehend my next sentence, "I almost lost control. It was like I was fighting years ago. I almost hurt them, Fang. I can't loose control like that ever. Do you understand?"

He pursed his lips thinking and nodded his head, "Okay. We'll talk about this later. Let's just go tell everyone we're fine."

He turned to go in and I jerked his hand back, "We will talk about this later. We have to." I said sternly and then followed him in. "Oh, and one more thing Fang."

His hand turned the doorknob and he looked back at me, "What?"

I let a small smile touch my lips, "Brian saw our wings and I threatened to kill him."

He rolled his eyes, "Perfect."

32. Continuation

Quick Note:

Hey guys, so I know it has been almost a lifetime since I've updated this story. I just wanted to apologize for that. Life has come full force and graduating college when the economy is in shambles does not lead to roses. Long story short I haven't had time. Nor have I had a computer. Or internet. Ha ha.

But some happy news. I am and will continue this story. I have it outlined, I know what's going to happen. I promise I won't leave yall hanging. You've been with me for this long so hang in a little longer.

That's it. Expect a new chapter within a week (hopefully) (If I can swipe this laptop again).

Oh and I dedicate this post to all those who PM'd me multiple times asking if I was still alive. Yes, yes I am. I'm not dead. I'm not dead. I'm not dead yet. (quick, what's the movie?)


33. Chatper 33

Gosh. It's a chapter. Hell's frozen over right? Ok so the laptop with half this chapter went on vacation for like 10 days. And I sadly did not. Sorry for the lateness (like 2 years late) I will try to continue but it wont be regular updating. Like maybe update every 2 weeks or so. I hope I havent lost my touch, I havent written anything since 08 so I apologize if this doesnt live up to the past chapters. Well here goes nothing.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Well, Jess, Brian and Faith are mine I guess. I'll claim em. All other's are JP's.

Chapter 36

The mood was bleak to say the least. We entered the living room and a mixture of both relief and trepidation was staring back at us. Brian was still right where I left him his color finally coming back to his face. His adams apple was bobbing double time and I could tell he was sweating bullets.

Fang gripped my hand a tad bit tighter and broke the ice, "Well I'm fine, thanks for asking guys."

The flock responded with some mummers of glee and Jess stood up from her spot by Brian.

"Happy your ok. Both of you." She responded and turned to look at Brian. She started to say something but Fang interrupted.

"So Max told me what happened while I was taking out the proverbial trash and I think we all have a lot to talk about." He dragged me into the center of the room and gave me elbow nudge.

"I'm sorry I threatened to kill you, Brian. And Iggy." My voice was deadpan trying to illicit the slightest bit of humor in this not so funny situation.

"Wasn't the first time and probably won't be the last." Iggy said back smirking. "P.S. I'm blaming your pregnant hormones for this so all is mostly forgiven."

I sighed deeply and turned to look at Brian who was still silent, pale and sweaty.

Jess stepped in front of him, "We talked while yall were out. Filled Brian in on some of this stuff."

"I wont say a word to anybody about anything. I was just…. shocked and confused. But mostly caught off guard and bloody well shocked. " Brian finally replied getting the courage to stand up.

"I know you wont say anything." I replied trying to smile.

"I thank you for your trust but I also know your saying that with a slight thought that you can kill me anytime you want with probably just your pinky so of course I wouldn't be saying anything. But also I truly mean that even without the threat of death I wouldn't be telling anyone. Not that they would believe me anyway but that's beside the point." He was rambling.

"What is the point?" Fang asked. I could see humor and annoyance graze over his eyes.

Brian took a deep breath and finally looked a little more relaxed. "The point is I still consider you, Max, my friend. I feel like we bonded after being clobbered." I glanced over at Jess acknowledging what I said with our earlier conversation with a look. Brian walked over and in a brazen mood took my unoccupied hand in his, "Max I feel for you and your family. I know what's its like to be betrayed by those you thought you can trust, though not to the extent as your crazy past but I want you to know that your secrets are safe with me and I'm willing to help in any way possible."

Ok, so Brian's 180 mood totally caught me by surprised but I totally understood part of it. I did feel like he was my friend and maybe I liked the idea of having an actual friend that did not share a part of my avian DNA, maybe I liked having another person that seems just as messed up in the love department as I was feeling. Maybe I just liked having another guy around to drive Fang crazy because the look Fang was giving Brian right then was enough to send Total cowering under the coffee table.

I had to crack a smile.

Fang's smile was less enthused but smile he did as he carefully took my hand out of Brian's. "Well that's nice Brian, thank you." He grunted out. Brian finally looked up from me and took notice of Fang's death glare and backed up a few steps.

I took claim of my own hands and gave Fang a swat. "I feel the same way so I'm so so sorry and I was wiggin out probably because of the baby mama drama. So friends?" I held my hand back out to Brian.

Fang snorted and Brian smiled taking it in a firm shake. "Friends."

"He's telling the truth! He wont spill." Angel let out pointing to her head to let me know she was mind hacking again.

"Thank you Angel but what did I tell you about do that?" I gave her a look but couldn't hide a small smile.

"Doing what?" Brian asked.

Jess came up behind him I guess to try and lessen the knowledge of some of our other gifts. "Well, Angel has this ability."

"Reading minds." Informed Gazzy.

Brian blinked, "Oh, of course. Sure." Exasperated he just turned to Jess allowing her to walk him back to the couch like a stunned puppy.

"It's ok, dear. You'll get use to it." She said kindly patting his hand.

The air seemed clearer and everyone's mood seemed to improve. First crisis averted.

"Well that's all good fine and dandy but shall we get back to the whole, pardon my French, 'holy shit Erasers are back' problem?" Iggy piped up from the chair. He had a hold of Faith but passed her off to me.

Second crisis, welcome.

"Yes, so from what I could find out the Company sent erasers out in every direction but these guys were dumb enough not to report back where exactly their location was. They were following Anne so that's how they found us." I said taking a seat on the floor. My nerves shot.

"What do they want? Anything specific or just to make our lives miserable like usual." Nudge asked.

"Well, they want me." I said glancing up at Fang knowing my next words were going to hit hard, "and they want the babies. Faith and this one inside me. Apparently we are the property of the Company and they don't like their things misplaced." I was right, Fang's jaw was clinching and his head was just a shaking.

"I will kill them. Kill them all." Fang grumbled.

"Now calm down, I've had enough killing we just need to be aware that they haven't given up yet." I said trying to soothe the beast within.

"But we're safe now right?" Nudged asked. "Well as safe as we were pretty much before."

"I believe so." I replied not wanting to bring up the large shadow I saw in the woods. Hopefully it was deer. Or bigfoot. I'd take a bigfoot over an eraser any day. "Well since that's –."

"Shh" Fang quipped.

My eyes shot up, "Did you just shh me?"

"Shh, I'm trying to think." Fang whispered and ran his fingers through his hair.

I wanted to snap at him but Faith's need for attention allowed me to let it slide. Just this once.

He started to pace and twitch his feathers in both anger and in thought. Brian was doing his own twitching especially when Fang's feathers got within two feet of him.

"Sorry" Brian mumbled. "I'll get use to it right?" He looked up at Jess for solace. She nodded her head and glanced down at her watch.

"Sorry to interrupt your thinking but it's late and I think yall need some family time and I think I need to take Brian away to decompress." Jess stated standing up and dragging Brian up with her.

"Yeah, I need um, decompression from all this excitement tonight." He said obviously still pretty freaked but all in all I think he was handing this news quite well. At least he hasn't passed out, yet. Or thrown up.

Fang pretty much ignored them allowing for me to walk them out. "Thank you again. I know you guys didn't want this burden of our crazy lives and I'm sorry the past has come back to haunt us in full swing." We walked out to the porch noticing it was storming.

"I had a feeling the storm would come sooner or later." Jess stated smartly not referring to the current weather. "I'm happy you're here at least when it comes. Your family can fight better when it's complete. Yall are extraordinary." She smiled me and then down at Faith.

Brian found his voice turning from the rain, "Extraordinary people will always be wanted. And in your case hunted. Let us know if you need help hunting them back. Nobody messes with my friends and I have one hell of a buck shot." He grinned. "I am British after all."

A slight laugh escaped and I nodded, "Will do but for now try not to worry so much about this. You guys are in our mess so trust me when I say you will have your chances to help. Believe me."

We waved goodbye and I watched as they dashed through the rain. I'm sure it was going to be a long night for Jess answering probably hordes of questions Brian would have. Good luck to her.

When I got back to the living room the kids were in the kitchen most likely finding dinner. Fang was still pacing and thinking so I settled in the recliner and decided to feed Faith and watch Fang brood.

I understood his need for urgency. It wasn't like I thought the Company would give up looking for me. I just didn't think they would make it their number one mission to find me. And my babies. My worry meter had indeed risen but I believed the mutts when they said the Company didn't know where they were so I do believe we are still safe, for now at least. But Fang is Fang. He needs to be sure. He needs a backup plan for his backup plan. Just like I did when I was the leader. After years of pretty much living in hell I've learned to metaphorically go with it. My plans consisted of living day by day. I know I need to get back into planning, searching and wanting a future especially if I want to be leader again. But I think I've earned the right to take it easy for awhile and let others take the lead.

Wow. This whole hormonal thing really is for real. Just an hour ago I wanted to kill anything that moved and now I felt calm, relaxed… and a little in the mood for Fang. Get my meaning.

The flock came back in with the makings of sandwiches piled in their arms. Angel handed me a sandwich and joined the others around the couch and floor. Even Total came out of his hiding spot and nuzzled up to Nudge trying desperately to steal some turkey.

"Are we allowed to speak yet?" Asked Gazzy. "Cus I have a suggestion."

Fang stopped pacing shaking his head like he just now saw all of us in the room. "Yeah sure Gazzy, what's up?" He snatched a sandwich from Iggy and perched himself on the edge of my recliner.

"You're welcome!" Iggy grumbled but threw a coke in Fang's direction with a smile.

Gazzy cleared his voice in that obvious I have something of merit to announce way. "So I realized while the erasers were after us that we have lost like ALL our mojo when it comes to fighting. I for one think we need to step up on our fighting skills. Maybe even add in some firearms training."

"No guns!" I shouted the same time Fang yelled out a "Hell no!"

"Well which part?" Gazzy sighed irritated.

"My flock will never use guns!" I started, "We are too smart and talented and guns are too dangerous."

Fang shot up from the couch, "Max is right. We have never used guns in the past and I won't allow any guns to be in this house. Now as for more training, I totally agree. We need to sharpen up our techniques. Start actually using all the equipment we have around the house."

"Well Gazzy has a point about the guns. The Company and erasers are now using guns to fight. It's a little unfair if we don't at least know how to properly use one in case there ever comes a time we need to." Iggy piped in.

Nudge tiffed, "Um, we have something they don't have, Igg. If they point a gun at us we use those things on our backs and fly the hell away! I'm not comfortable around guns."

"But we couldn't get away today when they had guns!" Igg shot back.

"That was because we were caught off guard and not trained well." Angel stated moving from her spot on the couch to the floor next to Nudge.

"But it would give us more of an edge." Gazzy glared at his sister. Then all four younger members of the flock started going at it. Boys against girls.

I could tell this would get ugly quickly if the adults didn't step in. I sighed and gave Fang one of my looks.

"Hey guys. Yo. Hello!" I was hollering over the arguments and finally pulled my mean awesome whistling. It shut the flock up but also made Faith angry and she started crying. Crap. I stood up doing the mama bounce and tried to speak over my baby's crankiness. "The decision is mine and Fang's and we already said no guns. Final! Yes, let's do more training and I can even teach you guys new fighting moves I've had the unfortunate chance of learning but no weapons…. besides Gazzy's crazy explosives." I paused for a moment. "Come on guys! I mean seriously with the way Gazzy is with explosives you want to hand him a gun? And Iggy, I know your have special talent dude, but a blind person with a gun, even if that person has part avian DNA is just a plain dumb idea. Gotta think."

They all gave general head nods and snickering laughs at the thought of both Gazzy and Iggy packing. Faith I guess sensing the peace finally quieted down and was passed on to Fang who was looking lonely. With that covered the rest of the night was filled with discussing the regimens for training and another debate over whether we should take up P90X. Gazzy is crazy.

Everyone was getting ready for bed but I stopped Iggy before he reached the stairs, "Hey Igg, I just wanted to say again I'm sorry for flippin out on you."

He just shook his blond head and smiled, "Max, I know you would never really hurt me so no worries."

"No, Iggy. I really was about to hurt you. You need to understand something." I pleaded, his eyes got serious which was good, "I'm not fully the same as I was before. You know that. But it also means my control on things is now different. If I ever get that way again I don't know if I can stop myself from really loosing it." I saw the information comprehend across his face.

"Well that's something else we need to start to try and figure out. An 'off' button for your rage." He chuckled, "Seriously I think your hormonal rages are the least of our worries right now. Night, Max" He patted my shoulder and carried on upstairs.

My breath let out in a hiss of frustration. He just didn't get it. I turned around and almost ran straight into Fang. Well his face normally expressionless held a look of worry. "How much did you hear?"

"Enough." He replied and ran his hand up my arm and cupped my neck. His thumb traced my jaw bone and with every second of his skin on mine my worry and frustrations melted. "Are you really worried about this?" The silence finally broken by Fang.

"I am." I whispered my eyes closing involuntarily. Fang pulled me into him then for a hug so needed it hurt. His fingers tangled in my hair gently messaging it. I was so about to fall asleep.

"So are you our little archangel then? Beautiful and valiant yet deadly and lethal with a slightest snap." He whispered in my ear. I could tell he was smiling by his voice.

"Take this seriously Fang. If I do ever snap you need to get the flock far far away." I pulled away being serious. He needed to take this totally seriously. I don't remember all I did when I went into what the Company called a rage high but I do know that when I came to a lot of damage was created… by me. A lot of deaths I don't remember committing.

"You don't think we can control you?" Fang asked. "I have faith in at least myself that I can take you down if need be." He gave a short laugh and raised his brows for effect.

"No. No you couldn't. Much of my memory when I'm in the rage high is gone. I don't remember killing people I don't even remember most of the missions the Company had us do before the major attack on the Russians. I don't remember Fang. All I do know for certain is that when I came off my high death and mayhem were always the result. I would even hurt my own team members if they got in the way." I was pleading with him now. He needed to get it. He needed to know. My fists were gently pounding away at this chest to give emphasis.

He became quiet and still. His wings drew back tightly finally realizing this was no small joke, back to the stoic Fang. "Ok. Ok. We'll figure it out. You try and keep calm and the rest of the flock will try and not piss you off. Just what we need. A trained assassin now hormonal and temperamental."

"Ha ha," I said dryly.

Fang released me and went around the house turning lights out and locking doors. By the time he came into our room I was already snuggled in the bed, Faith checked on in her room and asleep. The rain had picked up and the lightning was making the room glow every ten seconds. Good sleeping weather.

"Do you think we should have mentioned the whatever it was in the woods today?" Fang asked as he started to change.

"Mmmm. No. I thought maybe but I don't want to worry them." I replied words slightly slurred together from both need of sleep and from watching my very good looking Fang half naked. "Besides, I'm still not sure if it was a big deer or even maybe a bear."

"A bear, huh?" He laughed as he joined me in bed. I automatically placed myself in his arms.

"Yeah, bears can happen." I smiled back sliding my hand up his chest finding its resting place over his heart.

"I doubt it but I'd take a bear rather than an eraser." Fang's hand was trailing up my spine gently caressing my wings making me shake.

"That's what I said about bigfoot!" I responded and that got a gut laugh from him. Well I didn't think it was that funny.

"Let's think about the positive. Dr. Martinez will be here within a few days, I've got most of the equipment she'll need and we can get working on your chip." Fang said as he kissed my forehead.

"My arm. And chip. Right." I groaned remembering the bigger picture. "Ouch!" Fang just stuck my shoulder with one of the needles with Anne's concoction. I kneed him hard in response.

"Hey whatchit!" He laughed as he tossed the needle in the trash, marked the paper on the bedside table and tried to scoot me back to him.

"I swear, Fang. You keep surprising me with those needles and I will do severe bodily harm to you. I don't care how hot I think you are." I grumbled.

"Fine," he sighed sleepily, "do me harm. Just let me try to keep you alive. You're a pain in my butt you know that."

"Butthead." I smiled, my eyes drooping. A calm sleep was coming. A welcoming sleep.

Max, wake up! Danger Max. Danger. …. Maximum. Please listen! The noise was annoying and I tried to push it back in my head. Sleep. Sleep is what I wanted. Max, I am not a noise. It wasn't a deer, it wasn't a bear. By God it wasn't Bigfoot either. You know what it was now get up out of bed. She needs you!

Oh voice. My voice. Let me sleep, you bane of my existence. I promise to deal with it tomorrow. I turned over burying myself deeper into Fang.

It's here, Max. In the house. It's here….. Maximum Ride, the Company will have your daughter in mere minutes if you do not get your ass out of bed!

My eyes shot open at the sound of my daughter. I leapt out of bed disoriented from the darkness. The storm was raging outside and thunder was shaking the house. I maneuvered quickly to the door, lightning gave seconds of flash illumination followed by rolls of thunder. Flashes were all I needed. I gave out a small cry as my foot found the door before my hand did. I could see Fang startle awake but I didn't stay to explain.

In the hall I could hear Faith's wails, I half ran half flew upstairs screaming her name. I was slamming into the walls the thunder and lightning seemed like it was following me, gaining on me and making me crazy. My heart was in my ears, there was this pressure in my head and my mouth was so dry my yells were barely audible. Fang was yelling questions behind me but I knew the truth before I reached her room. I heard glass break and wood crack and yanked open her door with Fang right on my heels.

It's all in slow motion. The trauma of running to her crib and knowing she's not there. The window was thrown open, glass everywhere. The wind from the storm was making her pink and purple curtains billow out. I heard nothing but my own ragged breaths. It all seemed to be in stop motion. Movement slow and the only source of light was from the storm. I felt the carpet come up to my hands, I felt my wings brush and get snagged on her crib. I felt myself shatter from the inside. I gestured to the window and tried to crawl to it but my body was now heavy as stone. I settled back on my hands and knees as Fang rushed to the window and desperately looked for any sign of our daughter. The sound of howling started as the wind picked up traces of the room and swirled them around.

It's all a nightmare that's all it is, I thought as I saw Fang turn about the room and scream at Gazzy and Iggy who magically appeared in the doorway. I didn't understand what was being said. I just turned back to the crib that only moments ago held my daughter and watched as the emptiness enveloped it. I was on my knees gripping the bars when Nudge's hands wrapped around mine and tried to pry them off. Angel came up to me and wrapped me in her arms wiping my face with a wash cloth. The howling continued and I now realized it was coming from me. I was sobbing with tears making tracks down my face and I didn't realize it. I tried to collect myself and managed to stand up but still clutched the crib frantically looking for some clue, some sign. The girls were asking me questions trying to get me to stand still to answer them. And just like that life came back into real time. Colors sharpened, voices came back and I could breathe. I could think and I could feel.

"Where's Fang?" I shouted. I gripped my chest and ran to the window to see myself where Faith had been dragged out of. Wood littered the ground below as I could see they took most of the window frame along with my daughter.

"He and the boys when out flying looking for Faith. Or whoever took her." Angel replied softly coming up behind me dragging me away from the window.

"I know who took her!" I yelled tossing her off me and running out the door. The fear and fury inside was making me shake as I made my way down and out the front door the girls close behind. I was drenched in seconds but didn't care pushing the hair out of my face as I ran around the house looking for any of the boys. I ran and kicked off flinging myself in hair and snapped my wings out so hard I felt a bone break but not the pain.

"Max! Max, stop!" Nudge yelled as I heard her rush after me. She shot up right on one side of me and Angel quickly joined on the other. "You need to come back down. Fang said that they would handle it –." She was yelling over the storm but lighting stopped her of us as it struck a tree right near us splitting it.

The girls screamed and hurried out of the way but I just pulled my wings in tight and dove under the falling limb. My mind was racing, my baby was gone and the devil themselves had her. I was making a wider circle around our house when a strong yank on my ankle flung me into brush of a tree. I instinctively flung my leg out and turned to swing at whatever had me. It was Gazzy who ducked quickly and came back up to grip my arms.

"Max, cool it!" He shouted. I could see fear and anger and confusion in his eyes which I'm sure matched mine. "Fang found something but you need to get back in the house!"

"What did he find?" I screamed trying to wiggle my way out of his grasp and the tree's barky finger. "Where is he?"

"No way man!" Iggy popped up and stopped Gazzy from saying anymore. "He said you are in no shape to go looking for Faith." More tightening as Iggy helped restrain me. Nudge and Angel followed close behind.

This was not good. If the incident back at the house with Iggy was bad before it was about to get a whole lot worse. I could feel my body start to shake and get sickeningly hot. My vision was blurring and I knew I was about to loose it. I took some deep breathes desperately trying to calm down but this was my daughter. I had no self control when it came to her. I was going to turn into destructive Max and I needed to get away from my flock and focus my anger on the ones who had her.

"Let me go." I instructed calm and almost in a whisper to Gazzy. "I am three seconds away from hurting all of you and if you do not release me I cannot promise you a good outcome." I turned to Iggy, "I'm serious Igg. You need to let me go and tell me where Fang went. I cant stop this." I was visibly going into convulsions and was gasping for breath.

Before my eyes glazed over I heard Igg yell for Gazzy to fly away quick and for the girls to follow. I heard the girls scream in what I assumed was fear, Gazzy was letting curse words fly out of his mouth but he did release me.

I was in the high, the adrenaline pulsing through my body. I felt my wings extend and every feather felt electric. My mind started to become fuzzy, a headache was forming and I knew I would black out soon and the rage would have complete control over me. I hoped I would be far away from the house when it hit, I hope Fang would be there to stop me from killing myself or worse, hurting Faith. I flung myself up out of the group and the words being shouted from the flock were that of a barn east of here. Hopefully that's where I'll be. I'm not really a religious person but in those few moments of consciousness I prayed I wouldn't hurt my daughter or her father. I prayed that when I came to we'd all be safe back at the house. I also prayed that the next decision I made wouldn't come back to haunt me, for I know I said no to the flock and I'd hope that under any sane circumstance I wouldn't even dream of doing what I was about to do. I was flying straight to Jess's house… for her gun. I didn't want to get it but I knew my body was going there specifically for her firearm. All was going black and I was frighteningly aware that one thing was certain; erasers had my baby and I'd shoot anyone who got in my way.

Well? How was it? If yall want more please let me know. I'll finish this for yall. Just tell me to continue.

later gators. ::hugs::

34. Continuation part deux

Hi there, Um, I'm alive. And it's been a few years. Sorry. Honestly, life happened and the story of Max, Fang and the gang was lost in the shuffle. Being an adult with a family of your own, bills to pay, a house to keep up, a real job, etc, it gets kinda crazy. Also, even though I have an outline of this story still in my head I feel like I have had a serious case of writers block. I know, it's not fair to you guys. So I've made a decision. If there is still enough interest in this story, I promise to dedicate several hours a week to it to get it finished up. I know there are still people who send me messages that have been hanging on since 2007. That's incredible. If you're still out there and want more, let me know. If there's not much interest in it, then I'm going to mark the story as completed. Let your imagination's run wild with their journey. (Seriously, our imagination's are so much better than what the books have become... I still refuse to acknowledge anything after the 3rd book 'Saving the world and other extremem sports') So yeah, please comment or message to let me know if you'd like me to continue. It's truley up to you guys. I owe you all at least that much. Well there we go. Hope all is well! Best, Piperchick