Neighborly Love by Nova Ride

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Humor, Romance
Published:2009-06-14 17:40:45
Updated:2011-11-21 14:45:30
Packaged:2021-04-04 13:03:21
Summary:Max and Fang are next door neighbors who hate each other. But, among all the hatred are there feelings of love and lust? How will they discover those feelings if they are always going at each others throats? FAX! R&R please.

Table of Contents

1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 3
3. Chapter 4
4. Chapter 5
5. Chapter 6
6. Chapter 7
7. Author NoteDon't you just hate these :
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
23. Note about the Update
24. College Love

1. Chapter 1

I hated, hated HATED Nick Gomez. No, hate wasn't a strong enough word to explain my feelings for him. I loathed him, I despised him, I…well to sum it up in the glory of English language, I wanted to kill him.

Mom said it hadn't always been this way. She said that when Nick and I were little, up to the age of five, we were always at each others house, playing in sandboxes, swimming in the swimming pools, riding our tricycles, and we even shared snacks together. Now, at the age of seventeen, it was hard to believe that I was ever friends with that sleaze, who just so happened to be my next door neighbor. What was almost as stupid as him was the fact that everybody had nicknamed him Fang. Seriously, stupid much?

"Max," mom called from the kitchen. "Are you going to help me with these cookies or not?"

I sighed, walking into the kitchen and I plopped down on a chair. "I'd rather just eat them, if that's okay." I grinned at her.

Mom laughed. "Uh-huh, I know. But-"she whirled around and plopped a big piece of dough on my nose. "If you want any of these delicious, brown, soft, melt right in your mouth cookies, you have to help me."

She played a hard bargain. I sighed, acknowledging the fact that I was beaten, and stood up, wiping the dough off my nose.

"Where is Ella?" I asked curiously. I hadn't seen my sister in a couple of hours. Well, technically she was my half sister. We shared the same mom, but mom had been married when she had me, (she was now divorced.) and Ella had been a one night fling. Whenever she and I were arguing about something, I simply called her 'the accident.' It was hilarious.

"Oh she took the dogs out for a walk," Mom replied. My mother was a vet, meaning the animals at our house accumulated frequently. We currently had a German shepherd, a Basset hound, a Boston terrier and then two rescue mixed breeds. You've probably guessed we went through a lot of kibble.

Mom and I made the cookies, and while they were baking in the oven I ran upstairs to take a shower. Afterwards, I brushed the comb through my sometimes unruly dirty blonde hair. I changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top and after stealing a dozen chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk; I ran upstairs to my room and shut the door.

My room was probably the most awesome room in the house. It was shaped like a giant rectangle but it protruded out in one corner, leading to my bathroom. The walls were painted a light sky blue and in the corner on the right side there was a giant sun plastered on, and clouds were painted all around it. On the opposite wall, a large moon was drawn and painted in, and surrounded by tiny stars. The wood was hard floor, but I had a lot of bright rugs to help liven it up. My bed was the first thing you saw when you opened my door, and beside it was my night stand. Under the moon painting, there was my book shelf and my computer desk, and laptop, was directly under the sun painting.

Everything about my room was peaceful…until my horrible next door neighbor decided to crank up his music.

I wasn't exactly nerdy, but I will admit I liked the old, classy music. All of this rap stuff made my ears bleed, and that's exactly what Fang played.

Mouth half full of cookie, I stomped to my window and threw it angrily open.

"HEY!" I screamed. His curtains were drawn back, reveling him shirtless with just a pair of boxers on. Fang was what girls considered attractive, though I'm sure if they saw the real him, they would all avoid him like the plague he was. He had long, black hair that fell just below his eyebrows, keeping his dark eyes visible. He was tall and lean, and muscular because he was a basketball player. Even from my window, I could distinguish his abs.

"Do you just want to stare or do you actually need something?"

The dreaded voice snapped me out of my observation of Fang and my face heated up.

"Can you turn that crappy music down? Some of us would like to keep our hearing."

He laughed. "Now, why would I do something like that?"

I let out an irritated scoff. "Because if you don't, I'm going to come over there and kick your ass."

He smirked. "I like the sound of that, Maxine."

My mouth dropped. "First of all, ew. I have much better taste. And secondly, my name is Max. Get it right, bonehead."

He held a hand to his bare chest. "Ouch, that really hurts the heart."

"What heart?" I asked seriously. Fang rolled his eyes.

"You're feisty, I like that. How about you crawl out of that window of yours and give me a smooch?"

"I would, but you'd probably kill me with that terrible odor of yours. Haven't you ever heard of deodorant?"

"Haven't you ever heard of neighborly love?"

"Afraid not."

With that I slammed my window shut and pulled my curtains closed. I couldn't resist peeking around at him though and I busted out laughing when I saw him raising his arms to make sure he didn't smell bad. I didn't think he smelled bad. Honestly, he smelled delightful whenever I passed him by in the school halls. But I wasn't going to tell him that.

If I get any reviews, I'll update tomorrow =). I just had this idea on my mind and thought I'd share it. The next chapter will be much longer and go into more detail about Max and Fang's feud.


2. Chapter 3

Wow thanks for the response guys! And one person threatened to send me death threats and hunt me down with a pointy stick and force me to update, so honestly I'm afraid that if I don't update, my life will be in danger :D So enough rambling here is chapter 2!

Disclaimer: I only plan on putting it in this one chapter, because I'm forgetful and such, so yeah last time I looked in the mirror I don't resemble James Patterson, -Gasp!- so I don't own Max, Fang, or any of the Maximum Ride characters. (sniffsandcries)

Monday mornings were defiantly the worst thing in the entire universe. Especially when you ate over a dozen chocolate chip cookies the night before and you feel like you're going to barf them all up again. Not only did I have a severe belly ache, but mom also yelled at me when she saw there were only three cookies left. Blah.

To add to that, I was exhausted because a certain somebody played their loud music until three in the morning, so I was left lying in bed all night, fantasizing about how I could kill Fang and make it look like an accident.

"Max! Get out of the bathroom!"

I scowled at Ella's voice. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister. But I am not; repeat not, a morning person. Never have been, and never will be.

I opened the door. "Good morning, mom's little accident. Why are you in such a rush?"

Ella let out a groan. "Stop calling me that! And because I have to pee! What do you do in there for so long?"

"I'm getting beautiful," I answered.

Ella laughed. "You'll need a lot more time then you have if you're trying to get beautiful."

Before I could reach her neck to strangle her, she dove in the bathroom and locked the door. I pounded on it a couple of times and threatened that her entire diary was going to be plastered on the Jr. High walls if she didn't watch herself. She only giggled on the other side of the door.

I trotted down the steps, ready for school. My backpack hung on a small rack beside the door and I threw it over my shoulder.

"Bye mom!" I yelled. "See you later.

I didn't get a response, so I assumed she was already downstairs preparing for work. I stepped out the door and hopped down the steps. The sky was dark and grey, warning us that it was going to start raining soon.

I glanced to my right and saw Fang stepping out his door as well. We both attended the same school, as if I didn't get enough of him being my neighbor. He caught my eye and winked at me. I faked gag, making him grin a cocky grin.

I continued walking down my pathway and closed the gate that encircled my house behind me. Fang was doing the same, and since his house was on my right and the way to the bus stop was a right turn, I had to follow behind him. I noticed what he was wearing: a pair of dark jeans that fitted him nicely, a plain white tee shirt and he had a black jacket over it. His black hair was shinning in the sun, causing it to look lighter then it really was, but in a pretty way. I myself was wearing a pair of light blue jeans, sneakers, and a white tank top with a blue jean jacket over top of it. My hair was loose and lay on my shoulders. I looked at how his blue jeans fit him again. Those were some nice jeans….particularly so on him.

"Stop checking out my ass, Maxi," Fang called out without looking behind at me. My face heated up. I was not looking at his butt, I swear!

"Oh don't flatter yourself, Nick," I said in an even tone, disguising my embarrassment. He chuckled.

"It's okay. I know I have a great ass."

"Even if I could tell which end of you is your ass, I'm sure it's not great." With that, I brushed roughly past him, ramming my shoulder in his. But suddenly my foot knocked into something unexpected, and I fell forward. Fang busted out in laughter behind me. That little…! He had tripped me!

I looked up, my knee throbbing way to much to attempt standing just yet, and saw that the bus was already at the stop and people were loading on. Fang was jogging towards it and I struggled to get up and limp towards it as fast as I could, but Fang just smirked at me before he boarded the bus. The doors shut and the bus roared forward.

"HEY!" I yelled. "WAIT!"

The stupid yellow thing didn't stop and I was left alone. As I sat there, hoping the bus would turn around, I felt something wet hit the top of my head. My hand flew up and then another moist object hit me. I looked up, closing my eyes as rain fell down in them. I was going to have to walk to school in the rain. And it was Fang's fault.

I hated him! He was the most diabolical, evil boy I'd ever met in my entire life!

*************** **************** **************** ****************

It was a two mile trip and I got there thirty minutes late to first period. Nudge gasped when she saw my appearance and most of my other peers snickered. Mrs. Wilson gave me a disapproving look. I swear to every known and unknown force out there, Mrs. Wilson was out to get me. It all started at the first of the school year, when Fang threw all of my books out the classroom window, so I tried to throw him out the window. Unfortunately, Mrs. Wilson caught me and I got in school suspension for three days. Fang denied doing anything and got off without so much as a warning.

"Can I help you?" Mrs. Wilson asked.

I gave her an odd look. "This is my class…."

"Do you have an excuse?"

I took in a breath, reminding myself to play nicely. "Yes, I do." I handed her the pink slip from the office and then walked briskly towards my seat beside Nudge, but on the way there I 'accidentally' rammed my foot into Fang's shin, causing him to yelp in pain. I sat down, putting on an innocent face.

"What on earth happened to you?! Your shoes! OH MY GOD look at your hair!" Nudge barley refrained from screeching in utter horror. I gave her an 'I really do not give a damn' look and opened up my books. Nudge shook her head sadly.

Nudge's real name was Monique Carter. She was my best friend, as well as a pain in the butt at times whenever fashion was involved. Her caramel colored skin was always bright and freash looking, her hair always fixed to every last strand, and she wore the best outfits. I was probably taking years off her life span by showing up in such a fashion disaster.

She pestered me throughout class, but when the bell finally rang Nudge dragged me to the nearest bathroom. She opened up her purse and poured out so many make up appliances that she could probably start her own store with them all. Then she began fussing over my soaked hair, as well as demanding what happened.

"It was Fang. That stupid son of a-"I paused, eyeing some ease dropping tenth graders. I glared at them and their eyes got wide as they rushed out of the bathroom. That's right.

"Go on!" Nudge persisted. I sighed.

"We were on the way to the bus stop and he tripped me. The bus was already there and I couldn't get to it on time because I freaking hurt my knee when I fell. But, God as my witness, I'm totally getting him back for that stunt."Nudge tsked. "Is that such a good idea? I mean, what type of revenge are we talking about here?"

I shrugged. "I don't know. I'll think of something."

Nudge was quiet for a minute and I winced as she pulled a tangle out of my hair. When she finally spoke, her voice was thoughtful. "I don't think I've ever asked you this before, and we've known each other for what-three years? You've hated Fang before we even met and up to this day, but my question is, why? How come you guys can't stand each other?"

I went over the question. Why did Fang and I hate each other? It was because he was a selfish, uncaring, cocky, arrogant, obnoxious, womanizer who only cared about himself and he thought girls were toys he could play with anytime he wanted. That's why I hated him and that's what I told Nudge.

"Hmm," she said after I explained all of Fang's terrible ways. "To be so hot, he really is a jerk."

"HOT!" I gaped. "Fang is not hot."

Nudge laughed. "To each her own. And in my opinion, Fang is hot."

I snorted as she finished my hair and we headed to our lockers. "Yeah, if you think major dick heads are hot."

"Guilty," Nudge giggled. I rolled my eyes. We went our separate ways as I went to my locker. Since Fang and I shared the same home room, his locker was just a few feet from mine. He was leaning against it, sucking faces with Lissa. I rolled my eyes in disgust.

"What? Jealous?" Fang asked in a husky tone. My eye roll hadn't escaped their attention. I laughed.

"Oh yes. Who wouldn't be jealous of Lissa Feldman? A frizzy red headed, freckly faced girl with the IQ of a rock, who is making out with an equally disgusting, frizzy haired moron? I'm surprised I don't fall over with envy."

Lissa's mouth dropped. "Excuse me? Wow, I think you are jealous because you've probably never even kissed a boy before."

Okay, she had me on that one. I had never kissed a boy before, not even when I dated Sam. Raising my chin, I replied, "That's because I don't whore myself out to every guy that walks by, like you do."

Lissa laughed sarcastically. "Is that because you prefer women over men?"

I snorted. "Oh, aren't you a fine one to be talking? I mean, you are dating Fang. Isn't that women enough for you?" I held up my thumb and index finger, making a half inch space between them. Then I met Fang's eyes. "What, isn't it about this big, Fang?"

"Come over one day and I can show you," he grinned. Appalled, I slammed my locker shut.

"Go to hell," I said.

"I'll be sure to visit you when I get there!" he yelled after me. I stormed towards English.

I sat down in my regular seat and was accompanied by Sam and J.J. J.J. and I got along wonderfully. She never took anything seriously, unlike me, and she was always friendly and happy. Sam and I were pretty close. We dated for half of eleventh grade year but just decided that we were more like friends. Well, I decided. He still confessed that he loved me, but I'm not into all of that lovey dovey stuff. No thank you.

J.J. was staring and I followed her gaze towards the small group clustered around Fang. I groaned.

"Please don't tell me you have a crush on Fang."

Her eyes grew wide. "What!? No! God no! EW!" Her disgust was genuine. She smiled slightly. "I'm not staring at Fang."

I followed her gaze more specifically to see one of the boys sitting with Fang's group was staring back at J.J.


Every encounter I had shared with Iggy had been pleasant. He seemed like a nice guy with his strawberry hair and innocent blue eyes.

"Aw, Iggy? Since when? Are you dating? Does he like you? Who all knows about it? More importantly, why didn't you tell me?!"

J.J. stared at me and I laughed. "Wow, I just had a Nudge moment."

She laughed along. "Yeah, just a bit. Anyhow, yes, Iggy. It started last night. Yes, we're dating and I think he likes me. He was the one that asked for my number and the one that asked me out. And I would've have told you on the bus if you would've rode."

I held up my hands in an innocent gesture. "The devil tripped me."

Sam's eyes flashed towards Fang. "What did he do?"

I rolled my eyes. Sam wouldn't stand a chance in a fight with Fang, but his concern was nice and warming.

"Oh nothing. Don't worry, I've got a plan. And you guys are going to help me."

Sam and J.J. exchanged a worried glance, and I was grinning manically.

********** ***************** ********************* **************

So, what is the evil prank Max has in plan for Fang? And does Fang have something in mind to embarrass Max with?

0-3 Reviews=No Chapter

4-6 Reviews=Short Chapter

7-10 Reviews=Medium Chapter

11 or 15 Reviews=Long Chapter


3. Chapter 4

I'm not really content with this chapter, but I couldn't figure out any ways to change it that I liked more, but I hope you guys enjoy it!

"I don't see why you guys look so afraid," I mumbled, sticking another bite of mom's famous spaghetti in my mouth. "I mean, seriously, it's an awesome idea!"

Nudge, J.J. and Sam looked at me with doubtful eyes. If I didn't need them so bad for this plan, then I would've told them to bug off, but I did need them, so it was time for me to play very nicely.

"But what if my mother finds out? I'm a-"J.J. slid her index finger across her throat for dramatic effect. "Goner!"

Nudge sighed. "Oh, J.J. You're mother is a very nice women." J.J.'s eyes bugged out and she interrupted saying,

"Yeah, when she is sleeping. Any other time, its like, RAWR GODZILLA IS ON THE LOOOOOSSEE!" She put her arms up, imitating her mother. Sam and I chuckled, while Nudge looked at her with disapproving eyes. Nudge shot her eyes to glare at me and I stopped laughing, pretending that I had only been clearing my throat.

"Anyhow," I stifled my laughter. "If you guys are in, then we need to go now. Fang gets back from basketball practice at seven, and it's six fifteen now. So, are you in?"

Sam sighed. "Sure."

I looked at J.J. She grinned, rolling her eyes. "Only because you seriously need me."

Lastly, Nudge. Her bambi eyes stared at me and finally she let out a deep breath. "Karma's a real witch, Max. Keep that in mind."

I raised an eyebrow. "So is that a yes?"

She frowned. "I guess. But if this plan causes serious bad karma, then I'm telling her it was all you, because I have no intention of waking up one day and finding that my hair is all gone and I break out in forty pimples and my goldfish dies and-"

"Nudge, Nudge, Nudge! Hun, it'll be okay. If your goldfish dies, you can buy another one for twenty cents at Wal-Mart," J.J., the voice of reason, patted her arm.

Nudge gasped. "There can never be another Twinkle Fins!"

I decided to go against my better judgment and ask why the hell she named her gold fish Twinkle Fins, and instead I kicked off my evil plan.

********** ****************** ****************** ***********

"So, you see," I explained very carefully to the small girl. "I really need to see all of the photo's of Fang that you have. It is very important. Plus, I'll give you five bucks."

Angel was completely opposite of her evil brother. She took after her father, with her long blonde hair, big baby blue eyes and soft smile. She was the kind of kid you wanted to hug and never let go. And I'm not being sappy.

Her brother was the same, except I had learned from experience not to hug him too tightly. They didn't nickname him Gasman for nothing. It was a nickname that was well earned, believe me.

"Hmm," she tapped her chin, thinking. "What kind of photos are we talking about here?"

J.J. grinned. "The good ones. I'm sure you know where they are."

Gasman crossed his arms over his chest. "Of course we know where they are. Follow us."

For an eleven year old (NOTE: I've changed the ages all around, Max, Nudge, Fang, Iggy and J.J. are all 17, Gasman is eleven and Angel is eight), he was pretty mature. I raised my eyebrows and chuckled when I saw J.J. doing the same. Nudge and Sam followed behind us, Nudge looking like she was about to pass out with guilt. I gave her a reassuring smile.

We crept quietly up their stairs and Angel led us into the bed room she and her brother shared together. She peeked out her door, looking side to side to make sure there were no witnesses, and then she shut the door and locked it.

"This is where they kill us!" Nudge whispered frantically. J.J. hit her upside the head with her hand and I simply shook my head.

"So," Angel smiled at us, her hands on her waist. "How bad do you want to embarrass my brother dearest?"

I grinned. "As bad as I can."

Gazzy had pulled himself back from under the bed, and in his hands was a shoe box. Nudge, J.J., Sam and I sat down in the floor, around the two children. Angel and Gazzy sat before us and opened the box up slowly.

"We'd like an up to date picture, if you have one. You know, one where he's all grown up and stuff," I told them. Gazzy nodded, rummaging through the box for a couple of minutes. As he did so, Angel asked,

"We're neighbors, aren't we?"

I met her eye, smiling softly. "Yeah, I used to baby sit you and Gazzy."

Angel smiled and she was just so darn cute it should be illegal. She was too adorable to be related to Fang. Fang was too…ugh…to be related to such a cutie.

"He has his flaws," Angel sighed. I looked at her.


She smiled again. "Fang. He has his flaws, but underneath it all he is a pretty good guy."

I snorted, but before I could retort Gazzy pulled out a colored photograph and grinned. He showed Angel and she smiled sweetly. "Perfect."

Excited, I took the picture from the kids and broke out laughing. Sam, J.J. and Nudge peeked over my shoulder and J.J. almost peed her pants from laughing so hard. She and Sam were rolling on the ground, and even Nudge couldn't resist but laugh. The photograph was priceless.

"Oh my gosh!" Nudge shrieked. "I shouldn't be laughing; it's such a terrible thing to laugh at. But I think karma understands. I mean, this picture could make Mrs. Wilson laugh! Look at his face! Oh somebody-"

"Shut you up?" J.J. finished her sentence. Nudge grumbled, slapping her on the shoulder.

"Totally not what I was going to say, how rude you are!"

J.J. shrugged, but then looked at Gazzy and Angel. "So, we can keep this, right?"

Gazzy and Angel smiled sweetly. Too sweetly. "Forty bucks."

"Forty bucks!? The four of us yelled at the same time. The high price was enough to stop my fit of laughter. Gazzy snatched the picture out of my hand.

"Take it or leave it," he grinned manically. I groaned.

"Fine. But we never had this encounter, right?"

"Right!" they said together. I fished out two twenties and handed it willingly towards them. Forty bucks was a small price to pay so I could crush Fang's macho reputation.

We waved goodbye to the small kids, and to be honest, I kind of had to give it to them. They were not gullible like most children their ages. They were quiet the little business people. I liked them.

"So, to the school?" J.J. asked.

"To the school," I grinned. "Thank God you are a mastermind at locks, Nudge."

Nudge gulped.

******** ************* *********** *******************


"Oh my GOD! Is that Fang?!"

"No, no, no, no way!"



Those were the comments that reached my ears when I stepped into the high school. Well, the new high school.

The one that had been thoroughly decorated with the embarrassing picture of Fang last night.

You see Sam, J.J., Nudge and I snuck into the school after we got our precious picture. Then we stepped into the copying room and made…well, I don't know, about five hundred copies, give or take. Then we plastered them all over lockers, walls, doors and windows. They were all over the lunch room tables and we had tried putting a few on the ceilings, but we stopped after J.J. fell off Sam's shoulders.

Anyhow, nobody could walk as much as a foot without seeing the picture. My gang and I waited by the main doors, where Fang would enter. When we saw him, dressed in a pair of khaki shorts, reveling his very muscular legs, and red and white stripped Hollister shirt, we could barley suppress our laughter as he walked by.

"Hey, Fang, been around any Giraffes lately?"

Fang wrinkled his eyebrows. "What are you talking about?"

Then he saw the picture, plastered on Every. Single. Wall. His mouth fell open.

"What the…who…how did those get there?!"

Nobody replied, they only laughed and pointed. I know, you're dying to know what the picture is. So, to put you out of your misery, I strode towards Fang.

"Wow, Fang. I had no idea that trips to the zoo could be so scary! All the Giraffe wanted to do was lick your hand and you cried? How old are you in that picture again? I think Angel told me it was…three months ago?"

He narrowed his eyes. "You did this? How?!"

I smirked. "I have connections." Then I ripped a copy off the wall, shoved it in his chest, laughed, and walked away.

"This isn't over, Max!" he yelled from behind me. "Not by a long shot!" Then he turned and yelled at everybody. "Tear these things off the wall, now!"

******* ************* ************* ***********************

For the next several days, all everybody could talk about were the pictures. Fang received countless remarks and notes, all jeering him about how he had cried when the Giraffe licked him. And, to my up most surprise, Mrs. Wilson even chuckled when she saw the pictures. When students stopped to stare at her, she quickly began coughing, trying to cover up the fact she had been laughing. Looks like I owed Nudge money, because I had swore nothing could make that woman laugh…

"I bet you think you're something, don't you?" Fang cornered me before lunch. The halls were basically deserted, due to the fact that if you dared mentioned the word 'food' to a teenager, they were at that lunch room faster then somebody clears a room when Gazzy farts.

I smiled a fake innocent smile at him. Fang was well taller then me, my eyes were level with his shoulders, so I had to look up at him. I was standing at the end of a row of lockers and leaning against the wall. Fang was looming over me, his arm was outstretched and leaned against the wall, supporting him, but making his face much closer to mine.

"What ever do you mean?"

Fang's glare intensified, but I was hardly afraid. "You know damn well what I mean. I just wanted to let you know that this isn't over."

"Ooo, if I had boots I'd be shaking in them with fear," I retorted, leaning closer to Fang. I stared in his dark eyes. He really did have pretty eyes. Too bad they had to be surrounded by all of his ugly.

"Yeah, well if you had another brain it would probably be really lonely."

I snorted. "Ouch, that really hurts, considering your living proof that a man can live without a brain!"

"Gee, what did you have for breakfast this morning, instant carnation bitch?"

"No, what did you have, instant carnation dumb ass? Or are you just naturally this stupid?"

"I'd call you stupid, but that would be an insult to stupid people."

"I'd call you ugly, but that word just isn't strong enough to describe how awful you look." Okayyy, that wasn't my best comeback, but for some reason I started to feel weird being this close to Fang.

"You're so ugly, I took you to see the zookeeper and he said, "Thanks for bringing her back."

"Was that before or after you bawled your eyes out because the Giraffe licked you?" Ha-ha, point one for Max!

"Screw you."

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

"I have better taste." Fang smirked.

"Liar. If you had better taste, you wouldn't be dating Lissa."

Fang didn't reply right away. He stared at me, and I realized just how close we were. If I were to incline my head up, our lips would touch.

But not that it mattered. I did not want to kiss Fang. Not now, not ever. I wanted him to fall into an endless pit of fiery doom…where he belonged.

"I'll see you later," he winked mischievously. I wanted to gag. "And, by the way," he leaned in so close that our foreheads were pressed together. Before I could pull away, he finished, "Tomorrow's going to be a great day."

******** ********** *********** ***********

"Why were you so late to lunch?" Nudge asked as we lounged in my bed room. I laughed.

"Fang just wanted to complain and threaten about how he will 'get his revenge.' It was hilarious."

Nudge didn't look too enthused. "Max, Fang is really, really popular. If he intends on striking back, it is probably going to be a lot worse then whatever prank you have. I mean, this is Fang! I bet he's got like, an entire army of people just plotting of ways to embarrass you! What if he is secretly video taping us right now, and plans on letting the entire school onto our secrets?! What if everybody finds out about-"her voice lowered to a whisper, "My problem?!"

I just stared at Nudge, trying to refrain from saying anything to mean, as J.J.

was doing.

"OH MY GOD!" I screamed. Nudge leapt about ten feet in the air, followed by J.J.

"WHAT?!?!" they bellowed. Nudge was jumping up and down, continuing to scream, while J.J. was looking wildly around.

Nudge, breathless, demanded, "What?!"

I shrugged. "I just felt like screaming. With this tense atmosphere, it just felt right." I gulped as the two girls glared at me and lifted up two of my pillows.

"Gu-guy-guys! It-it was just a joke! I'm sorry! I'm-"I was cut off as I was whacked in the head with two pillows. I screamed for Ella to come help me and she ran in my room, grabbed a pillow, and screamed,


Just my luck. She pounced on me, helping my so called best friends beat the day lights out of me with mere pillows. I laughed, kicking and thrashing as I tried to escape their angry wrath. Finally, I just went limp and pretended to give up. Little did they know that I had a small squirt gun stashed under my bed, for when Ella snuck in here during the night to try and snoop. I whipped it out and aimed it right for J.J.'s face.

"Ah-ha!" I giggled, squirting her in the eye. J.J. fell to the ground, dramatically yelling, "Woman down! Woman down! Send help!"

Nudge and Ella held up their hands in surrender and Ella dashed to her bed room, leaving Nudge alone.

"Max! Don't you have a social studies test tomorrow?" mom poked her head in the door. I groaned.

"Don't remind me!"

Mom shook her head. "Sorry, girls, but you've gotta' go. Max defiantly cannot afford another failing grade."

Another failing grade? Psh, what was that lady talking about? I've never failed…or at least I've never shown her one of my failed test. Sensing my confusion, mom grinned.

"Hiding them under your dirty clothes basket is a terrible spot," she grinned, waving Nudge and J.J. out. My cheeks turned red.

"It's okay, I've got to cal Iggy anyway," J.J. smiled sheepishly. Reminded of her new relationship, I tried to use that as an excuse for her to stay, but mom just shook her head.

"Bye Max," Nudge smiled. "Study hard."

I threw a pillow at her. Little did I know that Fang really did intend on getting back at me…and tomorrow was going to be the day.

Alright! So Fang is afraid of Giraffes, Max put up his embarrassing picture all over the school, and what's this about Nudge's problem?!?! More importantly, what is the prank Fang is going to pull on Max? And I intend on adding a bit of Fax to the next chapter :O Nothing to major but defiantly some Fax.

Oh and guys you HAVE to go to my profile and look at the photo bucket link, I made it just for you guys so, yeah =)

Review? Ya' know you want tooooo….

0-3 Reviews=No Chapter

4-6 Reviews=Short Chapter

7-10 Reviews=Medium Chapter

11 or 15 Reviews=Long Chapter


4. Chapter 5

I'm sorry I haven't updated in forever. I had this ROTC thing all last week :/ I had to go from eight in the freaking morning to four in the afternoon to the high school, where I apparently was learning 'good leadership qualities' –eye roll-

Anyhow, enough of my complaining, here is the next chapter!

"I know it is legal to be ugly, but Max you are abusing the privilege."

I sucked in a breath, looking out my window from my cozy spot on the bed and into Fang's window, where he stood (shirtless, again, not that I minded too much…*cough*). He grinned crookedly at me and I said,

"Hey, Nick, I wrote you a poem. It goes like this:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

God made me pretty

What the hell happened to you?"

Fang chuckled, a deep sound from his chest, and leaned out his window. I was a little aggravated, because I had finally convinced myself to read over my history book for tomorrow's test, and now this idiot was pestering me. Still, I had to admit it was fun having all of these insult wars with him.

"So, you're studying?" Fang asked. I gasped.

"Wow, you actually know what studying is, considering you never do it. Maybe you can learn your ABC's tomorrow."

"I don't need to study. I've got all I need right here," he flashed a set of index cards and I raised my eyebrows.

"Cheating?" I had always known Fang was a lot of things, but I never thought he was a cheater. For a second, I felt…disappointed in him, which was absurd because I shouldn't feel anything but annoyance and anger towards Fang, but I couldn't help it…

"I prefer to call it, 'using materials to better my test score' but hey, to each their own," Fang smirked.

"Well, I hope you get caught. Cheating is unhealthy," I spat.

"No, what is unhealthy is you going out in public without a paper bag covering your face. Have you no mercy for everybody's eye site?"

"If you don't watch what you say, I'm going to crawl out of this window tonight and kill you in your sleep."

"The first part of that sounds interesting…" Fang wiggled his eyebrows and I let out a disgusted moan. I stood up and prepared to shut my window.

"Good night, F-Nick," I told him.

"Good night, Maxie Max," he smiled, blowing me a kiss. I pretended to catch it, throw it on the ground, and then I stomped my foot like I was crushing it. Fang's dark eyes sparkled with amusement and he only shook his head.

"Oh, and I won't be the one getting caught cheating," he added, before I slammed my window shut.

***** ******* ******** ********* ******** ******** *******

Five dollars to anybody who can tell me what time period the Aztec civilization began and what its major downfalls were.

No, I'm serious here.

I mentally groaned and regretted that I hadn't taken Nudge's advice and 'studied hard.' But let's face it; MTV is just too interesting when compared to reading over a history book. Now as I stared at the test, I wanted to go back in time and tell myself to study.

To make matters worse, I was the only person in the classroom left with a test, as everybody else had already finished. Shuffling uncomfortably in my seat, a flash of color caught my eye. Curious, I dipped my head down and saw a stack of what looked to be index cards at my feet. Intrigued to what they were, I picked the set up and brought it to the top of my desk, forgetting momentarily that I was in the middle of a test.

"Mr. Morris! Max is cheating!" Fang's voice was like a bullet piercing the silence. My head snapped up at the accusation and Mr. Morris stroke quickly towards me, snatching the cards right out of my hands as I sat there in a stunned, confused shock. Mr. Morris read the cards aloud, and on each card was an important fact of the Aztec civilization. My face got paler with every fact.

Mr. Morris shook his head and spoke in a disappointed tone. "Max, I'm afraid I'm going to have to send you to the office for this."

"But I wasn't cheating!" I insisted. "The cards were under my desk! I sa-"I paused and turned to look at Fang as the pieces fit together.

"Oh, and I won't be the one getting caught cheating," he added, before I slammed my window shut.

He had told me last night what he was going to do and I hadn't realized it until now, when he had already planted the cards. Giving him one of my signature Max glares, he only smirked.

'Pay back' he mouthed, winking. My mouth dropped open as I continued to glare at him. Fang was going to regret ever messing with me, because as of now, I was going to make his life hell.

****** **** ****** ******* ********* ******

Fang's little stunt landed me with three days of lunch detention, which I started tomorrow. At least I had one lunch day to plot my next prank on Fang.

I sat down in a huff beside Nudge, who apparently had already been informed on what had gone down in History class. J.J. and Sam plopped down beside us as we dug into our lunches. Due to the fact that our cafeteria food looked like it was ready to crawl off the lunch treys, I always brought my lunch to school. I had brought my own lunch since about third grade, and I wanted to gag as I watched Sam bite into the meatloaf the school was serving today.

"One day, you'll wake up and have another arm or something from eating this food," I warned him. J.J. chuckled,

"What? Does it have radiation in it?"

I shrugged. "I wouldn't put it past them. Have you ever seen meatloaf look so…" I couldn't find a word to describe it.

Sam gulped. "Erm, Max, its spaghetti day. This isn't meatloaf…it's spaghetti."

Gag me with a spork!

I pulled out my lunch, which consisted of two sandwiches, a bag of Doritos, grapes, and then a large cup of Dr. Pepper.

"So, how do you intend on getting Fang back?" Sam asked. I frowned.

"I don't know yet, but I'll figure something out. I mean, we're next door neighbors. Who knows, if I do a little spying on him, I'll probably be able to find something to embarrass him with. And, since his little siblings are more then willing to cooperate, I don't think its going to be that difficult," I answered. After such a long explanation, my throat was dry and I opened up my cup of Dr. Pepper. It felt unusually heavy, but I didn't pay it any mind as I titled the cup up and prepared to drink.

Something slick and smooth fell in my mouth. I pulled the cup back and screamed as the worms had slithered in my mouth. Leaping up, I spat them out and gagged, grabbing Sam's carton of milk to rinse my mouth out. My cup had crashed to the floor and busted open, reveling dozens of worms that had been planted in it. They slithered around the floor and I let out another shriek as I felt like I could still feel them on my tongue.

I breathed heavily, and then I realized that the cafeteria had grown very, very quiet. I dared to look around, and saw every eye plastered on me. The only noise came from a table near the back windows, where Fang and his buddies were laughing worse then a pack of hyenas. Gaining courage from their laughter, the rest of the cafeteria began to giggle, and then chuckle, and finally everybody was laughing as hard as Fang. My face burned and I turned on my heels and bolted out of the cafeteria.

So, Fang had played two tricks on me today. The first one wasn't too bad, so I should have known something worse was coming. But worms in my cup? That was disgusting!

I slid into a bathroom stall and locked the door. I leaned against the door, trying to slow my heartbeat. I had never been so embarrassed in my entire life, nor had I ever been as pissed off. My entire body seemed to burn with anger and my mind raced with thoughts on how I could get Fang back.

"Max? You in here?"

I jumped at Nudge's voice and I heard the soft click of her heels as she entered the restroom. I could hear J.J. 's sneakers following behind her and I almost felt too ashamed to face my best friends. Managing a sigh, I unlocked the door and stepped out.

"Oh, Max!" Nudge yelled, throwing her arms around my neck. I shifted uncomfortably under her embrace but Nudge refused to move back.

"That was so low of him! I wonder if he realizes what a major health concern that was! I mean, worms are just such icky creatures, and you would think that he would have enough sense not to put them in somebody's cup! But don't worry, because as of now J.J. and I are fully committed to helping you get pay back on that lowlife. And, also as of now, I do not think Fang is hot."

I laughed. "Good to know, Nudge. Good to know. But today is Thursday and I think I've got a pretty good idea. But first, I want to go home and brush my teeth."

******* ******* ******* ******* ******** ******** *********

"The school called."

I froze in the doorway and gulped. "Oh…really?" I said in a soft, strangled voice. I knew what was coming and mom stamped angrily from the kitchen, holding a large cutting knife in her hand, and a tomatoe in the other.

"What were you thinking!? Cheating on a test! Did I not raise you better then that, Max? Why am I asking you, of course I did! I cannot believe that you would sink that low as to cheating! I'm…I'm ashamed! Now…you…you go up to your room right now!"

I held up my hands in a sign of peace. "Yes Master, just don't stab me," I tried an attempt at humor, but mom did not look amused. I let out a small laugh and walked slowly past her so I could walk up the stairs. Mom watched me and then out of no where lunged forward, sending me jumping backwards. She laughed, shaking her head and I frowned.

"Not. Funny. You scare me when you're angry like this."

Mom chuckled. "Oh please. But maybe if I threaten to cut you you'll behave." I wanted so much to tell her that I didn't cheat, but If I did, and she actually believed me, then I would have to tell her everything, from the time Fang made me walk to the school, to when I posted those pictures all over the school of him. I would have to confess to everything, and I would much rather mom think I cheated on the test rather then confess to breaking into the school.

So, I shrugged and walked up the steps, ready for the night that lay ahead of me.

You see, Fang had a basketball game tonight, meaning his house would be completely empty. The perfect chance for me to snoop around in his room and get some dirt on him. Or…the perfect chance for something else. I watched the clock impatiently, staring at it as if that would make it move faster. Fang's game was at seven thirty, and it was now six forty two. No, wait. It was six forty three now…

Finally, seven drew around and Fang was shouting for his parents to hurry as he leapt in their silver convertible. I waited until the lights of the vehicle had disappeared before opening my window. A large tree grew in between my window and Fangs. Taking a deep breath, I balanced on the window sill, a back pack slung across my back, and then I leapt forward, grabbing onto the tree branches and ignoring the pain the small limbs caused when they slapped my face. After pausing to make sure I had a safe and secure grip, I began crawling through the tree towards the other end, where Fang's window was slightly ajar. I gripped the tree with one hand and leaned dangerously forward, gripping the window sill with my other hand. I decided to risk falling because I'm an impulsive moron, and I released my hold on the tree. I swung forward and held onto the window sill for dear life. Then I hurriedly pushed it all the way open and swung a leg over. I pulled myself over and fell onto Fang's floor with a huge huff.

"Why didn't I just use the freaking front door?" I yelled at myself. I stood up, brushing off the twigs and leaves that had collected on me. I stopped suddenly as a low growl sounded. Slowly, I turned around to face Fang's doorway, but saw nothing. The growling was still coming from there though.

Then, I looked down. Standing about ankle high was a chocolate colored Chihuahua. Its ears were pinned back, its lips raised, reveling small, sharp canines. Around its neck was as fancy pink collar that looked like it had been 'bedazzled' or whatever. Its bug eyes stared furiously at me and I cursed mentally. I didn't think Fang had a dog. But it was small, so maybe I could take it.

"Hey pooch," I called in a baby tone. "Hello there, little bitty sweetie! I'm just going to sabotage Fang, but then I'll be right out, m'kay? So how about you just sit there and be a nice puppy, alright?"

The dog growled louder but made no attempt to bite me. Maybe if I ignored it, it would leave.

I crept into the bathroom that was located in Fang's room and flicked on the light. I winced momentarily at the brightness but my eyes adjusted quickly and I quickly pulled out two large bottles from my bag. I slid his shower curtain backwards and pulled down his shampoo and conditioner. I unscrewed the tops and dumped out all of the remaining shampoo, then all of the conditioner, down the drain. Then, I opened up the bottles I brought and poured them into his bottles. I couldn't resist grinning as I imagined what Fang's hair was going to look like tomorrow.

I replaced my empty bottles in my bag, and then returned the newly filled hair products of Fang's back in his shower. Before shutting the shower curtain, I stared at the shower. Fang showered right here…naked. As in, with no clothes on.

Get a grip on yourself! I slapped my forehead. Since when do I give a flying flip where Fang showers?!

I turned off the light, but suddenly a set of car lights reflected into Fang's room. Gasping, I jumped down, hoping that maybe it was just some random car using the drive way to turn around, but then the door downstairs opened and I heard Fang's fathers voice,

"I can't believe they forfeited. But hey, it's an easy win for us, isn't it son?!"

Fang mumbled something, but I was too busy panicking. How was I supposed to get out? I started towards the window, but I heard foot steps tromping up the stairs. I wouldn't have enough time to get out!

Doing the only thing I could do, I dove under Fang's bed.

My first impression as I adjusted myself under his bed so I couldn't be seen was that it stunk, terribly so. I couldn't see anything, but that was probably for the best. If it smelt this bad, then I don't think I wanted to see what was causing the odor.

"Hey, Mocha!" I heard Fang coo as he stepped in his room. He flicked his light switch on and I clamped a hand over my mouth as the light reveled a green, moldy half eaten piece of pizza lying at my side. You have got to be kidding me!

All I could see was Fang's feet, and the small dog that jumped happily around him. Fang bent down and picked the dog up, all the time talking in a baby tone to the dog. Awww…

"Mocha, did you miss us? Yeah, well the other team had to forfeit so I got to come back early, yes I did," Fang continued. I felt sort of awkward, ease dropping on Fang like this, but it was a little bit relieving to know that he had some heart. The dog barked suddenly, and I was afraid it was going to blow my cover. I shuddered at the thought of Fang finding me hiding under his bed. I would die. Die, I tell you!

Fang sat down on his bed and the dog, which apparently was named Mocha, jumped up there with him. I could hear the creaking of the bed frame as he leaned against it.

"I wonder where Max is," he chuckled to the dog. At the sound of my name, I became very interested. I leaned up on my elbows to listen to Fang.

"The worms were pretty great, Mocha. She freaked out in front of the entire cafeteria! It was hilarious, I wish I would have video taped it. I mean, she was smiling, and you know she has really pretty brown eyes, and they just sort of light up when she smiles. I seriously do not see how Sam ever got the chance to date her. She's…well she's beautiful. But that's not the point. She was sitting there laughing and all of the sudden she jumps up and starts screaming. It was great."

Fang thinks I'm beautiful?

Awww, shucks.

Not that I care, I mean. Why would I care? It's Fang.

He crawled off the bed and I watched his feet, and saw he was walking to his window. He stood there and when he didn't seem to be moving I was too curious. I carefully poked my head out and saw that he was staring at my window, very hard, as if he were hoping I would open it. He turned around sharply and I pulled back, hoping he didn't see me.

"She's probably brushing her teeth," Fang chuckled to himself. I clutched my fist together, ready to jump out and pound in his face. But the click of the bathroom door and the sound of running water made me come to my senses. Fang was taking a shower, meaning I could leave. I army crawled out from under his bed, already thoughts of a hot shower filling my head and I would probably have to burn the clothes I was wearing. There was no telling what type of bacteria was under Fang's bed.

I carefully crawled out the window. Getting out was much easier then getting in, and I leapt onto the tree branch, sliding down and then since my window had been left open, I easily crawled in it. I was tempted to kiss my carpet, thankful to be back in my own room and I was relieved I had made it. I dragged my feet to the bathroom and stripped, taking a long, hot, scolding shower.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

The next morning I woke up to hear a long, drawn out yell.

- - - ----------- ----------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, so I want you guys all to know that I spent forever on this chapter trying to perfect it, but it was almost twelve at night so if it is crappy, then I beg all of thee for forgiveness xD

Soooooooooo, what exactly did Max put in Fang's shampoo/conditioner bottles? Is Nudge really over Fang? How is J.J. and Iggy's relationship going to work if Iggy's best friend is constantly humiliating J.J.'s best friend? So many questions!

Sooo, review, for me :D Because I love you all. And if you don't review, then you'll never get to see Fang and Max finally get together! –Dramatic music and gasp sounds- So review!

Oh yeah, P.S. I hope you guys don't think it's weird for Fang to be talking to the dog. Its not that he is crazy or anything, he was just simply talking to the dog. If you find that too out of character, then once again, I beg all of thee for forgiveness :D

5. Chapter 6

Awww guys thanks for the reviews! I'm glad that nobody really minded Fang talking to little Mocha and you guys even admitted that you talk to your dogs (and one reviewer told me that her DAD talked to their dog in baby voice—how sweet is that?!?!)

And guys, I'm currently going through a crisis. You see, I have this little hat (Garrison, if you guys wanna be specific) that goes with my ROTC uniform. Annddd, being the irresponsible loser I am, I have lost it! And I really HAVE to have that hat because I'm going to boot camp, and we have to wear our uniforms there, so basically I am really screwed. Pray for me?

Oh, yeah, P.s. I would like to give a special thanks to my reviewers that have been here since Chapter One, you guys know who you are and you've never failed to review on a chapter, and I really appreciate you guys :D

Some people would call what I did just plain out evil.

But, if you are like me, you would call it plain out genius. Let's hope you are the second one.

An automatic grin spread across my face as soon as I saw Nudge and J.J. standing by the school steps, waiting for me. Noticing my extremely chipper mood, J.J.'s face went pale.

"Who did you have kill Fang?"

I laughed, shaking my head. "Oh, I think by the end of the day Fang is going to want to kill himself."

"Why so happy?" Sam asked, walking to us.

"I just had the best wake up call this morning, that's all," I grinned. And, hey, it wasn't a lie. Hearing Fang scream bloody murder was the best alarm clock I could have. It was the only alarm clock I didn't want to shut off right away. I waited impatiently for him to arrive. Surly he wouldn't skip school; no way would his parents let him. Fang was going to have to face coming to school, and being the laughing stock.


Now, once again, I'm not evil, am I?

Iggy's bright red jeep wrangler spun into the parking lot. I eyed it, and saw somebody crawling out very slowly. The collar of their jacket was popped up, concealing the neck and a bit of the back of his head. The boy wore a stylish looking toboggan pulled down over his ears and he walked very, very slowly. It could only be Fang.

Ah, so he was going to try and cover his new look, huh? Well, not on my watch. Luckily for me, Lissa spotted him first. She strode angrily towards him and pointed her index finger in his face.

"What is all of this?!" she demanded, waving a hand at his wardrobe. "We were supposed to match today! I specifically told you to wear a pink shirt with khaki pants, your white sneakers and your hair was supposed to be straightened. Good grief, Nick! Can't you get anything right?! What is all of this? And take that stupid hat off!" She reached off and snatched the hat right off of Fang's head, while he raised his hands up as fast as he could in an attempt to stop her. It was too late, and out of the grey hat fell what society now a day would call: Luscious Pink Hair.

Lissa's eyes got to be the size of Texas, Iggy gasped from the drivers seat, Sam, Nudge, and J.J. merely stood there laughing so hard I firmly believed they were going to have to change pants, and I, well I wore the biggest smirk anybody had ever wore in this entire universe.

I must say, pink was a good color for Fang.

Haha, not.

Fang with pink hair looked about as good as my mom's hair in the morning. And let me tell you that did not look good.

Fang stood there, his face a mix of embarrassment and anger. Lissa dropped his hat on the grass and her face was getting so red, I thought it might soon match her hair.

"I said to wear a pink shirt," she said in a very strained voice. "Not to dye your hair, PINK!"

"Baby, I didn't-"Fang started to defend himself, but Lissa held up a finger, indicating she did not want to hear any of it. She let out a frustrated shriek and I barley stopped myself from rolling over with laughter when she stamped her foot. I thought they only did that in movies, but apparently I was mistaken. Then she turned around and stomped off to join her group of friends.

"Lissa, baby, wait!" Fang called after her. A small group had clustered around the entire scene and Fang now noticed them.

"Get lost!" he snarled at the kids, snatching his hat up off the ground. The kids immediately scattered but none of them stopped pointing and laughing at Fang's head. Let's face it, he looked pretty darn funny.

Fang half-ran up the school steps and I intercepted him.

"You know Fang; you really should have done your eyebrows to. It looks a bit weird with your head pink, and your eyebrows still black. I'm just saying though."

Fang looked furious, but it was hard to take him seriously with a heedful of pink hair. My smirk only grew wider.

Fang didn't say anything. He shoved his hat back on, glared at me, and stormed by.

"I think that went rather well," I laughed.

Iggy walked very slowly up to me, J.J., Nudge, and Sam. He wore a very grim expression, and stared at the doors Fang had disappeared through. He was very quiet but he peered through the door a few seconds then turned around and busted out laughing.

"You guys did that?!" he cried. I laughed with him.

"Guilty as charged."

Iggy shook his head, almost crying he was laughing so hard. "Oh God, he is really going to kill you for that."

I must say, I had never been so disappointed to see the school day end. It was more the satisfying seeing Fang cower in corners and keep his jacket collar popped up to conceal his face. But of course, this day went by fast and I was soon walking up my pathway towards my house.


I stopped, turning my head to where I heard my name called from. Mrs. Gomez, Fang's mother, was standing on her front porch, waving to me. Confused, I put on a smile and waved flatly back.

"Hey, Mrs. Gomez. How are you?"

She rolled her eyes playfully at me. "Oh please! Call me Alice. And I'm doing fine, how about you?"

I couldn't resist grinning. "I'm great."

She smiled warmly back. "Wonderful. So I assume you will be joining us for dinner to?"

Huh? "I'm sorry?"

"We invited your mother and little sister over for dinner tonight, so you'll be accompanying them, won't you? Oh please do, it'll be so nice! You haven't been over in ages."

She batted her dark eyes at me, smiling ever so sweetly. I was torn between wanting to be nice, and wanted to go in my room and gloat about what an awesome prank I had pulled on Fang.

But hey! Dinner at Fangs house=Fang=Pink hair. I think I could tolerate eating dinner, just as long as he had ditched the hat and I could laugh at his hair.

"Yeah, of course I'll come."

I ran upstairs to dump off my backpack, and I took a quick look in the mirror. I twirled my hair around a bit, taking in my appearance. I didn't understand why I was though. I was only going to Fang's house to have dinner. I didn't need to be dressed up, so why did I want to be?

Clearing my throat, I walked next door to his house.

My mom and Ella were already in the Gomez's back yard, sitting and chatting at the picnic table. Gazzy and Angel were running around, spraying each other with water guns and Fang's father was on the grill, flipping burgers that smelled delicious. Ella spotted me and put on a dramatic look.

"Oh, no. Its arrived." She stared at me.

I smirked. "That's what mom said when you were born."

Ella huffed and opened her mouth to reply but mom popped her up side the head gently. "Quit while you can, hon."

I laughed and plopped down beside her, but to my disappointment I didn't see Fang anywhere. I tried to ask in the most casual voice I could,

"Where is Nick?"

Mrs. Gomez smiled sadly. "I don't think he will be joining us. I'm sure you heard of the reaction he had to his shampoo."

I barley managed to keep from laughing. "Oh, yeah I heard about that. Real shame…"

Mrs. Gomez nodded. "Yes, but I've scheduled an appointment with our hairstylist and she has assured us she can get the pink out."

Well, the bottle of hair dye said it would only last about seven days, but I should have known Fang would have it removed immediately. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

"May I use your restroom?" I asked as politely as I could. Mrs. Gomez nodded.

"Sure! Go in the door, walk up the stairs to your right, turn left, and the bathroom is at the end of the hall."

I muttered a 'thanks' and walked into the house. I heard the faint sound of a T.V. playing, and I followed it, to see none other then Fang stretched out on the couch, watching a basketball game.

"Don't you ever get sick of basketball?" I asked.

Fang jumped, twisting around. "What the hell are you doing in my house?!" He demanded. I held up my hands in mock surrender.

"Aw, can't a neighbor just come by and say hello?"

Fang glared. "Not if the neighbor is a pink hair dying, demon possessed, sneaky little twit, such as you."

"Come on Fang. I was doing you a favor. Haven't you ever wondered what your hair would look like pink?"

Fang took a step towards me. "Haven't you ever wondered what it feels like to be nice?"

"I could ask you the same question," I retorted, stepping closer to him.

"Oh, really? Is that because you're too dumb to think of an answer?" He stepped forward.

"If anybody is dumb here, Fang, it's you. I bet you're so dumb, you think Hamburger Helper is a cow that does housework." I took a step towards him.

"Actually, when I hear your name, I think of a cow that does housework." Fang towered over me, our bodies less then two inches apart. Without thinking, I raised my hands and shoved Fang, hard.

"I am not a cow!"

Since this was Fang, he didn't take it like a gentleman. He immediately shoved me back. "You're right, you're a fat cow."

"And you are the most self centered jerk I've ever met!" I stomped down hard on his foot, making him yelp and jump up, and he fell over on me, causing me to loose my balance. We both toppled over on the floor.

Some how during the fall, we twisted around, so Fang landed on his back and I landed on him. I raised my head off his chest and groaned, leaning up on my elbows, which were beside his shoulders.

Fang moaned, rubbing the back of his head, but I had neglected to get off of him just yet. Fang flicked his eyes to mine, and very slowly he reached out and pushed my hair behind my ears and out of my face. My heart beat increased when his smooth hands rubbed through my hair and I gently lowered my head and Fang raised his. I could feel his breath on my face and I closed my eyes as we leaned forward to kiss.

"Fang did Ma-Whoa! Oh my God, I am so sorry, I'll just-you know, I was-never mind!"

I jerked back and rolled off of Fang as fast as I could as Mrs. Gomez hurriedly exited the kitchen. Fang, realizing what just happened stumbled up and ran a hand through his pink hair; the same hand that had just been running through my hair. We stared at each other for a brief second, then Fang rubbed his stomach, wincing.

"Good grief, you weigh more then a cow! You knocked the breath right out of me!"

I put a hand on my hip. "Yeah, well, that knocked out breath nearly knocked me out. It's called a tic-tac, you should try one every once in a while!"

The moment Fang and I had just shared was gone. I was in debt to Mrs. Gomez for walking in when she did, because kissing Fang would be the biggest mistake of my life, and I was relieved she walked in when she did.

Of course, there was no way I could face her now. I shoved past Fang and ran out the front door to my house.

I shut and locked my bedroom door behind me and then I jumped on my bed, my head in my hands as I went over what had just happened. Fang and I had almost kissed. Kissed.

This was probably Fang's plan, messing with my head so he could get a good prank on me. Well, it was not going to work!

You've got to keep a clear head, Max, I told myself. You cannot let stuff like that happen again. You didn't really want to kiss him, it was just….teenage hormones. Yeah…that's it. And besides, you don't want your first kiss to be wasted on him.

********* ********** ************ ************

Since yesterday had been Friday, Fang didn't have to worry about going to school today, so I was hoping that nobody was getting crazily drunk over the weekend and would forget about Fang's fashion statement.

I woke up at six, unable to sleep, but luckily I had the house to myself. Mom had an emergency call at five about a pregnant mare and Ella was spending the night with one of her friends. I know, I was surprised to. I mean, people actually want to be friends with Ella?

So, I invited Nudge and J.J. over and I tried to hide my surprise when I opened the door and saw my two best friends, and Iggy.

"Um, hi," Iggy smiled. "I hope you don't mind me tagging along, but J.J. promised me you wouldn't mind."

"And she doesn't," J.J. smiled lovingly at him. Then she turned to me, her voice more strained. "Do you, Max?" She tilted her eyebrows slightly, giving me that 'You better not mind and you better be nice or I will kill you' look. I taught her well.

"Of course not," I answered honestly.

Nudge nodded. "Just don't invite Fang over, Iggy. Then she'll mind."

The sound of Fang's name sent butterflies down my stomach and I felt so guilty for keeping the almost kiss away from my best friends. But, I was too ashamed to confide it in them.

"So, anyhow," I cleared my throat. "Movies, any one?"

"Twilight," Nudge immediately suggested. "Edward is the most s-"

"Eagle Eye," J.J. cut Nudge off. "I refuse to watch Twilight again, Nudge."

"How about Transformers 2? I've got it burned, illegally of course, but hey…it works," Iggy grinned. J.J. blushed just at the sight him of him smiling.

"Yeah, well, sucks for ya'll but we are watching The Dark Knight, end of discussion," I told them flatly. I still hadn't been able to watch the movie, and now that mom had just bought it I refused to wait any longer!

They grumbled, but I ignored them and went to the kitchen to get some drinks and popcorn. Then we all settled down on the couch.

"Hey Max," Nudge giggled. "The Joker looks like you when you try to put on make up."

Iggy and J.J. burst into laughter, and I glared at Nudge. "Nudge, I'd hate to tell Iggy here about your problem."

Nudge went still, gulped and didn't say another word throughout the entire movie. Hmm, maybe I should threaten her with that more often…

When the credits started to roll, the front door opened and mom walked in, still in her work clothes. I could tell she was exhausted and her uniform was covered in things I'd rather not talk about.

"Hey," she greeted tiredly. I smiled,

"Hey, how did it go?"

Mom yawned. "Good, but let's just hope the mare makes it through the night. Speaking of night, I'm going to sleep. Wake me up at four, that's when I'm supposed to go get Ella. Oh, and hey girls," mom waved at Nudge and J.J. Then she noticed Iggy. "Hey…boy…" she waved to him to, but didn't bother pestering me for an introduction like she normally did. Instead, she trudged up the steps.

"Sorry," I told Iggy, but he shrugged.

"No problem. So, what else is on today's agenda?"

Nudge answered. "Let's go out for ice cream. I just love ice cream. Today's the perfect day for it, because it's so hot outside." She paused, noticing how she was rambling but she didn't really seem to care. She started to go on but I held up a hand.

"Sure, ice cream sounds great."

J.J. and Iggy agreed.

Soon after we had ice cream, all hell broke loose.

Ahahaha, a cliff hanger! And no, I am not evil.

I prefer to call it genius. Don't you agree? :D

So, what do you think happens after the gang gets ice cream? I'd love to hear your guesses!

And, what did you guys think about Max and Fang almost kissing? –avoids thrown objects-

And if you guys are in the mood to read something awesome, go check out You Belong with me, a unique story by jump4life. (.net/s/5153932/1/You_belong_with_me) She really deserves some reviews! :)

So, review!! :D Please :D

6. Chapter 7

Okay, okay, I was forced to update because Jump4life threatened to steal my dog Zoey! –GASP- And I couldn't let that happen, because I love my doggy, so I started typing up the new story right away. Btw, Jump4life, Zoey says she doesn't like you anymore.

Aleria 14, (Oh and I guess I should add Iggy to) Your guy's review made me laugh really hard. I'm so glad you have something to blackmail Iggy with! I even added something in this chapter for you to blackmail him with :) And if Iggy is glaring at me right now, then please slap him in the head for me :) P.S, I want to kidnap a flock member….TOTAL!! COME HERE BOY! Lol xD

And lastly, I'm glad you guys liked the almost kiss! And…I guess I am sorry about leaving you guys with a cliff hanger. EveryoneisMisunderstood, please don't throw any more sharp objects lol. I may be forced to kidnap Fang and use him a shield, that way I know nobody will throw stuff at me. Mwhahaha.

This chapter was hard to write. I mean, I wrote five pages and ended up erasing it all and I started over. I've had writers block.

Okay, I've rambled enough. Next chapter!

You scream! I scream! We all scream for ice cream!

Well, I believe I was too busy screaming at Lissa to scream to scream for ice cream. But I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? Let's go back a bit….

Nudge, J.J., Iggy, Sam (who had met us at the ice cream shop), and I walked in the small, quiet store. There weren't many people in there, just a few couples, but nobody from school. Normally, kids from school went to Jack Frost, the bigger ice cream place that had more variety. I liked this one though, because it was small and rather just comfortable. We stood in line behind another young couple, and when I saw the red hair I started praying.

Obviously, I didn't pray hard enough because Lissa turned around to look at who was standing behind her. Can't we go one flipping place without seeing the devil?

The boy beside her though wasn't Fang. His name was….Josh! Yeah, Josh Parsons. He had been the big football player in high school and considered one of the best players the school has ever had in history. He was already out of school and in his first year of college. I wonder why he was with an eleventh grade girl."Wh-Why are you here?" Lissa asked, stuttering slightly. Her voice was pitched a little higher, and I raised my eyebrows.

"Hmm, I wonder. It is an ice cream shop, and it is one hundred degrees outside," I stared at her and then at Josh, and that's when I got a bad feeling in my stomach.

Lissa took in my group, looking them over. I guess she decided we weren't a threat or something, because she flipped her hair over her shoulder and sneered at us,

"If you can't even pay for decent clothes, how do you expect to pay for ice cream? Are you going to wash dishes for them?"

I laughed sarcastically. "That's so funny, Lissa! But if you're so rich, then how come you can't afford to put some clothes on?" She was wearing a very, very short mini skirt, and a white, strapless top along with a pair of sandals.

"Just because you don't have a body to show off, doesn't mean the rest of us girls shouldn't be able to," she retorted.

I pretended to look her over. "Well, Lissa, it already looks like that ice cream is going straight to your thighs, so I'd be careful if I were you, m'kay?" I smiled sweetly at her.

"C'mon, babe, I've got the ice cream," Josh said, not even looking at us. Lissa gave me the bird and then slid her arm around Josh's waist and Josh bent down and kissed her.

Right on the lips. And she kissed him back.

Suddenly, I didn't care about ice cream or the fact Fang had terrorized me since for as long as I can remember. All I could think about was that Lissa was cheating on him with some over sized college foot ball player.

I stomped out of line and grabbed her arm, twisting her around. "You're cheating on Fang?!"

Lissa yelled out in pain as my grip on her arm tightened. She shoved me with her other hand and I released her, glaring. Then I repeated, "You're cheating on Fang?"

Lissa rolled her eyes. "Please, why is it any of your business?"

"Because he deserves to know, regardless of the fact that he is an ass hole at times!" I said.

Josh was simply standing there, both hands carrying a cone of ice cream.

Lissa pointed her finger in my face. "Go ahead, tell Fang. Who is he going to believe? Me, his girlfriend? Or some pathetic, desperate whore like you?" Okay, okay. She should have stopped at pathetic. But she didn't. Then, she had the nerve to grab an ice cream cone out of Josh's hand and shove it in my face.

I reeled back and punched her right in the nose. "Oops," I snarled. Lissa was holding her bleeding nose, shrieking. Josh was still standing there, but then he looked at Lissa and said, "You were cheating on me?"

Lissa scowled at him. "Don't just stand there, you moron! I just got punched!"

Josh shook his head. "I can't believe you."

Josh tossed the ice cream at Lissa, right on her designer shirt, and walked out of the store without even looking at her again.

"What the hell was that?!" J.J. ran over to me. Everybody in the small shop was staring at either me or Lissa. The workers had leapt over the counter and were assisting Lissa, giving her paper towels to stop the bleeding. I'd hit her pretty good! Then the manager came and asked us as politely as he could to leave and never come back.

"I don't even get ice for my fist?" I called after the manager. He turned to glare at me, and then he pointed to the door, signaling that if we didn't get out of there soon it wasn't going to be pretty. Before I got out the door, Lissa screamed at me,

"Max Ride you are going to regret ever doing that!"

I laughed and followed my friends out. J.J. turned back on me again. "What the hell was that!?" she demanded. Her face was beaming and she looked like a little kid on Christmas morning, who had just got the pony they always wanted. Nudge was just shocked, her mouth still open. Iggy looked impressed and Sam looked like he wanted to kiss the ground I walked on.

"That was the best moment in my life. Her nose just goes pop!" I giggled, yes actually giggled! Nudge looked even more shocked.

Then Nudge grinned suddenly. "You defended Fang! You punched Lissa for Fang! You do like him! You like him! You like him! You like him! Hahahahaha! I toldddd you sooo! You liikkke him! You want to kisss him! You want-"

"What I want is for you to shut up!" J.J. yelled, throwing a hand over Nudge's mouth. I shot her a grateful look but I knew my face was blood red.

"I did not defend Fang! I simply stood up for men rights," I retorted, wanting to drop the subject. I wanted to focus on the punch, not why I threw the punch. Iggy snorted.

"Men's rights?"

I glared at him and he held up his hands defensively. "Hey, hey, hey. I'm pro men." Suddenly, Iggy realized how his words could be taken the wrong way and he tried to correct himself, but J.J., Nudge and I busted out laughing.

"Pro men, huh?" I said in between laughing. "Sam, looks like you got you a buddy!" Sam's face turned red and he rolled his eyes.

Iggy shook his head. "You guys are terrible. If I'm gay, then why am I dating J.J.?"

This time only Nudge and I were laughing. "Do you really need me to answer that?" I asked. J.J. glared at me.

"I'm not a boy, Iggy is not gay, and that is that. Now, you're the one that has a crush on Fang."

I stopped laughing abruptly. "J.J., I'd hate to have to kill you."

J.J. took a step towards me. "Bring it on." We glared at each other, very intensely, but we just couldn't take it and we both started laughing. Sam looked relieved.

"I thought there was going to be another chick fight!"

I patted his arm and then said, "Let's go home, guys."

As we walked back to my place, Nudge and J.J. fell behind the boys and I followed them. They got on either side of me and then Nudge asked softly,

"Are you going to tell Fang about Lissa?"

I shrugged. What would make Fang actually believe me? It's not like Lissa is going to admit something that will make the school's most popular boy dump her. But I didn't like the idea of Fang continuing to date her if she was a cheater.

"I don't even care," I sighed. "It's not any of my business who is dating who and who is cheating on whom with whom." Nudge nodded, her face confused as she tried to figure out what all the 'who's' meant.

"Max, you do care, don't you?" J.J. said. "I don't mean to bug you or anything, but Nudge and I are your best friends and you can tell us anything. You know that, right?"

This would be the perfect chance to tell them how Fang and I almost kissed and I even started to, but the boys noticed our absence and jogged back to us.

"Aw, come on ladies!" Iggy grinned. "The sooner we get to Max's house, the sooner she can put some ice on that fist of hers."

"If you don't leave us alone I'm going to have to put ice on my fist," Nudge joked, shooing the boys away. But I ran up to catch up with them, deciding I was not ready to tell such a terrible secret.

***** ********** ********* ********* ******* ******** ********

I spent all day Sunday wondering what I should do about Fang and Lissa. I decided to just wait and see what happened Monday, and then determine weather or not I wanted to tell Fang what happened.

I didn't plan on the fight being posted on the internet.

I didn't know who recorded it, but Monday morning when I got to school, J.J. was waiting on me.

"Follow me," she ordered quickly. I obeyed, confused. J.J. led me to the library where a group of kids were clustered around a computer, all cheering. I shoved my way past the group to see the screen and there I was, pulling my fist back and punching Lissa. It showed Lissa sprawled out on the floor, covered in her own blood. When people realized that I was standing there, they gently nudged my arms.

"Nice hit, Max."

"She totally deserved it."

"I hope I never get on your bad side, Max."

All sorts of comments. I smiled slightly, but I was more focused on the fact that Fang would see this video. It had sound, so he would be able to hear what happened.

"Who recorded this?" I asked. I got a few murmurs of 'No idea' and I glanced at J.J., who just shrugged. Then the bell rang, and the computer was promptly shut off. I followed J.J. and then we parted as I went to my locker. There was Fang, standing beside my locker. I felt a little nervous, because I knew he was going to chew me out for punching his girlfriend. But I shouldn't care, I shouldn't care if Fang hates me or not!

"Hey," he said softly as I bent down to put in my combination. I looked briefly at him. He was wearing a pair of simple blue jeans, his Nike sneakers, and a shirt that said: I DON'T KISS AND TELL…IT'S MORE LIKE BRAGGING. Ugh, what a pig.

"Hi," I said. The halls weren't too crowded, because most everybody was in their classrooms spending the last couple of minutes to watch the fight. Fang bent down beside me and stared at me. I continued pulling out the materials I needed for Mrs. Wilson's class. A couple of people were actually stopping by my locker to see what Fang and I were talking about, but from the corner of my eye I saw Fang throw glares at them that clearly said 'back off.'

"So, do you need something?" I asked, but it came out harsher then I intended. Fang nodded, and seemed a little nervous.

"About the whole Lissa thing," he cleared his throat. I cut him off.

"Listen, if you're going to chew me out for punching your girlfriend, then save it. She shoved a freaking ice cream in my face and all I did was punch her in self defense."

"You, uh, broke her nose," Fang chuckled. Then he added in a serious tone, "And she's not my girlfriend anymore. I just wanted to say thanks. It turns out she has been cheating on me with Josh for three months, and I would have never found out if you wouldn't have been at the right place at the right time. So, thanks."

"I broke her nose?" My mouth dropped. Whoa, I hadn't meant to do that.

Fang grinned and I found myself unable to resist grinning back. "Yep, it's broken. She'll be back tomorrow probably, but you might want to avoid her. She is really, really pissed."

"Well, I'd be pissed if somebody broke my nose to," I laughed. Fang shook his head and suddenly he looked very shy.

"No, well, I mean she is mad about that but she is more upset with the fact that she thinks your trying to steal me from her."

I let that thought sink in. Lissa thought I liked Fang? Wow, maybe that punch affected her brain. I laughed.

"I know," Fang smiled. "She and I aren't even dating anymore, so why would it be any of her business anyway."

Wait-Fang didn't think I was trying to steal him away, did he? I decided to set the record straight. "Well, she doesn't have to worry. I don't intend on stealing you away."

Fang smirked. "I don't intend on letting you. But, I do intend on pulling a sick prank on you to get you back for the pink hair."

I laughed an honest laugh. "Bring it on."

Fang shook his head, still smirking and then walked to his first period class. As I walked to class, I realized that that was the first conversation Fang and I ever had without both of us wanting to strangle each other. I sighed, wondering if this whole me punching Lissa thing was going to change anything between us. I doubted it, since he was already plotting revenge.

I wanted the old, 'I'm better then everybody' Fang back. It was so easy to hate him and want to embarrass him, but this new Fang…I wasn't so sure. Now that I was seeing a little bit of Fang's other side, I was becoming more and more confused. This really was not good, because every time I thought of Fang's face…. I smiled.

******** ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* *******

Of course, mom found out about the fight. And lemme' tell you, she was not happy.

"Maximum! We need to talk! NOW!"

Suddenly, I remembered when J.J. was making fun of her mother, saying how her mom was like Godzilla on the loose. That's how I was picturing my mother right now.

"Yes, dearest mother whom I love so much?" I asked, biting my lip. Mom frowned.

"Save it. You broke a girl's nose, Max! What has got into you? First you cheat on test, and then you get in a fight with a girl at an ice cream place. What's next? Are you going to steal my car and drive off to Vegas?"

"That's not such a bad idea…" I muttered. Mom was not amused. She sighed, sitting down at the table. I felt awful, putting her through so much stress. It wasn't like I was rebelling against her or anything. I loved my mother and none of this involved her or me being rebellious against her.

"Honey, you're old enough to know about boys. I know sometimes boys make you do crazy things and they can manipulate you to do whatever they want. I know your stronger then that, Max. Don't let a boy get in your head," Mom raised her eyebrows. "Even if they are the star basketball player and you think they are 'such a cutie' you shouldn't punch their girlfriend in the face."

I laughed. "Wait, what? You think I was jealous of Lissa? Mom, no, no, no! You've completely missed the point. Lissa was-"

Mom waved a hand. "I've heard enough. The point is your going to apologize to Lissa as soon as she comes back to school."

I stared at her. "Mom, you can't be serious. Please, say you're kidding. I didn't punch her because I was jealous, I swear! She shoved an ice cream in my face!"

Mom stood up. "I know, I saw the video. But Max, you should be the bigger person. If she was cheating on Fang, all you had to do was tell Fang, not make a huge scene."

She walked up the steps, leaving me infuriated. I had to apologize to Lissa! I'd rather fling myself into a volcano!

Ella came into the kitchen, and she noticed my foul expression. She rolled her eyes. "Don't be mad at mom. She is only making you apologize because the Feldman's threatened to sue if you didn't. I over heard her telling Fang's mom that you threw a really nice punch, though. Turns out Fang's parents can't stand Lissa either." Ella winked, grabbed a soda from the fridge and then went back to her room. So the Feldman's threatened to sue us if I didn't apologize to Lissa. I'm sure they didn't specify how I could apologize though….

Oh Lissa…tomorrow's going to be fun.

So, how did you like the chapter? Personally, I love the punching scene. I've never, EVER liked Lissa. So being able to write what I wish would have happened when Lissa kissed Fang in School's Out was just…very awesome =) LoL. I've already got the next chapter planned out, but I would like to know if you guys want Fax in the next chapter and how much of Fax you want. I've tried to let this just sorta smooth out and not rush Max and Fang getting together, so I don't know if you guys want them to actually kiss in the next chapter or not. So, I'd like all of your input on that :D. I don't know if I'm moving too slowly or not.

0-5 reviews= no chapter

6-15 reviews= short chapter

16-25= medium chapter

25-30+=Long chapter.

7. Author NoteDon't you just hate these :

Hey guys,

I just want to let you know that I will not be able to update for another week. Monday I leave for boot camp for ROTC, and I won't be back until Saturday. Plus, life is pretty crazy because I one of my dogs just passed away, and then my brand new puppy is recovering from a really severe virus that almost killed her. So, I'm a bit busy :) As soon as I return from boot camp, I will update an EXTRA EXTRA long chapter, I promises! So please don't abandon me lol.

Love you all (in a not creepy way lol)


8. Chapter 8

You see, I'm sure you haven't noticed, but I am not the type of person who is really fond of apologizing to people, especially when the person is a straight up bi-

Wait, what do you mean you've noticed? This offends me. But more on that later.

I guess I may have over reacted. I mean, why did I suddenly care about Fang's relationships? Wait, I mean, the punch had nothing to do with Fang. It was self defense. I think….

Still, the thought of apologizing to Lissa made me quite sick to my stomach, literally. Not only did I have to apologize, but I also had to be on the watch for the prank Fang planned on pulling on me. I mean, it would take a seriously awesome prank to outdo the pink hair. I wouldn't put it past Fang to come up with something though.

Regardless, I had to come up with a way to apologize to Lissa. Maybe I should just do it, and not try to pull anymore stunts. But I won't, because that's just not my style. Grinning, I jumped up, running downstairs.

I had an idea.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Ella had a phobia of riding the bus.

I know, I laughed to. And honestly, I still laugh. For some reason, the kid just doesn't like riding the bus. So, every morning, mom takes her to school before she goes to work. Mom has this incredible red mustang, and I've only drove it a grand total of three times because apparently there is some trust issues that prevent her from giving me the keys unless it's an emergency. Any other time though, it stays in the garage, covered up. The other vehicle is mom's work car; a white van that I hated driving. When I say hate, I mean hate. With a passion.

I dressed and was eating a bowl of delicious Coco Puffs when Ella came running downstairs, "Mom's sick. You have to take me to school."

I looked up at her, her brown eyes daring me to even think about saying she has to ride the bus. I stared at her, and then shook my head. "Ella, I've got to be at school early, to erm, you know, apologize to Lissa."

Ella started giggling and I raised an eyebrow. She covered her mouth with her hand, trying to suppress her laughter.

"Oh, so you're really going through with it?" she asked in between her chuckles.

"Well I sure as hell don't want to be sued."

There was that giggle again. Something in the pit of my stomach told me Ella knew something that I didn't. But before I could question her farther, she reminded me. "Really though, Max, you have to take me to school. She's got that twenty four hour bug or something. You just have to take me there, I'll catch a ride back home with a friend."

I sighed. "Well, do you mind getting there early?"

Ella shrugged. "Not really. The keys are on the table."

I glanced at them, and I knew what those keys belonged to. The van. I frowned, but suddenly an idea formed in my head.

"Ella, how sick is mom? Enough to keep her in bed all day?"

"I think so. She's throwing up and it's really gross. I mean, I walked in there and-"

I waved a hand at her, standing up. I stuffed the van keys in my pocket, just in case mom came down and saw they were still there, that would be a dead give away. Then I pulled the keys to her red mustang out of the drawer. Ella gasped.

"What are you doing?"

I smiled. "Going for a test drive."

"Oh, no you don't!" Ella put a hand on her hip. "No, as in never, nada, NO."

"Yes as in, yes," I shot back. I picked up my back pack and slung it over my shoulder, and Ella looked torn. She was debating, because she knew it would be instant attention if she arrived in a car as nice as the mustang, but she also knew that if mom found out she went along with my plan, she'd be dead.

"If mom finds out," she pointed her index finger at me. "Then you take full blame. I walked to school and had no idea you were turning into a juvenile delinquent." She paused. "Well, let me rephrase that. I had no idea you were turning into a juvenile delinquent that stole cars."

I rolled my eyes but she followed me to the garage, where I pulled the tarp that covered the mustang off and I sighed in content at its smooth, flawless paint. I slid in, the leather soft and cold under me. Then I stuck the key in the ignition and it hummed to life.

As much as I wanted to see how fast the car would go, Ella insisted that I drive two miles under the speed limit. Ridiculous, I know, but I decided to go ahead and do it…until she got out for school.

I pulled into the junior high, and smiled at the gawks we were receiving. Mom's mustang was an older model but honestly, it looked much classier then the newer kinds out these days. Ella got out and gave me a wave goodbye before rushing over to a cluster of her friends.

The high school wasn't too far from the junior high, so I cruised over there, feeling a tad bit guilty, but driving the mustang was like driving a cloud from the sky. It ran so smooth, it looked incredible, and because it was forbidden it made it all the more appealing.

I was careful as I pulled into the high school parking lot. Nudge and J.J. were there, hoping to get front seat tickets to my dreaded apology to Lissa. J.J. grinned when she saw the mustang and she and Nudge bolted towards me.

"So, you break a girl's nose and as punishment, you get to drive your mom's mustang? Nudge, can I break your nose? Maybe my monster of a mom will let me drive the good car."

Nudge looked appalled. "J.J., it looks like somebody already broke your nose! Oh yeah, that's right, I said it." Nudge seemed to realize what she said and immediately apologized. "Sorry, it was a spur of a moment thing!"

J.J. rolled her eyes. "Seriously though, your mom let you drive it?"

I bit my lip. "Well, not technically."

Nudge narrowed her eyes. "Max," she said in that warning tone. I forced a light hearted laugh.

"Oh, come on. I mean, if your mom was sick you'd take advantage of the chance to…right?"

J.J. laughed. Nudge gasped.

"MAX!" they both cried. J.J.'s voice was light and amused, while Nudge's was strict and disappointed.

"This is wrong, so very wrong," Nudge shook her head, frowning. Her doe eyes stared at me, but I just smiled.

"I'll have it back before mom even notices it's gone," I promised, locking it as I crawled out.

"What if you don't get it back in time, and she does notice?" Nudge asked.

I shrugged. "I'll write my Will in English just in case she catches me, m'kay?"

J.J. laughed and the three of us walked inside. I took a deep breath when I caught site of Lisa.

The good news is, she looked awful. She had dark circles under her eyes and her nose was wrapped up. Naturally, her entire posse was surrounding her, telling her that the dark circles were hardly noticeable and the white bandages on her nose complimented her outfit. Well, what ever helped them sleep at night, because those bandages definitely did not compliment her outfit.

Her eyes locked on mine and her lips turned into a snarl. I put a hand on my hip, rolled my eyes and waited for her to walk to me. She stood still, and we were about five or so yards away. Her cluster of friends edged away slightly from her, as mine moved away from me, awaiting the sure to unfold drama.

"Lisa, you look like…well, crap, to be honest. That's an improvement for you though," I smiled sweetly at her.

Her snarl seemed to deepen, but the students in the halls chuckled. For a moment, I pondered where the teachers were, but Lisa shot back,

"Please," her voice sounded odd, and I didn't even try to suppress my laughter.

"You know what, Max?!" she all but screamed, but I think it caused her a bit of pain because she winced slightly. "I'm tired of you. I don't like you, and this whole attitude you have needs to change. I don't know why you even bother to upstage me, because I'm better then a low life, fatherless bitch like you could ever be."

I heard J.J. curse and she stepped forward, but Nudge grabbed her arm. People stared at me, expecting me to crumble. They obviously didn't know me too well. I laughed.

"You think you are all that and a bag of chips, don't you Lisa?" I unzipped my jacket, holding it together with my hands to cover the shirt underneath. "Well, I'm all that and a bag of skittles, so taste my rainbow, bitch."(A/N, yep, I got that off a profile somewhere, so that belongs to whoever made it up....) And I pulled my jacket open, reveling my home made tee shirt. It said in big bold letters:


And then underneath that, it had a picture of Lisa lying on the ground, holding her bleeding nose while crying. The picture had surprisingly good quality, considering I had to copy it off the video of the fight we had. Then, I had printed it off and had it made onto a solid white tee shirt. The picture was zoomed in, so Lisa's entire face was visible, broken nose and all. Underneath the picture, it said


Immediately, the hall way erupted in laughter as I turned and modeled the shirt. Even Lisa's friends were crackling, not even stopping when she shot them an infuriated glare. I turned back to her.

"Now, how's that for an apology? Can't sue me now."

Lisa's face was as red as her hair. "Sue you? Like you have anything worth of value for me to get if I sued you. I wouldn't even waste my time."

I raised my eyebrow. So, Lisa hadn't planned on suing? Ella's giggling face filled my mind and my fist clenched. I was going to kill her. She had made the whole thing up!

"STOP LAUGHING!" Lisa screeched at everybody. "IT'S NOT FUNNY!"

"You can't control everybody, Lisa," I told her in a serious tone. "You don't run this school. Deal with it."

I turned around, then grinned and faced her once again. "I'll send you a copy of this shirt, okay?"

The look on her face was priceless.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"I think I love you," Iggy sighed. I shook my head.

"Sorry, but I'm spoken for."

"By who?"

The voice wasn't J.J.'s, and I twisted around in my seat to see Fang sitting in behind me. I lost my voice for a moment, my thoughts to scrambled to even begin trying to conjure up a reply. I stared at him, and then shook my head, looking at my shoes. My face felt hot.

"Um, Orlando Bloom," I laughed half-heartedly. I glanced at Fang, and he was raising an eyebrow.

"Sweet ride, by the way," he said. "The red mustang. Didn't know you had one."

He'd seen the mustang? "Oh, yeah, thanks," I mumbled. I risked looking at him again, blaming the fact that he took me by surprise and that's what caused my reaction to him. He nodded and then stood up silently, walking over to sit with his friends on the other side of the room. Iggy was sitting with J.J. and I.

J.J. punched Iggy's arm. "I see, you're checking out other women, huh?"

Iggy grinned, winking at me. "Can't help it, Max is just-"

"Don't even go there," J.J. growled. Iggy chuckled, taking her hand in his.

"Don't worry," he smiled. "I only have eyes for you."

J.J. blushed slightly and giggled, already forgetting why she was mad in the first place. I smiled softly and for a moment, a pang of longing hit me. I glanced briefly at Fang, who was smiling at something. I was so confused. It was like, one moment I hated Fang and the next, it was like I found myself thinking about the time we almost kissed, and what it would have been like if we had actually had kissed. I mean, would I be regretting it now? Would Fang and I ever have spoken again if we had kissed? I was curious….

His eyes flicked up and met mine, and I quickly looked away, glancing back at him after a couple of seconds went by. He was still looking at me, and a small smirk was playing on his lips and he winked. And just like that, I realized how big of an ass he was all over again. I just needed to be reminded.

I flicked him off, scowling, but he only chuckled. Class started, but I was too busy trying to figure out my feelings to really pay attention.

The day went by averagely, but I loved how I could go to my locker and not see Fang and Lisa swapping spit twenty four seven. Lisa glared at me all day, which naturally I returned with an ever so innocent smirk. I was ready for school to get out so I could:

Drive the mustang.

Kill Ella for tricking me, even though I made a nice tee shirt out of it all.

Bring Ella back to life.

Kill her again.

I was an awfully busy person.

When the bell finally rang, I walked eagerly to the car. When I got there, I unzipped my backpack, looking for the keys. Panic overwhelmed when I realized I couldn't find them. I turned my backpack upside down and dumped everything out.

The keys weren't there.

Had I dropped them somewhere? No, I clearly remembered placing them in my backpack. Where the hell where they?!?! I glanced around, knowing that if I didn't get this car home before mom woke up, and she saw me pull in the drive with it, then I was dead. Things couldn't just work out for me once, could they?

"Looking for something?"

I froze at the sound of Fang's voice. I turned around and saw him standing there, hands in pockets, looking as cool, collected and smug as ever. I narrowed my eyebrows.

"You. Didn't." I spat. Fang chuckled.

"Karma is a two sided blade. Let's just say, I hope you can swim, Max."

The pool. Our school had its own pool for the swim team, and Fang had apparently thrown the mustang's keys in it. I was lost for words.

"You're…you're…" I shook my head.

"A genius?" Fang suggested, still smirking.

"I was thinking more along the lines of evil!" I snapped. "If I don't get this car home, and my mom finds out she'll freak!"

"I know," Fang said. "You should really lower your voice when talking about how you stole your mom's car."

"I didn't steal it!" I said through clenched teeth. I glanced at my watch. I was glad Ella was catching a ride with one of her friends, because I needed all the time I could get. I gave Fang a glare that took a year off his lifespan and bolted into the school.

I ran all the way to the pool room, not even bothering to stop when a teacher came in sight. I skidded to a halt, and sure enough at the bottom of the twelve foot deep pool, the keys glittered.

How was I supposed to get them? I couldn't jump in with all my clothes on, but I sure as hell wasn't skinny dipping in there, because there was no telling who could walk in.

I took of my shoes and socks, then my jacket and shirt, leaving me in my red tank top and jeans. I bit my lip; afraid that if I took my jeans of and somebody happened to walk in here that would be way too much skin showing for my liking. Still, I definitely didn't want to dive in there with tight blue jeans on, and have drive home in them. Besides, all the students had already gone home and why would any of the teachers come in here? So, I slid off my jeans, feeling way to exposed but I sucked in a deep breath, standing in only my tank top and underwear, and dove in the water.

It was freezing, but I opened my eyes and swam deeper, catching sight of my keys. My lungs burned for oxygen, but I grabbed my keys and pushed off from the bottom of the pool, shooting up. I gasped deep breaths of air when I emerged, pushing myself to the edge of the pool. I rested for a moment, and then crawled out and I was freezing. I glanced around; making sure nobody was in here and then peeled off my tank top before slipping on my dry shirt. I used my jacket to dry as much of myself as I could before pulling on my jeans. I pulled on my socks and shoes, and stomped out of the school, feeling both triumphant that I had handled Fang's evil little move, but also uneasy that I might not get home in time.

The parking lot was empty and I crawled in the car, putting everything back in my back pack and slinging it into the passenger seat. I started the mustang and pulled out, trying not to go over the speed limit as I raced to get home.

I pulled into the drive way slowly, parking the mustang in the garage and then I covered it back up. I took in a deep breath, and then entered the house. It was quiet.

I walked upstairs carefully, and peeked in mom's room. She wasn't in there and I knew that she was probably sitting in the kitchen, arms crossed and demanding an answer for why I took her car.

"Oh, Max," came a stuffy voice. I turned around to see mom coming out of the bathroom. She forced a smile at me.

"Mom," I croaked. "How, um, how are you?" Suddenly, I felt really guilty going behind my mom's back. I pondered telling her that I took the car….

She frowned. "Not good. I just now got up. How was school? Did you apologize to Lisa?"

I crossed my arms over my chest, concealing the image I had on it. "Yep, sure did."

Mom raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Really?"

I nodded. "Really, really."

She looked too tired and too sick to argue or question me farther, and I watched as my mother flopped back down on her bed.

"Oh, by the way," she sighed. "I've got some boxes packed with clothes that you and Ella don't wear anymore for Angel, you know, Fang's little sister. Can you take them over there to them?"

I agreed, wanting to rub it in Fang's face that I hadn't gotton home successfully. And I also, sorta kinda wanted to see him.

* * * * * *

I showered and changed clothes before I took the boxes over there. There were three, but I piled them on one another and heaved them up, walking slowly to Fang's house. I knocked on the door, and surprisingly he answered.

"Whatever you're selling, we don't want it," he sneered. I mumbled a very dirty word at him, shoving past him.

"I'm supposed to give your sister some clothes or something. Mom sent me over here. Wait, I don't have to explain myself to you, you no good, car-key stealing, hoe dating-"

"Max!" Angel yelled, smiling at me. I smiled back, putting the boxes down and hugging the small girl.

"Hey," I laughed. Soon enough, their mom walked in, smiling.

"Hello, Max," she beamed. "How are you?"

"Fine, thanks," I answered. See, I can be polite. I just choose not to be. "Um, these are the clothes mom wanted me to send over, so, here they are."

Mrs. Gomez nodded. "Yes, she told me she had a virus of some sort and was sick. Say, why don't you stay for dinner? You and your sister?"

"I don't want to intrude," I shook my head, trying to politely decline. Fang cut in.

"She doesn't need to stay for dinner. She looks like she eats enough as it is," he mumbled the comment, and his mother didn't quite catch it.

I jerked around, glaring at him. "I would love to stay for dinner, Mrs. Gomez," I said.

"Excellent!" she said, walking back to the kitchen. "It'll be ready in about an hour."

"Can't wait," I said, still glaring at Fang. Fang looked bothered, obviously not wanting me to stay for dinner. Well, that was the only reason I was staying, so I could annoy him. I smirked, ramming my shoulder in his as I followed Angel into the living room.


Whoa, seven pages xP I really want to thank you guys. Sometimes, I'm so afraid to post a chapter because I'm afraid that you guys won't like it :( But, I hoped you guys liked this one and please review :D

And please don't forget to vote for my story for the MR awards! :] It's been nominated for Nudge, so please vote or hey, if you think my story is worthy nominate me for another category :D



9. Chapter 9

This chapter is shorter, but I'm setting it up for something, so yeah xP Forgive the shortness of it.

Congrats to my one reviewer who got the whole reverse physiology thing that Fang played. I'm glad you caught that :) lol

To answer one review, yes, I have read that book before but the idea actually came from a lady I volunteer with. When she lived in Texas, they played a prank like that on her principle, so :D

In case any of you are wondering [or care xP] my puppy is doing great and is watching me as I type this story up :P [she keeps trying to steal my shoes!]

Alright, enough rambling but you see, I have no life [cries] so I feel like I should go on and on and on and on and on and on and on….

"Can't wait," I said, still glaring at Fang. Fang looked bothered, obviously not wanting me to stay for dinner. Well, that was the only reason I was staying, so I could annoy him. I smirked, ramming my shoulder in his as I followed Angel into the living room.

Fang grabbed my arm, twisting me around, a scowl on his face. "You are only staying to annoy me, aren't you?"

"Oh, never Fang. I wouldn't want to do anything to upset you," I snapped sarcastically back. "And for your information, I have a very nice figure!" I know I ate a good amount of food, but I didn't think I was bulky or anything.

I swear the sides of Fang's face turned a light shade of pink and he smirked. "I know you do. I saw your little dip in the pool."

My face burned and my fist clenched. "I- I will kill you," I swore through clenched teeth. I yanked my arm away, clenching my fist even harder when I realized I missed the warmth that Fang's hand had had on it. Fang was grinning and suddenly he leaned close to me.

"No you won't," he breathed in my face, saying the words in a seductive tone. My breathing hitched and I had to fight to stay in place. It was just hormones, I swear, that was making me react this way to him. I pulled back, and glared at him.

"Don't bet on it," I growled. I turned around and sat down in the living room with Angel.

My face still burned. So, Fang had spied on me. The thought of him seeing me almost naked…well, it wasn't too great. Angel and Gasman were flipping through the channels, arguing over what to watch. Finally, Angel gave in and let Gassy watch whatever and she turned to me.

"Why is your face so red?"

I stared at her. "Because your brother is evil."

Angel shrugged, a mysterious smirk on her face. I didn't feel like asking her what it was about, so I stared angrily at my feet, waiting for Ella to get here so I could strangle her. Of course, her little lie had made quite a nice little joke and such, but I just couldn't believe that I hadn't realized Ella made the whole thing up just to make me apologize. I had to hand it to her, she was getting good. Maybe she'd grow up to be quite the little trickster.

I fiddled with my fingers, scanning the house. It was a nice, pretty house, thoroughly decorated with odds and ends and pictures. I stood up to take a closer look at the walls and shelves filled with the photos. Fang was easy to pinpoint with his jet black hair. There was a picture of him at the beach when he was around seven, pointing to a large sand castle that he apparently made and grinning. I smiled at it, and then scanned the next one, which surprisingly had me in it. We were both sitting in a small pool with ice cream cones in our hands, chocolate ice cream all over our faces. I was sticking my tongue out at the camera, while Fang was trying to maintain a series expression, which wasn't working out too well. I sighed, wondering why it all went down the drain. We used to get along so good, now we loathed each other…somewhat. It's like, the song Hot and Cold by Katy Perry. One freaking second I hated Fang, and the next I found myself hating him a little less. It seemed like he was going through the same thing though, I mean, one minute he is laughing because he saw me half naked and the next he is all serious and leaning close to me. I think he was just messing with my mind.

There was one of him standing in front of the county pound, holding a small brown dog-Mocha, I think. He looked to be about fourteen or fifteen in that picture and was smiling, obviously thrilled to have his new best friend. The picture definitely didn't go with what I considered Fang to be.

The most recent picture was of this year. He was smiling, all dressed up for the school photo.

Jezz, he looks good.

I squeezed my eyes shut tightly, telling myself repeatedly that I did not think Fang was hot, I was simply talking about…the um, the way the light shinned on him it really added a natural glow…or something?

There were other photos, him holding Angel and Gassy, pushing them on the swing set, it was a whole other side of Fang that had never been reveled, covered up by his cocky and 'better then thou' attitude. It never occurred to me that Fang had two different sides; I just wished I knew which side was real, and which side was just acting.

"You're sister is here," Angel nudged me, interpreting my thoughts. I nodded, walking towards where I heard Ella's voice. She was in the kitchen, chatting with Mrs. Gomez.

"Ella," I said in a light tone. She turned to look at me, smiling but suddenly her smile disappeared when she saw my stance. She bit her lip, fiddling with her hands.

"Oh, hey," she cleared her throat, but I motioned for her to follow me. She got up hesitantly and I took her down the hall, surprised that I was just wondering all over their house.

"Very funny," I growled. Ella smiled.

"I thought so to. I heard what happened, and everybody thinks is so funny, so I sort of did you a favor."

I sighed. "Listen, don't lie to me again, m'kay? I was going to apologize because mom asked me to, I didn't need you to tell me that."

"Wow, you're being pretty hypocritical considering you stole mom's car and lied to her about it," Ella retorted, smug look on her face. My mouth dropped slightly.

"I am going to tell mom," I said. Honestly, I think I was going to have to. I mean, I felt…guilty. Too guilty. Ella snorted a, 'Yeah, right' before returning to the kitchen. I grumbled.

"Dinner is ready," I heard Fang's smooth voice tell me. I twisted around, clearing my throat to cover my surprised gasp when I found him directly behind me.

"Where did you come from?" I asked, trying to step around him, but Fang stepped to the side again, directly in front of me. I sighed, stepping to the other side but he stayed right in front of me.

"Move," I growled. Fang shook his head.

"Say please."

I gaped at him. "Are you serious?"


I put hand on my hip. "Alright, fine. Please …go to hell. There, I said please." Before he could refuse, I rammed into him, ignoring the fact that he must have put on some awesome spray stuff, because he smelled wonderful.

Forget I said that.

We walked into the kitchen, Fang rubbing his shoulder behind me and muttering, and we sat down to join the rest of the gang, who had already been seated.

"Max, you can sit beside me," Angel said, motioning to the chair beside her. I nodded, sitting down. Then I realized Fang sat directly to my right and I glanced at Angel, who was smirking at a grinning Ella and Gasman. I scowled, refusing to act any different just because Fang was sitting so close.

Really close.

Mrs. Gomez smiled. "Alright everybody, please join hands as we say blessing."

I heard a snicker coming from Ella's direction, but I forced a pleasant look on my face and Fang reached out slowly to cup my hand in his. Angel held my other one.

Fang's hand was smooth and soft, going around mine perfectly. As Mrs. Gomez said blessing, all I could think about was Fang's hand and I hoped mine wasn't getting sweaty or anything. I didn't realize when Mrs. Gomez finished the prayer and told us to dig in, and I don't guess Fang did either. It took me a moment to realize Angel was no longer holding my other hand and the chatter around us. I opened my eyes, peeking up at Fang, surprised to see his eyes open and he was eating with his free hand. He was holding my hand because, well, I guess he wanted to. He knew that we didn't have to hold hands, and he was still holding mine.

Or, he could be too afraid to pull it back because I have a tendency to be quite mean…

Or he could be planning some evil prank on me….

Or he could be playing with my head…again….

Or he could really just be wanting to hold your hand, Max! I told myself. I gently pulled mine away, hoping that nobody noticed. Fang's eyes flicked very briefly towards me and he pulled his hand back gradually.

"So, Max," Mrs. Gomez started. "Do you still play any sports?"

I shook my head. "Not anymore. It's been a pretty hectic year." I glanced at Fang who was doing his best to hide a grin.

"Ah," Mrs. Gomez was looking from Fang to me, and I hoped I wasn't blushing and I hoped she didn't think anything was going on between her son and I. Because I didn't think anything was going on.

"It's not been a very good year for Nick either," Mrs. Gomez laughed. I was surprised when Fang let his mother call him by his real name. "I mean, he has had a lot of bad luck. First the pictures all over the school, the pink hair, all sorts of things. I mean," she chuckled. "What's next?"

Fang turned to look at me. "Yeah, Max. What is next?"

I looked him dead in the eye. "You die?"

Fang's parents chuckled, unaware that I was the one that did all of those things to their son.

"Of course, my year hasn't been too lucky either," I continued. "I mean, one day I had to walk to school in the rain, and then somehow worms got in my drink at school, but I have no idea how that happened, do you Fang?"

He smiled brilliantly. "Not a clue."

Mr. Gomez whistled. "Wow, worms in a cup? That's disgusting."

"Tell me about it," I muttered, kicking Fang under the table. His head snapped towards me and I smiled innocently at him. He narrowed his eyes, turned back around, but suddenly I felt something pinch my leg. I yelped but quickly started coughing as I tried to cover up the yelp. Fang was clearing his throat to keep from laughing. So, he wanted to play, huh? Well, I could do that.

I stretched my arms out on either side of me, pretending to be just stretching. Then I slapped Fang in the back of the hand. He choked on his drink is surprise, coughing, but I just slowly put my arms back, pretending I had not a clue of what just happened. His parents were pretty much oblivious to it, but I could see out of the corner of my eye Angel, Ella and Gassy watching us.

Fang reached out to the center of the table for the pepper, his arm ramming purposely right into my drink. The liquid ran out, splashing all over my pants and I jumped up, brushing the ice off of me.

"Oh my," Mrs. Gomez said, gathering some napkins.

Fang laughed. "Oh look, Max had an accident."

I laughed sarcastically back. "Oh look, Fang you are an accident!"

"Kids," Mr. Gomez said in a warning tone. I followed Mrs. Gomez to the kitchen where we attempted to dry my pants off as best as we could, then we both returned to the dinner table. Angel was sitting in my spot and I gratefully sat in her old seat, not wanting to be near Fang.

"Who wants ice cream?" Mr. Gomez asked. That was a dumb question. I mean, seriously, who doesn't want ice cream? Anyhow….

The table was cleared and Mrs. Gomez wrapped up some leftovers for me to take back to mom. After we all had a bowl of ice cream, we settled down on the back porch, while the parents stayed indoors.

Ella and Angel were on either side of me while Gasman and Fang were sitting at the end of the picnic table. It was quiet for a few moments, and then Gassy lived up to his name.

"Aw, gross!" I cried. Immediately, the girls and Fang all ran for cover, barley managing to move because the smell was so awful. Gasman was crackling, asking us to come back in between his laughing.

We crammed into the small playhouse that was in the backyard, shutting all the little shutters and the door, determined to keep Gassy out as he banged on the outside of the playhouse, laughing.

Fang, Ella, Angel and I were all crammed on top of each other. The playhouse wasn't that large, so I was practically sitting on Fang's lap, while Angel and Ella sat on my legs. Gassy continued to bang on the doors, but when it got quiet, Angel and Ella crawled out, wanting to take a peek. I sighed, shutting the door after them. I was not going back near that little boy anytime soon.

"Try living with him," Fang chuckled. I laughed, shaking my head.

"No, thank you. I feel bad for you since you have to."

There was an awkward silence and the two of us sat there for a few more moments. I heard a twig snap behind our little hide out and I twisted around, my face right in Fangs. Suddenly, it was as if the world was going in slow motion. Fang didn't move away and I closed my eyes in anticipation. If I could just kiss him, maybe all of these feelings towards him would sort themselves out and I could proceed in hating Fang as much as I did before. He put his hand on the side of my face and we both leaned towards each other.


Soooooooooo, what do you think? Should Fang and Max finally kiss? Srsly, I want everybody's input on this! Just add a yes or a no to your review =] I really hoped you liked this chapter :D

As most of you guys know, the MR awards are going on. I would really appreciate it if you guys could vote for my story if you think it deserves it, or heck, maybe even nominate it for a category if you think it is worthy enough :D

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Go there to see all of the other stories that have been nominated, to vote, and to nominate stories yourself. :) Thanks!

10. Chapter 10

Sometimes, I wonder if I should be a nicer person. Because if I was a nicer person, maybe karma wouldn't be such a witch with a capital B and I could for once get something accomplished. But noooooo.

Fang's cell phone started ringing.

I pulled back, snapped out of the trance Fang had put me under. Oh my God, I was such a freaking idiot! I stared at Fang and he stared at me, his cell phone blaring. Without looking away from me he pulled it out of his pocket and I peeked down to see LISA on the caller id. You've got to be kidding me, right?

"Max, I-"Fang started, but I shook my head.

"Save it. Like I would actually want to kiss you!" I snapped. "I wouldn't kiss you if you were the last person on earth!"

"That's great, because I'd rather kiss a horse's ass over you! It's probably much more sanitary anyway!" Fang snapped right back. I huffed, ramming my foot in his rib cage purposely as I crawled out of the playhouse. I didn't wait for Ella as I ran towards the fence that separated Fang's house and mine and I hopped over it. When I glanced back, I could see the glow of Fang's cell phone. If he honestly wanted back with Lisa, then fine. I didn't give a damn anymore. Nope, not a damn because as far as I was concerned Fang could go to hell.

I barged up in my room, slamming the door behind me.

Okay, so some people would think I was over reacting, but it was like all of this tension was finally boiling over the top. I wasn't mad about not being able to kiss Fang. I just wanted to hit myself silly for even trying to kiss him. That was the second time I'd almost kissed him and I was ashamed of myself. I couldn't believe that I had been so ready to just do it, when earlier today he threw my car keys in the pool!

Stuffing my head in my pillow, I let out a long, muffled scream. I couldn't do this anymore. Fang was causing way too much confusion, drama, trouble …pain in my life. I hated not knowing what I wanted, because it made me feel so vulnerable. And Fang seemed to have that affect on me, which was unacceptable. I had to get away from him, so no more pranks, no more threatening to kill him when we talked through the windows, no more anything. I was going to have to…well, break up with him. You get what I mean. I just couldn't tolerate him messing with my head so much, and getting by with it. Fang was a lowlife creeper, and that was that. I thought he may have a different side to him, one that wasn't as self absorbed as the side I always saw, but I was dead wrong. I'm just glad that Lisa called; because I didn't even want to imagine what it would have been like if I would have kissed him. I mean, can you imagine the awkwardness? And it would have been even worse because apparently he'd accepted Lisa back and I did not want to be known as the girl who made out with other girls boyfriends.

I stared at Fang's window, shaking my head. I couldn't wait to graduate, to put this all behind me and forget that Nicolas 'Fang' Gomez ever existed.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


I tore of a flyer that had been posted on my locker, glancing briefly at the bold letters, HOMCOMMING DANCE, before crumpling it up and tossing it to the side. I don't understand why they find it appropriate to tape those stupid things on people's lockers. It's like vandalizing property. And no, when I posted those pictures of Fang, that did not count as vandalism.

After pulling my books out, I stuffed my backpack in my locker and then locked it, telling myself repeatedly not to look at Fang. I wondered if this 'almost kiss' would change anything between us. The first one hadn't been too bad, I mean, we still hated each other. But the second time…I'd felt something so weird and unknown and Fang had looked so intense, and the way those dark eyes just-

Never mind.

So, I plopped down in first period. Nudge chatted aimlessly, explaining how she planned to get a date for homecoming. Then she asked the silliest question I'd ever heard come out of Nudge's mouth,

"Are you going to homecoming?"

My head snapped towards her and I began laughing. "Very funny."

Nudge's expression was serious. "Why are you laughing? I-"she lowered her voice to barley a whisper. "I don't have a booger or anything do I?" Her eyes were wide and she tilted her head back, as if expecting me to really look, and I shook my head, laughing harder. The most funniest and disgusting things Nudge could have ever said had been said.

"Oh, Nudge," I sighed, eyes watering from laughing so hard. Then Mrs. Wilson snapped,

"Max! Do you want to share with the rest of the class?"

I smirked. "Well, Mrs. Wilson it's sorta a private topic, but if you really want me to tell the class about how Lisa stuffs her bra after P.E. then I guess I can."

The classroom erupted into giggles, but Lisa looked horror stricken. She glared at me and mouthed a very dirty word. I shrugged, smirking innocently. I don't know what brought on the remark, but Mrs. Wilson replied with a stiff,

"Then I can tell the class about how you have detention after school today."

I had never gone to detention. The past eighty billion times I'd been sentenced to it, I never did a day. Still, I nodded and forced a sad sigh, even though I knew that at three ten I'd leave this school and wouldn't stay an extra minute.

But, Mrs. Wilson looked convinced and she turned her head back around to continue teaching. Nudge waited until she started talking again before nudging me.

"You should go," she said. I rolled my eyes. Dances and I just didn't fit well together. I just didn't enjoy them.

"I'm serious! You know that Sam is going to ask you," Nudge persisted.

I stared at her. "Sam knows I'm not into that sort of crap. Besides, it's in what-a week? - I don't have a dress or anything."

"I've got tons of dresses," Nudge volunteered.

I muttered, "I'm sure. But I'm still not going. Well, if Orlando Bloom comes himself and asks me to go with him then I may be able to make an exception, but other then that, it's not happening."

"Fang sort of looks like Orlando Bloom," Nudge grinned. I snorted, loudly enough where the kids in front of me turned around to stare. I glared at them but focused on Nudge.

"Yeah, okay," I said sarcastically. My cheeks were flaming all of the sudden.

"Why are you blushing?" Nudge inquired, her lips tugging into a suspicious grin. "Max is there something you need to te-"

"MONIQUE!" Mrs. Wilson snapped furiously. "You can join Max in detention this afternoon. Honestly, can you two be quiet for three seconds?"

One second, two second, three second.

"Yes," I replied, and it was an honest answer. I counted off three seconds then answered. Mrs. Wilson closed her eyes in frustration, took a deep breath and then said,

"Max, go out in the hall. Better yet, just go to the office until you can learn to be quiet in my class."

I sighed, honestly annoyed with this, but I stood up anyway. I never usually acted up this much in Mrs. Wilson's class but today I just felt impulsive and reckless. And there was another feeling that I couldn't quite name, but it was in the pit of my stomach.

I walked slowly to the office, in no hurry to get there. I admired the art work spread across the walls, and even stopped by Mr. Campbell's history class to peek in the window. I saw J.J. sitting in the back and waved until I caught her attention. Mr. Campbell was writing on the board, oblivious to me, so I started making a lot of funny faces and moves. J.J. busted out laughing, and I watched as Mr. Campbell twisted around to see what was going on. I ducked down when he glanced over at the door. J.J. looked quite embarrassed. I'm sure I would think somebody was insane if they started laughing in the middle of class. She flicked me off as soon as Mr. Campbell turned slowly back around and I grinned.

When I finally did go to the office, I sat in front of an eleventh grade boy who I knew some what. He held a large ice pack over his right eye and I whistled.

"What happened to you?"

When he looked up at me you would have thought he saw the devil. He shoved himself farther back in his chair and looked away from me quickly, stuttering.

"I-I-well, I-"he kept on for a moment, then he just shook his head and stared at the floor. I was a bit offended by his attitude but I shrugged it off. Boys were weird.

"Michael Morgan," the secretary called. "The principle will see you now." The boy stood up on shaky legs and didn't so much as look at me while he walked past me and down the hall to the principle's room. I followed him with my eyes until somebody else walked past him. The boy cowered towards the wall and the other figure just kept walking.

"Fang?" I asked incredulously. His eyes met mine and for a moment I thought he was going to smile, but instead he paused walking and stared at me. I stared back, momentarily lost in those eyes of his. He broke the stare and stepped out the doors. That wasn't what got me though.

He had an ice pack on his fist.

So, obviously, Fang had punched Michael Morgan the eleventh grader. But why? Everybody 'loved' Fang. Nobody would want to purposely make him mad enough to where he would hit them.

Mrs. Linda, the secretary, was talking on the phone with somebody. Her nails clicked annoyingly on the desk; clack clack, clack clack, clack clack.

Overwhelmed with curiosity, I crawled past her desk to the back of office to where the principle's door was in sight. I pressed an ear to it.

"…..and that's what happened," Michael's cracked voice floated through the door. I mentally groaned. I had missed it.

The principle said, "So, Nick had punched you for a specific reason? He did not just run up and hit you?"

"No…" Michael murmured. "I shouldn't have said what I did and he had every right to hit me."

Why did he hit Michael?

I heard the sound of people standing and I straightened up and stepped a few paces away. The door opened and Michael walked out, glancing briefly at me. The principle sighed, running a hand through his graying hair, and asked,

"What did you do this time, Max?"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - -- - - - -

My internet connection died and I haven't been able to update due to that reason. I'm really sorry guys.

And for those who will be like, 'YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE THEM KISS!' a lot of other reviewers requested that I hold off on the kiss, and then I got a very awesome idea so be patient :) The Fax is coming soon and I've got it planned out. This was just a chapter filling in some missing parts, but I really look forward to posting the next chapter because…well, I can't tell you :) So please review and thank you guys so much for reading my story!

If you think my story is worthy, please vote for it in the maximum ride awards :) It would make me very happy!


Oh yeah, if you find yourself board, then read .net/s/5369982/1/Jessica_and_Katies_battles

It will be a waste of five minutes, but it is about an epic battle that involves a bit of Fang, Iggy, Myself, My best friend, Edward and Jacob, along with some other fictional guys. The first paragraph is written by me, the next by my friend, and so on.

11. Chapter 11

Even though I swore I would completely leave Fang along, I just could not resist. I saw him lounging on his bed, shirtless of course, as he watched television. His window was down, but his curtains drawn back so he was still visible. I argued with myself until I finally rose up from my own bed and waved my hands to get his attention.

It took a few moments and he glanced over at me, then back at his TV and then he jerked back around as if somebody had shocked him. Raising an eyebrow, he opened his window and asked,

"Where's the fire?"

"Why did you punch Michael?" I blurted. No need to beat around the bush. Fang crossed his arms over his bear chest.

"What's it to you?"

I glared. "I'm curious. Did Michael say something about you or are you just pugnacious?"

"Pug what? Did you just call me a dog, Max?" I saw a hint of a grin forming on Fang's lips and then I realized I shouldn't even be looking at his lips, let along staring. I tore my eyes away.

"Of course not. That would be an insult to dogs."

"Then what the hell does pugnacious mean?" he asked.

I laughed. "Look it up. Now, answer my question. Why did you punch Michael?"

"Why did you call me a dog?"

"I did not call you a dog."

"A Pug is a type of dog. You had one when you were four. Her name was…Tally, yeah that was it."

I stared at him, something chewing at my chest. "You remember that?" I asked softly. I barley remembered Tally, even though she had been my first pet, but Fang did. He nodded, causing his dark hair to fall from its place.

"Yeah," he replied just as softly. "You only had her for a year before she had to be put to sleep. Old age."

"You remember that to?" I asked, smiling. Fang nodded again and he leaned against his window pane, his eyes soft.

"I remember a lot of things, Max. Like the time you shoved the chocolate ice cream cone down my swimming trunks when we were like, four."

I laughed. "Me? I would never. But I firmly recall you blaming me when you kicked the soccer ball and it busted your dad's windshield to his corvette."

"I firmly recall that being your fault," Fang countered, even though the smirk on his face clearly reveled that he knew it was his fault, and he knew he had gotton away with it. I chuckled along with him and a long moment passed between us. I stared at him, curious about weather this was the real Fang or the put on one.

"So, are you going to tell me why you punched Michael?" I asked. Fang shrugged.

"It doesn't really matter. He was running his mouth in the locker room, so I stopped him. No big deal."

"What was he saying?" I questioned further. Fang looked uncomfortable and I wanted to know why.

"Just a bunch of stuff, that's all. Why do you need to know so badly?"

I didn't want to admit to Fang that I had heard from Nudge who had heard from Cindy who had heard from Todd who had heard from some other grape in the grape vine that Fang had punched Michael because Michael was running his mouth about me. If that wasn't true, then it would seem a little weird that I even thought Fang had been defended me, when he obviously hated me.

"I just heard some things about why you did hit him, and I'm curious, that's all," I replied carefully.

Fang uncrossed his arms and said, "If I tell you, it will just make things more awkward between us."

"Things cannot get more awkward between us Fang," I said. We had almost kissed twice, had all these sentimental moments, and then the next second we were trying to kill each other. We had the kind of relationship that needed to be listed on Jerry Springer or Maury.

When he didn't answer, I sighed and asked, "Was it about me?"

Fang eyes darted up to mine and he stared at me for a long moment. He was thinking, I could tell by the way he looked. Finally, he answered.

"No. It was about Lisa."

I blinked in surprise. I had been expecting a lot of things, but not that. I shouldn't care; I mean, Lisa was still Fang's girlfriend, wasn't she? Naturally he would defend her and it was silly of me to think I had been involved in any way. I tried to cover up my surprise and tried to ask in a nonchalant voice,

"Oh. So you guys are together again?" I'm sure my voice sounded strained, but I could only hope Fang wouldn't notice.

"Not technically. We're just talking."

I wanted to yell, 'Even after she cheated on you?!' but I bit my tongue, nodded, and said, "Well, I will see you tomorrow Fang." I shut my window without waiting for him to say anything else.


"Do you want to go to homecoming with me?"

I cursed the heavens mentally before I looked up to see Sam standing at my desk. He looked nervous but a little confident as he stared at me.

"Huh?" I asked, hoping I had heard him wrong. But noooooo, Sam repeated,

"Homecoming. Will you go with me, please?"

I laughed. "Sam, you know I don't go to dances. Why would this one be any different?"

He sat down in the desk beside me, looking as if he had a long speech prepared out to magically convince me to go to homecoming. Thankfully, J.J. busted in the room and sat in the desk in front of me.

"Guess what?!" she squealed. I opened my mouth to attempt a guess, but she went on. "Iggy asked me to homecoming! Isn't that amazing?!"

"Why do girls say, 'Guess what?' but then never let you even have a chance to guess? Makes no sense to me," Sam shook his head.

J.J. rolled her eyes. "You are a boy. Lots of things don't make sense to you."

Sam scowled and stood up, slouching towards his assigned seat. I sighed.

"Thank you," I told J.J. She smiled, shrugging.

"No problem. He told me he was going to ask you, but anyhow, Iggy asked me to homecoming. I'm so excited!"

I stared at J.J.'s beaming face. It wasn't normal for her to get so wrapped up around a boy. I'd known her for a pretty long time and I'd never seen her so excited over any boy, except for Shia LaBuff when Transformers came out and she made me go see it with her even though I had the flu. But that is a different story. J.J. really, really liked Iggy and he seemed to really like her. And yeah, I'll admit, I was jealous. Not of her and Iggy being together, but seeing her so happy suddenly made me wonder if I could ever be that happy. I'd never really interacted a lot with boys, but now that my school years were ending, I was starting to think that maybe I should try and finish the year with a bang. By doing something un-Max like. I could go to homecoming.

But, still not with Sam. I didn't have to have a date, but maybe it was time for me to start branching out a little. Start going to social gatherings; well, not a lot of them but enough to where I could look back on my high school experience and truthfully admit I wasn't a 'bump on the log' or whatever.

"J.J.," I sighed. "Teach me to be social." I grinned at her and she raised her eyebrows, grin forming on her lips.

Bring on the new Max.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Some of you readers will get why Max is supposedly 'redoing herself' (at least, I hope lol :D ) There is a deeper meaning to it… -wiggles eyebrows-

The chapter is 'shorter' and I apologize. I feel like crap because I have the flu, not the 'h1n1' flu, just the 'regular one' xD

So the reason I haven't updated is because I was fishing and fell into a whirlpool where a magical elf kicked me and I got in a fight in a Grizzly bear who was holding my computer hostage, and I just now got my computer back and was able to update. Life's hard, right?

What do you mean you don't believe me? I SWEAR that's why I haven't updated!

Jump4life's story, you should read it :)

And, pugnacious really is a word. I learned it in honors English. Poor Fang! Max is using vocabulary words to insult him :c

12. Chapter 12

*Whistles Innocently* Hey guys…*Ducks to avoid flying objects being thrown at my head* Okay, so I know it's been a while, and I can honestly say that I am very, very sorry about it. I received multiple death threats, all targeted at me, or my best friend, or in one case even my dog! So, I want to say I'm very sorry for the long wait, but I made it extra long and I beg you all for forgiveness! You guys are awesome, and I can't believe Neighborly Love has made it to 500 reviews, especially considering this is my first ever fanfic! :) I WILL be updating more frequently now, due to specific reasons that allow me to get on the internet more, so yays! :P So I'll shut-up and let you read the chapter :D


My voice was firm, leaving no room for question. I crossed my arms defiantly over my chest, eyeing the outfit with as much distaste as I could possibly conjure up. J.J. narrowed her eyes, frowning.

"Max, come on!" She pleaded, big blue eyes all bambi like. I wondered briefly how much she had paid Nudge to teach her the bambi look. Snorting, I said,

"I refuse to look like prep-school Barbie, J.J. Being social doesn't mean dressing all…well, dressing all girly." I paused for a moment, staring at the shorter then knee length skirt, the navy tank top, and the matching jacket. "It's just not me, you know? When I wear that stuff, it's not 'Max.' I feel so fake."

J.J. let out a sigh, shaking her head and shrugging. "I know. I knew you wouldn't wear it but it was worth a try." She pushed the outfit off her bed and ignored it as it slid to the floor. We were at her house, sitting on her bed. J.J. had already succeeded in putting just a tad bit of eyeliner on me and blush, as well as straighten my unruly hair, but the whole skirt thing is where I drew the line. We had also spent almost an hour with J.J. telling me how I should talk to people more and be nicer to them, which included not punching Lisa in the face. I wasn't sure how well that was going to go over.

I wasn't kidding when I said outfits like that made me feel fake, because they did. Why should I have to dress like something I'm not just to be socially acceptable? To hell with being accepted, I just wanted to start maybe branching out a bit and participating in more activities. But being more social didn't involve me wearing outfits that I would consider 'skimpy.' I appreciated J.J. and her effort, but Maximum Ride doesn't girly herself up just for a boy or whatnot.

Not that there is a boy, I reminded myself, feeling my cheeks go hot. I ducked my head down, hoping J.J. wouldn't catch it. She was too busy staring at her laptop though, admiring all the dresses she had found that were for sale online.

"This one is gorgeous," she muttered, more to herself then to me. I glanced up at her, then at the clock sitting on her nightstand. Nudge was due to arrive at nine, as it was already eight thirty now, and the three of us were going to the mall to shop for dresses. I know: who in their right mind goes dress shopping in the morning? I'd much rather be curled up in bed still.

"Thanks for agreeing to go to Homecoming," J.J. said. "It's going to be so fun; you, Nudge, Iggy, and me. The four Musketeers."

I raised an eyebrow. "Please don't ever say that in public." Then I grinned, barley dodging her thrown pillow. It ended up hitting Cassie, J.J.'s Rotwilier dog. Cassie huffed, and then started chewing on the pillow while J.J. rolled her eyes at the dog. We heard a car pull up in the drive, and J.J. shut her laptop off. We glanced at each other, grinned, and then leapt off the bed, racing down stairs to see who could get there the fastest. It was an old game, one that I could proudly say I won most, if not all, the time. It was simple: J.J. and I would race each other down the stairs, through the kitchen, past the T.V. in her living room, and to the front door to see who could open it the fastest.

Lame? Probably.

Fun? Definitely.

I yanked the door open first, sticking my tongue out at J.J. while grinning victoriously. "Victory is mine," I sang. Nudge raised her eyebrows, opening her mouth to say a snide comment, but then she stopped, squinting her eyes and peering close at me.

"Are you wearing eyeliner?" she asked.

J.J. came up from behind me. "How else do you think I got these scars? I had to pin her down."

I gave a sarcastic laugh, shutting the door as Nudge walked in. She was very dressed up; hair curled into delicate spirals, lips shinning to perfection, and she wore a denim skirt and a white blouse. Obviously, she wasn't just shopping for dresses when she went to the mall.

"You're early," J.J. yelled from upstairs as Nudge and I waited in the living room. I could hear her pushing things around in an attempt to find her jacket. She was just about as unorganized as I was. Nudge shrugged.

"We have to get all the good dresses before there gone." But the twinkle in her eyes told a different story. I looked at her, shaking my head, clearly telling her I wasn't buying her story but I didn't push the issue.

After J.J. discovered her jacket under the bed, the three of us climbed into J.J.'s small red jeep Wrangler. I rode in the passenger seat while Nudge sat in the back, fussing about how the wind was going to mess up her hair. J.J. and I exchanged an eye roll.

The mall wasn't too far away; about a thirty minute drive but with J.J.'s driving, we were there in a little over fifteen minutes.

"Alright, so do we split up or all shop together?" J.J. asked. Nudge answered immediately,

"Of course we all shop together! Can you imagine what type of dress Max would pick out all by herself?"

I opened my mouth to defend myself, but J.J. nodded and hopped out, Nudge quickly following. I muttered under my breath, but trailed after them. I had a feeling this day was going to suck.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - "Max! You have to try on this one!" Nudge insisted, sticking a long, light blue dress inside my dressing room. I didn't even try to restrain my groan.

"This is the last one!" I grumbled, staring at the stack of rejected dresses I had already tried on. The green one I had liked, but J.J. and Nudge had refused, telling me I looked like a tree in it. I was beginning to seriously reconsider who my friends were. Still, I stripped the green dress off and pulled on the blue one, enjoying how my friends had actually got my right size instead of a dress three sizes too small. The blue fit nicely. It was a light, beautiful blue and strapless, clinging to my sides. I nodded; making sure Nudge and J.J. weren't peeking before doing a quick twirl around in it. I suppose Homecoming couldn't be that bad. The dress made my eyes seem even brighter.

"Are you done yet?" J.J. asked. I sighed, opening the door to the dressing room and staring at them. J.J.'s mouth fell open slightly and Nudge nodded rapidly.

"Yes. Definitely yes."

"Not a doubt in my mind."

"You have to buy it," the last voice wasn't J.J. or Nudge, but rather a worker who had decided to voice her input. All three of us glanced at her and she cleared her throat, walking off.

"Well the cashier lady has spoken; I must buy it," I muttered. "Now can we go eat?"

J.J. had picked out a hot pink, sparkling dress that had a variety of designs on it. It, to, had been strapless but J.J. pulled it off while Nudge talked ninety two miles an hour about how much Iggy was going to love it, making J.J. beam like I had never seen her smile before. Out of the three of us, she was the only one with a date, but I had a feeling Nudge was on the hunt. Nudge wasn't ugly at all; she was actually really pretty with her caramel colored skin that was always flawless and bright. It wouldn't be long before somebody would ask her to go with them. Her dress was a fiery red with thin straps, and a flower pattern was printed up the sides of it. Of course, I always had Sam as an option, but the idea of going with him made me frown.

"Let's buy that beast and go eat," J.J. laughed. I let out a sigh of relief, quickly changing back into my pants and tee-shirt. I fished out the money from my wallet, handing it to the cashier and then J.J., Nudge and I walked towards the food court. We had been shopping for the last three hours and I felt like my stomach was about to eat itself. The smell of food was delicious and I practically power walked towards the small Japanese place.

"Look who it is," Nudge nudged me in my stomach, and I followed her gaze to Fang. He was leaning against a wall, giving a girl who looked like she was eighteen or nineteen a smooth, charming smile. She giggled, hitting Fang in his shoulder playfully. I guess he and Lisa weren't together anymore, but he sure did bounce back fast.

"Why would I care?" I asked, a bit harsher then what I had intended. J.J. and Nudge exchanged a look, and I rolled my eyes, pushing past them to find a table.

"You two stay here with the stuff, I'll get the food," I told them. Nudge and J.J. agreed, and we picked out a table and sat our stuff down.

"Remember," Nudge yelled after me. "Teriyaki chicken!"

I waved a hand at her, restraining an eye roll and I stood at the back of the line. I'd lost site of Fang and his little lover, but I shrugged. I didn't really care anyway, I told myself.

"Should you really be eating something so fattening?" a voice asked, breathe blowing on the back of my neck, making goose bumps erupt. I twisted around, coming too close to Fang for my liking. I sneered.

"Should you really be out in public with a face so ugly?" I snapped. Fang let out a whistle.

"I figured if they're letting you get by with it, I shouldn't be a problem."

I gave a sarcastic laugh, stepping forward as the line moved. Fang was right behind me, and I rose up in my tiptoes, hoping the line would move fast. There were about eight people in front of me.

"What's the rush?" Fang asked, stepping closer. "Don't enjoy my company?"

"Well, the sign on the front doors did say no animals allowed," I smiled without looking at him. "So I don't think anybody enjoys your company."

Fang chuckled, a musical sound from his chest. "I have been told I am quite the animal."

I turned around and slapped him in the chest, shaking my head in disgust. "You are awful," I growled. Fang laughed again, catching my hand in his. I tugged it away, glancing down at my feet as my face heated up.

"You blush very easily," Fang smirked, and I stepped another spot forward.

"Yes, well you disgust people very easily," I retorted, although my voice wasn't near as harsh as I had expected it to be. I was too busy trying to cool my face. Fang didn't say anything, and I peeked at him from the corner of my eye. His eyes were focused on Nudge and J.J., so were pretending like they weren't watching mine and Fang's every move. Obviously, he noticed the dress bags that were sprawled out beside our table.

"Are you actually going to homecoming?" he asked, his voice amused. I turned to glare at him.

"What's it to you?" I demanded. Fang just laughed.

"I just can't wait to see you in a dress," he admitted. I scowled, raising my hand and flicking him off. It was much better then dropping the 'F' bomb.

"You would," Fang chuckled.

I frowned. "You would let me."

Fang replied immediately. "I'd be an idiot not to, Maxie."

I fake-gagged, rolling my nose in disgust. "You're an idiot if you think you'll ever have the chance, F-Nick.

"You remember my name," Fang sighed. "I'm so honored."

"Can I take your order?" an older man asked, standing behind the counter. I nodded, ordering Nudge's plate of Teriyaki chicken and then the two plates of rice J.J. and I wanted. Fang watched with too much interest, studying my face.

"Take a picture, it will last longer," I snapped. It was an old line, but worked none the less. Fang grinned.

"I'd love to; if only a neighbor of mine hadn't broken it. Of course, she can't help she has a face like that."

"Ha-ha," I said sarcastically, handing my money to the man, who was watching mine and Fang's exchanging of words very closely. He was almost grinning, glancing up at Fang.

"How long have you two been married," he asked with a laugh. "You're worse then my wife and I."

I let loose a sharp laugh. "Ha! Merry him? I'll never be that desperate."

"She'll never be that lucky," Fang added. The older man just laughed, shaking his head. He took the money I handed him, telling me it would be a few moments before my food was ready. I stood to the side, waiting.

"I'd ask you to join us for lunch, but… I just don't want to," I smiled innocently at Fang. He faked hurt, putting a dramatic hand to his chest.

"Ouch. But that's fine, because I'm enjoying a lovely lunch with Susan," he nodded in the direction to where the blonde he had been flirting with sat. She was staring at me, head cocked slightly to the side. I glared at Fang.

"Oh, are you two sharing a trough?" I asked with a smile. Fang raised an eyebrow, obviously not realizing what a trough even was. I sighed, explaining to him it was what pigs ate out of.

"Oh, I know what it is," Fang gave me a crooked smile. "But I thought I let you borrow it for you and your friends."

My jaw clenched. "I really, really cannot stand you. Do you know that?"

Fang smiled brilliantly. "No, you love me. You just won't admit it."

I scoffed. "Love you? Not. A. Chance."

The older man reappeared, handing me a tray that had mine, Nudge, and J.J.'s food on it.

"Enjoy," Fang said, puckering his lips at me as if he were going to kiss me. He winked, and then stepped up to the counter to order. I contemplated throwing my drink all over him.

As I weaved through all the other tables to return to the one we had picked out, I noticed that girl - Susan? - staring intently at me. I returned her gaze, barley avoiding tripping over some woman's purse. She sort of resembled Fang with her large dark eyes and smooth, olive skin.

"What was that all about?" J.J. asked as soon as I sat down. "You looked pissed."

"She always looks pissed when Fang's around," Nudge said, reaching for her plate of food. I nodded, laughing slightly.

"Fang was just being…Fang," I said. J.J. smirked, throwing a look at Nudge who returned the smirk. I raised an eyebrow.

"Did I miss something?" I asked, eyeing them both carefully. Of course, they both shook their heads, barley restraining their smiles.

"There is nothing going on between Fang and me," I stated clearly, taking a sip of my Dr. Pepper. Nudge started to giggle and J.J. kicked her under the table, making Nudge almost spit out her mouthful of sweet tea.

"You two are up to something, aren't you?" I demanded, pointing my fork threateningly at them…or as threateningly as a fork could be pointed. J.J. shook her head, trying to maintain a casual look.

"No, Max, we aren't plotting, promise," she smiled, but I squinted my eyes at her.

"I'm watching you two," I tried to say in a serious tone, but I ended up laughing when Nudge muttered, "And you're little dog to."

Alright! So, I already have almost the entire next chapter typed up, and you guys have no idea how much I wanted to make Fang and Max kiss in this chapter lol. But, it would ruin the rest of my plan so –evil laugh here-. I'm really happy how this is leading up, and I hope you guys will be to. I know there wasn't as much Fax as you were wanting, but I believe the next chapter is going to have a lot more romance in it :) And drama to, so this was just another filler chapter but the next chapter so far has been a lot of fun to write and I as soon as I finish it, I'll post it. I do promise though that you will never have to wait so long again for an update. I can't thank you all enough for sticking with me.

13. Chapter 13

I could have posted this earlier if I wasn't too busy protecting my dogs. Goodness, my poor dogs have received so many death threats! When I was typing this up, they were all staring at me like, "Thanks. Write a story for the people who are plotting to kill us. We'll see who protects YOU."

And a HUGE thanks to all who reviewed :) And an even bigger thanks to the people who told me my spelling errors. I really appreciate it.

I now present to you…Chapter 13!

"You know, it's so nice to walk up to my locker and not see you and Lissa sucking faces," I sighed with a slight smile. Fang rolled his eyes, opening his locker slowly.

"You know what else would be nice? If you took my suggestion about wearing a paper bag over your face," Fang retorted without looking at me. I opened my locker, pulling my books out.

"You should use everybody's suggestions about deodorant," I said. Of course, I was lying right through my teeth. Fang smelled delightful, as I had said previously. But I wouldn't tell him that. Fang cocked an eyebrow at me, and said curtly,

"I smell very nice, thank you."

I laughed. "What? No witty remark?" I shrugged, shutting my locker and locking it. I hated going to Mrs. Wilson's class, so I was in no rush. Fang shut his locker as well, turning towards me.

"Susan is my cousin, you know," he told me.

I made my voice casual. "And I intended on staying up all night worrying who the blonde was." I couldn't resist feeling slightly relieved though, which made me practically shudder. I already had a lot of things going on, and I certainly did not need to suddenly gain intimate feelings towards Fang. I didn't care who Susan was, I told myself firmly.

"Thought you looked a bit jealous when you saw her," he smirked, his dark eyes staring into mine. I locked my jaw, repeating over and over in my head that I didn't like Fang. Fang or his dark, endless eyes, or his charming smile, or his witty comebacks. Fang or his rather nice body when he lounged in his room shirtless. Fang or his-

Stop it, Max.

Fang leaned closer to me, so close that I could make out the small freckle that dotted his jaw. He flashed a smile. "You're totally checking me out right now, aren't you?"

I let out a sharp laugh. "There's nothing to check out." I took in a breath. "And even if there was, you're just not my type."

"And what is your type, Maxi?" Fang breathed, his minty breath caressing against my face. I swallowed hard, struggling to come up with a smart remark. Fang smirked, as if he knew exactly the effect he could have. I refused to be another one of the countless girls who fell all over him though.

"Not you," I said boldly. Fang raised that eyebrow again, making him look mischievous almost. He leaned even closer, and the images of the previous 'almost kisses' flashed in my mind. I gritted my teeth together, ignoring the small tingle in my stomach as Fang came so close that the tips of our noses were almost touching.

"You like me, don't you?" he said in a cocky tone. There was that stupid smirk again; it seemed like it was glued permanently to his face.

"Sorry to disappoint you," I said. "But…no. I don't." I felt almost self conscious, having Fang this close. I was momentarily relieved I had been chewing a piece of gum, assuring that I didn't have a case of bad breath. Then I wanted to kick myself for even caring.

"So why are you going to homecoming?" he asked. He shifted slightly, leaning his shoulder against the lockers as he stared into my eyes, never glancing around the hall at the people who were passing by, or the people who were being nosy and watching. I struggled to keep eye contact with him, refusing to look away.

"Because I want to," I said, although it came out sounding more like a question. Fang went on though.

"Who are you going with?" he asked casually. Although nothing sounded casual with him this close to my face. I wanted to shift backwards, I should have shifted backwards, but instead I stayed rooted in place.

I rolled my eyes, momentarily breaking our eye contact. "You don't have to have a date to go to homecoming," I told him. "What's the fun in that?"

"Spoken like a true dateless girl," he retorted. I scowled, my gaze turning into a glare.

"Of course," Fang continued. "You could always go with me, you know." He winked, smirk turning into a full blown grin. I stared at him with a deer caught in the head lights expression, mouth slightly dropped in surprise. I scrambled for an answer, but so far the only thought I could conjure up was that of me in my sky blue dress, Fang in his tux, and the both of us walking into the homecoming dance together. Now is when I needed J.J. or Nudge to slap me. "Uh…" I stuttered, mentally rolling my eyes at how stupid I sounded. Fang looked amused, knowing the effect he was having on me. I raised my chin, wishing I could get my stupid mouth to say something witty and smart and make Fang feel stupid, but I couldn't. I just couldn't.

Was I dying or something?

The bell rang, making me jump. Fang chuckled; those dark eyes staring me down in a way that made a pleasant shiver go down my spine.

"We can't be late for Mrs. Wilson's class," he whispered, purposely trying to make his voice intimate. I didn't say anything; I just turned around and almost ran to Mrs. Wilson's class. Fang followed in a slow pace behind me.

"Was that a yes, Maxi?" he called after me. I paused at Mrs. Wilson's door, turning to look at him. I felt more like myself, less like a stupid school girl who was intimidated, and I cleared my throat, forcing a smirk at him. I didn't say anything though and Fang grinned almost playfully. Two could play at this game, I decided. Then I shut Mrs. Wilson's door purposely before going to sit down in my seat. Nudge cocked her head to the side, raising an eyebrow at me. I gave her a casual smile, but I felt like a jumbled up mess. Why had I completely freaked out over a boy? And not just any boy, but Fang? Fang, who had completely done everything in his power to humiliate me; who had put worms in my drink for goodness sakes!

Fang opened the door just as the tardy bell rang, but Mrs. Wilson gave him a smile and I scowled. If I had entered the door two freaking seconds before the bell rang, she would have marked me as tardy. But since Fang's the all star basketball player, he got by with everything.

Fang glanced over at me and winked before sitting down in his seat. I wrinkled my nose in disgust, pretending to gag before turning my head to face the board as Mrs. Wilson stood up and began lecturing. Nudge threw her pencil at me, making me jump and turn to look at her.

"What?" I hissed, making sure Mrs. Wilson had her back turned.

Nudge gave me an 'I saw you shut the door in Fang's face and I know something is going on' look. I shrugged, unable to resist smiling at her.

"What was that all about?" she asked. I glanced back at Mrs. Wilson, who was scribbling words across our board, while talking in her mono-tone voice.

"I'll tell you later," I promised. "It's-"

"Miss Ride and Miss Carter, you two can join me for lunch detention today," Mrs. Wilson called without even glancing at Nudge or me. I glared at Nudge, who only bit her lip and gave me an apologetic look. I turned back around, copying the notes my teacher from hell had put up on the board.

I closed my bedroom door, balancing my huge plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and glass of milk while carrying my laptop from downstairs. I jumped on my bed, taking a bite of cookie while my laptop started up. It was only five thirty, but I was already dressed in a pair of comfortable shorts and a tee shirt.

I wasn't exactly thrilled about the day's events. I made myself look like an idiot in front of Fang, which was enough to ruin anybody's day. He probably thought I was falling head over heels for him, which I most certainly was not.

"I cannot stand him," I declared to Zoey, my Black Labrador mix. She let out a woof, which I hope was a woof of agreement.

"He's so arrogant!" I went on. "He thinks he can have any girl he wants as long as he flashes a smile at them. And he's always flirting with me and messing with my head! Well, like I told Nudge, two can play at that game. I refuse to let Fang push me around and think he's winning." I took a sip of my milk before eating another cookie. "I refuse to let him think that I have any intimate feelings towards him at all, Zoey. I'll insult him until I am blue in the face."

Zoey stared at me, big eyes soft. I sighed, patting her on the head. I had resorted to ranting to a dog, all because of Fang.

A knock on my door erupted and I looked up, briefly praying nobody had overheard my ranting. Ella poked her head in.

"Look," she said. "If you're talking to yourself, try doing it a bit quieter."

I scowled at her, but she went on.

"Secondly, mom wanted me to tell you that if you even think about eating all those cookies, she's going to throw away every cookie related item in this house and won't ever buy them again."

I grinned, rolling my eyes. "Tell mom she's going to have to fight me for them."

Ella laughed. "Five bucks on mom."

"This coming from the accident," I sang, grinning at her. Ella's smile faltered and her brown eyes glared at me.

"Ha-ha," she said sarcastically. "Well when the zombies come, I'm tripping you."

I couldn't stop a laugh. "I'll just use the zombies to take over the world," I retorted smugly.

"Yeah, well," she frowned, trying to think of a good enough comeback. I waited with a smirk.

"Come on, I taught you better then that," I taunted. Ella dashed in my room, grabbing the plate of cookies before darting back out. I yelled after her, leaping up off my bed to chase her down the stairs. She laughed, going down the stairs and towards the kitchen. She screeched for help as I closed in. I grabbed my little sister by her waist, pulling her to an abrupt stop in the living room. She squealed, kicking against me while trying to balance the plate of cookies.

"Put down the cookies," I demanded in my most authoritative voice. Ella giggled, shaking her head.

"Never!" she cried. I sighed.

"I'd hate to have to kill you, but if it's for my chocolate chip cookies I'm afraid I have no choice."

"Ooo, scary."

My grip on Ella loosened and I didn't bother chasing after her as she darted into the kitchen. I turned around to see Fang standing right behind me.


I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! I did throw in a lot more Fax, which I hope you guys liked :) It was mainly a 'filler' chapter, I guess you could say. (Gah, I have way too many of those Haha) But I felt like you guys deserved some semi-Fax lol.

So what exactly is Fang doing in Max's house?

What are Nudge and J.J. plotting?

Will my brother ever stop playing the drums at two in the morning?!?!

Okay, so the last one has nothing to do with this, just skip it xD lol.

I do have a question about the next chapter: Yay or Nay to the thought of Fang and Sam having a…'argument' of some sort? Originally, I planned to put it in this chapter, but then I thought I should get my reviewers opinions on it before I wrote about somebody throwing punches lol. I have it written up, but I wanted to get your opinions on it before I posted it :)

-Nova Ride

14. Chapter 14

Semi-Important Note: The class subjects and periods have been altered a bit in this chapter, so I just wanted to give you a heads up :)

"How the hell did you get in my house?!" I focused on the small glass vase of flowers that sat on our coffee table, wondering how accurately I could chunk it at Fang's head.

"It's my mad skills," he said with a barley there smile. "Picking locks, crawling through windows, the works."

I frowned, not at all amused. "Didn't you read the sign? No pigs allowed."

Fang was good at the comebacks, I would give him that. He retorted, "Somebody must have taken it down. How else do you think you got in here?"

"Better question: What are you doing in my house?" I snapped.

Fang leaned casually against our leather chair that sat across from the television, eyes locked with mine. "Didn't you get the memo? I'm stalking you Max."

"You're a creeper."

He grinned. "Ah, but a good looking one, you have to admit that."

I was just about to pick up the glass vase when Fang finally answered, "My mom wanted me to come get some recipe book from your mom. Apparently, they are sharing recipes or something."

Hmm. I will admit, I was expecting something much more diabolical then just coming over here to retrieve a recipe book. You know, something more along the lines of 'I'm going to kill you,' 'I'm going to burn your house down,' or, dare I say it, 'I'm going to steal all of your chocolate chip cookies.' But all he wanted was my mom's recipe book, for his mother.

I crossed my arms over my chest. "Why did you have to come get it?" I saw his lips pull up slightly, but he was hardly smiling. I realized, with a self-conscious frown, that I was only in shorts, and not basketball ones either, but rather the ones that nobody was supposed to see me in. For a split second, I wondered if Fang had even noticed.

"Are we just going to stand here all day while you fantasize over me, or are you going to go get it?"

My jaw locked and I narrowed my eyes even farther, staring him down. Fang, as always, seemed unfazed and he made himself at home, gliding towards the kitchen door. I ran in front of him, pointing my index finger at him.

"Stay," I told him.

Fang crossed his arms over his chest, "Woof."

I rolled my eyes and darted into the kitchen. Ella squeaked and ran behind the other side of the table, watching me carefully. I pursed my lips, pretending to ignore her as I reached up in the cabinet and pulled down a thick, white book. I briefly considered calling to make sure mom had indeed agreed to loan her book out, but then again, we had already downloaded all the recipes onto the computer so it couldn't cause much harm just to loan the book. Still, I pulled the book open and gently tugged out the chocolate chip cookie recipe. Fang didn't deserve such deliciousness.

"Here," I said, shoving the book into his chest. Fang scanned it briefly, and then gave me a crooked smile.

"Thanks, darling," he winked. I scrunched my nose up in disgust, motioning towards the door.


To be honest, I didn't expect him to leave so willingly. I expected more snide comments, more "You look like something I threw up once" remarks, but Fang went to the door, not even glancing behind him as he went out.

I wasn't sure if that made me feel relieved…or hurt.

I needed some more cookies.

Science with Mrs. Wilson was my first period and my least favorite period. I swear the old lady was out to get me. Plus, I hadn't gone to my scheduled detention, so I was expecting either a long lecture or something even worse: having to have a conference with me, Mrs. Wilson, and mom.

I slid into my seat, glancing curiously at a sulking Sam but before I could ask him what was wrong, Nudge slid in the seat in front of me.

"I've got a date," she announced, beaming. I smiled slightly, raising an eyebrow.


Nudge's eyes widened. "Really, Max? Really? You've forgotten already?"

It clicked then and I gave a surprised laugh. "Homecoming." I said the word like it was a curse word, my voice barley above a whisper. Nudge didn't pay any attention, though.

"Yes! And you will not believe what smexy senior asked me to go!"

"Is 'smexy' even a word, Nudge?"

"Brett Owens!"

"Owens makes me think of 'Owls.'"

Nudge frowned. "Seriously, Max. This is just, the highlight of my entire high school year."

I opened my notebook, grinning at her. "I'm happy for you, Nudge. When did this whole exchange happen?"

"Yesterday, after school. He was standing there, I was standing there and I swear a light just shinned down on him from the sky."

I raised an eyebrow.

"For today's lesson!" Mrs. Wilson called, slamming the door shut behind her. I jumped; I hadn't even heard the bell ring. Nudge let out a yelp and twisted around in her seat.

"Everybody is going to partner up and we're going over the Periodic Table!" Mrs. Wilson went on. Grumbles erupted throughout the class room.

Mrs. Wilson went on, "When I was your age, I knew all the names and weights of every element on the Periodic Table!"

"Yeah, but, there were so few of them back then," a kid said in the back. I couldn't hold back my snicker.

"'So few of them back then,'" Mrs. Wilson mimicked sourly. Then she returned her voice to normal. "You can join me for lunch today, Mr. Lambert. Now, as I was saying, we are going to partner up and complete this worksheet that has questions relating to the Periodic Table. And for the best part," she paused, giving us an ugly smile. "I get to pick your partners."

Another groan.

Nudge turned around and sighed, frowning. "I hate this class," she mumbled

Mrs. Wilson wouldn't put Nudge and I together…not since the second week in her class when Nudge and I ended up spilling some sort of acid because we were laughing really hard over something I had said and then everyone had to evacuate the classroom. It wasn't our fault, though. I mean, who puts chemicals in a Chemistry classroom?

Don't answer that.

"You and You," Mrs. Wilson pointed at two kids that sat closet to the door. "Your partners." Then she did the same with two other kids, and again. If she kept the same routine, then that meant Nudge and I would be the last two people left and she would have to make us partners. But Mrs. Wilson wasn't stupid and she gave me a smirk.

"Fang, you and Max are partners."

I couldn't help it; I busted out laughing. The room was quiet and everyone's head turned to me. I stared at Mrs. Wilson.

"You're funny."

She didn't look amused. In fact, she looked like she'd never laughed a day in her life. My laughter died and I stared at Fang. I had tried throwing her star student out the window on the first day of class and she was actually going to pair me up with him?

"I feel sick, so I don't think I should have a partner," I declared. Fang chuckled.

"With a face like that, I would feel sick to."

"At least I can tell which end is my face."

"I don't know how you do it. They're both pretty ugly."

"Enough!" Mrs. Wilson snapped. Fang sat down in the desk across from me and I watched as Sam murmured something to Mrs. Wilson, but I couldn't hear what it was. Mrs. Wilson rolled her eyes though and motioned for Sam to get to work. Sam glanced over his shoulder at me, then at Fang, and I suddenly had a very bad feeling.

Fang took the questions from Mrs. Wilson, giving her a charming smile, and then he slapped the paper on my desk.

"Tick tock," he sighed, leaning back in his chair. I raised an eyebrow.

"Excuse me? I hope you don't think I'm doing this all on my own." I put the paper back on his desk.

Fang eyed me. "I'll only slow you down." He put the paper back on my desk.

"We'll manage." The paper was back on his desk.

"You'll manage." Back on my desk.

"Do you have to be so…so-"I let out a frustrated noise, glaring at him.

Fang smirked. "So intriguing? Irresistible? Charming? Handsome? The list goes on, Maxi."

I laughed suddenly and Fang's smirk fell off and he raised an eyebrow at me. I explained to him while laughing,

"I'm sorry. I thought I heard you say you were handsome."

Fang snatched the paper and put it on his desk, reading off the first question.

"When was the Periodic Table invented?" He read off the multiple choice answers and I couldn't help but stare at his lips while he spoke. They looked soft, but firm, and they kinda always curled up on the sides, giving him a mischievous look. His dark eyes met mine and I saw a small grin forming, but it wasn't his normal 'I know you're fantasizing about me right now' smile, but more of an 'I can sneak looks at you to' kind of smile. It made my face go warm.

"1869," Fang answered himself, moving his eyes back down to his paper. I cleared my throat, nodding as if I had been listening the entire time. I reached for the paper, deciding the two of us could go back and forth.

"Number two: Who invented the Periodic Table?" I didn't even have to read off the list, because Fang answered,

"Dmitri Mendeleev and Lothar Meyer."

I stared at him. "Is that even English?"

Fang chuckled, taking the paper back. "Hell if I know. Next: The rows of the Periodic Table are called?"

"Periods," I said, taking the paper back. And it went on. I would read a question and Fang would answer it. Then Fang would read a question and I would answer it. I hated to admit it, but we made a good team. In no time, we were done and I was telling Nudge all the answers. She gave me a pleading look, mouthing at how her partner wouldn't stop talking about car engines long enough to help her with the worksheet. I sat back in my desk, watching all the other students working on their paper. I glanced over to see Fang looking at me.

"What?" I asked, mildly self-conscious. Fang gave me a devilish grin.

"I was just thinking about how you looked in those shorts last night," he said. My face heated up and I forced a glare at him. The girl in front of us glanced over her shoulder at us.

"I didn't think you noticed," I said before realizing how much it sounded like I had wanted him to notice. Fang's grin only widened.

"Makes me wonder how you're going to look in a dress," he said. "Funny. You never struck me as a girl that goes to Homecoming."

"Funny. You always struck me as a jackass."

Surprisingly, Fang just chuckled at this before brushing past it. "So who are you going to Homecoming with?"

I raised my eyebrows. Why was he so curious about that? "I told you, nobody. I don't need a date because unlike you, I don't need to be dating somebody to make myself feel good."

There was no smart remark or laugh here, only Fang's intense eyes staring into mine. "The offer still stands."

"What offer?"

"You and I can go to Homecoming together."

For a moment, I almost believed he was being sincere. His voice held no amusement and his face looked serious. But I would not be sucked into his little joke.

"Um, sorry," I smiled at him sarcastically. "But the Devil himself asked me to go with him, and I'd rather take him up on his offer then yours."

Fang fiddled with his pencil and a small shot of guilt spread through me. Was it necessary to be this mean to him?

Yes, I told myself firmly. Fang is just messing with your head and imagine how embarrassing it would be if you actually did say yes to his offer and he laughed at you. I wouldn't do it, I couldn't do it.

"Five more minutes!" Mrs. Wilson yelled, coming up from behind me. I jumped slightly, wondering how much of mine and Fang's conversation she had heard. She reached over and took the paper off my desk and read over the answers.

"Humph," she said, putting the paper back down. "Good job." She walked off to another group while my mouth hung open.

"Please tell me somebody recorded that," I said. "Mrs. Wilson just complimented us."

Fang grinned, shrugging his slender shoulders. "Maybe she's not feeling well."

I laughed with him. "Maybe."

The silence that passed between us next wasn't at all awkward or uncomfortable. In fact, it was nice. We just looked at each other for a couple of seconds and smiled, as if we were having an entire conversation without even speaking.

I kinda liked it.

In fact, I really liked it.

The five minutes went by and the bell rang. Quickly, I gathered my books but before I joined Nudge at the door, I hesitated, looking at Fang. He was bending over to pick up his books and his shirt clung slightly to his back. I bit my lip.

"See you later," I coughed out, before half running to Nudge. I don't know why I had felt inclined to say goodbye to Fang, but now that I had done it I felt almost stupid. I glanced over my shoulder to see him giving me a strange, almost surprised, look. Greeeaat.

"What was all that about?" Nudge had an almost sly look on her face. It made me slightly suspicious and uncomfortable.

"Nothing. Where's Sam?"

Every since I had declined to go to Homecoming with him, I had hardly seen Sam. And the way he had looked at Fang today made me worried that he was going to do something…rash. Surly Sam wasn't stupid though. Fang may look scrawny, but underneath those seemingly weak arms were pure muscle. I'd seen him shirtless enough to know.

That sounded wrong.

"I don't know-"Nudge stopped, glancing behind her. Some guy was yelling. I turned around and somehow I knew what was about to happen. I broke out into a run, pushing past people and I squeezed through the tight circle that had formed around two boys.


.-- That's where all the Periodic Information came from :)

15. Chapter 15

"Sam!" I shouted, accidentally stomping on a girl's toe as I shoved myself to the front of the group. I muttered something of an apology and then focused on the two boys fighting in front of me.

And I felt like a complete idiot.

The two boys were not Sam, nor were they Fang; I recognized one of the two boys as Brandon, one of Fang's close friends but the other boy was a stranger. I guess the gut feeling I had after seeing Sam's glares towards Fang were wrong. Speaking of Fang, I watched him coming down the hall, weaving in between the students gathered as he approached the fight. I saw his forehead crease – damn if that didn't make him adorable – and his eyes widened slightly as they focused on Brandon in recognition. He jumped in the fight, grabbing Brandon's shoulders and he pulled him off the other boy, muttering words in Brandon's ear that I assumed were to calm him down. Nobody else offered to hold back the other boy and I watched as he charged forward, fist reeled back as he intended to punch Brandon but at the last second, Brandon shifted slightly and the mystery boy's fist smacked right into Fang's nose.

Everything seemed to get so quiet for a few moments. The boy dropped his fist, looking at it to Fang in what looked like horror. Fang just wasn't the type of person you punched, especially considering how popular he was and how one dark look from his dark eyes could make you cry. Fang's jaw clenched, his eyes narrowing dangerously, and the boy stumbled back.

"What is going on here?!" I heard Mrs. Wilson snapping at the students, shoving herself a path through the group. Two male teachers followed her and the mystery boy allowed one of the male teachers to grip his upper arm, leading him down the hall. Brandon shrugged himself out of Fang's grip, muttering something to him, and the other teacher grabbed Brandon and pushed him through the gossiping students. I watched as Fang raised a disbelieving hand and touched a spot of blood from his nose. My feet seemed to grow a brain separate from mine and walked towards Fang, even though the brain in my head was clearly screaming danger and trying to stay away. I raised a hesitant hand towards him.

"Are you okay?" I asked, biting my lip as I saw his bloody nose. Fang looked down at me, but a crooked smile played on his lips.

"Worried about me?" he asked in a cocky tone. I considered giving him a black eye to go along with his bloody nose. Before I could conjure up a witty remark, Mrs. Wilson interrupted,

"Oh, dear. Fang are you okay?" she pulled his hand away from his nose, examining the hit. I crossed my arms over my chest.

"Yeah, I'll just go clean this up in the bathroom," he gave Mrs. Wilson a classic smile. "I'm fine."

Mrs. Wilson shook her head. "You need to let the Nurse check you out. Better to be safe then sorry." Her small eyes scanned the crowd briefly and then they met mine, just now realizing I was standing there. "Max, take Fang to the Nurse."

I let out a sharp laugh. "I'd rather let him bleed to death."

"Aw, come on Maxi," Fang said in a low tone. "Escort me to the Nurse."

Mrs. Wilson turned to the large groups of students that were still gathered around.

"Get to class, go on!" she barked, "Get!"

Mumbling, the students obeyed broke apart, their eyes still lingering on Fang and I. The bell rang and I watched as they scurried to reach their classrooms in times. I let out a groan.

"Come on," I sighed. Fang grinned.

"Hey, look on the bright side," he said, "We get out of class."

"After seeing your grades, you need all the class time you can get."

"That's original."

"Unlike your comebacks."

Fang rolled his eyes, raising his hand to dab his nose again. It wasn't bleeding anymore, but the hit had caused some blood to come out.

"Who was that guy?" I asked. "The one who hit you."

Fang shrugged. "I don't know. But Brandon's one of my best friends, so I couldn't just let him keep fighting."

"How noble," I muttered. Fang grinned and the two of us walked down the steps, going downstairs to where the Nurse's office was. Her door was slightly ajar and I pushed against it, knocking softly.

"Yes?" I heard a feminine voice ask. I grabbed Fang, pushing him in front of me. He gave me a look over his shoulder.

"I'm not the one with the bloody nose!" I hissed, pushing him farther in. He dug his heels in.

"What if she's one of those crazy nurses? The ones with the giant needles that shoot out stuff?"

"Then good luck," I said, sliding back out the door. I watched him walk further into the room and out of sight. I sat down and leaned my back against the wall, letting out a sigh. How come it seemed like Fang and I got stuck doing everything together? Everyone knew we couldn't stand each other, so why did it seem like we were always picked on to work together? First I had to do a stupid worksheet with him, and then I had to escort him to the Nurse, what next? Would I have to drive him home? Let's hope not. But it all confused me: Mrs. Wilson knew I couldn't stand Fang, so why let me take him to the Nurse's office? Did she have some sick, twisted sense of humor?

Or did she think that Fang and I had some connection that was hidden under all our constant fights and arguments? Surly she had more sense then that. The mere thought of dating Fang made me…. Well, I wasn't sure what it did. At the beginning of the year, I shuddered and gagged when the thought of doing anything with Fang came up. But now, I'd witnessed some of Fang's most intimate moments, like the time I was stuck under his bed and he talked to Mocha. Or the time we had almost kissed…and the time after that we had almost kissed. It was so frustrating! One second I hated him, the next I found myself not hating him, and then there were moments like this when I wasn't sure how I felt towards Fang. Especially when he started messing with my head and asking me to Homecoming, and I knew he wasn't serious but a part of me sorta wished he wasn't kidding.

It was all way too confusing for me.

"Oh, bloody hell," I sighed, putting my head in my hands.

"Actually, it was bloody nose," Fang smirked, watching me. I jumped, darting my eyes up to glare at him.

"Oh, darn," I said. "Looks like she wasn't one of those crazy Nurses, because you're still here."

Fang held out a hand to pull me up and automatically I took it, only realizing while he helped pull me up that I was holding Fang's hand. Instinctively, I let it go and ended up almost falling backwards.

"Dizzy? I do have that effect on people," Fang smirked again. I made a face at him.

"Only because of that smell you have."

Fang smiled and I looked at his face since he had come out. There was no hint that anyone had ever hit him and I had the feeling it probably didn't even hurt. Noticing my stare, he said,

"That guy hit like a girl."

I punched his arm as we started walking back to class. "Sexist pig. Girl's can hit hard."

Fang rubbed his arm dramatically. "Ouch, Max. Might have to amputate my arm."

"Too bad you can't amputate that face."

We both laughed at that.


I stared at the word scrawled on my calendar before counting the days. Homecoming was eight days away. I couldn't help but feel a bit nervous, even though I kept reminding myself that I was being ridiculous. It was just a dance; all my friends would be there, and there was nothing to get nervous about.

I kept repeating that to myself as I fixed a bowl of cereal before school. I also kept repeating that I didn't need a date, because J.J. and Nudge wouldn't ditch me for there dates…at least, I hoped not. Out of my friends, I was the only one without a date. What did that mean? I mean, I didn't have to have a date, did I?

I wonder who Fang's going with.

I almost slapped myself for even caring about who he was going with. Why should I care? It was Fang. Gross, obnoxious, pugnacious, Fang. Fang with the dark eyes, the silky hair, and-


I jumped, nearly dropping the cartoon of milk I held in my hand. I lifted my eyes up to see mom hurriedly grabbing a towel and I realized that while I had been thinking about Fang, I'd overfilled my bowl of cereal.

"Where's your brain?" mom asked, wiping up the milk. I gave her an embarrassed grin and she raised a knowing eyebrow.

"A boy?"

I scoffed. "Maximum Ride does not get distracted by a boy, mother." I kissed her cheek. "I'm gone, love you!"

"You haven't even touched your cereal!" she protested behind me, but I was already opening the front door, heaving my back pack on my shoulders. The weather was nice and I walked down our small pathway, opening the gate and stepping out onto the main sidewalk.

I heard the sound of a car pulling out and I glanced at Fang's driveway to see him in the passenger seat of a black Dodge Charger. The windows were rolled down and he glanced over at me, then he turned to look at the driver. I resisted rolling my eyes at him and kept walking, a bit faster, towards the bus stop.

"Max! Hey!"

I glanced back at the car and saw Brandon poking his head from the driver's seat. One black eye was the only proof that he had ever been involved in a fight and he gave me a grin. Brandon really wasn't bad looking: he had dark brown hair that curled up naturally at the ends, incredibly light blue eyes, and dimples whenever he smiled. He was tall, taller then me, and was the starting pitcher for the school's baseball team. As Nudge would say, he was a hunk.

I didn't even know he knew my name, especially considering he was a senior. Regardless, I gave him a small wave.

"Do you want a ride?" Brandon yelled, turning down his music.

My mouth moved before my brain could respond. "What?"

He flashed another dimple grin. "Do you want a ride to school? We've got room in the backseat."

My first instinct was to decline his offer. Fang was in that car, and the two of us in such an enclosed space would equal disastrous results. Then again, it beat riding the bus and I'm not going to lie that the idea of riding in a car with Brandon made me blush slightly.

So I shrugged my shoulders, trying to appear to look nonchalant about the whole thing, and nodded. Brandon smiled and I opened the door behind the driver's seat, sliding in carefully. Fang glanced at me, his expression unreadable.

"I thought you would be suspended for fighting," I told Brandon as I buckled my seatbelt. He looked up at me through the rear view mirror.

"Since I'm such a charming person," he gave me a wink, "The Principle agreed to let me come to my advanced classes, but after that I have to leave. Sucks, but at least I won't get behind."

"Can you still go to Homecoming?" I asked. I decided not to ask why he had gotton in the fight, because I didn't want to appear nosy. Besides, by now it was probably all over the school and I'd find out soon enough.

Brandon nodded, his eyes on the road as he pulled out of Fang's driveway. "Yeah. I only got three days' suspension, and I think Homecoming is like, a week or so away."

"Eight days," I told him with a grin. Brandon laughed.

"Counting down to the last second, I see," he chuckled playfully. "So who are you going with, Max?"

Fang, who had been silent the entire conversation, perked up slightly. I saw him glance over at me.

"I'm not going with anybody," I answered, trying not to feel slightly embarrassed by my answer. "But that's okay. Who are you going with?"

I was surprised by Brandon's reply. "Nobody." He paused as he stopped at an intersection, looking for any oncoming cars. "But I find it hard to believe you don't have a date." The car pulled forward and the school came into sight.

My face heated up and a nervous laugh escaped my lips. "Well-"I stopped, unsure of what to say. Luckily, we had pulled up into the school's parking lot and Brandon had pulled into a spot, turning the car off, so I didn't need to say anything. Fang got out without saying a word and after I got out I looked at Brandon.

"Thanks for the ride," I said, smiling slightly. Brandon gave me the full power of those dimples.

"If you need a ride this afternoon, I can come get you. I'm picking up Fang and since you two live right beside each other, it wouldn't be a problem."

"I don't want to be a bother or anything," I said, unable to stop myself from glancing at Fang, who was leaning against the side of the car.

"You won't be," Brandon said. "I'll see you guys later." He walked off to join a group of his teammates, but not before giving me another smile.

"Well," I said. "He's nice."

Fang didn't say anything, which surprised me. I expected an insult of some sort, because it was our daily routine. But he kept his lips pressed together and walked off without saying anything else. Before I could even begin to wonder what his problem was, I heard Nudge squeal.

"You just got out of a car with Brandon Christopher. Brandon Christopher, Max! Do you know who he is! I was over there with Brett and we saw his car pull up and there you were getting out to and I think I'm in shock because he is one of the most gorgeous hunks on this planet and you got to ride to school with him!" She paused, realizing how her words could rub me the wrong way. "Not that you aren't awesome, Max, but seriously. You got to ride to school with the most popular senior and the most popular junior. How do you do these things?" She threw her hands up, exasperated. A nervous, some what excited laugh, escaped through my lips and I couldn't help but feel slightly giddy, especially with Nudge acting so excited.

"And did you see those dimples?" I laughed, nudging her playfully. Nudge laughed and we trotted up the school steps, all the way giggling and laughing.

The day sort of passed by as a blur. Mrs. Wilson's class even went by fast, but every time I went to my locker Fang wasn't there at his, which was unusual. I couldn't remember the last time we hadn't argued as we got our books from our lockers. I felt a little…sad? No, I assured myself. Besides, even if I were sad, hypothetically, of course, I would still get to see Fang this afternoon when Brandon gave me a ride home. Not that I wanted to see Fang, remember, this was all hypothetical.

At lunch I sat with Sam, J.J., Nudge, and Iggy. I hadn't spoken to Sam much lately, and I felt a bit guilty about it.

"So, I heard you decided to go to Homecoming," Sam said casually. "What changed your mind?"

I shrugged, sipping my drink only after I made sure that the bottle only had Dr. Pepper inside, and no worms. Fang's pranks had made me paranoid.

Nudge let out a snicker, "I bet I know," she sang. I shot her a dark look.

Sam raised an eyebrow. "Max has a crush on somebody?"

"And their name rhymes with dang," Nudge went on. I snorted.

"Fang? Really? Ugh, gag me with a spork." I hoped nobody noticed the red slowly creeping up my face.

Iggy frowned slightly. "He was acting really weird today. I asked him what was wrong, but he wouldn't tell me anything."

"Puberty," J.J. said matter-of-factly. I laughed.

I let out a breath that I hadn't been aware I was holding when I saw Brandon waving at me. I gave a hesitant wave back, approaching the car carefully, waiting for Fang to jump out and scare me or something. Brandon raised his eyebrows.

"Fang's not riding with us," he said. "Are you okay with that?" I thought I heard a double meaning to his words. Did Brandon maybe think Fang and I had something going on with each other? Jeezz! Was there something in the school's drinking water? First Mrs. Wilson, then Nudge, now Brandon.

"Yeah, it's fine," I smiled, ignoring the odd tingle of disappointment I felt in my stomach. "So, does this mean I can sit up front?" I laughed slightly.

Brandon nodded, holding the door open for me. "Yes, you may," he chuckled. I slid in the Charger, feeling all sorts of emotions playing at once.

Brandon was actually an easy person to talk to. The ride back to my house seemed to go by faster then I had imagined it, and even though we had just met, there wasn't anything awkward between Brandon and myself. He really was a nice guy; charming, handsome. But despite all his charming features, I felt like there was something…missing. A connection, perhaps? I didn't have time to ponder the idea as he pulled into my driveway.

"Well," I said. "Thanks for the ride, Brandon. It beats riding the bus."

He smiled. "Anytime."

I raised a hand to open the car door, but Brandon's voice stopped me.

"Actually," he started, looking a bit nervous. I lowered my hand back down to my lap, watching his face. He gave me a nervous laugh.

"I was thinking, well, wondering really…" Brandon sucked in a breath. "Would you like to go to Homecoming with me?"

Whoa. I opened my mouth, not at all attempting to hide my surprise, but Brandon added,

"I know it's sort of sudden, but I like you Max, a lot. Even though we just met-"he laughed a little there, "I like you."

"I," I stopped. What was I suppose to say? Yes? No? Maybe? I'll think about it? Was I supposed to slap him? A hundred and one responses ran through my brain.

"I-"I tried again. "I would like that."

Brandon beamed. "Awesome. So, I'll pick you up at seven in-"he grinned wider. "Eight days, right?"

I laughed. "Seven and a half by now," I joked. Brandon chuckled and I opened the car door.

"I'll see you tomorrow," I said, shutting the door behind me. Brandon waved goodbye, and pulled out the drive.

I stood there for a moment, long after his car had disappeared. I felt like I was trying to put a puzzle together, only none of the pieces could fit together. Did I like Brandon? Yes, yes I did. But why did I feel like we were two pieces of the puzzle that just couldn't be placed with each other?

-Dramatic gasp here- Ohmygosh, Max has a date to Homecoming and it isn't Fang! –Avoids thrown objects-

I really hope you guys aren't disappointed with the fight scene, but I just felt like having Sam and Fang fight would mess with the rest of the storyline that I have planned, so I tweaked it a bit. Regardless, I hope you guys enjoyed it :P

And I haven't been able to stop reading Fang. Does anyone else really want to slap a specific person in the new book? I know I do, but I don't wanna give anything away lol.

Thanks for reading :)

16. Chapter 16

You guys make me laugh…a lot lol.

Jump4Life, you know me too well :P And no, I did NOT look up a certain somebody's picture in the year book and get the description from that…*cough cough*

And I'm so glad you guys approved of the fight scene :) I, to, thought a fight between Fang and Sam would be sort of cliché' and I want Neighborly Love to be unique lol

And I would very much love to sit here and list all the people I wanted to slap at one point in Fang, but I have a feeling you guys want me to shut up and let you get on with the chapter, so I'll do so :P

I'm not sure how long I stood there. The sky had darkened dramatically and the air became thicker as it became more obvious a storm was coming. I felt a few drops of water fall down on me and I turned, heading to the door.

"Have a nice ride?" Fang asked. I nearly jumped out of my skin and I let out a gasp, twisting around to see him leaning against a tree in his front yard. It took me a moment to register what he said.

"Yes, as a matter of fact I did," I told him coolly. Fang had a look of disgust on his face and it made me both uncomfortable and offended. I walked over towards the fence that separated his house from mine and put a hand on my hip. "What?" I demanded.

"Oh, nothing," Fang spat. "It's just, you've known Brandon for, I don't know, two seconds and your already drooling over him like a lost puppy!"

My mouth dropped. "Excuse me? Who are you to judge me? You were the one playing tonsil hockey with Lissa every second!"

Fang's face flushed. "This has nothing to do with Lissa. At least she doesn't pretend she's all innocent only to turn around and jump in the car with the first guy that asks her."

Now my face flushed, but it wasn't with embarrassment but with pure anger. "Are you implying that Brandon and I did something in the car? God, pull your head out of your ass, Fang! He gave me a ride home because he is nice! And he also asked me to Homecoming, are you going to blow up over that to?" I threw my hands in the air, my jaw clenched as I glared at Fang. He was lucky this stupid fence was in my way because otherwise I would have plowed him down. "I can't believe you would even say something like that." Even though I didn't want to admit it, Fang's words hurt. Was that the kind of person he thought I was? My fists clenched and I shook my head roughly, my glare meeting Fang's.

"Oh, now you're going to Homecoming together!" Fang sang in a sarcastic tone. "That'll be a real hit, won't it Maximum?"

"What is your problem?" I realized I was practically screaming now, but I didn't care. I was so sick of Fang that I didn't care who heard me yelling at him.

"I don't have the problem. I'm not the one taking joyrides with every guy that asks me," Fang was practically frothing at the mouth.

"I'm not-"I yelled, but then I stopped. "Even if I was, why would it be any of your business, Nick? Are you jealous?"

Fang let out a sharp laugh. "Jealous? Jealous? What is their possibly to be jealous of, Max? Look at yourself. If I were you, I wouldn't even go with Brandon. He probably only asked you because he feels sorry for you."

"Go to hell," I told him in a flat, emotionless voice. I turned around and ran to my porch, shoving the door open and slamming it as loud as I possibly could behind me. Ella let out a squeak, poking her head around the corner to see me stomping up the stairs. I heard mom asking what all the commotion was, but I didn't even bother looking at anyone. I was so mad that my body was shaking and I felt like I could just burst open.

I slammed my bedroom door open and then shut, throwing my backpack on the floor and then I headed over to my window. I slammed it shut, drawing the curtains firmly together so I wouldn't even have to look at the idiot that lived way too close to me.

Fang had done a lot of things, he had said a lot of things, but nothing, no prank, no insults, had ever came close to hurting me like this one. Yes, I admit it. He hurt me.

A lot.

"I just cannot believe it!" Nudge squealed. "You're going with Brandon."

"Nudge, stop squealing," J.J. grumbled. "I keep having to turn the phone volume up and down, because one minute you're quiet and the next you're freakishly loud."

Nudge, J.J. and I had decided to use three-way on the phone so they could get the details on Brandon. I tried to sound enthusiastic, but Fang's face burned in my head as I told my two best friends about my car ride home. I still just couldn't see how Fang could think that I was like that.

"Max, you okay?" J.J. asked, her voice soft. I couldn't stop myself from telling them everything that had happened between Fang and me. It only took a minute or two and there was long silence before both Nudge and J.J. suddenly erupted.

"That ass!" Nudge practically shrieked.

"Let's tee-pee his house. I know a guy who knows a guy who can hook us up with a lot of free toilet paper," J.J. went on. "Lemme' call him-"

"Guys," I said, holding the phone away from my ear as they continued to go on yelling. "Guys!" Finally, the other ends of the phone were silent.

"It's okay, I'm okay," I told them. "It just sort of hurt my feelings at first, but why should I care? I mean, it's Fang. I don't give a flying flip what he thinks about me."

"I guess we almost made a mistake, Nudge," J.J. sighed. I raised my eyebrows.

"What? What mistake?"

I heard Nudge take in a deep breath, and I quickly prepared myself for a very run on explanation. "You see," Nudge explained. "J.J. and I were talking and we thought that maybe we could get you and Fang hooked up to go to Homecoming together because you two are always at each other's throats and we thought that maybe you both just had something for each other and if we got you to go to Homecoming together then you two would look into each other's eyes and fall in love and then you guys wouldn't fight anymore and you would live happily ever after."

"Nudge, can you repeat that?" I asked. "All I heard was J.J., I, and happily ever after, and I'm kinda worried."

J.J. let out a short laugh, but then took Nudge's words and simplified them. "Basically, we were trying to get you and Fang to go to Homecoming together."

"You what?"

"We're sorry, Max," Nudge whimpered. "We didn't know he could be such a jerk."

I let out a deep sigh. "It's okay, I'm not mad at either of you. A little worried, seeing as how you actually thought Fang and I could go to a dance together, but I'm not mad."

I heard them both let out a relieved sigh. "But I mean, you're going with Brandon now," Nudge sighed dreamily. "Does he have a brother?"

"His brother is seven, Nudge," J.J. answered. "Do you really want to go to jail?"

Nudge and J.J. bickered back and forth, but I kept finding my eyes straying to my window. I knew that just outside those curtains was Fang's window. I wondered if my words had hurt him, or if he regretted what he said to me. Probably not. I was seriously beginning to doubt that Fang cared about anybody other then himself. The nerve he had to snap at me for no reason…. Sure, we had little arguments all the time but there had always been a line that neither of us crossed, until now.

I could hear yelling in the background of the phone, and then I could practically hear J.J. grinning. "Mom must have found my brother's Algebra II test. I think if I can get this argument on video, I can send it in to America's Funniest Home Video's and win the grand prize." She paused and we all heard a crash in the background. "I'll see you guys tomorrow, okay?"

Nudge and I mumbled goodbyes and J.J. disconnected. Nudge sighed afterwards. "I suppose I should get off to. I'm supposed to call Brett." I couldn't help but notice how dreamy her voice sounded when she said Brett's name.

"Alright. I'll see you at school, Monique," I grinned when I heard her call me a curse word.

"Damn name," she muttered before clicking off the phone. I shut mine off and put it on my bed. I hadn't wanted to get off the phone, because now there were no distractions from thinking about Fang. I just wished I could figure out why I couldn't stop thinking about him.

"Max, are you hungry?" I heard mom ask. She peeked her head around the door. "I've got chocolate chip cookies for desert."

"No, thanks," I mumbled. Mom immediately went into mother mode.

"Baby, what's wrong?" She asked, shutting the door behind her. She sat on the edge of my bed, her soft eyes watching me.


She scoffed. "You just refused chocolate chip cookies. Something is wrong." When I didn't say anything, mom asked, "Does this have something to do with Nick? Ella and I heard you two arguing earlier."

My body tensed, even though I was repeating over and over again in my head that I wasn't bothered by Fang or any of his stupid comebacks. I opened my mouth to tell mom that I was simply stressed with school, but instead I shut it and nodded my head. I was so tired of pretending that I didn't have some feelings towards Fang, because I did. I didn't exactly know what they were or what they meant, but there was something there. And I wanted to confide in somebody who I knew wouldn't laugh or judge me about it.

"I don't know why he gets to me so easily," I admitted. "And he's so freaking bi-polar!" I crossed my legs Indian style, moving over to allow mom to do the same as we sat on my bed. "One moment he's nice to me and we almost kissed-"I stopped, giving mom a sheepish look. She raised an eyebrow, clearly telling me she wanted the details of that later, so I continued. "But the next second mom, we can't even be in the same room with each other. And then outside, he all but called me a tramp, which is absurd because I've never done anything remotely trampish. I just-"I sighed, running a hand over my face. "I don't understand him."

Mom gave me an understanding look and reached over to pat my knee. "Max, you have known Nick since you were a little baby. Honestly, I don't know what happened between you two to cause all this hatred towards each other, and maybe you do, but I'm not going to ask that. The point is, you can't keep holding this hate against him. It's only making you miserable and I doubt he is too happy either." She paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. "What exactly caused this argument?"

I bit my lip. I hadn't wanted to tell my mother about my date with Brandon this way, but I guess it didn't really matter how I told her. "One of his friends, Brandon Christopher, asked me to the Homecoming dance and I said yes. When Brandon brought me home today, Fang just went off on me. And when I told him Brandon asked me to the dance that made it even worse."

"And who is Fang taking to the dance?"

I shrugged. "Probably Lisa."

Mom raised an eyebrow. "The one you…?"

I nodded. "The one I popped in the face."

Mom rolled her eyes at my wording but decided not to comment. "Max, I think Fang has the same feelings towards you that you have for him and neither of you know how to act upon them."

"Mom!" Ella's voice rang up from upstairs, cutting mom off. I frowned, listening as Ella ran up the steps. She opened my door, holding the phone towards mom.

"Emergency call," Ella said. "Prego mare-o."

I rolled my eyes at Ella but mom turned back to look at me. "You'll be okay, Max. You're strong and independent, and this thing with Fang will smooth out…and who knows, you two might just fall in love." She grinned, kissing my cheek as she hoped off the bed and took the phone. I smiled and watched her take the phone, pressing it to her ear as she went back downstairs.

I laid back on my pillows, going over what mom had said. While I highly doubted Fang and I could ever 'fall in love,' mom did make a lot of sense. Having all this hatred towards Fang wasn't making either of us feel better, so why couldn't I just forgive and forget? Or just completely ignore him?

It sounded like a good plan to me.

Ah, Max has finally admitted she has some feelings for Fang…and now she's decided to ignore him. Goodness :P

A bit shorter then what I had intended, but I needed to give you guys something and the other half just didn't seem to fit on with this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it though :)

17. Chapter 17

I will go ahead and clear up that I am NOT abandoning Neighborly Love. Never, ever, ever, ever will I abandon this story. Even if Pigs fly, the world ends, and Zombies attack (because I love this story more then I love freaking Zombies…and that is saying something), I will update eventually xD

Secondly, I won't bore you guys with tons of excuses. But I had my reasons not to update, and I do ask that you accept my apology of how late it has been since I updated. I am sorry; I don't deserve you guys. The reviews have been awesome and encouraging, and I hope you guys will all stick with this story as it is coming to its final chapters. You're all awesome and deserve a better author who can update more, and even though you may not believe me I am trying.

Enjoy :)

The next morning, Brandon picked me up in the morning. I wasn't surprised that Fang wasn't with him, but I didn't ask why. Not only was I trying to forget that Fang existed, I also knew why he wouldn't be riding with Brandon anymore.

Still, I acted as normal as I could, shoving Fang's outburst to a far away file in my head. Brandon even got out and opened the door for me, making me grin like an idiot. He closed the door softly behind me and then jogged over to his side. The car was still on, purring quietly, and Brandon put it in reverse, glancing over at me.

"Good morning," he grinned. I smiled.

"Good morning. Thanks for picking me up."

Brandon shook his head. "No problem. Anything for a pretty girl." He gave me a grin.

I rolled my eyes playfully, hoping my face wasn't as red as it felt. I looked out the window, wondering. Since Brandon had asked me to Homecoming, did that mean that we were a couple? Or were we just friends going to Homecoming? It confused me slightly. I mean, Iggy and J.J. were together, Nudge and Brett were together, so did that mean Brandon and I were together as well? Were we supposed to hold hands and kiss and all that…stuff?

I looked at Brandon; he really was handsome, and sweet…and pretty perfect. Any girl would jump at the chance to be his girlfriend, but I felt a bad feeling in the bottom of my stomach about it. Of course, I was probably being silly. Brandon didn't want me as his girlfriend, just his Homecoming date…I think.

And because my mouth works separately from my brain, I blurted, "I have a question."

Brandon glanced at me. "Ask away."

At this point, my face was burning hot. I wanted to say 'Never mind,' but Brandon's eyes burned into mine as he stopped at the red light. I took in a deep breath.

"About Homecoming. I was wondering…" I took in a breath. "When you asked me to go to the dance with you, were you meaning that we would just go to the dance together or that you and I would be together?"

Brandon looked confused for a moment as he processed my words, then a cocky grin spread along his lips. "You're asking if when I asked you to the dance, if I meant that we were dating as well?"

"In a nutshell…I think," I murmured, feeling the most embarrassed I had in my entire life. I hated that somebody, a boy nonetheless, had the ability to make me feel this way. I was Maximum Freaking Ride. I intimidated boys, not the other way around.

Brandon reached over, placing his hand over mine and my heard pounded violently in my chest. He intertwined his fingers in mine.

"I really like you Max. And I would really like it if we were boyfriend and girlfriend."

I almost let out a snort at how childish that sounded, but I reined it in and smiled. "Cool."

The car ride was silent after that. Not an awkward silence, but Brandon drove with one hand while the other was intertwined in mine. It was hard to believe the position I was in: holding hands with one of the most popular boys in school, while just three days ago I was just Maximum Ride, the only single girl in my trio of friends. It amazed me how differently things could change so quickly.

After Brandon parked the car and the two of us got out, his hand slipped in mine. I noticed he was wearing a pinkish colored shirt and a grin played on my lips. I suddenly wondered if Brandon would get mad if I dyed his hair pink, like I had done Fang's. Brandon was a sweet guy, but so far he didn't seem like he had a huge sense of humor, which was one quality I loved in any person. I wondered what his reaction would be if I ever played a prank on him like I had done on Fang.

Stop thinking about Fang, I snapped at myself.

"You okay?" Brandon asked, looking down at me.

"Oh, yeah," I laughed slightly. "I was just thinking about something." Before Brandon could ask what that something, or someone was, Nudge skipped down to me. Her eyes focused in on mine and Brandon's hands and I swore I thought she was about to faint.

"Max, you're growing up so fast," she sighed. I think she was actually being serious to, which worried me. Before she could say anything else embarrassing, I gave her a look that clearly said 'If you want your stupid goldfish to stay alive, then you better not say another word.' She got the message and bit her lip, restraining a giggle and then returned to her Homecoming date. J.J. and Iggy were no where in sight, but Brandon told me he had to go.

"I'll pick you up this afternoon, okay?" he said. I smiled, nodding. We were just at the side of the school building, so there weren't many, if any, people watching us. Brandon leaned down and my body tensed. Was he going to try and kiss me? I watched as his lips came closer to me and I lifted my head up to his. We were supposed to do this, right? This was Brandon Christopher; my boyfriend and couples did this sort of thing all the time. Kissing was a part of relationships. Brandon's lips were so close to mine that I could feel and smell his minty breath and in my head. My stomach did a nervous cartwheel and I right as I was shutting my eyes, telling myself that this nervous, unwilling feeling was normal, a glimpse of something caught my eye and I turned my head, focusing on the figure turning sharply and going in the other direction.

Brandon pulled back, looking disappointed. "What?" He asked, his tone a bit harder then what I had anticipated. I raised an eyebrow.

"I-"I shook my head. "I thought I saw somebody…never mind."

Brandon nodded. "So…where were we?" He asked, mischievous grin on his lips. I smiled nervously and Brandon leaned back down, only to hear the bell ring. I faked a disappointed laugh.

"Gotta' go," I said, stepping backwards. "I'll see you later!" I scurried off, taking a deep breath as soon as I turned around. I didn't understand myself; this was what I wanted, was it not? Brandon was a good guy, so why couldn't I bring myself to kiss him? And why was I so relieved when the bell rang?

And why could I have sworn I saw Fang watching us? No matter how many times I told myself to forget him, I couldn't get the damn jerk out of my head. I cursed mentally as I made my way to class. Even when Fang wasn't in my life, he was still messing with me. This was getting ridiculous.

"Maxie," Nudge said, waving as I made my way to my seat. I smiled and she wiggled her eyebrows.

"So…how was it?" She giggled. Her chocolate eyes were bright with excitement.

"How was what?" I asked. She rolled her eyes at me.

"You know…macking with Brandon. First base time. Lip locking it. Doing the Frenchie. Introducing your lips to the cute pair next door-"

"Macking?" I asked incredulously. "Really, Monique? Really?" I stared at her, shaking my head. "I worry about you."

Nudge punched my arm. She actually had a rather hard hit for a girl her size. "You know what I mean. What was it like? Was he a good kisser?"

"We didn't kiss," I said. And I really wanted to confide in Nudge and ask her if it was normal for me to be this hesitant in kissing Brandon, but the tardy bell rang and class started. Nudge narrowed her eyes, giving me a look that clearly demanded that I was to spill the beans later.

Fang walked in late, causing all eyes to turn to him. I looked up, and his dark eyes met mine briefly before he looked away and sat down. I bit my bottom lip, swallowed, and pulled my attention back to the board.

Mrs. Wilson went on, but I was in an entirely different universe. I was thinking about how I was going to tell Fang that we needed to just let bygones be bygones. I was not going to apologize, but I wanted to tell him that just because we didn't like each other particularly didn't mean we had to try and make each other's life hell. We could be civil.

And instead of actually doing all the mean things we wanted to do to each other, we could just fantasize about doing the mean things in our head. It was a safer, less harmful way to vent our anger.

I would tell him this after class, during class change. My only concern that he would be too busy macking with another girl to even let me say what I needed to say.

A paper plane whacked me in the head, causing my head to snap up. Luckily, Mrs. Wilson's back was turned and I unfolded the paper plane, looking around and Nudge met my eye, winking.

Scribbled in neat handwriting was: I saw that.

I shook my head, frowning. Saw what? I asked, scribbling it quickly under Nudge's words. Checking to make sure I wouldn't get caught, I flew the plane back to Nudge. It would have been much easier and less noticeable to just throw a note, but Nudge had to be unique. The airplane landed on her desk neatly and she read what I had wrote. I saw her roll her eyes.

The look you gave Fang and the look he gave you back…is there something you aren't telling me, Max?

Nudge had to wait to throw me the note back as Mrs. Wilson was muttering crossly. "Why is it so hot in here?" She flipped on the fan before turning back around. I didn't know what to respond. If Nudge saw that look, then that meant other people must have seen it to.

The fact made me think: What exactly did people think when it came to Fang and me? Did they think that all the arguments we got into was just foreplay? Or did they think we actually did hate each other with a passion? I thought about it and scanned the classroom. What did people say about us when we weren't around?

Nudge tapped her pencil impatiently but I crumpled up the airplane. I did not want to talk about this. I wanted to fix this feud with Fang and put him out of my life and I couldn't do that if my best friends kept bringing him up.

When the bell rang, I was the first person out. I went straight to my locker, taking a deep breath as I pretended to be looking for something when I was really waiting for Fang. About two minutes of rummaging through my locker, he appeared, not even glancing at me. I took in another deep breath, preparing myself.

"Fang, look-"I paused, waiting for him to look at me. He didn't, so I continued anyway. "We don't like each other. Fine, okay, whatever, it doesn't matter. But what does matter is we are making each other miserable with all of this anger and I don't know about you, but I'm sick of it. So, how about we just agree to disagree and leave each other alone. I won't bother you; you don't bother me, and we can all be happy. Sound good?"

Fang was silent. He pulled out his English books, shut his locker and finally faced me. "I'm sorry, did you say something?" He asked. Without waiting for a response, he strode off down the hall, leaving me feeling more hurt then I should have felt.

That asshole.

It was hard to believe that Homecoming was only three days away. The entire week had passed by quickly. Fang and I had not spoken, or even looked in each other's direction, since he blew me off in the hallway and I was trying to convince myself that I didn't care and it was all for the best anyway.

Making matters worse, I hadn't been able to hang out with Brandon at all lately. He told me his dad was making him work at his family's business for punishment for getting into a fight, so the only time I saw him was on weekday mornings, but he couldn't drive me home anymore due to the fact he had to be at work. We hadn't kissed or almost kissed, but to be honest I was glad about it.

Don't ask me why.

But as the days were boiling down to the dance, I was starting to regret agreeing to go. It's not that I did not like Brandon, but I kept picturing Fang all over Lisa and the image made me sick. Of course, I wasn't even sure Fang was going to the dance at all and the idea comforted me, but afterwards just made me so sick of myself I didn't know what to do.

Whenever I didn't know what to do, I made chocolate chip cookies. I ended up eating as much dough as I did the actual cookies, but since mom wasn't here I could get by with eating dough. Ella even swiped a few pieces of it.

"Are you excited about Homecoming?" She asked, swallowing a piece of dough. I shrugged, putting some dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

"Not particularly," I admitted. "But I promised and I like to keep my word."

"I cannot wait till I can go," Ella sighed dreamily. "Your dress is amazing though. I can't wait to see you in it. I think that will be the first time seeing you in a dress."

"And the last."

"Well, until you get married."

"Who's saying I'm getting married? What have you done? Arranged me a marriage or something?"

"Or something," Ella giggled. I rolled my eyes.

"Alright, Little-"I halted, stopping myself from calling Ella by her usual nickname. "Do you honestly think somebody would marry me?" I said. "I'm too obnoxious and opinionated and short-tempered-"

"And beautiful, and open minded and strong and loyal," Ella said, her voice serious and not mocking. "Face it, Max. You're a good person. And as soon as you let yourself believe in yourself, you'll be a lot happier."

Okkkaaay. Since when did my baby sister become so deep and Dr. Phil? I stared at her, but instead of conjuring up some witty, sarcastic remark I simply said, "Thank you."

"No problem," Ella said, grabbing a plateful of cookies. Then she retreated upstairs, leaving me to my thoughts.

Strong, open minded, loyal? Is that how Ella saw me? I smiled at the words.

"Mom's Little Accident is growing up," I said.

"I heard that!" Ella yelled from the bottom of the stairs.

I laughed, shaking my head.

So Homecoming is only three days away!

Max is finally accepting the way things are.

Fang is acting like a bag of douche.

Brandon is supposedly at his Dad's work.

Nudge suspects Max has feelings for Fang.

…..And we STILL don't know what Nudge's 'problem' is.

Ah, I feel like a narrator on a soap opera or something D

And I realize that I, to, have been a bag of douche for not updating but with school finally being out, I will finally have free time. *Dreams about being on Fanfiction for hours and hours and hours*

Once again, thank you guys SO MUCH for sticking with me. You are all amazing, each and every one of you, and I appreciate you not sending me death threats or anything.

-Nova Ride

18. Chapter 18

"Damn," I muttered, once again burning myself on the curling iron. I swear, whoever invented these blasted things should have invented safety gloves to go along with them. That way, whenever your fingers where in the wrong spot at the wrong time, you wouldn't have to worry about getting burned.

"Give me that before you go to Homecoming with third degree burns," Nudge chided, snatching the device away. I didn't protest.

"This is going to be awesome," J.J. said, applying the last of her make up. She looked at me from the corner of her eye, winking. "Me and Iggy, Nudge and Brett, and Max and Brandon." She let out a whistle. "I can't wait."

I rolled my eyes. J.J. and Nudge had refused to let me see myself in the mirror until I was completely finished being made over, which sort of worried me. For all I know, they could be plotting to make me look like a clown. It's what I would have done had my best friend trusted me to do her make up without her knowing what I was doing.

Homecoming had come up so fast; it was almost hard to believe. I couldn't believe that tonight would be the first dance I had ever gone to and to be honest, I was a bit excited about it now that it was actually here and happening. I think Nudge and J.J. were rubbing off on me too much. In reality though, it seemed cliché, but in a fun way. In movies and books, you always watched or read about the girl going to dances and hanging out with her friends, and it sort of felt nice to actually be doing something this classy for myself.

"Max," J.J. said, sitting in front of me. None of us had put our dresses on yet; we were waiting to do that after we had all finished our make up. Of course, we had about two hours left until the dance. Instead of our dates picking us up individually, we all agreed to meet Iggy, Brett and Brandon at the school.

"Close your eyes," J.J. instructed. I quirked an eyebrow.

"This is where you whip out the meat cleaver," I said. J.J. rolled her eyes, smiling faintly, and shook her head.

"No, it's an axe," she growled. "Get it right."

Nudge looked slightly creeped. "Let's not talk like that, okay?"

J.J. began applying all sorts of stuff to my face while Nudge did my hair. It felt nice to be pampered, but in the same way it felt so different; unusual. I didn't know how to explain it. It was like rubbing your hand on sand paper for a long time. You soon get used to the rough texture and learn to ignore it. But suddenly you're expected to rub rich velvet. The material feels alien to you, but not unpleasant.

Was I really comparing myself to sand paper and velvet?

I shook my head at myself, causing Nudge to grumble disapprovingly and threaten to whack me with the curling iron. Luckily, J.J. hadn't been putting anything on my face or I'm sure she would have chided me as well.

I sat in the chair for an exactly an hour, which was long enough for my entire body to fall asleep. When I finally got to stand up, my legs felt wobbly and unsure, and I shot my two best friends a glare.

I wasn't allowed to look at myself until we all had our dresses on. It took longer then I had expected. I wasn't exactly accustomed to putting on dresses, and when I attempted to jump up slightly to fix the bottom of my dress, I ended up tripping forwards, landing on my right wrist.

"Ow," I muttered, rubbing my wrist with my other hand. Nudge and J.J. threw their hands up in the air.

"She's going to have third degree burns, broken wrists…what next?" Nudge exclaimed.

"Don't even ask," J.J. said, giving her a panicked look. I couldn't help but smirk. J.J. pulled me up and fixed the wrinkles in the bottom of my dress. She zipped it up, smoothed it out in a few places, and then her and Nudge stepped back to examine me. I shifted uncomfortably. They way they were looking at me made me feel like I was some sort of exhibit at a zoo.

"You look beautiful, Max," J.J. said.

"Really?" I asked, cocking an eyebrow. I tried my best to look bored about the whole thing but I'm sure they saw right through me.

"See for yourself," Nudge said. Finally. They were going to let me look in a mirror to inspect the damage.

I didn't know what to say or do when I finally saw my appearance. I was surprised, that was the only emotion I could fully comprehend. I was surprised that somebody like me could actually turn into something like the girl facing me in the mirror. I didn't look too shabby; my hair in long spirals down my shoulders, the dress fitted me well and my skin resembled that of a porcelain doll: smooth, unblemished, and soft looking. I didn't have a lot of make up on though and that made me smile a bit. I didn't like it when girls had tons and tons of make up on because it took away from their natural beauty and made them look fake. J.J. had put on some cover up, the stuff on my eyes, but that was pretty much it. The few spots she put make up on made up for the lack of make up every where else and I loved it. It was natural.

It was me.

"When I become rich and famous," I said, turning around to see their grinning expressions. "You two can come live with me if you ever need a mansion to stay at."

They laughed. "Gezz, you are so generous, Max," Nudge said, grinning. And I laughed to. I hadn't really taken time to appreciate how much Nudge and J.J. meant to me. They were my best friends; we had been through so much together in just this year; they'd broken into the school and helped me post pictures of my neighbor all over the school, comforted me when I was upset, made me laugh at their corny jokes, and appreciated me even though I could be a total pain in the ass at some points. And I loved them for that.

I pondered telling them that. I wanted them to know how much I appreciated them, but J.J.'s laughter died and she smiled knowingly at me, winking.

"Yeah, what are best friends for, Max?" Nudge said, winking at me. We didn't need to have long drawn out conversations about feelings and all that crap to understand each other. Just one look and my friends knew exactly what I was thinking.

"Are we going to hug or something?" I laughed. "Or can you two get out of my way so I can go get this thing over with?" I was only kidding and J.J. punched my arm slightly.

"Yeah, let's go Maxie," She giggled, grabbing her shoes before darting downstairs. I contemplated throwing my heels at her, but Nudge grabbed my arm and pursed her lips. Obviously she didn't think J.J. walking into Homecoming with stitches in her head would be a good look. Oh well, there was always the after party.

Mom took about a million and a half pictures, all doing various poses. I told her she definitely owed me some chocolate chip cookies for all this modeling I was doing. She agreed, wiping a tear from her eye.

"You've just grown up so fast," she sighed. "I remember when you girls thought boys had cooties. And now look at you."

"Miss Martinez, don't cry," Nudge said. "Max still thinks boys have cooties, don't worry." Nudge stuck her tongue out at me.

Yet another person to throw a heel at after this dance was over.

Mom laughed, shaking her head. She glanced at the clock. "Are you sure you girls don't want me to take you?" She asked. We all shook our heads at the same time.

"No, it's fine," J.J. assured her. "Nudge's mom let us borrow the convertible, so we are good to go."

"Just be safe," Mom said, sighing. She took one last picture, and then allowed us to leave. We piled into Nudge's convertible, careful not to mess up our hair or dresses.

"I cannot believe this is finally here!" Nudge gushed, sitting in the back seat. She leaned forward in between the driver and passenger seat. Nudge wasn't exactly the driving type. She hated driving cars, for what ever reason, so J.J. took over all too happily. She had wanted to try this convertible out since she saw it at Nudge's house.

"Although I didn't intend on Max showing us all up," Nudge teased, nudging me. I stuck my tongue out at her, smiling.

"Wait until Fa- Brandon sees you!" J.J. beamed. My smile faltered.

"Who were you about to say?" I asked.

J.J. looked, panicked, at Nudge who only looked wide-eyed. J.J. fumbled for an answer. "I was gonna say Fa-Fang's friend, Brandon, but then I was thinking I should just say Brandon…" she cleared her throat, a nervous habit she had when she was lying. I cocked an eyebrow but didn't pursue the issue. This was supposed to be an awesome night. I didn't want to ruin it by talking about Fang.

Fang or his stupid eyes or his stupid hair or his stupid hair when it flops over those stupid eyes on his stupid face above his stupid lips.

Yep, I wasn't even thinking about Fang.

"I'm so excited!" Nudge began to sing. "And I just can't hide it!"

J.J. laughed, joining in and I just stared at them, asking if they wouldn't mind letting me out so I could hitchhike a ride to the dance with somebody else.

When the school finally came into view, I was amazed at all the cars there. More people were coming up to this dance then I had expected. J.J. carefully pulled the car into the parking lot, following the signs that told the students where we could park and were it was prohibited. I asked J.J. to park where a large sign said 'NO STUDENT PARKING,' but she just gave me an exasperated look and drove past us. It took us almost ten minutes to finally find a spot and I was complaining a lot at that point.

"No wonder we have Global Warming!" I growled. "Why can't people just let their parents drop them off and pick them up?"

"Aren't you being hypocritical, Max?" Nudge retorted, raising an eyebrow at me. I stuck my tongue out at her.

"I can't imagine having my mother drop me off here," J.J. cringed at the very idea and I laughed.

The three of us, holding up our dresses so we wouldn't trip, made our way to the school doors. I was getting unbelievably nervous at this point; what if Brandon didn't like how I looked? What if I looked stupid? I'd never been known as the 'dress up' kind of girl, so how would people react to me being in a dress?

"How did I let you guys talk me into this," I mumbled, shaking my head. My curls went flying and after taking in yet again another deep breath, I entered the High School with my two best friends.

Originally, Homecoming was supposed to be held at a fancy Hotel in town, where we would have full range of the bottom floor. However, school budget cuts had prevented that plan from happening, so the Decorating Committee (Whom I didn't even know existed until today) had decorated the Cafeteria and the Gym, which was more then enough space for us to have our dance. After giving the door holders our tickets, we entered the Cafeteria first. It looked amazing; the lights were cut off, so the only source of light came from the many multi-colored disco balls located all over the place. The place was full of guys; all in their penguin suits, with the exception of the football players who wore their football jerseys and the guys who had decided to wear unique suits, which were orange, purple, lime green, and many other different colors.

"Okay, so where-"I started to ask, but Nudge cut me off.

"Is that Sam?" she asked in disbelief. "With Lisa?"

J.J. and I followed her gaze and sure enough, Sam was walking in the door with Lisa on his arm. My mouth dropped.

"Pinch me, I'm sure I'm having a nightmare," J.J. muttered. Obediently, Nudge and I pinched either side of her. She glared at us, but then returned her attention to Sam.

"Wow," I muttered. "Well, if she makes him happy, then here's to him," I said. And then the worst thought ran across my brain: At least Fang isn't with her.

Before I could scold myself for even thinking such a thing, J.J. nudged me. "Is that a teacher or something?"

Nudge and I followed her gaze to a guy who was dancing with one of Lisa's friends. Nudge snorted.

"That guy is long past having a five o' clock shadow."

"That's like a Chewbacca beard," I agreed. The principle allowed students to bring their own dates and it wasn't mandatory that they go to our school. Still, the idea of having a guy who looked like he graduated years ago as my date would seem a bit creepy.

"Let's find the guys," J.J. suggested. I nodded; I'd already had enough excitement and I hadn't even seen my date yet.

We pushed and shoved our way through the other students and I laughed as J.J. let out a string of profanities when a girl stepped on her toe. I was starting to think we should send out a search party to find the guys when Nudge let out an excited squeal.

"There's Brett!" she pointed. So we had found one, but the other two seemed to be MIA.

Iggy wasn't MIA for long though. "There he is!" she said. He was standing next to Brandon…who in turn was standing next to Fang. My breathing hitched slightly as I took in his appearance. He was dressed in a nice, clean tux. His black hair was neatly combed, but he hadn't lathered it with gel like most of the other guys had. It was natural and it looked good on him. He was smiling slightly about something and I watched him shove Iggy playfully.

The only thing was is that I was watching Fang, not Brandon.

Feeling like a dirty cheater, I looked at Brandon and took in his appearance. He had on a tux as well, but he had already abandoned his jacket and his hair was all over the place, giving him a wild look. J.J. took my arm and we approached them. I wanted desperately to wait for them to part from Fang, but I didn't want J.J. to think I had any feelings towards Fang, so I followed her.

"There you are!" Iggy said, wrapping an arm around J.J. I smiled at his affection.

"And there you are," Brandon smiled, stepping up towards me. I felt my cheeks heat up a little as his eyes scanned my attire. The motion made me uncomfortable, but I smiled and said,

"You look really nice."

Brandon shook his head. "Not nearly as nice as you. You look beautiful. Don't you agree, Fang?" Brandon turned to look behind him, but nobody was there. I saw the back of Fang's head as he strode towards the punch bowl.

"Must've been thirsty," Brandon said, and then he wrapped an arm around my waist. I wondered briefly why he would ask for Fang's opinion on how I looked; why did it concern Fang at all?

"Do you want to dance?" Brandon whispered in my ear. I nodded, looking up at him. He really looked handsome tonight, even if his hair was in disarray. He grinned and led me out to the dance floor.

Turns out, I wasn't that bad of a dancer, especially when I abandoned my heels. Brandon told me he was impressed and I laughed before admitting that I had learned my moves from Dancing with the Stars. I don't know how long we stayed out there or how many songs that played. When a slow song came, he put his hands on my waist and we moved back and forth. My doubts that I had about him were dimming, but even though he was being a complete gentlemen, something in my gut didn't feel right.

"So, what are you doing after the dance?" Brandon whispered in my ear. I looked up at him.

"Going home?" I answered it, but said it as if it were a question. Did he have something planned?

"Do you think maybe you could get out of going home?" he asked. I bit my lip.


Brandon only smiled. "I'm going to go get some punch, but we'll talk about it later." He changed the subject so abruptly that it made me feel nervous.

"Hey Fang," Brandon called. Fang's head snapped up and his eyes landed on me first. I swallowed hard, looking away.

"What?" Fang asked quickly. I noticed he wasn't dancing with anybody and I wondered why. Was he upset that Lisa had chosen to come to Homecoming with Sam? Did he have a date at all?

Whatever, I reminded myself. It wasn't my problem.

"I'm going to go get us some drinks. Will you keep Max company?"

What the hell was Brandon doing? I looked up at him quickly, shaking my head.

"I'll be fine by myself," I told him at the same time Fang said,

"She'll be fine by herself."

"Oh come on," Brandon protested. "Unless you guys have some feelings between each other, I don't mind. Besides, I don't want anyone coming up and stealing you away."

I wanted to say, 'You're going to be like, ten feet away!' but I just looked down. "I really don't think this is a good idea."

Brandon's jaw locked. "Why?" he asked low enough to where Fang couldn't hear it. "Don't tell me you like Fang."

"I don't like him!" I said a bit too loudly. Brandon raised an eyebrow.

"Prove it."

"I don't have to prove anything to you, Brandon," I snapped. "I don't like Fang. My word should be good enough."

Brandon recovered quickly. "Whoa, Max, calm down. I'm sorry; I didn't mean to sound like such an ass." He lowered his voice even more. "Look, it's just, I know you and Fang have known each other for so long and I guess I'm just…insecure about it. I just don't want him sweeping you away or anything."

I sighed, feeling bad for snapping at him so harshly. "Trust me, Brandon. There is nothing going on between Fang and me. I'll dance with him."

"No, you don't have to do anything you don't want to," Brandon said quickly. "Although it would put my mind at ease."

I glanced at Fang, shrugging. Fang looked from me to Brandon and had a 'You have got to be kidding me,' expression on his face. I know he wouldn't refuse though because it would only look like he had something to hide. He walked as slowly as he could over to me and Brandon and his locked jaw clearly said he wasn't happy.

By now, a new slow song had just begun. I recognized the song; Must Be Doing Something Right. I didn't know the artist, but I actually like the song even though it was country.

"I'll be right back," Brandon smiled, before darting off into the crowd. He wasn't going towards the punch bowl though, which confused me for a moment. But all my thoughts changed when Fang put his hands on my waist. I hesitantly put mine on his shoulders, but we were standing as far apart from each other as we could.

"This is just great," he muttered under his breath. I rolled my eyes.

"Oh, grow up. It's just one dance."

"Just because your immature boyfriend is jealous of any guy that you so much as glance at," Fang retorted. I stomped on his toe…accidentally, of course. He winced, glaring down at me.

"That immature boyfriend used to be one of your friends," I said, praising myself mentally for coming up with that comeback. Fang didn't say anything to that and for a few seconds we just swayed back and forth.

"To be so annoying, you do clean up very nicely," Fang said. His tone wasn't snarky or sarcastic, but rather genuine. I grinned.

"And to be such an ass, you don't look so bad yourself."

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"Don't let it go to your head. It already looks disproportional."

"And sarcastic Max is back!" Fang fake-cheered.

"I'll be here all night. Or at least until twelve, because that's my curfew."

Fang actually smiled, the sides of his mouth lifting up. "Oh, joy."

I let out a small laugh. "So…are we cool now?" I asked, looking into his dark eyes. His smile fell off his lips and he looked at me. He was quiet for a moment before he answered, just looking me in my eyes.

"As cool as we can be," he said. His tone was hard to read and I couldn't tell what he was thinking. Then he asked abruptly, "Does Brandon make you happy?"

I was taken back by the question. I thought about it; I hadn't known Brandon that long. But the time that I had known him, did he make me happy? I'd had fun tonight with him, minus the few weird comments. I hadn't known him long enough yet to know if I was truly happy with him, though.

"I suppose," I told Fang. Before he could say anything, I decided it was my turn to ask some questions. "What about you and Lisa? Did you see her walk in with Sam?"

Fang flashed a full fledged smile this time, making my cheeks heat up slightly. I could only hope the flush could be blamed on how much I had been dancing and how hot it was in here.

"Yes, I did. I was the one who offered Sam the advice on how to ask her out."

My mouth dropped slightly. "He didn't even tell me he was going to ask her!"

Fang chuckled. "It's a surprising couple," he agreed with me. "But look over there at them; both of them actually look happy."

It was hard to comprehend that Sam could be happy with Lisa, but he was holding her close to them as they swayed back and forth. Lisa was chatting about something while Sam was smiling, responding to her whenever she stopped talking. It was good to see Sam happy and moved on from myself.

"So who is your date?" I asked, returning my gaze back to Fang's face. He scoffed.

"Nobody at this school is good enough to go to Homecoming with the Fang," he said, winking at me. I rolled my eyes.

"You've got to be kidding me," I muttered.

By now, the next song had started. It was faster and more upbeat, but Fang and I continued to sway back and forth. I realized how close we were now; my chest almost against his. I shuffled back slightly.

"Where is Brandon at?" Fang huffed. "I thought he was just getting drinks."

I felt slightly hurt at his tone. "You don't have to keep dancing with me. I'll just go find him."

"No, it's fine," Fang answered a bit too quickly and I saw him swallow hard as if he were nervous. "Last thing I need is him getting all flared up because I left you by yourself."

"I don't need a babysitter," I protested. "It's a dance, for goodness sakes." But the more I argued, the more I found myself willing to continue dancing with Fang. He nodded, but made no move to release me. We had once again moved closer together, ignoring the fast dancing of all the other couples.

He really did look nice with his tux. It just made his eyes look even darker and mysterious. I cleared my throat, looking down at the floor. I felt completely bi-polar when it came to Fang. Whenever he wasn't around, it was easy to convince myself that I didn't have feelings for him, but whenever he was around it was hard to process my thoughts.

My eyes flew back up to him as I felt him slowly push a curl behind my ear, his hand caressing my face softly. I felt my knees go weak and some where in the back of my head I was thinking about how Brandon's touch didn't make me feel weak at the knees at all.

"Max, I-"Fang started, but Brandon cut him off.

"Gezz, you won't believe the line for the drinks," he said, coming out of the crowd. Fang and I pulled back immediately, but I kept glancing at him, wondering what he was about to say.

"So, where are the drinks?" Fang asked.

Brandon fumbled for a moment and then said, "I got tired of waiting. Besides, I didn't want you getting all the dances with my lady." He smiled down at me and put an arm around my waist. Fang's eyes flicked down to the close contact, but then they returned to look at Brandon.

"Well, have fun," Fang said before disappearing into the crowd. I watched him go until I couldn't see him any longer.

"Sorry about the drinks," Brandon said. "It seems like everybody got thirsty at the same time."

I nodded, forcing a casual smile at him while I told him it was no bit deal. Brandon took me into his arms and we danced for a little while longer.

After I felt like I would collapse if I so much as scratched my nose, I plopped down at one of the clothed tables where I had spotted J.J. Brandon was nearby, talking to some of his friends.

"Having fun?" we both asked each other at the same time. Laughing, J.J. nodded.

"Yes! Iggy is getting me a drink right now." Just as the words came out, Iggy appeared.

"That was fast," J.J. told him. Iggy grinned.

"There are about six different places where you can get drinks, so there are practically no lines," he told her. Handing J.J. her drink, Iggy frowned.

"Crap, I should have brought an extra. I'll go get you a drink, Max."

"No, it's fine," I told him. "I can get my own.

He didn't listen and dove back into the mass of dancing students. I rolled my eyes at his gentlemen like disposition and then focused on J.J. She was quiet for a few minutes, simply staring down at the tablecloth. She looked like she wanted to say something, but by the time she finally got a few words to come out, she was interrupted.

"I saw you dancing with Fang," J.J. had started. "And Max, he looked-"

"Here you go," Iggy said, putting the drink in front of me. I smiled thanks, realizing how fast he actually was. Maybe Brandon didn't know that there were multiple places to get drinks and that's why it took him so long.

I wanted to ask J.J. how Fang had looked, but I felt like it should be a question for when she and I were alone.

"It is hot," Iggy said, running a hand through his hair. J.J. and I agreed, taking long sips of our drinks.

"Where's Brandon?" Iggy asked, looking around. I pointed towards the corner where he had been, but I bit my lip when I found he wasn't there.

"Maybe he went to the bathroom or something," I said, shrugging.

"Has anyone seen Nudge?" I asked, glancing around. I hadn't seen her since she had dashed off towards Brett, but I hoped she was having fun.

"Last time I saw her, she was throwing her heels off at a table and dancing with Brett," J.J. answered, shaking her head with a small smile. "To be so small, she is so full of energy."

"Tell me about it," I muttered in agreement. I sat there with J.J. and Iggy for a while, until my face wasn't so red and I was cooled off. Iggy told me I looked very nice and asked me how much the surgery had cost to transform my face into something attractive. I punched him in the arm.

"Please don't beat me up," Iggy pleaded. "My insurance doesn't cover PMS."

J.J. punched him after that wise comment.

"I'm going to go stand with the guys," he grumbled. "They don't hit nearly as hard."

"Let's go to the bathroom," J.J. said. I nodded, hoping she would continue what she had planned to tell me earlier. I followed her to the bathroom, weaving in between people when suddenly we saw Sam. He smiled and walked over to us.

"Hey guys," he said. J.J. and I each crossed our arms over our chest.

"Hey yourself," J.J. said. I tapped my foot.

"So, when were you going to tell us about Lisa?" I asked. Sam looked away sheepishly.

"I was tutoring her for her French class. And you know what they say…it's the language of love."

I started to correct him and give him my opinion, but instead I sighed. "As long as she makes you happy, Sam-Sam," I teased, nudging his arm. Lisa walked up and we made eye contact. And for the first time, I didn't want to knock her out nearly as bad as I normally wanted to. I smiled at her and Lisa, hesitantly, returned a smile herself.

"Well, time for more dancing," Sam grinned, looking at Lisa. Then he gave me a wink, handing me his cup of punch as he slid his arm around Lisa and they went to the dance floor. I let out a snort, holding the cup to J.J.

"What am I, the designated cup holder?"

J.J. laughed and we continued towards the bathroom, me still holding Sam's stupid cup of punch.

"I never thought I'd see that," I told J.J. as we started back towards the bathrooms.

"I know. There an odd couple."

That hadn't been what I meant, but I didn't correct her. What I had meant was I thought I'd never see the day where I could actually give Lisa a genuine smile. I was attempting, slowly but surly, to start fixing all the flaws in my life.

The bathrooms were in the Gym, which wasn't nearly as occupied with people as the cafeteria was. It was dimmer in here and the music wasn't quite so loud.

I gazed around the room, admiring the artwork and decorations when I spotted a couple leaning far back in a corner. I smiled softly for some reason, wondering what it would feel like for Brandon to hold me like that. But as my eyes focused in the light, I noticed that I recognized some of the features of the boy.

"Hey, J.J…go on to the bathroom, I'll be there in a second."

She looked at me, tilting her head slightly. "Why? Is something wrong, Max?"

I shook my head, pleading with her silently go just give me a second. She bit her lip but entered the bathroom. Then I watched the girl next to Brandon slowly run her hand up his arm. And I knew then.

Brandon hadn't been working at his dad's shop.

He hadn't been off getting drinks.

Off hanging out with friends while I was sitting with mine.

He had been in this secluded corner that hardly anyone paid attention to.

With another girl.

I approached him then, my steps silent since I had long abandoned my heels. I watched as the girl leaned up to him and he didn't even try to resist, he only put his hand on the side of her face and leaned his lips towards his. And they started kissing. Only it wasn't just a peck, it was more like a 'Come here so I can eat your face off,' sort of kiss. And it made me sick. Swallowing hard, I made sure my voice was as cold and uncaring as I could make it.

"I didn't know they were giving the drinks away over here."

Immediately, Brandon pushed the girl away, looking up at me. I clutched the cup tighter as I could see the wheels spinning in his head as he tried to come up with an excuse.

"Max, she threw herself on me," he started. Surly he could come up with a better excuse then that.

The girl sneered at me. "This is her?"

My eyes snapped towards hers. "Excuse me?"

She tossed her hair behind her shoulder, looking up at Brandon. "We snuck around so you could keep our relationship secret from that?"

I felt my heart sink. It wasn't so much as the realization that Brandon had been cheating on me then it was the fact that I realized I was stupid to think I ever deserved somebody as high up as Brandon was.

"Snuck around? How long has this been going on?" I asked, keeping my voice uncaring.

Bianca answered for Brandon. "Two months; before he even met you."

I was surprised at how open she was with admitting that she had willingly stayed with a guy who was cheating on her. I would have been so ashamed I wouldn't have known what to do with myself. But obviously, this girl didn't care so long as she could claim some part of Brandon.

"Bianca!" Brandon snapped, glaring furiously at her. "Shut-up!"

"Why?" I asked, my jaw clenched. I looked at Bianca; she was tens time more beautiful then I could ever be. So why would Brandon waste his time with me?

"Didn't you even try to figure out what the fight was about?" Bianca stared at me like I was stupid. "The other guy is my boyfriend. He was catching on that Brandon and I were seeing each other, so Brandon started dating you so my boyfriend would stop being so suspicious." She scowled at Brandon. "That stupid fight nearly ruined my reputation. So Brandon and I had to be more careful. That's where you came in, although I thought Brandon would go for someone a tad bit more attractive."

God, this girl was ruthless. I swallowed hard,

"Why don't you just tell the whole damn world?" Brandon snarled at her. She rolled her eyes, looking bored of the whole situation.

"Well, she was gonna blab anyway," Bianca snapped right back. I just stared there, looking at them.

Then Brandon turned his attention on me, softening his features and looking at me tenderly. "Max, I-"he reached out, attempting to slide a curl behind my ear; the same move Fang had done earlier. I slapped his hand away.

"Don't you dare touch me," I snapped.

Brandon's nostrils flared. "Oh please. Any girl in this school would be happy for me to so much as look at them, Max. And you're no different."

"God, you are a piece of work," I laughed harshly. Then I turned around and started walking away. Brandon grabbed my upper arm, twisting me around.

"Don't you walk away from me," he seethed. "We're going to walk back in there like a happy couple and that's how everybody is going to see us."

I smiled angelically up at him. Then I splashed Sam's drink right in his face. Brandon stumbled backwards, cursing as he wiped the punch from his eyes.

"Walk in there as a happy couple with Bianca, you ass. We are done," I spat at him.

Brandon started back after me, but out of no where Fang shoved past me and grabbed him by his shirt collar, shoving him against the wall. I heard the smack as Brandon collided into the wall and Fang leaned in close to him, muttering something in the jerk's ear. I didn't stick around to see what would happen though. I shoved through the forming crowd, ignoring there mutters as I walked by. I snatched my bag and punched in my mother's number.

Fifteen minutes later, she was there and I climbed in the car, staring blankly out the window as I left my first dance in tears.

Poor Max :( She finally finds a guy…only to find out he was using her D: But it seems like everything else was finally smoothing out…she and Lisa didn't hate each other, Sam has moved on, and she and Fang have agreed to be decent to each other. There are only two chapters left in Neighborly Love, guys :) Thanks so much for sticking with this story as it begins to come to an end.

And to let you all know, I had all intentions of posting this sooner. But an accident led to an $800.00 Vet Bill, so quite frankly I've been busting my butt at work to raise the money. Not to mention there was a death and a lot of family problems :/ However, I will continue in updating as frequently as possible, especially with there only being two chapters left :)

Thanks and until next time,

-Nova Ride

19. Chapter 19

After we had first moved in, Mom had bought Ella and I a small swing set. It had three swings attached to the metal pole, although the third had been removed long ago after Fang and I had a fight. Both of us insisted that that particular swing went higher and while pushing, shoving and pulling on the seat of the swing as we each attempted to sit in it, it broke off. Now there were only two swings left, side by side.

I swung back and forth on the old swing set. I wondered when the last time that any of us had even glanced at the thing; but now I couldn't even pull myself off it. As soon as we had pulled in the drive way, I had gotton out and went straight to the swing set. I didn't know why; it just felt secure for some reason. So, here I was, still in my fancy Homecoming dress and shoes with my hair and makeup fixed up, swinging.

I was all dressed up with no where to go.

I'd caught Mom peaking out the curtain to check on me, but she knew right now all I needed was some space to think. And I did need that. I needed to sort through all the stuff going in on my head.

What Bianca had said…it hurt. I won't pretend I'm macho Max for the moment and I'll admit that her insults cut me deep and worse then that, they made me realize how stupid I had been. How could I have possibly convinced myself that Brandon had been with me for an honest reason? He was gorgeous, intelligent, and popular and I should have known that he was up to no good. I guess I was so desperate to just be normal that I made him into something I knew he wasn't. I ignored my gut feeling when I should have listened to it and threw punch in Brandon's face long ago.

And then there was Fang. It was so hard to believe that one minute ago, I was dying his hair pink. Now I was considering the fact that I have – or had – feelings for him. I still wasn't sure of what to think when it came to Fang, but after the incident with Brandon I knew that I shouldn't even think about getting involved with Fang, who was just as amazing as Brandon had seemed. Besides, tonight's incident had proven that I just wasn't meant to have a boyfriend. I had tried it with Sam, tried it with Brandon, and each time it just crashed…and burned.

And it was terribly obvious that Fang would never want a relationship of any kind with me, anyway. I'd seen how he had reacted when Brandon asked him to dance with me, but I also wondered about why Fang had thrown Brandon into the wall if he wasn't some what upset with what his ex-friend had done.

"Is this seat taken?"

I jumped, shoving my feet in the ground to stop the swing as I looked behind me. Fang was standing there, still in his tux, his eyes going from me to the empty swing beside me. I swallowed hard, shaking my head. I didn't feel like talking right now, especially to the one boy who I couldn't seem to shake out of my head.

Fang sat down beside me and didn't say another word. For the next ten or so minutes, all we did was swing back and forth in the silence, listening to the sound of the crickets chirping. Then, after taking a breath, Fang said,

"I found out what Pugnacious means."

I stared at him. That was really the best he could come up with? And I couldn't believe he still remembered me asking him if he was pugnacious, so long ago. He grinned at my expression, shrugging.

"It means, 'eager to fight.'"

"How long did it take you to find it?"

Fang's grin widened. "Not long. There's this cool thing called Google. You just type something in and…ta-da."

I rolled my eyes. "Interesting. I may have to try this Google you speak of."

Fang nodded and once again silence enveloped us. I didn't particularly mind, though. I just continued swinging back and forth until Fang said,

"So…That was a pretty crappy thing what Brandon did."

I stood up so abruptly that it even surprised me. The swing hit against the back of my legs and I looked at Fang. "I don't want to talk about that."

Fang stood up to, a look of worry crossing his face. "I didn't mean to upset you-"he started, but I rolled my eyes, crossing my arms over my chest. I didn't need anybody seeing me upset over Brandon, especially Fang who would probably only throw it back in my face, along with an 'I told you so,' or something along those lines.

"Do I look upset to you?" I snapped, clenching my jaw. I knew the answer to the question before I even asked, but Fang just gave me a soft look.

"Max, you don't have to act tough in front of me."

I unfolded my arms, gesturing to nobody in particular. "Who's acting?"

A small smile formed on Fang's lips. "That's reason number one."

I stared at him. What the heck was that supposed to mean? Reason number one for what?

"You're strong," he added to it, taking a step towards me. I put a hand on my hip, staring at him.

"Reason for what?" I demanded. Fang just shook his head.

"And reason number two is that you are sarcastic, and I find it very attractive."

Attractive? I was getting annoyed, wondering what Fang was playing at. Had I not endured enough tonight? "Can you just go home, please?" I snapped.

"Reason number three is that you purse your lips when you're angry. And you have very, very nice lips Maximum."

My face flushed and I looked down at the ground, feeling an odd tingling sensation in my stomach. I cleared my throat though, glaring at him but before I could say anything Fang went on.

"Reason number four," he said, stepping towards me, "Is despite how tough you act, you blush over the smallest things."

"I do not!" I argued, making Fang grin widely. He was about a yard from me now, looking as if he had no intentions to leave soon. I sighed; I had enough of Fang's babble and whatever he was talking about probably wasn't worth my time anyway.

"If you don't tell me what all these 'reasons' are for, Fang, I'm going inside," I threatened. "And I will call the police on you."

"And tell them what?" Fang asked, wiggling his eyebrows. "That there is a guy in your front yard that is so good looking it should be illegal?"

"No, what should be illegal is you even thinking your good looking," I countered, stepping towards my porch. "Because that is the biggest lie I have ever heard."

Fang stepped towards me. "Do you want to hear Reason Five?"

I growled, "Not if you won't tell me what the freaking reasons are for."

Fang didn't seem a bit fazed by my annoyance. He just took a deep breath, looking nervous.

"You are the most amazing, unique, creative and beautiful person I have ever met, or ever will meet, Maximum," he said tenderly. "And that is Reason Number Five of why I love you."

Love you.

I love you.

Fang loved me?

I felt like I needed to grip something because Fang's words hit me hard. So the reasons he had been listing off had been some of the reasons on why he loved me. I stared at him, having no idea of what to say. Fang stepped forward, unsure, and he was so close that I could make out the different specks of colors in his dark eyes.

"It took me seeing that dickhead holding you to make me realize that you are all I need or want. I would willingly give my life for you. I know we tease each other, prank each other, and so forth, but when it comes down to it I would knock out anyone who ever even thought about hurting you, Max." He reached forward, tenderly pushing a curl behind my ear and the motion made me shiver with delight. "I'm so sorry for the way I've been acting. I was confused, to be honest. I've never felt the way I feel whenever I'm around you."

I swallowed. Fang had just poured his entire heart and soul to me. I needed to say something meaningful back and tell him what I was feeling. But no words came to my mind; all I could do was stand there and stare at him. I saw his expression change to a look of rejection and hurt, but he was doing well in masking it. I swallowed again, glancing at the ground and then back at him.

"What's reason number six?"

God, that was stupid. Out of all the things I could have said, I picked that?

Fang grinned though, pressing a hand against the side of my face as he leaned closer towards me. "Reason number six is that you are a good kisser."

"How could you possibly know-"I started, but Fang's lips cut me off.

Fang's lips were soft and already addicting. I finally understood why Lissa had felt the urge to snog him all the time at our lockers because his lips were like a peace of Heaven. They moved perfectly against mine, making me forget every bad thing that had ever happened to me because while I was kissing Fang, nothing else mattered. I wrapped my arms around his waist as he pulled me closer to him. His lips were so warm and pleasant; had I really went the past seventeen years of my life without this feeling…and survived?

"Reason number seven," Fang muttered against my lips, his words a bit slurred because both of us refused to break our kiss. "You think I'm a good kisser."

I laughed, pulling back to look at him and to make sure that this was actually Fang. I was really kissing him; the boy who I had sworn up and down was the spawn of Satan.

It's amazing how things can change.

"Ah, so you do think I'm a good kisser," Fang said, pressing his forehead against mine. I rolled my eyes at his confidence. I wasn't going to let one kiss from Fang subdue my witty remarks.

"It's like kissing a dog," I said. Fang pecked my lips softly, cocking an eyebrow.

"A very talented dog," he corrected with a smug look.

I sighed; there was no use in even trying when it came to Fang. I looked back up at him, all humor gone.

"Are you sure?" I asked him. He tilted his head slightly to the side.

"Sure of what?" he asked, softly rubbing the side of my face.

"That…this is what you want," I whispered.

"I'm sure I want you," Fang said softly, looking me sincerely in the eyes.

I smiled. "Good, because I love you, Fang. Even if you put worms in my drink, played your God-awful music until two in the morning, and-"

"Let's not ruin the moment," Fang said, pushing his lips back to mine. I may have given in now, but we were going to have a serious conversation about the sanitary hazards of 'worming' somebody's drink later.

But right now, none of that mattered. Because I was in love with Fang. I loved everything about him; his personality, his sense of humor, his dark eyes, the way his hair curled up above his ears at times. It took me seventeen years to realize it, but now that I did it was hard for me to remember what it was like to not have Fang's arms wrapped securely around me.

And I am well aware that I sounded like a love sick teenager, but at this point, I didn't care.

"Say it again," Fang said, kissing my jaw line. I blinked, trying to snap out of my thoughts and how good of a kisser Fang really was.

"Say what?" I asked.

"That you love me."

I smiled, shaking my head. "It's 2010, Nick. Women have rights. You can't boss us around."

"Please," Fang asked, kissing the edge of my nose. I sighed dramatically, but pressed my lips to his ear,

"I love you, Fang."

"I love you, too, Max."

Ah, so after all these chapters, Max and Fang FINALLY kiss! *Sigh* There is one, final chapter of Neighborly Love left and I want to thank you all SO MUCH for supporting not only this story, but for supporting me as well. I'd like to say that my ultimate goal was to reach 1,000 reviews and if I do so happen to be as lucky to receive so many, then I would like to reward all of you with an EXTRA chapter. This chapter would include all of YOUR ideas; so whatever you would like in it, if Neighborly Love receives 1,000 reviews then there is a chance your idea/phrase, etc. will be included in it :) Thank you all!

Until next time,

-Nova Ride 33

20. Chapter 20

I had no idea that so much kissing could be painful. It was Monday morning, days after mine and Fang's kiss, and my mouth was still a bit sore. But kissing Fang was worth any amount of pain. We'd probably still be kissing up to now had my mother not drawn back the curtains and saw the PDA going on in her backyard.

"Maximum Margaret!" my mother had yelled. Fang and I had broken apart only because he was having trouble stifling a laugh.

"Margaret?" he smirked, cocking an eyebrow. My face flushed; I hated my middle name.

"It was after my deceased Grandmother," I whispered, frowning. Fang's eyes widened.

"Oh! Oh, Max I-I'm sorry, I'm stupid, I shouldn't have-"he paused when he saw the smirk on my face. He let out a breath, blowing his bangs up in the air slightly.

"There is no deceased Grandma Margaret, is there?" he said. I laughed.

"Oh, Fang, say it again," I pleaded in an over-dramatic voice. He tilted his head.

"Say what?"

I pulled out of his embrace, slinking to my mother who was watching on the porch. "That you are stupid," I winked. Fang's mouth dropped and I couldn't resist a giggle as I ducked under my mother's arm. She raised an eyebrow at Fang, who cleared his throat and gave a small wave.

"Good night, Nick," mom said, shutting the door. I braced myself as mom turned around, her lips pressed in a thin line. Then, without warning, she started giggling hysterically.

"About time!" she squealed, grabbing my elbows and making me spin around with her. I gaped, tripping over the bottom of my dress. I gripped mom's elbows for support, trying to stop her from her little merry-go-round tirade and ask her if she was feeling alright.

"What's going on?" Ella asked, munching on a bag of chips. Before I could say anything, mom answered,

"Nick and Max are together!"

Ella's entire face fell. "Dang it. I thought it would be at least another three days," she sighed. "A deal's a deal, though, mom. You win."

"Win? Win what?" I asked, eyeing my mom suspiciously. "Did-did you two bet on when Fang and I would get together?"

"I wouldn't call it a bet, dear," mom smiled, patting the side of my face. "More like a…guessing game and whoever gets the closest wins."

"Wins what?" I asked, disbelieving.

"Let's just say that I am on poop-patrol for the next two months," Ella said in a sarcastic enthusiastic voice. Grumbling something like, 'Would it have killed them to wait three more days?' she went back upstairs. Mom turned to me.

"What would Ella have gotton if she would have won?" I asked, hand on my hip. Mom looked down sheepishly.

"Your laptop."

"My laptop!" I shrieked.

Mom patted my face again. "Good thing I'm good at guessing things, huh?" She winked.

"So, why did you pretend you were angry?" I asked, sitting on the kitchen counter. Mom's grin widened.

"Because I'd waited two hours to rub victory in Ella's face and I couldn't wait any longer."

Two hours? I glanced at the clock. Holy cow. Fang and I had been out there that long?

I must have been a pretty good kisser myself to keep him here that long, if I do say so myself.

I was quiet for a moment, and then I asked, "So…you are okay with it?"

Mom paused from wiping the kitchen sink down and looked at me. Her expression still had a playful touch, but it was serious. "Does he make you happy, Max?" I opened my mouth, but she held up a finger, cutting me off. "Even when you are not kissing?"

I smiled at her words, but then I nodded. "Yes. He makes me really, really happy."

"Even though you two have hated each other since before time?" Mom asked, raising her eyebrows.

"It must have all been foreplay," I teased. I didn't know what had caused the rift between Fang and me; but it didn't matter anymore. Because I loved him. Those words sounded almost foreign in my head, but I was strangely okay with it. "But I mean, you were cool with us out there kissing and all?"

"I trust you, Max," my mother said. "You've always been mature when it came to boys. And I trust Fang."

I smiled at her and she smiled back before going back to wiping down the counter. We were quiet for a moment, and then I let out a whistle.

"Sooo, I'm going to go upstairs," I said, slipping off the counter. Mom pointed her dishrag at me.

"I am well aware that your window and Fang's face each other," she warned. I held up my hands defensively.

"Mother! Honestly, I climbed in Fang's window once before. I'll never do it again."

She wasn't aware that I was being serious, so she waved me off, popping me with the dishrag. I jogged up the steps, which was difficult to do considering I was still in heels. My feet were going to be unbearable.

I closed my bedroom door behind me, kicking off my heels and I sat on my bed, trying to digest what had just happened.

Fang and I had kissed, professed our undying love for each other; mom and Ella knew about it…now the scary part.

I had to tell Nudge and J.J.

Of course, I knew they'd probably be shrieking, 'I told you so's!' in which case, I'd have to tell them that I was still up for throwing any pointed objects at them.

I sighed, closing my eyes as I leaned back into my pillows. I moved my lips together, realizing that less then ten minutes ago Fang and I had been kissing. It was almost hard to digest; I'd spent almost my entire life so far hating this boy and now I couldn't imagine life without him.

A small pop! interrupted my thoughts and I rolled my head to my left. The same noise followed again and I grinned, getting up and pushing my curtains to the side. Then I lifted my window and barley dodged another one of Fang's pebbles. He grinned.

"Sorry bout' that."

"I kiss you and you think you have the right to throw rocks at me?" I asked, cocking an eyebrow.

Fang shrugged. He had untied his tie already and it hung around either side of his neck. His hair was a bit more disheveled and I realized with a slight blush that it was my fault. I looked down.

"Tell me what you're thinking," Fang whispered, leaning on his window frame. I leaned against mine, smiling.

"I'm just thinking about the time I dyed your hair pink."

Fang didn't look amused. "Revenge can be a deadly thing, Max," he warned.

"I'm so scared," I told him. Fang grinned and a moment passed where we just looked at each other. And it felt right; more then right. It felt like…this was all supposed to be. As corny and Disney as I may sound, it was like this was fate. Good fate, not the Final Destination type fate.

We talked for a few more minutes then both agreed it was time to hit the sack. Before Fang closed his window, he said,

"Good night, Max. I love you."

I couldn't stop the grin that exploded across my face. I could really get used to hearing Fang say that.

After I shut my window and curtains, I changed into some comfortable clothes and closed my eyes. I was right in that phase where I was almost asleep but not quite when my phone buzzed. Not willing to open my eyes, I raised my hand and slapped around on my bed stand for the device so I could throw it against the wall. I was exhausted and I wanted to go to sleep.

The phone persisted. I heard the ding that alerted me that I had a missed call and as soon as that sound occurred, my phone began buzzing again. Cursing, I finally gripped my phone and opened it,

"Mmhmm?" I asked groggily.

"MAX!" I heard Nudge shriek. Well if I wasn't awake earlier I was awake now. I propped myself up on my elbow, wiping my eyes as if I could wipe my sleepiness away.

"Ohmygoshareyouokay?" Nudge spoke so fast her words blurred completely together. I heard J.J. in the background and Nudge told her to shut-up. The two started bickering back and forth and I let my eyelids close. Perhaps my friends would forget I was on the phone. I wanted to tell them about my new relationship, but not at one in the morning.

"Max?" Nudge shouted, bringing my attention back to her.

"Whaaaat?" I complained. Nudge didn't seem fazed by my tone, she just kept on going.

"Okay, well I'm bringing a gallon of Chunky Monkey and J.J. is bringing The Dark Knight, because I know how much you love Heath Ledger. And also, we are going to bring some chocolate chip cookie dough-"

"Nudge-"I tried to intersect, but she kept on going like a car without breaks.

"-Because J.J. and I know how much you love chocolate chip cookies and you can eat them plain if you want or we can bake them, it doesn't matter to me. Even though raw cookie dough is not good for you and can cause illnesses I think we can make an exception be-"

"Nudge, I have never been better in my life!" I tried to shove in. She got quiet for a moment, then yelled to J.J. in the back,

"Oh, God, J.J.! It's worse then I thought, she's in denial! Make that two gallon's of Chunky Monkey!" Then she lowered her voice as she began speaking to me again. "Honestly, I love J.J. to death but when it comes to comfort food, she doesn't know the first thing. She asked if we should bring chicken wings! Chicken wings, Max! I mean, don't get me wrong I love some chicken wings but-"

Okay, this seriously had to stop. "I kissed Fang!" I blurted.


Dead silence.

Was that a pen that dropped in the background? I believe so.

I heard Nudge mumble something to J.J. and then J.J. let out a victorious yell.

"You owe me thirty bucks, Nudge!"

That snapped me out of my sleep deprived state real fast. "You guys did not bet on this, did you?"

I could practically see Nudge twirling her hair and biting her lip. "No-uh, the, uh, Red Socks won and I betted that they would loose. We just, uh, found out the results?" Her tone at the end made her sound like she was asking a question.

"Uh-huh, I'm sure," I growled. Was it that obvious that Fang and I were going to get together? I looked back at our recent conversations; was telling somebody that you hated everything about them the new way to say, 'Hey, wanna go out sometime?' If so, then I had unintentionally asked a lot of people out.


J.J. had grabbed the phone then. "Max! You kissed Fang?" She asked as if she needed the information verified. I rolled my eyes.

"Yes," I admitted, feeling a slight flush rise in my face. J.J. chuckled.

"Impressive," I could hear the smile in her voice. "So, I wanna know all the details."

I sat up and turned on my light, knowing that I wasn't getting any sleep anytime soon. "I'll unlock the front door," I sighed.

So much for sleep.

And that leads us up to here, Monday morning. I grabbed my backpack as I walked out the door. I glanced over to my right and saw Fang coming out of his door as well. He glanced at me coolly, and I increased my speed to a more brisk walk. Fang cocked an eyebrow and suddenly he was in a light jog. I countered his move and sprinted off into a full blown run.

Fang caught me easily, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me up off the ground.

"Sexual harassment!" I protested.

Fang chuckled. "You cannot sexually harass the willing, Maximum Margaret."

I glared at him. "I'll ask your brother and sister what you're middle name is and then we will see who is laughing."

Fang put me down and I ran the few remaining feet to the bus stop. "I win," I pronounced victoriously. Fang rolled his eyes.

"At what, the ugly contest?"

"No, unfortunately that was cancelled. When they saw you, they knew it was no contest."

Fang stood in front of me, his dark eyes peering down. "So, Nudge and J.J. made quite the commotion Friday night," he said, smirking.

I nodded in agreement. "At least you didn't have to listen to a soda-hyped Nudge."

Fang grimaced. "Spare me those details," he said. He paused, then asked, "So…they approve?"

"They approve," I said. He grinned.

"Well, of course they did. I mean, look at me."

"I do. That's why I have an eye doctor appointment today after school."

Fang nodded. "I know. My great looks are known to blind people." He sighed sadly. "Beauty comes at such a high price."

I scoffed, shaking my head at him. "You are something else, Nick-whatever –your-middle-name-is Gomez."

Fang leaned down towards me. "You're pretty spectacular to."

Then he pressed his lips to mine.

So this was pretty much a fluff chapter to tie up some loose ends :) The next chapter will be the final chapter of Neighborly Love and I want to thank all those who contributed their ideas :) You are all still welcome to contribute ideas/phrases that you would like to be in the extra chapter.

Also, I've been considering this: What if I wrote a separate Neighborly Love story that was all in Fang's point of view? Would anyone be interested in that? I don't plan on making a sequel because I feel like Max and Fang getting together was the whole object of this story and now that they are together, there's not really much more drama left, lol. So what if I was to write all in Fang's point of view? Your input is welcomed :)

-Nova Ride

21. Chapter 21

"I still want to know where you got these mad cooking skills," I muttered, glaring up at Fang. He shut the oven door with a crooked grin, his dark eyes glinting.

"That's for me to know, and for you to never find out," he said with a smug look. I crossed my arms over my chest.

"I'll just go ask Angel and Gassy. For twenty bucks, those kids will do anything."

Fang raised an eyebrow, daring me to attempt to bribe his younger siblings. I grinned, nudging his shoulder and Fang held on to my hand. And just like that, I was sucked into his gaze. Fang and I had been dating for over a year now, but I still couldn't get over his eyes. They were deep, mesmerizing to say the least. And I still had trouble digesting the fact that when I saw Fang, I didn't have to say things like, 'Hey, see that lake? Go drown in it.' Or, 'Hey, I recognize you. My cat barfed up something that looked just like you!'

Of course, it seemed hard for other people to digest the news as well. A group of Fang's 'Fan Club' nearly ran into a wall when they saw our interlocked hands Monday morning. And Mrs. Wilson had been extremely suspicious, obviously thinking we were plotting against her or something since Fang and I were having a civilized conversation and I wasn't trying to throw him out a window.

Brandon had taken the news without blinking. Karma sure had taken a toll on him; not only was he suspended from the baseball team for his conduct, but he had quickly became the school's most hated person. He pretty much avoided eye contact with me, which I suspected had something to do with the way Fang threw daggers at Brandon with his eyes whenever Brandon walked by. I have to say, it was quite nice.

But as I leaned against the kitchen counter with Fang, waiting for our made from scratch Chocolate Chip cookies to finish, I realized with a sad pang that my high school years were almost over. Graduation was less then a week away and I still couldn't believe that we were so close to being completely on our own. Of course, Fang and I had made sure that our futures would include each other.

Fang and I had decided to go to the same college. We both decided to go to North Carolina State, where I planned to study to become a Vet like my mom. Fang was going on a full basketball scholarship. Obviously, playing basketball is much more important then saving the lives of animals. Heavy sarcasm there, if you don't mind. So while Fang was enjoying college, I was having to worry about the huge student loans that would be following me around everywhere I went.

But at least I wouldn't have to worry about other guys making rude comments about me. You see, I had carefully squeezed the real reason why Fang had punched Michael that day in the locker room. Apparently, Michael had said some things that Fang thought highly inappropriate, so he made sure Michael never said it again. And although I tried to roll my eyes and chide Fang for being so pugnacious, I couldn't stop a grin.

Everything seemed to be falling in place. Nudge and Brett were still together, even though Nudge had admitted her 'problem' to Brett. He didn't seem to mind and responded, "That's it? I was expecting something more along the lines of, 'You're on the run from Canadian officials for robbing their banks,' or something."

Iggy and J.J. were still going strong and both of them were attending Appalachian State together. And surprisingly, Sam and Lisa were still together as well. And Lisa and I had even managed to say complete sentences to each other that didn't include words like, 'ho' and 'skank.' It was a start.

"Hey, anybody in there?" Fang snapped his fingers in front of my face and I blinked a few times.

"Sorry," I laughed. "I was some where totally else."

Fang shrugged. "You were thinking about me being naked, weren't you?"

"Yeah, that's why I'm laughing," I smirked at him. Fang's eyebrows went up and I rolled my eyes.

"Don't think just because we've been dating and you are making me Chocolate Chip cookies means I'll let you get by with those remarks," I said.

Fang leaned close and I felt my heartbeat increase, even though we'd kissed so much already. It's like Fang had control of my heartbeat, deliberately making it beat fast when ever he came close. I tried to even my breathing.

"Personal bubble invasion," I muttered. Fang grinned and pressed his lips to mine, his hands resting on my waist. I was momentarily relieved we were home alone, so Ella wouldn't barge in and start yelling about how she couldn't eat in the kitchen after seeing Fang and I kissing in it. But Fang pulled back too soon, and I clutched the collar of his shirt.

"On second thought, I don't think I mind," I laughed, pulling him back down to me. And just like that, we were kissing. I don't think I would ever get used to the sensation of Fang's lips. Kissing Fang was like that feeling you get when you've craved a food for years and you finally get it.

Only one trillion times better.

When we finally broke apart, my face was flushed and Fang was restraining a smile. He tenderly pushed my bangs behind my ear, kissing my forehead. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you to," I said back. Then under my breath, I added, "Even though you are a pain in my butt."

Fang perked up. "What did you say about my butt?"

"That it strongly resembles the thing you call a face."

"Ah, the thing you just made out with," Fang retorted. I opened my mouth, glaring at him.

"I didn't make out with your face, just your lips."

Fang laughed. "I don't know. You're hands were roaming, Maxi."

I punched his arm. "Oh, shut up Fangie."

"Watch it," he warned. "I'll sue you for assault."

"Ha!" I snorted. "I can sue you for assaulting my eyes with your face."

"I'll just put worms in your drink again."

I pointed my index finger at him. "That reminds me! I still have never had my lecture on how unsanitary it is to worm somebody's drink! Thank you for reminding me."

Fang had a 'oh crap why did I bring that up' look on his face. I smirked, crossing my hands over my chest.

"Did you know that worms live in the ground, with dirt and other things?" I asked. "And you put them in my drink, the thing I swallow and digest. I may fall dead at any moment."

Fang stared at me for a moment. "You know, you have dimples."

I rolled my eyes. "I'm still mad at you about the worm thing."

"You still have dimples."

"They aren't dimples!" I protested, covering my face with my hands. Fang chuckled, taking my hands in his. He leaned in close and for a moment I thought he was going to kiss me again and my eyes closed in anticipation.

"Gotcha'," he grinned, pulling away. My eyes shot open and I stared at him. He had a smug grin plastered on his face.

"That's cold," I said. Fang laughed and I couldn't stop a grin from exploding across my face. I liked the way he laughed, as girly and cliché as I risked sounding.

"You know," I said softly. "Everything is really working out. I'm just afraid that something is going to happen and ruin all this."

"All of this what?" Fang asked, his eyebrows narrowed in concern.

I shrugged. "All of this," I took my hand out of his and gestured around. "Everything is so perfect right now. I'm so afraid it's just going to blow up in my face."

Fang took my hand back in his and stared at me intently. His voice was sincere and I hadn't heard this tone since he had confessed his love to me the night of the Homecoming Dance. "Maximum Ride, you don't ever have to be afraid as long as I'm still breathing. Everything is going to be perfect, as long as we have each other to lean on."

I swallowed hard, overcome with the amount of love I had for this boy. It was unreal how I had went from despising everything about Fang to adoring every possible thing about him. And it was scary, but I trusted Fang. As long as we had each other, as corny as it sounded, then I knew everything would be okay. I smiled up at him. "What movie did you get that off of?" I leaned against him, wrapping my arms around his waist.

Fang grinned. "Oh, just some movie about two neighbors who hated each other but in the end, realized that it wasn't hate, it was just Neighborly Love."

"Ah," I grinned. "I'll have to watch this movie your talking about."

Fang grinned. "It's my favorite."

And then he kissed me again and I knew without a doubt that I loved, loved LOVED Nick Gomez.

Please go to the next chapter for the endnotes, special thanks, info. On the prequel, etc. (:


So, the end of Neighborly Love has finally came.

I wanted to make a page to specially thank every single person who has reviewed my story and took the time to read it. You're reviews are really what kept this story going.

Special Thanks To: ZeZe (I love, love LOVE Nick Gomez).

.Pops.101(Chocolate Chip Cookies Idea).

Also, kudos to the three people who got my 10 Things I Hate About You quote :P I love that movie.

Nudge's Problem: I contemplated a bunch of things I could put in as 'Nudge's Problem,' but in the end, I decided to leave it up to all of your imaginations :P You can substitute whatever you want as Nudge's problem (:

Neighborly Love in Fang's Point of View: I have decided to go along with this idea, HOWEVER, the first chapter of Fang's point of view will not be out until around November or December. I know some writers get bored with writing the same story, so I wanted to sort of 'take a break' from Neighborly Love. I also do want to possibly pursue some other ideas, as well as work on Repair. I will do NL in Fang's point of view and when I post the first chapter, I will put a notice on this story so it'll alert everyone who has this story on their alert list (:

I hope the bonus chapter was rewarding enough and I just want to thank you all again for sticking with this story and offering advice, constructive criticism, and compliments xD They all helped a lot.

I feel like I am forgetting something….xD

Until next time,

-Nova Ride

23. Note about the Update

Hey everybody!(:

First, I hope everybody had a good New Years!

And secondly, I would like to announce that I have decided not to do Neighborly Love in Fang's Point Of View. After a burst of inspiration, I have decided to do a sequel to Neighborly Love, instead.

I've been planning it out for quite some time, trying to work out the kinks. I really hope I am not disappointing anybody, but I thought this would be a better path to go down, versus just rewriting the story in Fang's point of view.

Anyhow, the sequel will be called, in order to sort of go along with Neighborly Love – College Love. Since this story is about Max and Fang's college experiences, I thought the title would be fitting(: Although, I must thank jump4life for the wonderful suggestion. She's a GENIUS!

The first chapter will be posted very soon. I will put an update here, on Neighborly Love, the day I put the sequel up.

Thanks to all who read and reviewed Neighborly Love! It really does mean a lot, and here's hoping that you all will enjoy College Love!


-Nova Ride

24. College Love

The first chapter of College Love is now up. I apologize for the wait; I'm not going to give you a bunch of excuses – I'm just lame. But, I am sorry.