This is a Mari oneshot that I wrote a while ago, but haven't gotten around to actually posting. It can take place at any time in the future, and to be honest, I have nothing else to say here, so I'll shut up and let you read the story.

Disclaimer:I do not own Maximum Ride.

"Pick, Max. It's time for you to pick."

The dread was so powerful that it seemed to choke her as she stared at her family, all five of them, pinned down and restrained, guns pointed at their head. Ari's hairy arm was wrapped tightly around her slim waist, holding her to him. She could feel something pressed against the small of her back, and was pretty sure she knew what it was, but didn't let herself think about it.

Her Flocks' lives, at the cost of her own freedom, or their death on her consciousness as she roamed free?

It was almost too easy.

"Ari…" She said his name, letting her voice trail off as she gathered strength to continue. He sighed, seeming to enjoy the way his name sounded when she said it, as his free hand came to her cheek, stroking it lightly.

Max's voice trembled slightly as she continued, "I've decided. I'll…I'll go with you. Don't hurt them, let them go, please."

She could almost feel Ari smile, and shivered when he shifted slightly, and her suspicions as to what the hard thing she could feel was were confirmed.

The almost painful surge of joy that rushed through Ari was overwhelming. Max had chosen him. Of course, she had no real control in the matter, but it didn't matter. She was coming with him, to be his friend and lover.

He almost didn't hear his Voice.

Ari, this is no time to be gloating. There's still a chance she could escape, you should leave now.

He would listen to his Voice, but not right away. It was time for Ari to have a little fun with his pretty toy.

Ari lowered his head to Max's shoulder, pulling the thin fabric of the tank top she wore in defense against the hot summer son between his teeth, and slid it off, baring her pale shoulder. Pressing his mouth to her warm skin, he kissed the soft flesh, nipping at it gently. He could hear Fang growl, but ignored him; he was going to enjoy every moment of this.

He licked at her skin, kissing his way towards her neck, until he reached the little dent between shoulder and neck. Ari's tongue, become more and more Eraser-like by the second, dipped into the indent, moving around, licking up the sweat and smells of Max.

After a minute, he moved up Max's neck, loving the sweet, sweet taste of her skin. Almost involuntarily, he groaned, grinding his hips into her rear, forcing her to arch back towards him by tightening his grip on her waist. She tried to pull away, not liking the way the thing pressed on her back seemed to be growing, and how there were flecks of slobber dotting her now-bare shoulder.

Ari found her earlobe, and pulled it between his lips, sucking gently, still grinding into her from behind. When she panicked, trying to twist out of his grasp, he growled, and bit down on it, liking the startled cry that fell from her lips.

He released her ear lobe, and opened his mouth, allowing his tongue to slide out. He flicked it against the back of her ear, finding the sensitive spot where the ear met her head, and dragged his tongue along it. Max's knees nearly gave out, and the only thing that kept her standing was the arm still wrapped around her. The tiniest of moans fell from her lips, and Ari smiled, loving her reactions. It wouldn't be long before Max gave herself up to him forever, the way he needed her to be.

Max was his.