Well, here it is.
The grand finale!
Thanks to all the previous reviews...I am forver thankful.
You are the reason this story exsists.
Sorry it took so long for the ending:-(
Anyway, I hope you enjoy! I had fun writing it!
"You, Max," I admitted. "I'm most afraid of losing you." I subtly held my breath as I glanced at Max to see her reaction to my forward comment. To my dismay, she was sleeping. "Oh, Max," I sighed, failing my second attempt to reveal my innermost thoughts.
Frustrated, I roughly ran my free hand through my dark hair. I forced myself to focus on the task at hand, to keep watch. Though, I found it extremely difficult, feeling Max's warm body pressed against mine, her soft hair tickling my neck.
I ended up taking watch all night. Iggy would have gladly taken over, but that would have meant disturbing Max's peaceful slumber, which I couldn't bring myself to do. She looked so serene curled up in my gentle embrace. I almost dozed off a couple times. It didn't matter though; the night was essentially uneventful.
Max began to stir as the first rays of sunlight peeked over the treetops. I unobtrusively pulled my numb arm out from behind her waist. Her big beautiful eyes blinked open and she studied my face. Her expression told me nothing; I couldn't tell what she had heard or remembered from last night.
"Good morning," I whispered to her, hoisting myself into a standing position. Max smiled her gorgeous smile at me as I offered her my hand.
I pulled her off the forest floor, her grin turning into a grimace. "Were you on watch all night?" she asked irritably.
Way to go, Fang, I thought to myself. I should have known she would be angry with me for not waking her up, even if it was with the best intentions. "Yeah, I guess," I said stubbornly.
A disgusted look fell onto Max's face. "How many times must I tell you to quit trying to be the hero? How do you expect to be an asset to the flock if you are falling asleep while you fly?" I stood quietly as I listened to her reprimand me.
My mind trailed as I gazed at Max's displeased expression. Her long, uncombed hair was strewn messily around her neck and shoulders, her eyes livid and intense. Her clothes were wrinkled from sleeping in them all night. Her cheeks became rosy as she fumed, telling me how irresponsible I was. Her anger made her all the more striking.
"Fang, are you even listening to me?" Max demanded, bringing my attention back to our one-way conversation.
I had no answer. I just stood awkwardly in from of her, keeping my dark eyes downcast, away from hers.
"I'm going to wake up the rest of the flock," she groaned, aggravated. I watched her stalk off, the same captivating beauty echoing in her steps.
Suddenly, I thought I heard something in the distance, or perhaps it was a lack of sound that aroused my suspicion. Either way, I cautiously glanced around my, through the dense forests, up at the clear sky. Clear, except a series of sinister clouds floating rapidly towards us. Except…it dawned on me. Those clouds were moving much to fast to truly be what I had thought.
"Max!" I said, and undercurrent of anxiety in my voice, pointed my finger at the quickly approaching enemies. "Erasers!"
Her eyes widened in fear, but she regrouped herself instantly, continuing to wake the kids. I admired her ability to stay calm. The flock wouldn't be the same without her motherly instincts.
I took the responsibility of waking Iggy. "Hey, man, get up. No time to waste," I said, forcibly shaking his shoulder.
"What's going on?" he asked, sensing the foreboding nature of my words.
I hastily summed up the situation. "Swarm of flying Erasers. You have to watch the kids." Iggy instantly stood, seemingly disappointed to be missing out on the action. Though, he knew someone would have to watch the younger members, and Max and I would be the best candidates to fight the Erasers, both of us actually being able to see.
Max instructed the only half-awake flock to hide deep in the woods. She and I were going to meet the vile creatures in the air, and come back for the rest of the flock when it was safe.
Looking into Max's eyes, I could sense the fear she was trying to hide. I reached over and reassuringly squeezed her hand. "We'll be fine," I muttered, trying to make myself believe it.
Allowing myself no more time to fret, I jumped into the air, unfurling my dark wings. I aggressively pulled myself above the trees and veered toward the threatening swarm, Max by my side.
As we approached, the lead Eraser grinned at us sardonically. I glared disdainfully back at him, adrenaline pumping through my veins.
"Only two?" he questioned, looking back at the rest of his pack. A few of the monsters cackled manically, and for the first time I realized how many of them there were. Far too many for just the two of us to fight. One look at Max told me she was thinking the same thing. I brushed the very tip of my onyx wing against her tan feathers, one last bit of contact before we bolted head first into our doom.
The first few Erasers were easily beat. A solid blow to the chest knocked the wind out of one and it went plummeting toward the trees. The next was a punch in the nose and a roundhouse kick to the temple. But as time wore on, I gradually became more tired and hurt. It didn't help that a new wave of Erasers attacked me every time I dispatched of one.
A glance over at Max told me that she fared no better. She looked exhausted and worried. Her left eye was swelling and her nose was bloodied.
Then, a group of about twenty of the biggest Erasers I have ever seen flew in her direction. I took out the wolf I had been battling, and came to her rescue.
"I'm fine!" she yelled over the sounds of the carnage.
"I won't lose you!" I screamed back to her, dislocating an enemy wing. Just then, I took a hit to the place no guy wants to be kicked. These tactics were low, even for the hideous Erasers.
Unfortunately though, it worked. Consumed in the temporary pain, I forgot to flap for a second. The feeling of dropping through the air and the sighting of the approaching pines brought me back to reality. I flew upward as fast as I could, trying to locate Max in the enemy crowd. She was nowhere to be seen.
Oh, my God!
I shot like a bullet out of a gun into the knot of Erasers. Kicking and punching, I spun frantically in circles, scanning the crowd for Max's familiar tan wings, her blonde hair, anything.
No such sight eased my panic, and my eyes narrowed murderously, seeing red. I exploded, taking my fury and fear out on anything around me that moved. I lost sight of full objects, only target points. A long snout. A temple. Unguarded ribs. All were vulnerable, and I took advantage of their defenselessness. I vowed I would not rest until Max was avenged, wherever she was.
I did not tire, the adrenaline pumping through my system made sure of that. Eraser after Eraser dropped out of the sky, splattering on the trees below. Falling to join Max? I winced at the depiction. Max, bloody and disfigured, hanging limply over a think tree branch.
In time, all the enemies were gone; dead, injured, or retreating back to wherever they had come from. Teeth clenched, I dropped to the ground, trying to find what had happened to my best friend.
I walked along the trunks of trees, looking upward, fearing the worst. I witnessed quite a few Erasers I had defeated, draped among the canopy, some groaning in agony, others making no sound at all.
It felt like forever, looking for Max. Eventually, I decided that the search would be more effective with more flock members to help. Unfortunately, that meant informing them about our predicament.
I put on my typical emotionless face, but inside I was a wreck. Max, my Max, was missing. I turned the corner to enter the cave the kids were concealed in. Closing my eyes and taking a deep breath, I took a step into the dark shelter.
"Fang?" I heard the familiar voice echo through the cave. I opened my eyes, a grin spreading from ear to ear.
"Max!" I said, taking her into my arms. "I was so scared. I thought I'd lost you," I whispered into her ear, tightening my embrace around her. She sobbed into my shoulder, leaving a darkened water spot on my already black t-shirt.
Pulling her away, I took her shaking hand in mine, leading her outside. The youngest members of the flock moved to follow, but I motioned for them to stay. Max and I needed to speak alone.
We walked in silence for a while, returning to the clearing we had resided in the night before.
"Max, I…" I said, turning toward her.
"Fang, I…" Max spoke simultaneously. A flush appeared on her cheeks.
I looked down at my feet. "You go first," I muttered.
"I'm sorry, Fang. In the fight, an Eraser grabbed my ankle and pulled me down. I fought him on the ground then, and when I was done, I couldn't find you in the air. So, I went back to the cave. We were all just about to go look for you and…" she rambled on.
"As long as you're not hurt," I said, interrupting her.
"A few cuts and bruises, but nothing too bad." I nodded my head, but I was unsure that she saw me. Retaining the silence, we walked on into the woods. "You were going to say something?" Max asked cautiously, not wanting to pry.
I stumbled around for a reply. I knew what I wanted to say, but I had no idea how to tell her. Stopping again, I stepped in front of her, grasping her delicate fingers. She looked up at me, eyes wide and apprehensive.
"For a while now I wanted to tell you this, but I wasn't sure how. The truth is, Max," I breathed deep, trying to calm the slight stutter that had slipped into my speech. "Is that…I love you."
Her mouth opened, then closed again, obviously at a loss for words. I felt a wave of heat roll up my neck and onto my face. Not wanting to push her to respond, I began to turn back to our little hide out.
Then Max stopped me, her hands cupping my face. She turned me toward her, and I caught a glimpse of adoration in her eyes as my lips crashed down on hers. I wrapped my arms around her, holding her close. I felt the gentle curve of her soft lips against mine, resistant to end this moment.
We slowly pulled away from one another, but I didn't let go of her waist. "I love you too, Fang," she said, slightly abashed.
I kissed her again, and then turned back to the cave. "We should probably go get the rest of the flock," I grinned, not releasing my hold on her hand. She followed me toward camp, her eyes sparkling and smile glowing.
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