Hello people of FanFiction! This MR story picks up where James Patterson left off in MR4. It may not exactly fit, but I'll try my best. Some exceptions: Angel has not fully recovered yet, the Voice isn't giving up the coordinates just yet, and Max still wants to lay low. It's going to have a good amount of chapters, so look out for updates! This story is more than just a cushy romance, especially here towards the beginning, just to let you know. But let's hope that's not all you're looking for. Hope you like it!

Chapter 1

"Where are we going?" Nudge asked.

Good question, I thought. I had no idea where we were going. We were flying through the air, somewhere over northern Virginia. My heart was unusually light as I moved my wings powerfully through the afternoon air. The voice in my head normally would have told me where to go, but it had been pretty quiet lately, which I didn't exactly mind. I was more than capable of figuring things out for myself.

"I think we should lay low again for awhile until we can figure out the next step in the whole 'saving-the-world' mess," I told Nudge and the rest of the flock.

"Wait," Gazzy said, "So you don't know exactly where we're going?"

I admitted, "Well, no-"

The flood of suggestions suddenly came at me.

"Ooh, let's go back to New York!" Nudge squealed, "It's so pretty and stylish! Ooh, and shopping! We have to do lots of shopping! And food! We have to eat lots of food! I want like, three footlongs from the hot dog vender!"

Her eyes sparkled at the thought of tasting a hot dog again.

"I always wanted to see Barcelona," Total added from his spot inside my jacket.

"No, we aren't going all the way back to Europe. It's too long of a flight, and it's too far away from my mom and Ella." My heart gave a little pang. I missed them already. A lot. Forgive my sap.

"Why don't we go to your mom's house and wait for her to come back?" Angel suggested, reading my thoughts, knowing how happy it would make me to be in the house with Mom and Ella again, watching Mom baking those sinfully amazing chocolate chip cookies.

"No. We can't, Angel, it's too soon. We've already put them in enough danger."

But thanks for thinking of me, I thought at her, you really are an angel.

She smiled weakly and sent her thoughts to me, saying, I know I'm not. Thanks, anyway.

Angel frowned and moved sideways away from me. I hated seeing her like that. I knew she was still feeling bad about what had happened in Antarctica. I could never hold it against her, though. She's just a six-year-old, and I can't stay mad at her for wanting to check out the penguins up close. Even if it did almost cause the death of her, Fang, Total, Akila, and myself from hypothermia. Whatever. No big deal. Not our first brush with death. I would have to talk to her later.

"I wanna go to Hawaii!" Gazzy exclaimed, putting on his sweetest smile, "I hear it's warm, and the beaches are amazing, and there's huge volcanoes and pineapples and pig roasts and hula dancers and-"

"I would not mind hula dancers," Iggy said wistfully.

"You wouldn't even be able to see them!" Nudge said.

Iggy shrugged. "I would have Fang describe them to me."

That didn't make me happy. I'm not completely sure why. Fang, who was carrying Akila, just kept flying, ignoring Iggy. Whatever.

"I'm still on board for Hawaii," Total said, having suggested Hawaii back in Antarctica. He could get pretty annoying sometimes, but it would break Angel's heart if we just dumped him somewhere like I had wanted to do ever since he had shown up. Nudge squealed, "And we could swing by that air balloon festival that you wanted to see, Max!"

"We already missed that. It was a couple of weeks ago, I think," I told her. Again, whatever. Just a tiny disappointment on my life-long list of disappointments.

I know everyone wanted to be somewhere warm and pretty and interesting, but I just didn't feel like Hawaii was the right place.

"Guys, we're not going to Hawaii. We would still have to cross part of the ocean."

"But I wanna go to Hawaii!" Total whined. Akila was far enough away that he didn't have to put on his 'macho' act like he usually did in front of her.

"No, Total."

"Don't be such a stiff! Hey, maybe if we go there, you can do a little limbo-ing and loosen up a bit," he said.

That was it. In case you couldn't guess, the whole 'lighthearted' feeling was gone by now. "Total, say one more thing like that, and I will unzip this jacket and let you fall through that cloud and down to the ground, which I'm guessing would be unpleasant for one of us. And no, it wouldn't be me. And don't even think those baby wings will save you."

Heh, I pride myself on being such a nice person.

Total backed off, scooting a bit farther down into my jacket, mumbling something that I didn't even want to try to understand.

"Ooh, let's go back to Texas!" Nudge cried, unable to focus on one destination, "They have the best cheerleaders ever!"

Why on earth does she want to go back to New York and Texas? Because things just went so well there the first time...

Iggy whistled. "Cheerleaders," he said simply. I knew what he was thinking.

"I'm rolling my eyes, Iggy," I said.

I don't always understand Nudge. She's almost always talking, and when she gets older, she wants to be a cheerleader and an actress and a marine biologist and own a chocolate factory like Willy Wonka's. Well, that's the list at the moment, anyway. I think it's nice that somehow she still has the ability to dream, though. Unrealistic, but refreshing.

I need to land, Max. Now.

It was Angel. Her arm was still in a sling from when Gozen broke it, and her sprained ankle was wrapped up, making it ten times harder to fly. Plus she was still weak from the whole almost-froze-to-death-in-Antarctica situation.

"Heading down, guys," I said. I looked for a safe place to land and picked a bunch of trees not too far from a little strip mall. We all touched down gracefully, hardly making a sound, except for Angel. She hovered over the ground for a moment, not wanting to land on her ankle. She finally landed on the ground, not-so-gracefully, balancing on one foot.

I quickly scoured the area for possible danger, then went over to check out Angel. "What's wrong?" She was on the ground, leaning up against a tree.

"I'm just really tired. And hungry. I can't keep going right now, Max. I'm sorry." She looked like she was holding back tears.

I dropped onto my knees and gave her a quick, gentle hug, smoothing the hair out of her face. "It's okay, Angel. We'll find somewhere safe to rest for a while after I go find some food. Okay?"

She nodded and closed her eyes. Total came up and licked her hand, followed by Akila. As soon as I let go, Gazzy came over and hugged his sister, and it was almost like one of those little Precious Moments figurine things my mom has or a Hallmark card… Except for the winged dog, of course. And the dirt and the sweat and the injuries...

I stood up, feeling Fang's eyes on my back.

I turned to him and said, "Stay here and keep her safe. I'll be right back."

He nodded silently, not looking at me. We had been getting on each other's nerves lately. I turned away, ready to take flight, not wanting to deal with Fang and his problems.

"I'm coming with you," Nudge said.

"Me too," Iggy said, "Stores have lots of colors."

"Fine, let's go," I said, walking through the trees toward the strip mall.

There's Chapter 1 for you. Reviews, especially ones with constructive criticism, are loved and adored. If you make a suggestion, I will be sure to consider it. Also, ask questions about anything unclear, and I'll do my best to answer them. Thank you!

-Skye Maxwell