Turns out a lot of you thought Max was dead. Or Shadow was dead. Or someone was dead. Sure, I have myself to blame for labeling the chapter "Death", but I assure you. No one has died.
Can I ask you something? Have you ever seen someone you really, really, care about get thrown across a field by her ex-boyfriend because you didn't want to get off your ass and fight? No? Well, then I can only hope you can imagine what happens next... No? Let's just say it isn't good.
I've faced a lot of lost- merely as a child, back when I was human. My parents were normal people, my dad was a professor at the college that was down the street while my mom was a social worker. They even named us normal names- I was Peter, Sterling was John, and my eldest brother was Scott. Even though I was four when they died, I still remember little things about them- the way my mom smelled as she hugged me, the sound of my dad laughing as he threw me up in the air. Maybe I only remember them because those were the only times I remember actually feeling safe.
After my parents died my brothers and I went to live with my dad's older sister- who so happened to be an alcoholic. I had been the youngest brother of three and often when our Aunt got into moods, my brothers would send me upstairs to do some unimportant task that would take hours to do. They never stopped into my room to say anything to me after my aunt had calmed down and I just laid there listening to their breathing on the other side of the thin wall that separated our rooms.
But one night, our aunt got a little over done and started screaming so loud, even I could hear her from my room where my brothers had told me to clean. I heard things breaking and suddenly I heard Scott yelp, John crying, and the front door slam shut. I ran out into the hallway to the top of the stairs where I saw John crying over Scott, blood was everywhere- coating Johns hands and face, the white walls, and all over Scott. At the time I was to young to realize what was going on, merely that Scott wasn't moving and he should be.
I ran down the stairs and sat next to Scott across from John. "Wake up," I whispered. When he wouldn't answer I turned to John and asked, "Why isn't he waking up?"
"Because of you!" John screamed at me. "All of it is because of you! The reason all the people we love are dead, the reason we had to leave all our friends, the reason I'm stuck with you! It's all because of you!"
Tears ran down my face. "You're wrong," I whispered. "Mom said I was special."
"Yeah, well Mom said a lot of things when she was alive. You know what, I think she actually said all that to shut you up! You would never shut up."
"Just leave me alone!"
After that I ran up to my room and cried myself to sleep. The next day people in suits and whitecoats were in my room, telling me to pack and get ready to go. A black car was parked in front of the house and the whitecoats helped me get in. Before they could drive away I caught a glimpse of John standing in my room smirking.
"Wait," I said.
"What?" A Suit asked.
"We forgot my brothers!"
They just laughed and drove off, leaving my second home behind.
After that things became a blur, training and missions- mostly killing people the School didn't like. When I was seven John showed up, I was so happy to see him, I smiled and ran up to hug him, but before I could he threw me across the room into a wall.
"John?" I asked.
"My name is Sterling now." Then he just walked away into another hallway, leaving me confused and in pain. We grew up away from each other, but when we did it usually involved he hitting me in some way. When I was 14, a whitecoat told me it was because he was jealous that I was a more success full experiment than him. All I knew was that my family consisted of me and only me. Team of one. Faithful destroyer of all.
I resented my position as top assassin after I turned 15 and was ordered to kill a rogue four year old boy. Maybe it had to do with the fact the boy reminded me of me. I hated my job, always looking for a way out of it, but not finding any. Until the school ordered me to kill the experiment called Maximum Ride.
My life had consisted of people using my talents- my parents had used my innocence to conceal secrets (which actually was the reason they died), my aunt used me as target practice, the School used my powers. Max was the first one who didn't. After I had rescued Max from the tree that was tearing up her hands, she took me to a Mc'Donalds and bought me tons of food because "I had to keep up my energy levels".
What had really started my infatuation with Max was her sense of humor. She was the only one who ever really made me laugh- causing Diet Coke to come out my nose. Even though I was constantly getting orders to get the job done, I kept making excuses... until I happened to turn a kiss into something more... if you know what I mean. That was when I realized I was in love with Maximum Ride. And if that wasn't enough, we found out she was pregnant with the twins a few week after.
I had to save her, even if I died trying.
Getting to her shouldn't be a problem, I thought. First of all, Fang may have super strength, but he had no clue how to fight, second of all, the flock was completely shocked and in no condition able to stop me if I did escape Fang. While I waited for the right moment, I checked to see if Max was still breathing- she had to be alive in order for me to save her- which she was but I could hear her heartbeat slowing down.
After a few seconds I caught my opportunity. Fang's foot was in a downward motion to my ribs when I grabbed it and broke his ankle. He yelped and in confusion but his weight of the broken ankle. His foot bent in a funny way no foot should ever bend and in result, his leg bone broke through is skin. While I stood up and knocked him unconscious, I vowed I would heal him after Max.
Even though Fang had broken a few bones, my powers were healing them as I limped over to Max. Before I could get there I felt someone tackle me and a punch to the back left me gasping for air. Fang, I thought. He just can't quit can he?! I rolled over onto him and elbowed him in the ribs and added a punch to the face for good measure.
"You're a monster!" he yelled spitting out a tooth. "You don't deserve to be with her!"
"What, and you do?" I asked as I punched him again. "You had your chance and you wasted it on some random bimbo!"
"Don't talk about her like that!" he screamed as he threw me off his chest. Before I knew which way was up, I hit a tree and fell to the floor of the forest.
"Why?" I asked. "That's what she was wasn't she? Or did you want me to say some random whore?"
"At least I'm not a murderer!" By now I was struggling to lift myself off the floor but I my arms struggled with the weight my body was putting on them.
"Neither is Shadow Ride!" I shouted back to him, hoping he wouldn't notice how I couldn't lift myself up. Fang got up and hopped over to me- not as funny as you'd imagine- and lifted me up by my throat. Before he could strangle me to death someone hit him over the head with a rock. His eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fell, taking me with him.
When I looked up I saw Iggy standing there with a rock the size of a pencil box at his feet.
"Max is dying," he whispered. "Save her." With him helping me and a few stumbles, we managed to get over to Max in one piece.
Carefully, I lowered my self next to her and watched as a blue flame lit my hand. I placed it on her gently and watched as she healed. She still had a head wound when I started to feel a draw on my power. I ignored it until my bones began to ache with a familiar pain that meant I had passed my limit. Still, I held my hand to her face until the head wound was completely shut.
My blood was rushing past my ears so the only thing I could hear was my heart pumping. But when Max opened her eyes and looked up at me, I knew it would all be okay.
Until she slapped me. My neck snapped to the right and I groaned- not that I could hear it, my blood had just gotten louder if possible. When I turned around again I saw Max's lips moving really fast as she made exagerated hand movements all the while, her face turning a darker and darker red. For the first time, I was glad my blood was so loud I couldn't hear her, because she looked pissed.
Then, out of nowhere, she started crying and hugging me to her with all her strength. As soon as her arms were around me, I wrapped my arms around her and pressed her so tightly to me you couldn't fit a piece of paper between us. I could feel how tired I was then, it really took a lot of energy to heal her and fight Fang. The blackness creeped around my vision, but before it could take me completely, I whispered, "I'm sorry."