Hi there! Okay, that sounded lame. What a great way to start off my story! Let's try again, shall we? Hey, my name is Max. I live with my mom, my little sister Ella, and my adopted little sister Nudge. That's it. No Dad. Well, I'm sure I had a dad, at one point, but Mom doesn't like to talk about him. She once said something about him being too obsessed with science and not paying any attention to her. What-ever.

Okay, so here's the deal. We just moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Mom got this new promotion in Raleigh and we all kind of just wanted to try something new. So here we are, a new state, a new home, and even new neighbors. Hey, speaking of neighbors, Mom has this childhood friend who lives right beside us. Or in front of us. I'm not really sure. I'll explain the neighbors. I got, like, a background check of them.

Childhood Friend/neighbor:

Name: Hannah Cook

Husband: It's 'complicated'

Age: 40

Occupation: Professional Chef (Oh, the irony)

Children: Two sons (Isaac 'Iggy' Cook, who was blind, & Fuller 'Fang' Cook)

Ages: Both 16 (My age)

So that's basically all I need to know. And I'm not a stalker or anything, I just think it's important to know who I'm dealing with. Rule # 1 in the Guide to Surviving This Suckish World: Don't. Trust. Anyone. Okay, back to... whatever I was talking about. Let's start with the day we all met.

I was downstairs, minding my own business- WAIT. That's not entirely true. Rewind!

I was downstairs, having a very intense staring contest with Ella. We were at our new house and Mom went to go and bring over our new neighbors (AKA- her friend) Nudge was being nice and being our referee. You should see our staring contests. They basically consist of Ella and me all up in each other's faces death glaring at one another. They usually go too far. Like now for instance. I was whispering things like: 'Ella, you are a banana. Ella, I'm the one who broke your iPod. Ella, you are sooo going to lose.' I said these things to either A: Get her to laugh, B: Get a strong reaction out of her, or C: Basically to be mean. I put my freezing cold hands (I'd been playing with an ice cube) on either side of her face; she winced, but stayed strong and held her brown eyes open. I heard the door open and footsteps, but we ignored it- there was a competition being held.

"Max, I ate the last chocolate chip cookie", Ella said. I almost, almost, turned toward the cookie jar, but stopped myself just in time. Ella smirked. I barred my teeth.

"You did not."

"Check for yourself."

"Why, you little twerp."

Ella just smiled, and blew on my face, trying, once again, to get me to blink.

"Not a chance", I whispered. Right then, a hand landed hard and smacked the table. Ella and I both jumped and blinked. Just as Mom was saying "Look girls!", Ella and I groaned really loudly.

"Oh! You both lost! Oh, that sucks! You blinked at, like, the exact same time!" Nudge was shouting, but smiling. Ella covered her face with her hands as I ran to the kitchen, checking for- yes, the last cookie. I stuck it in my mouth and walked back to Ella. She was looking at Mom with a 'You did not just do that' face.

"Sorry, hon. I didn't know you were playing that game", Mom said sheepishly.

"Game? Momma, it's not a game anymore, it's a war. I'm getting better, and I almost beat her this time."

"Keyword being almost." I said as I walked back to the kitchen table, cookie sticking half way out of my mouth. "Nice tactic, Ella. I almost fell for it." I'd turned to look at Mom, who was just smiling at us, and then behind her, where there was an unfamiliar woman and two tall guys. Mom followed my line of sight, and gasped.

"Oh, right! I forgot. Girls, this is my friend, Hannah, from grade school. She's the one who I've been talking about. Well, these are her two sons, Fang and Iggy" Mom looked at the neighbors and said, "These are my girls: Nudge, Ella, and Max." By that time, my cookie was gone, and Nudge was beaming at our new neighbors.

Hannah said, "It's great to meet you." We nodded.

You know those moments when no one is talking and it's really awkward? Well... yeah. We were all just kind of looking everywhere except each other, and I could just hear the crickets. One of the boys, he had this blondish reddish hair, coughed. Mom clapped her hands together. "So, I'm going to talk to Hannah at her house. I want you all to get to know each other", she said mostly to me. "And Max? Didn't I tell you to get dressed?"

"Yes you did", I stated, knowing for a fact I was wearing solid black pajama pants and a t-shirt with 'Got Wings?' on it. Nudge got it for me for Christmas last year, after I became obsessed with hawks and birds and stuff. Don't ask. Birds are cool. I suddenly came back to reality and saw that everyone was looking at me. Nudge waved bye to Mom and Hannah as I grabbed a handful of grapes out of our grape bowl- yes, we have a bowl specifically for grapes; don't judge me- and sat back down across from Ella, who was pretty much done with pouting.

"You guys wanna sit?" I looked at the guys and motioned toward the rest of the seats. The strawberry blond walked over to the chair beside me. The other guy was around the same height and was wearing all black (He even had dark hair and eyes); he came to sit at the head of the table, kind of far away. "So, which one is Fang and which one is Iggy?" I asked.

Strawblond (Isn't that a cool nickname? It's a mix between strawberry and blond) smiled and said, "I'm Iggy. That's Fang." He pointed the dark one. How did he even know where his brother was?

"Are you, like, unidentical twins or something?" asked Nudge.

"Fraternal", I murmured.

"I was adopted", Iggy explained.

"Same with Nudge", I motioned to her.

"Yeah, Mom adopted me when I was three, but I hardly even notice because it's like I was born into this family. It's cool that Ella and I are the same age and everything because I grew up with a twin sister who wasn't really my blood relative. It's just like you guys because you're the same age even though you're Max's age-"

"So what do you guys do for fun?" Ella interrupted, thank God. Iggy, of course, answered, while Fang just sat there, emotionless, looking at everyone.

"There's this really big movie theater near here. There's a skate park and a huge mall, too," I rolled my eyes when Nudge smiled really big. Total, our little black schnauzer, started scratching on the back door.

"I'll let him in!" Ella said and stood up, making her way to the anxious little pup. We all watched her, except for Fang, who was looking at me. I looked back. He wasn't breaking away, so I crossed my eyes at him and made a funny face. He raised his eyebrows at me and I smiled. Ah, it's fun to mess with people. When Ella sat back down, I looked spoke up to Fang.

"Do you talk?" I asked, curious to why he was being so freaking quiet.

He looked at me for a second. "Nope", he said, slightly shaking his dark head and looking away.

I smiled and Iggy chuckled. "No one has ever asked him that."

"Glad to be the first," I said, smiling yet again. Just then, the front door swung open and in came Mom and Hannah, soaking wet.

"Fall down a well?" I asked them.

"It's pouring outside!" said Mom.

"Didn't you notice?" asked Hannah.

"Oh! No I didn't. Probably because we were talking. Wow! It is raining, like, a whole lot!" Said Nudge while Ella and Iggy laughed their heads off.

"Come on, guys, we have to get back to our house. Did you all get to know each other?" asked Hannah and her sons nodded. "Alright, we'll be back later." She waved to us.

"Bye!" said Ella and Nudge.

"How was it?" asked Mom, who was drying her hair with a dish towel.

"I like them" said Nudge. "Well, I like Iggy; Fang just won't talk. Well, Max got him to say something, but that was just one word. I don't think I would ever be able to keep quiet that long!"

"I thought they were pretty cool", said Ella.

"They're different", I said.

"Good. They are coming over later to eat pizza with us."

I nodded and headed off to my new room.

"Oh and Max?" said Mom. I turned around.

"Get dressed."

I rolled my eyes.