Please read intro!!!

Before each POV change, I'll tell you who it is. I don't know about you, but it drives me crazy when I can't figure out whose talking until I'm a few paragraphs in.

Whenever you see X X X it means that time passed and I didn't write what happened in that time because it would be boring. And not just boring for you to read but boring for me to write.

Set after The Final Warning and Eclipse.

I do not own Twilight or Maximum Ride. If I did, I would be a millionaire, which I am sadly not DX

Now…on with the story!!! Enjoy!

Max's POV

The sun light glittered off the huge lake beneath us. I have to admit, it was a beautiful sight. The clouds were sparse and fluffy, the air temperature on the ground in the mid-70's. So why wouldn't I just tell my flock to land near the lake and relax for a few hours on the beach?

Because I'm Maximum Ride and what is one very important, yet equally annoying thing, that makes me who I am? If you guessed 'getting attacked by robotic wolves frequently', congratulations! You win a $5000 trip to Paris!

In case you misunderstood my sarcasm and thought you were actually getting a trip to Paris, I'll elaborate: We (as in the flock and me) are currently fighting for our lives against Fly Boys.

"Scatter!"

I glanced to my right briefly to see Gazzy shove a bomb down a Fly Boy's throat. The flock flew in different directions: Iggy swooped down while cackling in anticipation; Fang darted left carrying Akila; Nudge sprinted up; Angel skipped backwards with Gazzy; and I grabbed Total, who could fly but not fast enough to avoid impact, then zoomed up near Nudge.

BOOM!!!

Fly Boy pieces were flying everywhere. The one that had the bomb in his throat…Not a sight I'd like to see again. Ever. It was gag-worthy to say the least. But apparently that didn't phase the Gasman or Iggy as they laughed in excitement over their latest invention. I rolled my eyes and scanned the area for extra Fly Boys.

Hello Max. I flinched when I heard the Voice.

Voice, long time no hear.

I have a new destination for you. Forks, Washington. There you'll find your mission will take an interesting turn.

It took me a second to think of a response. The Voice never says anything that will give me a hint of what's to come. I seized upon my chance to find out more. What's in Forks?

I really hadn't expected an answer, so it wasn't a surprise that silence greeted my question. I sighed and turned to my flock. They look at me expectantly. As far as I could see, the only injuries were minor cuts and bruises.

"Okay guys. The Voice told us where to go now. Forks, Washington. So, let's find the nearest town, locate a map, and then we'll be on our way." I was just turning to scan the land far below for any sign of a town when Nudge spoke up.

"Um, Max? I'm hungry."

"Okay quick change to the plan: Find a town, locate a map, get food, then we'll be on our way. Sound good?" Nudge nodded enthusiastically and smiled. I grinned back and returned to scanning for civilization.

Ah hah! About two miles away I spotted a road, and roads always lead to a place with food and maps. Twenty minutes later, the flock plus Total and Akila landed in an outcropping of trees close to a gas station. I strode purposefully toward the small building smelling strongly of gas (duh) with Angel and Iggy. Fang, Nudge and Gazzy were heading down the street to see if there was any quick place we could eat. Total and Akila went with them. I wonder if the place will allow dogs.

Iggy's finger was gently brushing against my shoulder to guide him in the right direction. We stepped inside and guess what was sitting right on the counter by the door. Maps. Someone up there must love me very much. Wait a second, I take that back. There were maps all right. But there were many, many confusing maps to choose from. I can imagine whoever is up there grinning evilly as they watched me stare at the overload of maps.

"You two go pick things we need, which includes food for tomorrow morning." Angel and Iggy nodded and walked toward the back of the store, Iggy's fingers resting lightly on her blonde, curly hair.

Meanwhile, I stood staring at all the freaking maps. Who knew this could be so complicated? I picked one at random and found that it was a map of this town. Why on earth would anyone need a map of a town this small? On the upside, I now knew that we were in Rigby, Idaho. Anyone from Rigby? You're one of the 3,000 people that live there. Congratulations.

My eyes travelled over the other maps until I found one of the continental U.S.A. way in the back. Well, it looks like we are not too far from Washington. I kept that map in my hand. It took me another minute to locate a map of Washington.

Are you and Iggy done?

Yes. Angel replied in her sweet little girl voice. I moved near the register and pulled out my mysterious credit card that never ran out of money. A few seconds later Angel and Iggy came up beside me with a few things. I looked them over and decided that they were reasonable.

We moved up to the register. The clerk barely glanced at us as she rang up our stuff and said the total in a bored voice. She handed us our bags and went back to reading the teen magazine she was oh-so engrossed in.

Fang was waiting outside a small diner a block down the street. Total and Akila had apparently not been allowed in the restaurant so they had to wait outside. Total grumbled under his breath as we walked by.

Fang led us inside to a booth where Nudge and Gazzy were already inhaling food. He slid in front of a pile of food and started chowing down. My stomach rumbled loudly as I looked over the menu. The elderly waitress came over and took our orders. She seemed like a nice lady and only frowned slightly at our big appetites.

Five minutes later, Angel, Iggy, and I were eating our food and enjoying every single bite. I couldn't remember the last time I had eaten something that wasn't on a stick. The check came a little while later. I once again used the magic credit card to pay for our large meal.

We grabbed the bags and headed back to the trees.

"So what did you get? I really hope it was something nice! Hey, where are we staying tonight? In another cave or in a nice forest? I wonder what Forks will be like? I think Forks is a weird name for a town. It would be funny if a town near it was named Spoon! Oh, and another could be named Spork!" Seeing as food wasn't making her incapable of talking anymore, Nudge launched into her infamous one-sided conversations. She started laughing at the end over her own joke.

I rolled my eyes and pulled out the maps I bought. Fang and I peered at the spread out maps on a somewhat-flat rock. He traced his finger along a path from Rigby, Idaho to Forks, Washington.

"Should only take us about eight hours." He murmured quietly.

I nodded and folded the maps back up. "Okay guys, U and A."

We snapped out our wings in unison and flew up into the sky. The sun was just starting to set.

I glanced back at the lake and saw the bright colors of the sunset reflected in the calm water. Beautiful. And I don't call things like sunsets 'beautiful' too often.

X X X

The sky was dark and filled with stars. We had finally dropped into a nearby forest when Angel had missed a beat while flying because of her exhaustion. The three youngest crashed right after our fist-stack. Total curled up against Angel's side while Akila curled up against Total. Iggy set the bags on a wide branch and laid down on the branch right below it. Fang volunteered to take the first watch.

I was just about to crash myself when Fang spoke quietly to me. "Max? Can I talk to you for a second?"

Oh boy. I hate talking about my feelings, which I'm pretty sure he wanted to do. I would rather saw at my own arm than talk about my feelings. (Yes, I know I've already sawed at my own arm. But, in my defense, I was under a world-load of stress and the Voice pushed me over the edge.)

I steeled myself and moved back toward him. My legs dangled off the branch I was sitting on.

"We need to talk…about us." Fang started. I already disliked this conversation.

"What about us?" My voice was hard without being cruel. Fang looked at me with his dark eyes that matched his dark hair and his dark clothes.

"You hated me with that girl in Virginia and I hated you with that guy in Virginia. Think about it Max, why did we hate seeing each other with other people? I don't about you, but I came up with the answer a long time ago." Fang stared at me intently, willing me to realize what my stubborn mind wouldn't acknowledge.

"Wake me up when it's my turn for watch." That was my brilliant response. Then I quickly got up and tried moving back to my branch but Fang caught my wrist. He stood up fast and pulled me back to him. Before I knew it, he had softly but firmly pressed his mouth to mine. I froze for a second before moving my arms around his neck. I don't know what changed this time, but I didn't run away.

Fang was surprised but happy that my arms pulled him closer. I could tell by the smirk I felt on his lips. He moved his hands up my back and massaged the place in between my wings. I gripped his hair and moved my lips more fiercely against his.

We were breathing hard and our kiss was becoming more heated with every second. I heard a rustle of wings behind me that made me jerk away from Fang. I looked at him for one second before my face flushed with embarrassment and I quickly moved back to my branch.

How could I forget the flock was only three feet away? If one of them woke up, they would see me and Fang making out. That just wouldn't be right. Fang would understand…if I had enough guts to talk to him, that is. Which I don't.

I shut my eyes and drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

X X X

It seemed like two seconds later that someone gently nudged me awake. Instantly I bolted upright and glanced around me. Fang was standing there looking at me. I turned away when he spoke.

"Your watch."

I nodded and moved to a branch near the center of the tree. I didn't glance back at Fang to see if he was watching me.

The forest all around the tree we were in was quiet at this time of the night. I guessed it to be around 1 A.M. During watch, all you're supposed to do is sit there and listen and look for any signs of a threat or even someone who might see us. You never know what could happen so you never should let your guard down. The cute little rabbit staring up at you could all of a sudden transform into a giant vicious creature created by the School to wipe out experiments. Yes, I know. One vicious, blood thirsty thing doesn't sound too bad. But if it's out here trying to find us, it has friends. Lots of friends. Sorry for those of you who like rabbits, but when you're us, anything is possible.

Just as the sun was starting to rise, I woke up my flock. Angel, Nudge, and Gazzy sleepily mumbled and yawned. They really were cute kids who didn't deserve a life on the run.

Total flew down to "take care of business" while I had to carry Akila down so she didn't break her bones trying to climb our high up tree. Once Total and Akila were back in the tree, I looked around my flock.

Someone had woken up Iggy and Fang, who were both passing out the stuff from the gas station. Iggy handed me two sandwiches, a medium sized bag of Doritos (yum!), and an orange Gatorade. Okay, it's not the most nutritious breakfast, but its food and we need to eat if we are going to be flying for four hours straight.

Luckily, there was a campsite nearby that had a trash can for us, so we didn't litter! Thank you government for setting up national parks. It helps all us bird kids out there who need a place to sleep and don't want to cause even more environmental harm.

X X X

"Okay. I think we're here."

Roughly four hours later, we landed in some trees overlooking a town. I checked the map. The location seemed right. But, what on earth could be interesting here? I was expecting something bigger, flashier, evil-er. And what do I get? A small rainy town surrounded by forest with about 3,000 people. Do you see why I'm a little stumped about what we need to do here?

"How about we go into town and check into a hotel or something." Angel offered with a shrug. She seemed confused too.

"Good idea, Ange."

So, we headed into town, found the nearest hotel, checked in, got two rooms, took showers, then the boys met up in the girl's room.

Nudge Channel was going the whole time about what is here, who is here, "Omg, is that a spider?!", what food options we have, if there is a mall, yada yada yada. I need to think of a plan and FAST!

X X X

I was lying in the bed at the hotel, staring at the ceiling, just thinking. Fang and I had kissed before, but I had always run away. The last kiss, I kissed him back. What was I thinking? That is going to ruin everything between us! We won't be able to talk like we used to, or ever be as close.

As my mind kept up the confused babble, I looked at the clock. 8:37. I sighed. Might as well wake everyone up. Just as I put my feet on the floor, the Voice decided to pipe in and make my whole world just that much brighter.

Good morning, Maximum.

I groaned slightly. I see you haven't left my head yet. Any chance of that happening?

Today seems like a good day to explore the town and the forest. Why don't you take the flock and try to relax.

Something tells me there's a hidden agenda involved.

There always is Maximum.

I took a deep breath. Might as well listen to him…her…it. It was hard to tell if the Voice was male or female.

"Okay, up and at 'em! Today, we are going exploring!"

Nudge groggily mumbled into her pillow. Angel clutched Celeste closer to her and didn't make a sound.

"Don't say I didn't warn ya." I said evilly while walking over to the thick curtains. I whipped them back fast…and frowned. Yes, light came into the room. No, it was not enough to wake them up. Is it always this rainy in Forks?

I shrugged. Time for a different approach. I jumped on the bed they were sharing and tickled them both. Angel sat bolt upright in bed and started squealing. Even I had to laugh at her cute little girl giggles. Nudge's body shook with laughter as she tried to avoid my fingers.

It was times like these, when I was having a good time with the flock, that I really appreciated the small things I had.

Wait a second…Did I just have a sappy, mushy moment? Me, Maximum Ride. Ugh, I think I did. Gross.

After a few minutes of laughter I hopped off their bed and went next door to the boy's room. Gazzy answered. He was yawning and only nodded when I told him that we were going exploring today. As I headed back to my room I heard their shower running and hoped they were all up.

I waited for Angel and Nudge to be done with their showers before I jumped in myself. My mind kept wandering back to what the Voice said. It seemed too…against the whole save-the-world plan it kept pushing on me that I was beyond curious and just wanted to know what the hell my purpose here was.

X X X

After a very filling breakfast, made by the Ig man, we were off. Into the sky, over the forest and town, routine scouting to figure out what was going on below. To be honest, there wasn't much. I'll give Forks this: If you like small towns, with relatively no big franchises, where its quiet and peaceful, then Forks is right for you. Not me. I loved the forests. I loved that we have been attack-free so far. But when you're on a mission to save the world and the Voice in your head tells you to stop here, its not easy figuring out why. Okay, I admit that a majority of people have no issue with that. I know I'm slightly crazy.

After a half an hour of pointless 'scouting'(really, that's all it took to memorize every piece of the town from the sky), we touched down in a nice clearing about a five minute flight from the hotel. Surprisingly, the rain had stopped and the clouds let up slightly. Angel and Nudge searched around the clearing for flowers with Total and Akila trailing behind. That seemed like an okay activity.

But I was more suspicious of what Iggy and Gazzy were muttering some way away. It had better not be another bomb. If it set off in the hotel…Oh, God that would cause so much trouble that wasn't needed.

I sighed and muttered under my breath as I turned away from the troublesome pair. And guess who was standing right there when I turned around. Yup. Fang. The guy who is my best friend and I made out with last night.

Fang and I stood staring at each other for a second. It was awkward. It had never been awkward between us.

I pointedly ignored the awkwardness. Right now, I needed to talk to my second-in-command. Badly.

"I don't know what is going on. The Voice gave specific instructions. Well, specific from the Voice, vague from anyone else. It told me to explore the town and forest today. To relax. Which it never says to me. Usually its 'Save the world, Maximum' 'It is your destiny to save the world'." I made a face at the end. More than once, I've heard the Voice telling me it's my duty and destiny to, well, 'save the world'. It gets pretty tiring after a while.

"Maybe there's something we need to find. In the town or the woods. Probably something to do with Itex." Fang, thankfully, acted only as my second-in-command and best friend. Nothing more.

Just as I was about to respond, I got tackled from behind. But this tackle didn't pump adrenaline into my veins faster than someone can say burrito. No, it was a tackle-hug. By two giggling girls.

Nudge squealed, "MAX!!! GUESS WHAT!!!"

I tried to act stern but they were so happy, it wouldn't make a difference. "What?"

Angel and Nudge yelled at the same time, "IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!"

Huh?

Angel laughed at my confusion. "I saw the date earlier! Its July 6th!"

"Wow. Really? Its my birthday?" I was kind of shocked. I guess I need to pay better attention to calendars.

Angel and Nudge had a pretty bouquet of flowers and they gave them to me with humongous smiles on their faces. Iggy and Gazzy walked over with grins. Even Fang, Mr. No Emotions, had a smile on his face. How did everyone know but me?

"Happy 15th birthday, Max!" I couldn't keep the smile off my face as I saw how happy everyone was. My smile faltered when Total jumped up and licked my face. Gross. Akila licked my hand and barked with a doggy-grin. Well, it's better than the face.

"Ah, the birthday. The one time of the year when the day should be all about you. I wish I knew when my birthday was." Total sighed wistfully. Sometimes, I have no idea how he learned to talk like that.

"Happy birthday Max." Fang's small smile was still in place as he pulled a small box out of his backpack. "From all of us."

I opened it warily. Big surprise, I don't accept gifts too easily. Giving gifts to the flock, I'm fine with that. Receiving them, not too much. (Oh boy. Sappy, sugary moment coming up.) All I really need is my flock safe and happy and I'll be more than fine.

"You really shouldn-"

Nudge cut me off with a very energetic "Open it!"

I pulled the lid off and gazed into the small box.

Now, I'm NEVER a girly girl. Should I repeat that? Yes, I should. NEVER a girly girl. But even I couldn't deny that the necklace was perfect. It was a light-weight silver chain with a thin circular charm on it. The charm was beautiful. Intricate spiral designs covered a swirling green and blue stone.

I loved it.

How much of a shocker is that?

"Thank you so much. It's beautiful." I was slightly disgusted by the way my voice sounded thick with unshed tears. Oh, no. I refuse to cry over a beautiful, perfect, one of the best birthday presents I have eve-

I'll stop now.

"You're welcome." Fang took the necklace from my hands. His warm hand pushed my hair away from my neck and clasped the necklace so it fell right above my shirt, a few inches below my collar bone. I was distracted from the way the necklace looked when his fingers lingered longer than was necessary on the back of my neck. I shivered slightly, but not because of the chilly wind.

In typical Nudge fashion, she squealed, "GROUP HUG!!!" I was smooshed in the middle of my flock as they tried to suffocate me in their embrace.

After that delightful mess, where I got licked by dogs AGAIN, we headed into the forest for a walk. What else were we supposed to do? No one wanted to head back to the hotel yet, there was nothing to do in town, and the woods looked nice. As we walked and laughed, I slid the charm back and forth across the chain. It really was a nice gift.

We stopped about an hour later when we found a bunch of rocks perfect for sitting on. Thankfully, Iggy packed a very nice lunch for us all. So we had a picnic in the woods. The only thing that was unusual about it was that we normally flew into the forest instead of walking through it. Walking is slow.

Angel was sitting against my legs and munching on a ham sandwich when she shot upright and turned her head sharply to the left. Immediately I was on high alert and did a 360. Iggy had started packing up after I tapped his hand but I could tell his sensitive ears were picking up every sound. Fang stood next to me while Gazzy and Nudge stared where Angel's gaze was locked.

"Something is here."

XXXXX

Don't you love the drama? I will probably end a few chapters with cliffhangers but only one or two more will end like this one so you don't hate me after every chapter. The other ones will be something...different.

By the way, I just want to give you guys a heads up. My 'N' and a few other keys aren't working the best. So if you see a place where I missed a letter please let me know in a nice way so I can fix it. Thank you! (Just in those sentences I had to push the N key extra hard to get 'know' and 'thank'! It's so annoying!)

One more thing, I LOVE feedback. Tell me I suck, tell me you like the way I described Forks from Max's POV, tell me you think I'm a goddess from above, tell me about an annoying bitch who lives next door to you! Anything that is feedback and helps me improve my writing is a major help! And reading about other people's drama is fun for me. My mind is odd that way!

~Midnight Stripes

(Check out my profile if you want to know random info about moi!)