A/N: HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! This is the last chapter, I'm afraid... :'(
Chapter 12 Fang POV
OH MY GOD, I'M FREAKING OUT. For the first time in my sad, pathetic life, I'm actually freaking out.
It's New Year's Eve and I'm supposed to tell Max I'm not homosexual and I'm totally infatuated with her ever since she caught my eye. Then, if she doesn't get all aggressive and sad, maybe we'll kiss and live happily ever after.
Or not. Shut up, conscience! Back off and let me wallow in self-pity!
See, this is my agenda today:
1. Clean up both the apartment and self.
2. Get a haircut (?)
3. Confess to Max that self is not gay and in love with Max.
4. Give Max gift.
5. Stop Nudge from flirting with Iggy.
6. Have a moment (any kind) with Max.
7. Get paycheck.
NOT necessarily in that order, of course. And ignore number 2. I decided not to get one because I like my hair messy. Besides, Max said my hair "contradicts with my homosexuality" which makes me a "unique homosexual being with a masochistic personality." (Her actual words.)
Her words hurt, but I had the feeling that she was complimenting me. For that, I was grateful and refused to get my hair cut. It's really rare for Max to give a compliment. Think of a leap year. Know how rare that is?
So I finished numbers 1, 4, 5, and 7 this morning. Numbers 3, 5, and 6 has yet to come. Probably all 3 numbers would be accomplished tonight. Hopefully.
Now, I'm off to the grocery store to buy some garlic and onions because Iggy ran out. I wonder why. (He's always running out of something. And I always buy those.)
As I lock the door of my apartment and put the key in my front jean pocket, I plot the ways to confront Max. God, there are so many. I pass the pastry shop, lost in thinking, when something catches my eye inside the shop. Then, I feel my phone vibrate in my butt.
I stop and hide in the dark alley next to the shop. I open up the text and read:
fang, need help. a creepy dude is standing outside the pastry shop im working in. max.
Furious and agitated, I glance inside the shop. I see only Max standing behind the counter. I leave the alley and pass the creepy dude. I take a quick look and the creepy dude is one of those annoying businessmen in monkey suits. Hate those people. And the nerve of him to lean against that pole and stare at the shop.
I go in and Max looks up. She looks relieved. She frantically motions me over. I move closer. "Grab your bag," I say to her, in a shockingly calm tone. Hmm.
So she does just that. While she's changing, I buy two slices of Devil's food cake. She emerges from the back, with her sling bag hanging around her shoulder.
"Fang, thanks -" I wrap an arm around her shoulders. She looks up at me, confused. I give her the small box containing the cake slices.
"What happened? Why did you need my help?" I ask her in a low voice.
Max lets out a breath. "That guy outside is a regular customer. Lately, I feel like someone's following me. Then yesterday, I saw him behind me when I walked here to work. Today, it's freaking me out. He's been outside for 20 minutes; I can't get out."
I feel like laughing and slapping my palm to my forehead. "You're being stalked, Max," I say to her. Then I add to myself, "Can't say it's unfortunate. With you looking like that and all."
"Nothing. Let's go." New Year's Resolution: Work on self-comments and make it to mental self-comments.
"Wai -" I grip her shoulder tighter. She nudges my side.
We exit the shop, my arm still around Max. So I say to her, "Max. . ."
"Huh?" She looks up, waiting for me to answer.
I stare at her brown eyes. "I love you."
Her own eyes widen. "HUH?" I lean down, my eyes closing, and capture her soft lips. Max struggles to push me away, but I lock my free hand around her right wrist and clenches. Max eases, and I open my eyes just a bit. I see the creepy dude blush furiously and run away. I give him one of my You're-dead, cold stares. Wimp.
I pull away and whisper, "He's gone." Max has her brown head down, her hair covering her whole face. I take Max's chin and turn her head up. "Max, why are you blushing?"
My asking only makes her blush even harder. She swats my hand away and pushes away. Her left hand flies to cover her mouth. She gives me an incredulous look. Like she couldn't believe I just kissed her.
I take a step forward. "Max, that kiss was to get rid of that stalker."
She nods vigorously. "I know! I get it!" She turns on her heel and walks away. I grab her wrist.
I smirk. I know why she's acting this way. He-he. "Don't tell me. . ."
"DON'T SAY IT!" she hisses.
"That was. . ."
"NOT ONE WORD!" she covers her ears.
"Your first kiss. . .?"
Max stops, her beautiful face really red, and looks at me. It's like the word "humiliation" is stamped on her forehead in all caps. She doesn't say anything.
Oh, wow. "Oh, wow," I say out loud. I clear my throat. The atmosphere is really awkward to the max. "Can we forget -"
Max nods. "Oh, yes. Like it never happened."
I agree. "Gotta go." Without another word, I walk my way to the grocery store. Two stores away from the grocery store, I stop and take a deep breath.
Oh, God. I'm Max's first kiss. SHIT! Even though we agreed that we both forget that whole thing ever happened, the thing won't go away. I close my eyes; I can feel Max's soft lips on mine and her sweet floral scent. SHIT! The thing is forever imprinted in my mind. Not even Iggy's embarrassing moments work to get the thing off my mind.
Cursing under my breath, I go in the grocery and buy the garlic and onions. The cashier looks at me in a weird way because I keep on cursing myself. Now, people think I'm crazy. Great.
I leave the store, irritated with myself, and walk back home. I stop because Max is standing outside my door. I glance behind me, to my left, and to my right, and now to her. Am I dreaming?
"What are you doing here?" I ask. I pretty sure I sound irritated. Which I am.
She holds up my little box. Oh, my cake. "This is yours, right?"
I let out a small sigh. "Come in. We'll eat it." I unlock the door and practically push Max inside.
Max stumbles inside and almost falls. I catch her arm and pull her back. I let go as soon as I smell her scent. This is getting really hard.
Max gently settles the box on my coffee table. I go to the kitchen and take 2 forks.
"I'm gonna pay you back," she says, as she starts to eat her slice of cake.
"No need. Already got your compensation," I reply and eat my cake.
"What?" Her fork is sticking out of her mouth.
I smirk. "Your first kiss."
Max blushes and does not say anything.
Do I really have to tell you that I'm currently in a New Year's Eve party? That I'm drinking beer even though I'm not legal to drink yet? That Iggy is being stupid because he's doing his happy dance? That Max is busy having the time of her life watching Iggy humiliate himself?
THAT I'M SO NERVOUS THAT I FEEL LIKE THE AIR IS GETTING HEAVIER BY THE MINUTE? Yes, I am so nervous.
In just a matter of minutes, 2011 will overthrow 2010 from its throne. And I am going to confess to Max I'm straight right - after she stops flirting with that brown-haired dude because it's irritating me.
I grit my teeth and focus on the television, watching New Yorkers flood Times Square. Yet, I am unable to keep myself from looking. Max just put her hand on his arm.
REALLY? I clench my fist and finish my drink. The beer burns all the way down my throat. Now the dude tucks Max's hair behind her ear.
One more, just one more and I'm gonna lose it. I throw away my cup, then stride towards Max, just in time because she's about to hug him. I drag her away from the wide-eyed dude and out the balcony.
"What the hell was that?" I demand from her. For some reason, my heart is pounding hard.
"Nothing! It was a harmless flirtation! Why do you care?" Max pulls away.
"Why do I -" I stop myself. It's so hard to tell her. Max looks at me, her eyes telling me to continue. "Why? Because I'm your friend."
"Yeah, but you're not my brother," she turns back, but I stop her. "What now, Fang?"
I let out a huge sigh. "It irritates me that that guy touch you," I point inside.
Max throws up her hands. "Again, you're not my brother! You have no right to tell me what to do!" she yells.
"Just get away from him."
Max pokes my chest. "You do not tell me what to do! I am going back there."
"Why are you yelling?" I ask.
She yells louder. "Because you're commanding me! You're not my brother or my father! I'm an adult; I do whatever I want to do!"
"Well, you know what?"
"It's annoying to watch other guys flirt with you!" I grasp her wrist.
"So? You're gay!"
"I'M NOT GAY!" I shout. In a lower voice, I say, "It hurts to see you with other guys. I'm in love with you, Max. I'm not gay."
Her shoulders sag. I turn away, because I don't want to see her face. Then my eyes widen when she says, "You should've said that earlier."
She shrugs. "I already know you're not gay. Before you ask how, it's because of the way you kissed me. And how you reacted after that."
I open my mouth to say something, yet no sound comes out.
Max grins. "Fang, I'm not stupid. How many times do I have to say that? I already knew you weren't gay; I was just too stubborn to believe it."
I can't say anything. Wow. I'm so stupid. I clearly underestimated her. But I go, "Why? Why would you flirt like that?"
"I just wanted to confirm that you're not gay. And," she smiles at me. "it clearly worked. You're straight."
I envelop her in an embrace. "You could've told me before," I whisper on her ear.
She pushes away and looks up at me. "Why should I? It was fun to see you suffer in agony."
"You little -"
Max shushes me by pressing her finger on my lips. "I feel the same way."
"I love you too."
"Where did that come from?"
She lightly slaps my cheek. "You just told me you were in love with me. This morning, you told me you love me. Fine. I'm never gonna say the words again." Max pushes me away and crosses her chest.
I take her in my arms again, but she resists. "No, no. I wanna hear them again."
She shakes her head. "Tell me some of your words of wisdom first."
"Because it's impossible to love truly and be wise at the same time. Your wise crack words made me think it's actually possible."
"Love is beautiful and terrible and it doesn't make things perfect. But you know what? This is perfect." I turn up her chin.
Inside, we hear the people counting down. "Three. . . Two. . . One. . . HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
"Oh, yeah?" she teases me. Her hand twines through my hair.
"Yeah. This is where we kiss now."
"You want to?"
Stop taunting me! "Tell me you love me first."
She pulls on my hair. My lips hover just an inch away from hers. "Tell me," I murmur.
"I love you."
"That wasn't hard, right?"
"Kiss me. Just do it."
I kiss her lips softly. "Max, your command is my wish."
"Are we going to live together now?"
"Just as long as Akila doesn't poop on the carpet."
You know what? The whole gay thing is probably the best decision I have ever made. I met the girl of my dreams and learned that doing the happy dance indeed makes one happy. (Iggy demonstrated it perfectly.)
In this new year, I'm gonna face new problems. And I'm not going to be a wimp and solve them with nonsensical solutions. Max will be beside me, of course, doing what she usually does best: order people.
So in conclusion, it's just another year.
A/N: Happy New Year to everyone! I know I said this story was supposed to end yesterday. I went partied all night and forgot to post this. I'm really sorry!
Hope you guys enjoyed reading my story (ignoring the typos)! Thanks for supporting me all the way!
Have a great new year everyone! That's coming from me. Not Iggy or Fang or Max. They're too busy playing Dance Central.