Another Semi-Filler chapter, but I swear it's leading to something big.


Disclaimer: I don't own Maximum Ride




Without any warning, my thoughts were cut off just as the heavy double doors burst opened to reveal a dark shadowy figure looming in the doorway.

"Hello?" I called to the figure. I was surprised when my voice rang out clear and strong despite the contradicting feelings raging in me.

The figure took one step inside; still concealed by the shadows. Suddenly, lightning stuck to illuminate the face of the figure…

"Max!" Dylan breathed out as the lightning illuminated his dark, honey-colored hair while his turquoise eyes pierced straight through mine. He was as soaked as I was from the rain and it made me wonder how long he was outside.

I let out the breath I was holding and pushed off the wall I was leaning against. "Oh, hey Dylan," I said, trying to make my voice natural.

It suddenly struck me as odd that Dylan conveniently showed up right after my fight with Fang when everyone else was supposed to be in the mess hall. "What are you doing here anyways?" I asked suspiciously, my eyes narrowing as I crossed my arms across my chest. All thoughts of fear dissipated and were replaced with fierce intensity.

Dylan took two strides from the door to stand in front of me. His eyes bore into mine, making me feel slightly uneasy. Without taking my eyes off of his, I noticed his fists clenching and unclenching at his sides; forcing the veins in his arms to stand out more than usual.

"Did Private Amersham hurt you?" he asked ferociously. An expression that looked out of place on Dylan encompassed his features. His brows furrowed and his nose took on an angry scrunched up look. If he were a cartoon, I would bet his face would have been red and steam would have been coming out of his ears. However, this Dylan was angry and violent looking, which was not something I would thought he was capable of feeling.

Sudden confusion washed over me. Fang? Hurt me? I would have laughed in Dylan's face at the mere suggestion, but I was stunned into silence. My mouth hung slightly opened as I tried to wrap my head around what he was implying.

Before I could deny anything, Dylan wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his chest. His slick arms slid without resistance against mine as his arms created an unbreakable seal around my shoulders.

Without thinking about it, my eyes slipped closed, reveling in the feeling of his strong arms. I didn't feel ashamed in my lapse of resolve, though I know I should have. There was no feeling of anger or disgust as I got lost in the sensation of Dylan's muscular arms. I felt no unfaithfulness for letting someone else hold me in such an intimate way.

I didn't feel any of those feelings because in that moment, in those few seconds that I let all my senses leave me, he was not Dylan. Those were not Dylan's arms around me and that was not his chest that I buried my head in.

It was Fang. It always has been and will always ever be Fang because he has unquestionably ruined me for any other guy. I knew that no matter how hard I tried to convince myself and others, I will still forever be hung up over Fang…That jerk.

Slowly, these arms transformed into something else. These were not the arms I wanted. They were the same arms from moments ago, but something changed in me. Something alerting me of the difference in what I wanted and what I actually had.

I tried pushing away from Dylan, but he just tightened his grip on me. "Dylan," I said calmly, "let go of me."

"Shh, Max. I got you now. Amersham won't hurt you now," he cooed as if he actually believed he was protecting me. He stroked my hair and smashed me almost painfully closer to his chest.

"Dylan," my voice strained as I pushed against his chest, "get your hands off of me." I banged my fists against his chest, refusing to use the remnants of my artificial strength from Jeb.

Dylan just continued cooing in my ear as if he didn't hear what I was saying or feel me trying to push him away. "I saw everything happen. He won't hurt you anymore. Not while I'm around; he won't get close enough to even breathe the same air as you," Dylan rambled as his voice started to rise and his arms tightened painfully around me.

I would never admit it out loud, but he was starting to scare me. His words and actions just weren't conventional. This was not some Twilight book, this was some delusional creep trying to crack my ribs and collapse one of my lungs. His aggression was getting out of control and all because of some altered reality that he thought he witnessed.

"Dylan!" I roared as I pushed him a step back; his arms still around me, but looser now.

"Stop resisting me, Max!" Dylan roared back as he slammed me against the wall with his hands firmly on my shoulders. A sharp pain radiated all over my back and I had to bite back a groan of pain.

Not one to follow anyone's orders, I pushed back again; still refusing to use all my strength. Despite the situation, I didn't want to use my strength to harm others like my father would have wanted. Even Dylan. I had resolved to using my strength only to train with Fang and to mess around, but never for violence. That is one thing that I can control.

"Why him?!" Dylan yelled in my face. "Answer me goddammit!" He pulled me away from the wall and for a second I thought he was going to let me go. Instead, he slammed me against the wall again, this time scraping my shoulder in the process.

As I felt my skin being scraped from my shoulder, I finally lost all patience.

Without a second's hesitation, I brought my forearm up and slammed it across his collarbone. I used that stupid synthetic strength to push Dylan back against the opposite wall. His arms dropped to his sides and his head hit the wall, but I felt no remorse.

Dylan's face was awestruck as he stared right back into my eyes; no doubt burning with anger and frustration now.

"It's him because he doesn't treat me like this," with that, I pushed him further into the wall. "I didn't choose him and he didn't choose me. That's why it's him; because it just happened," I sneered in his face.

I opened my mouth to speak, to tell him to never come near me again, but I was interrupted by the sounds of the doors slamming open again. This time, I didn't need to look to see who it was. I could just feel it was him.

Fang strode right over to Dylan and me, his boots quietly squeaking on the linoleum floor. Without needing explanation and without breaking stride, Fang grabbed my wrist and pulled me down the hallway. I let him pull me; too tired to put up anymore fight against him.

We had made it halfway down the hallway before we heard, "Take your hands off her!" Dylan's voice rose to fill the empty hallway; his footsteps not far behind.

I let out a frustrated sigh. Did this kid not know when to quit? One moment he is practically attacking me and the next he's trying to be all chivalrous and 'save' me? Jeez, I just don't get men. I've heard of girls being complicated, but guys are just in a league of their own.

I opened my mouth to let out a witty retort, but Fang beat me to it. Without turning his head, Fang raised his voice so Dylan can hear him say, "This doesn't concern you, Cadet. Cadet Ride is my responsibility and she's being punished for her scene in the mess hall." His voice was full of so much authority that I didn't even question him.

With that, I thought Dylan would back off, but like I said earlier, I just don't get men.

Before I knew it, Dylan had grabbed my other wrist, yanking me to a stop. I rolled my eyes; everyone pulling on me was getting really old really fast. I pulled my wrist free of Dylan right as Fang made his move.

Using the momentum, Fang let his fist fly. It all appeared to happen in slow motion as I watched Fang's fist pass inches in front of my face and land squarely on Dylan's face. With a sickening crack, Dylan's hands flashed to his nose as blood began oozing out. He let out a cry of pain, but his cries started to die down as Fang began to pull me down the hall again.

We were out the door in seconds; the rain hitting my cold skin again. It felt like little tacks were piercing through the sky and the only warmth was coming from where Fang's hand met my wrist. I looked down at his hand on my wrist and scoffed silently as I realized this will probably be the closest to holding hands we will ever get.

People say I have a pessimistic view on life, but I like to think of it as realistic. The sooner I accept the fact that Fang doesn't belong in my life, the sooner we can stop this little dance. The sooner we can move on and just forget about each other. Ahh, Ignorance, please come back to me.

Fang hasn't said another word as we trudged through the wet grass. My shoes were beginning to fill with water again and I got that uncomfortable feeling of water squishing in out of my shoes with every step.

We continued in silence as Fang guided me toward the boxing gym building. Without breaking stride, he pushed open the door and unnecessarily tightened his grip on me as he brought me through the door. He dragged me toward the back of the gym toward the nurse's room.

I could feel the eyes of all the cadets and the sergeants in the room as they stopped to watch the spectacle. Fang's tightened grip finally made sense to me; he was putting on a show. He was showing everyone in that room that he was in control of the "Wild Maximum Ride". My jaw clenched and I glared at anyone we passed who had the nerve to make eye contact with me.

I was both relieved and annoyed as Fang led me into the nurse's room. The nurse in there let out a squeak as Fang barged in.

She was wearing blue-green scrubs and her brown hair was pulled back into a slick ponytail. The small wrinkles by her eyes and mouth made her look like she was in her late thirties or early forties. She seemed sweet enough, but now and days, I've learned to trust no one; even the 'sweet' ones.

The nurse composed herself and opened her mouth to say something, but Fang cut her off. "There's someone in the dorm hallway bleeding. He'll be needing your assistance," he said swiftly and sternly.

"Oh, okay," she rushed out. She looked flustered as she grabbed her first aid kit, "What happened?"

"I punched him," Fang said in an eerily calm voice that the nurse did a double take.

Her mouth opened, but one look from Fang and she practically sprinted out the door. It wasn't until the door closed that I realized Fang didn't tell her which dorm. Poor lady is going to be running in the rain looking in every dorm for a bleeding kid.

Fang let go of me and made his way across the room to the counter with the sink. Placing his hands on the edge of the counter shoulder width apart, he exhaled harshly and bowed his head. His shirt was still soaked and I could see every muscle flexing in his back. I watched as his shoulder blades came closer together and then father apart as he took in a deep breath and let it out.

I leaned against the nursing table and crossed my arms across my chest. My temper caught up to me and I was suddenly pissed off that despite Fang's speech outside, he still hasn't changed. "I could've punched him myself, you know. Instead of you almost nailing me in the face," I snarled out between clenched teeth.

"Max, just…shut up for a second," Fang snarled out just as venomously. His grip on the counter tightened immensely and for a second I was afraid the pure force of his grip would break the counter.

"A simple 'please be quiet' would suffice," I mumbled before hopping up on the table.

We stayed silent and I couldn't decide whether I was happy for the quietness or not. I welcomed the time to myself to think, but like Fang said, my thoughts tend to freak me out rather than comfort me.

Part of me didn't want to be here, but another part of me did. Now all I have to do is figure out which part was more dominant. Unfortunately, staring at Fang's back and the veins standing out on his forearms was messing with my thought process.

Did everything that happened outside mean nothing to him? Thinking about it now, I was glad that I walked away when I did. This is proof that he didn't mean anything he said in the rain. Right? He didn't mean it when he said he wanted me and that he was willing to risk everything for us. His actions just show that everything he said was a bunch of lies. I scolded myself; I couldn't believe I let myself believe him.

My jaw clenched involuntarily. I debated on whether quietly leaving the room or hopping off the table and smacking Fang upside the head.

Luckily I didn't have to choose because Fang made the first move. With one final exhale, Fang pushed off the counter and abruptly turned. The steps he took toward me were powerful and his body radiated rage. I half expected him to try to grab my arm again, but he did the opposite.

Fang stood right in front of me, his eyes on mine. I sat still, not even daring to breath in fear that it would set him off. His eyes were hard, but when his eyes flickered to my shoulder, they soften immensely and were quickly filled with concern. His eyes watched mine again for a second until he broke eye contact and settled on staring at my shoulder instead of my eyes.

Despite the anger rolling off of him in waves, when he reached up to touch my shoulder he was nothing but gentle. His fingers traced the edges of the scrape that Dylan had inflicted. His brows furrowed and his nose scrunched a little in anger.

I peeked over my shoulder to see what he was seeing. It looked worse than it really was. A patch of my skin, about the size of my fist, was an angry red. The blood from my broken skin had already dried and was beginning to scab. I wasn't too worried about it because I knew that in about an hour, it would completely disappear. Just another one of the perks bestowed upon me by father dearest.

I rolled my eyes and turned my head to the side so I wouldn't have to look at my shoulder or at Fang, "It's nothing." I tried to brush it off, but he was not having it.

From the corner of my eye, I watched as he shook his head, his brows furrowing even more. "It's not 'nothing'," Fang snapped. I quickly turned my head forward to study him. Immediately after he said that, he caught himself. He bowed his head and let out a harsh breath again. "Don't dismiss it like this will happen again," he said gently as he grabbed some antiseptic and gauze that I didn't notice he brought with him from the counter.

I stayed silent as Fang cleaned my wound. I watched as his fingers worked diligently; his eyes never leaving my shoulder. His anger died down as he focused on my shoulder, but I could still sense it simmering beneath the surface. I watched as he grabbed a roll of tape and ripped off a strip with his teeth.

Fang was tapping the gauze to my shoulder when I decided to break the silence. "It will," I barely whispered; my teeth began to worry on my bottom lip.

Fang stopped; his fingers still pressed to the tape on my skin. "What?" he asked just as quietly; his eyes flickering to mine for a millisecond.

"It will happen again," I turned my head to stare at the wall opposite of where I was sitting. I refused to look at Fang in fear of what I'd see or what he'd see. There was just no way of knowing how he'll react anymore. "I will get hurt again. Whether it is physical or mental, I'm ready for it. Preferably physical; that I can deal with."

There was a long pause where Fang said and did nothing. Slowly, he began working again, but it wasn't until a few minutes passed that he finally spoke up. "You're right."

I snapped my head to the side, staring at his profile. His black hair had grown a little longer, more shaggy now. It fell across his forehead and was too close to his eyes for my liking. My fingers began to tremble with the desire to familiar myself with the feel of his skin and hair between my fingers.

I was half expecting him to argue with me like he always did, but he didn't. Instead, he kept talking as if he didn't notice my shock.

"You will get hurt. I'm not going to tell you, you're not going to get hurt because I'm not going to lie to you. You will be hurt by strangers and even people you…love," he explained hesitantly.

He finished tapping my shoulder and resumed his earlier position across the room. He gripped the counter and leaned against it. For a second I was hurt by the distance he felt needed to be between us. Could he really not bare to look at me anymore? I opened my mouth to say something, anything, but Fang cut me off by finishing his earlier thought. "Even me," he said as though it was the hardest thing he ever had to admit.

Silence engulfed us again. I was beginning to really hate it.

"Fang…" I began before he cut me off.

"I need to talk to you," was all he said, his head still bowed and his arms still tense. I watched as his fists continued to clench and unclench his grip on the counter; making his muscles contract noticeably.

I itched to just run my fingers down his arm to relieve some of the tension. I wanted to help him; no longer wanting him to suffer anymore.

Again, Fang pushed off from the table and stood in front of me; his arm outstretched to me.

I looked down at his hand and then at Fang's face. He was just looking at his outstretched hand, brows furrowed as he stood perfectly still as if any movement on his part would somehow shatter any chance he had at talking with me. The longer I waited, the closer his eyebrows pulled together in what seemed like nervousness and the more his lips began to purse in concentration.

Without delaying any longer, I grabbed his hand and hopped off the table. I just hope I won't look back at this moment and wished I would have slapped his hand away.

I don't know who let go first or if it was mutual, but right as my feet hit the ground, our hands were disconnected.

Fang strode over to the door and opened it for me. I walked through and waited on Fang to lead the way.

He swiftly walked passed me, his body brushing mine for an instant. I followed behind him trying to match each stride, but Fang was moving too fast. I had to do that awkward jog to catch up with him, but my efforts were moot because just as Fang walked outside my jogging faltered. The wind and the rain have seemed to increase and now I could barely see anything in front of me. Between the rain literally stabbing me in the eyes and the sound of thunder erupting every other minute, I could have very well been in the middle of a tropical rainforest for all I knew.

Goose bumps covered my arms and legs as I was assaulted with the cold rain. I started walking straight, eyes down so I could focus on the heels of Fang's feet and keep the rain out of my eyes. Somehow, though, while I was following him, I lost sight of his heels in the rain. Stopping dead in my tracks, I looked up and squinted through the rain, but there was no sight of Fang.

Annoyance filled me as I crossed my arms over my chest and yelled into the rain, "Fang!" My voice got lost in the ciaos, but I continued to call out his name a few more times. My logic was, if you want to drag me around like some doll, then you're sure as hell going to have to escort me to whatever location.

I made a mental note to get the kid some reflector gear. Another possibility would be to ransack his closet and replace every piece of clothing with Nudge's clothes. That way, I would be able to watch Nudge wear something baggy and watch Fang wear pink. I couldn't help but take a second and sigh to myself. Only in a perfect world would that plan end with me not having to do any sort of physical labor.

I scolded into the rain as I opened my mouth to call out for the hundredth time when something made me stop. I don't know what it was, but my skin warmed in an instant and I felt my anger dissipate a fraction.

Suddenly, Fang's face was inches from mine. "Forgetting something?" I asked him over the rain, my eyebrow raised and my feet firmly planted themselves into the soggy ground.

"Yeah, I left this beautiful girl in the rain and now I can't get her off my mind," he yelled back.

I took a step back and uncrossed my arms. My face was one of total shock. What the hell?

Fang smirked at my expression before adding, "But I guess I have to settle for you."

Now instead of shock, I was outraged. Without thinking, my hand came up and smacked Fang in the chest hard. My hand landed on his wet shirt that covered his strong chest as small water droplets erupted from beneath my fingers. All the anger I was feeling seemed to have gravitated toward that one slap.

Of course Fang couldn't just take the hits I throw his way like a gentleman. Instead, he used my slap to his advantage. Swiftly, he grabbed my hand and laced our fingers together before leading me farther into the rain. He seemed to slice through the rain as he strode toward some unseen destination.

My brows furrowed and I have to admit that I regretted not hitting him harder. Even five minutes in the boxing ring with Fang wouldn't be enough to expel all the anger and confusion I was feeling right now.

It's weird to think that his joke is exactly how he has dealt with…'us'. He says things and does things that make me want him, but then he brushes it off and hopes his smirk is enough to excuse him. I can never tell if it's just a big joke to him or if it's some hobby for him. Whatever his reasoning may be, I'm not so sure I want to hear it.

I didn't think I zoned out for that long, but the next thing I know, we're standing outside my room. I shook my head and looked around, as if this place was unfamiliar to me. I snapped my head to the side to see Fang just standing beside me looking at the door. From the side of his face, I could see his jaw clenching and unclenching, but I couldn't pinpoint the cause of his distress.

Fang looked out the corner of his eye at my confused gaze. In an almost panic manner, he flashed his eyes forward and nodded toward the door. "You going to unlock the door or should we just continue to stand here?" he asked sarcastically.

"Depends," I answered, making no move to unlock the door or tear my eyes away from Fang.

"On what?"

"On whether or not your ego will be able to fit through the door."

"I'm sure if your attitude can fit, then my ego will meet no resistance."

Rolling my eyes, I finally drag my eyes away from Fang's figure long enough to unlock the door, but not before I saw a small smirk. Turning the knob, I walked in and heard Fang's footsteps followed right behind me.

Suddenly something clicked in me, or maybe it was the door closing, but either way, I suddenly wanted to know what the hell Fang wanted to tell me. I whirled around to see Fang watching me from the door. His arms were crossed and his shoulder blades rested against my door. He was the epitome of tranquilly, but I could tell that his shoulders were a little too stiff.

"Okay Fang, you have me here. Now talk," I demanded. My hands clenched and unclenched at my sides as I prepared myself for whatever came out of his mouth.

I stood there, brows furrow, and with a stare that should have left burn marks on Fang's retinas. Instead, his eyes just stared back as one of his eyebrows raised. His eyes seemed to search mine as if he were studying me.

"Well?" I asked with force behind me. "Are you just going to go back to not talking now too?"

The corner of Fang's mouth twitched as he slightly shook his head and looked at his feet. "Naw," he said, his voice taking on a soothing tone. I could see that his eyes were moving side to side as if he were contemplating his next move; his lips slightly pursing in the same accord.

I opened my mouth to argue before Fang held up one finger without even looking up. "You," he said as he pointed his finger at me, "need to get some sleep first." With that, he peeked up at me from under his eyebrows. My resolve seemed to wither away with that one look, but I was not going to be fooled that easily.

"I'm not tired," I denied. Squaring my shoulders, I tried to make myself look stronger than I actually felt. Truth is, I was exhausted with the lack of sleep, but Fang didn't have to know that.

Pushing off the door, Fang's long legs carried him the two steps to right in front of me. He towered over me and I was suddenly reminded that he was still taller than me when I was forced to tilt my head up. His hand slowly rose to my face, but then fell just as slowly to his side. "Your eyes," he nodded towards me, "they looked tired and there are dark circles under your eyes."

I tilted my head in confusion. His voice sounded so sincere and concerned that I almost believed him, but it was the way he looked at me that stopped me short of kicking him out. I was always able to tell what he was thinking and feeling through his eyes. Over the past months, I have gotten used to reading him to the point where I could tell if he was lying to me or not. If our relationship was one big poker game, then his eyes would be his tell.

So when I saw that he actually cared, it made me want to know why. It made me want to understand. It made me realize that I didn't want out. I wanted in; I wanted him.

"Then you'll talk?" I asked cautiously.

His eyes moved between the two of mine before answering, "Anything you want."

I nodded my head once, trying not to lead on what effect his choice of words had on me. Trying to not seem flustered, I moved to the closet for some dry clothes. I had grabbed a t-shirt and sweats when I turned around to see Fang twisting the doorknob.

"Wait!" I said a little louder than I had meant to.

Fang stopped, his hand still on the doorknob, and coolly turned his head toward me. "What?" he asked. His brows rose in a way that made me feel like he was searching for a particular answer; an answer that he yearned for, but was too afraid to ask for himself.

I started biting my lip again in contemplation. Why did I tell him to stop again? What was the purpose behind my actions? I know there had to be a reason, but I just couldn't put my finger on it.

My head was trying to calculate a plausible explanation while my mouth opened to say something—anything.

It's because I don't want him to leave…well shit.

I knew I couldn't tell him that so I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind, "Someone might see you."

Fang's face didn't change, but there was a hint of confusion and disappointment in his eyes.

"It's just," I quickly tried to explain, "If someone sees you outside, they will be suspicious and then we'll both be in trouble."

Fang smirked at me; letting me know he knew that was not the real reason. Was I really that transparent? Jeez…

Instead, he released the doorknob and walked across the room to the window. As smooth as only Fang could manage, he crossed his arms and leant up against the window frame. I watched as he looked out the window and drops of water dripped from the tips of his hair onto his shirt.

Walking back to my closet, I grabbed a too big Rage Against the Machine band t-shirt I had and some of Fang's sweats that I stole from him before. Turning toward Fang, I threw the bundle of clothes straight at his back. The clothes hit his back and landed on the ground before, but the shirt remained draped on his head. Fang turned around, his eyes peeking at me from under the t-shirt. I watched as his eyes trailed down to look at the sweats that were now on the ground.

His eyes met mine in confusion as he pulled the shirt off of his head. "You should probably change out of your wet clothes," I explained with a shrug of my right shoulder. "But I don't have any…um…boxers or anything for you," I finished as a light blush threatened to appear.

Fang lifted an eyebrow and smirked back at me, "I'm glad."

"Glad you have to sit around in wet underwear?" I scoffed.

Fang's smirk widened more, "No, glad because if you ever have boxers in your room, they better be mine."

Without even realizing he was moving, Fang had slowly walked across the room to stand in front of me. I just watched as he looked down at me, "And I'm pretty sure I didn't leave any boxers here," he finished with a mischievous smile.

My eyes flickered down to his lips and I was suddenly reminded of how much I missed him. "Or," I retorted, my eyes traveling back up to his, "I've just gotten really good at hiding them from you."

"Is that all you're hiding from me, Max?" he asked, his head slightly tilting to the side.

"Wouldn't you like to know," I challenged. Fang just smirked again and just shook his head at me. "Now, get over there so I can change," I ordered as I pointed to the other side of the room.

Fang held up his hands in a surrender position and walked a few steps backward before turning around to walk to the corner of the room. Clothes still in his hand, he faced the corner before saying, "Go ahead," over his shoulder.

I narrowed my eyes at him for a few more seconds just to make sure he wasn't watching. I was waiting to yell at him the moment he would peek over his shoulder at me, but he didn't. Deciding that he wasn't going to look, I quickly stripped down and changed my clothes in record time.

Now fully clothed in warm, dry clothes I told Fang he could turn around. He told me it was his turn to change, so I climbed into bed and closed my eyes, but when he wasn't looking…I may or may not have peeked.

Call me a hypocrite, but I regret nothing. Watching Fang's washboard abs glisten from the rain water and his bare back muscles flexing as he pulled my shirt on was worth it. When he informed me he was done, I opened my eyes and pretended that they were closed the whole time.

Then came the awkward silence. I sat up in my bed and Fang stood by the side of my bed. Before, I would have grabbed his hand and pulled him into bed. Fang would have fallen on top of me obnoxiously and would claim it was an accident, but that's not what happened. Instead, he stood there and I sat there like we were two strangers who use to kiss.

Knowing that Fang could stay silent for days, I decided to take control. "You can lie down too," I offered.

Fang stared at me blankly and shook his head, "I shouldn't," was all he said.

I rolled my eyes and lifted myself to my knees. Slowly I moved over to Fang until I was kneeling on my bed in front of him. Slowly, I raised my hands and carefully traced my thumbs along the dark circles under his eyes.

It was the first intimate touch that was done unnecessary, but purposely. In that touched, I had initiated the first unspoken communication that we both wanted. It said that I cared, but I am cautious too. "You should though," I responded.

My hands left his face and slowly slid back down to my sides as I let him decide.

I watched as Fang stared at me—calculating. "I get the right side," he finally said after what felt like hours later.

I smirked back victoriously as I scooted under the covers. Fang walked over to the door and locked it before he came over and climbed in on the right side.

Automatically, Fang draped his arm over my hip and pulled both of us flush together. I could feel the heat his body was giving off and his breath on my cheek. My body stiffened involuntarily under his arm. Although I initiated the first touch, this was just too much. I had to remind myself that he hurt me. He wasn't getting away with treating me like garbage and then expect to gather me in his arms in bed like nothing happened. No. I'm not going to be a pushover for anyone; not even Fang.

"Fang," I whispered in a disapproving tone.

"I know," Fang breathed out just as quietly. "A guy can still hope," he said as he let go of me, but not before squeezing me one last time.

Fang may have retracted his arm, but his breath was still on my face. He didn't move away from me and I silently thanked him for not moving. My feelings were conflicting to the point where I wanted Fang close, but not too close.

We closed our eyes simultaneously and we laid there in silence. I was on the verge of sleep and I could tell that Fang was too because his breathing was becoming shallow.

"Fang?" I asked through a yawn.

"Hmmm?" his velvet voice further sent me into slumber.

"Did you peek at me when I was changing?"

"More than once," he answered matter-of-factly.

I fell asleep with a smile on my face that morning.