Disclaimer: I do not own the Max Ride series. I just realised that I had forgotten this.
Oh yeah, I also don't own Google... or Bambi.
Thank God Max left when she did. Thank, God.
Because right after she'd done a U turn and left the street Angel came running up to me.
With a dog.
She had it cradled to her chest and was patting it's head gently when she skidded to a halt next to me.
"Fang!" she exclaimed. "I found a dog! Can we keep it? Please? Pleasepleaseplease!?"
The dog, a black Scottie, woofed happily in her arms and wagged his short tail.
"That dog probably has someone looking for him," I said to Angel gently with a sigh, kneeling down on the ground in front of her so that we were equal in height.
"But I found him in the streets, Fang. He was in the streets." Angel's small bright blue eyes lock with mine. They're so much different from Lissa's hazel ones, which she tries to trap me in everyday. A much more appealing brown would have to be... Max's eye color. Yeah, Max has pretty eyes.
And a pretty gigantic house and an attitude to match it.
"I'm sorry, Angel. But you know we can't have a dog. It's against the rules."
"It can be a secret," she tells me, a glint in her eyes. "We don't have to tell Anne."
I look down the street, trying to think of a way to explain this to her. I hate denying anything to Angel, since she's lost so much already, but I don't have a choice. She can't get relocated for breaking rules again. Her brother is here. Her real brother.
"No," I say curtly.
Angel's eyes glare at me, and her back goes straight. She hugs the dog closer to her chest.
"Fang, you will let me keep this dog," she whispers. Her tiny foot taps against the ground and I try not to laugh.
"No," I say again. "I won't."
Suddenly her shoulders hunch and she looks down at the ground. "Why not?" She sounds so broken and hurt that I lightly pull the dog from her arms and hold it myself.
"Because I need to keep you safe," I tell her. "And I need to keep you out of trouble. You only get one chance here, and I'm not letting you wreck it."
You would think that since she's only six, she wouldn't pay attention when I lecture her, but she does. She's so, so smart for her age that it makes me wonder what exactly happened to her other family. The ones that left her and her brother behind.
"Fang. Just once in my life I want something that's mine. Please, Fang. Please."
Don't look at her. Don't you dare look at her.
But I do.
Dang those Bambi eyes.
If I work extra hours at the club, I can make enough to pay for dog food every week. Angel will have to be responsible for keeping it hidden. I know she can do it.
I sigh again and run my hand through my hair, then hand the dog back to her and stand up. I'm pushing these hours. Already, I'm falling behind at school. But I need every cent to get into college and get away from here. I need to get out.
But I need to help her, too.
"Okay, you can keep it. But it stays outside and you have to make sure it stays hidden. I'll buy food and supplies; then you're on your own."
Angel's smile right then makes all of these future hours at the club worth it.
"Thank you! I promise I won't let Anne find it. I promise."
I just quirk a smile and lead her back home.
Back home to the Orphanage of Rivera Falls.
The next day at school Fang isn't there. In homeroom, there's an empty desk in front of me. In language arts, there's no one sitting at the table next to me.
Lissa looks absolutely fabulous sitting on her throne at the popular table, though. When I risk a quick glance at Ella, I see that she's squeezed a hole in her juice box from gripping it so tightly. Her eyes are glued on Lissa with a fire in them.
I think we're all getting sick of that girl.
Being Friday night, Ella has Nudge over from a sleepover. I would have J.J. over, my best friend, but she's out of town. So now I'm stuck with Ella and Nudge.
Last time this happened they took me roller blading. Wheels do not belong on shoes. I've learned that the hard way.
Let's just say that fun little expedition ended with a broken wrist and ten stitches.
I'm not really in the mood to go out tonight, but I'm not in the mood to hide and run from them either. So that is why I now sit here in our living room with my feet propped up on the coffee table, enveloped in our huge fluffy couch. I've got a remote balanced on my head and a bowl of popcorn in my lap.
Yep, folks. This is how I spend my Friday nights.
When they pounce on me I can't exactly say I wasn't expecting it. The show I was watching was just so dang interesting though, that I jumped when they screamed my name and the remote flew off of my head and right into Ella's face.
"Ma-ax!" she whines, her hand flying to her nose and pinching it shut. She gets bloody noses so easy it's not even funny sometimes. "Thanks a lot! It's picture day tomorrow!"
That means I've now wrecked two of her picture days.
"I'm sorry, Ella!" I gush, and I mean it. This was her one year to "redeem herself" or whatever. "Here, I'll get an ice pack."
I reluctantly get off of my comfy couch and make my way to the kitchen, sliding on the slick floors in my socks. I can't find an icepack in the freezer, so I bring her a bag of frozen strawberries instead. Our dad is on a health-kick this month, and he makes all sorts of smoothies out of frozen fruits.
When I get back into the living room, Nudge has Ella layed back on the couch with a blanket over her and like five pillows under her head to keep her head propped up. She has the lights dimmed and the TV on to Ella's favorite show.
"She bruised her face; she isn't dying," I say, trying to stifle a laugh as I place the bag on Ella's face.
"And who's fault is that?" Ella asks me, whacking my leg with the remote.
"Ouch, you could stop a kidnapper with that thing," I laugh, faking injury and stumbling.
Ella rolls her eyes and picks up the bag of strawberries, examining it.
"You couldn't even find peas!"
"Peas?" I ask her.
"Yes. When people get hurt, usually their loved ones bring them a nice frozen bag of peas to put on the injury," she says formerly, addressing me as if I was a kindergartener. "Not strawberries!"
I shrug. "Oh, you'll live. Peas are a stupid vegetable anyways."
"I like peas," Nudge pipes up.
"See!?" Ella exclaims, shaking her head and then dropping it onto the pillows in exasperation.
"Everyone's a critic," I sigh, turning on my heel. "Yell if you need me!"
I can hear them laughing and slapping high five's as I climb the stairs to my room.
On my phone there's a text from Iggy.
Need to talk to you..., he's written.
Great. I know there's a ton of gossip about Ella and Iggy's breakup going around, and she pretends she hates guts now, but he's one of my best friends. To sum the situation up in one word, awkward.
Well, then again this is my life.
What's up? I reply.
His answer back is immediate, like he was waiting with the phone in s hand.
I want to go out with Nudge.
Of course he does.
I sit down on my bed and grab my laptop, googling '10 Reasons Not to Date Your Ex's Best Friend'. The page pops up immediately; it's something I often send to Iggy when he tells me this. I send him the URL address with a smiley face.
Max, you've sent me that like a million times. he replies.
Well, if you would have read it then you wouldn't be talking to me about this. I send.
The reply takes a while, and when I get it it's not what I was expecting. Iggy is the kind of guy with too much pride to have anyone help him out with anything, let alone beg for it.
Please. I really like her. Please, Max.
If Ella finds out she will kill me. My body will literally be down in the Atlantic in an instant. Not to mention she'd probably do some voodoo and shun my spirit.
I need a hobby.
Ella won't find out.
My fingers type across the texting pad slowly, and I have to close my eyes before I hit send.
Okay. What do I need to do first?
Oooooooh, everyone's doing things behind Ella's back. Will she found out? Will she? Will she?
Pfft, of course she will. But when?
I've gone seven chapters with no Fax. I feel like a terrible person. Maybe if I'm in a good mood the next chapter will have some. I've already got a little party planned for it. (:
Review for extra long, sorta Fax-y chapter? (: