The Universe Hates Me

Chapter 14

Max's POV

I tried not to feel guilty as I slammed the door - right in Fang's face, no less - shut. I just needed to get away from him for a second. Fang was making this so goddamn hard for me. I mean, I know it's not his fault that he has that sexy, messy, God-like hair, or those eyes, deep brown, almost black, so warm yet so impenetrable, making me go weak-kneed... and his smirk, God, that stupid smirk that always makes my heart beat irregularly, and his -

No. Bad Max. I can't keep doing this! He's my best friend for God's sake! And he's perfectly happy with the Red-Haired Wonder. You're nothing more than a childhood friend, a spiteful, bitter voice snapped at me.

That really got to me. I thumped back against the door, banging my head and not caring. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to ignore how much it hurt, the thought of... Fang. Fang not wanting me. Fang and Lissa, together. He really didn't feel the same way. All I could think was; I'm messing this up, this thing I have with Fang. One of the best things in my life, and I'm screwing it up. What if I totally destroyed it, one of the few things I really, really live for?

I wouldn't be able to cope - all that well, anyway - and that I was sure of.

I ran my hands through my messy hair as I contemplated this. My fingers snagged in the tangled tendrils - tongue twister! - and I was reminded I was in need of a shower. A nice long shower, to clear my head.

Unfortunately, all my thoughts seemed to revolve around one thing - Fang. Fang Fang Fang. Whether it was his make-my-mind-melt smell, his too-sexy-to-be-real smirk, that silky hair - God, who would've thought his hair could've felt that amazing? - or his abs. I think I almost died, thinking of his rock-hard muscles. Uhh. And that kiss - could it have been any better? Any hotter? I mean, seriously. That has got to be one of the best moments of my entire seventeen years on this planet.

It had been ah-maz-ing. I'd felt electricity zing through my veins; tingles were everywhere, and I couldn't get enough. It had just felt right, like it was meant to be, and the Fates were giving us the little push we needed. OK, screw 'little push we needed' - Fang needed a sledge-hammer to the head and a kick to the butt to get him to realize it was me he needed - not the Red-Haired Wonder.

That or the universe was, yet again, trying to fuck with our minds. In case you hadn't noticed, the universe - what else could I blame it on? - seemed to do that to us quite a bit. Like a bigger version of Let's Annoy Max. Plus Fang and a whole lot of angst.

I sighed, finishing washing the shampoo out of my hair and watching the soap suds wash down the drain. Why the hell can't my thoughts - and feelings! - about Fang go down with that? It'd make things a heckuva lot easier - but no such luck.

I dried myself off with a soft towel, before using it to wrap my hair up to keep it off my back as I yanked on some black skinnies and a Skillet concert tee.

Just as I pulled the shirt over my head, there was a knock at my door. I ducked out of my bathroom, fixing my shirt as I went, and stomped over to the door. I was ready to snap at them for interrupting me - what can I say? I'm not a morning person, and staying up last night didn't help, either - because, hey, they must've realized I was a) showering, or b) dressing.

I flung open the door, ready to scream at who I had thought was one of my siblings, but... it wasn't. Oh, no. It was Fang. He was covered in a layer of water, wearing nothing but a towel, and water droplets drip-dripped from his hair, running down his toned chest and making their way to his lower abdomen. His towel was loosely wrapped around his hips, and was sliding off a bit.

My eyes bulged; my mouth hung open. All I could think was; Oh-my-god-Oh-my-god! Fang... towel... dripping wet... OH MY FUCKING GOD...

My eyes were hungrily taking in every dip and crease of his body, and I had to grab hold of something - for the life of me, I don't know what it was - to keep myself upright. I was in my own little holy-fucking-shit-my-best-friend-is-so-freaking-hot-oh-my-god-when-did-he-get-abs-like-that world, but was abruptly pulled out of it when Fang cleared his throat. Loudly. I figured it wasn't the first time he'd done it, either.

I turned my gaze to meet his, my cheeks stained pink. He grinned smugly, and I turned, if possible, redder.

"Sorry, Max," he said smoothly. "I just need my bag." Fang nodded to something over my shoulder. I realized I had slammed the door on him before he'd had a chance to get it. Smart, Max. That wasn't actually sarcastic - at least this way, I could ogle him and his... physical attributes. I turned to see where he had indicated, and sure enough, his bad was sitting on the floor, right where he'd left it.

"Oh, right," I stuttered. "Um... I, ah, I'll... leave you to it, then. I'm just gonna, um, go... go downstairs for... breakfast. Yeah. Breakfast. Right, um, bye." I kept my eyes locked on the ground as I made my way past him. I held my breath and clenched my fists, so as not to touch him.

I totally couldn't help it when my hand skimmed his stomach, though.

Blushing furiously, I slammed the door behind me.

I leant against it and slowly slid down, putting my head in my hands.

This is gonna be harder than I thought.


Oh, god. Max's expression when she was checking me out... priceless.

Not only was it so completely hilarious, but she looked so cute, too - all dazed and blushing. I swear she hadn't blushed so hard since our parents decided to sit us down together and give us The Talk at the same time - to make it easier on them, I guess. But listening about the birds and the bees with your best friend - who's a girl - is pretty mortifying. I guess it was bad for her, too. So comparing that to now... was pretty big.

Ugh. I need to stop thinking about her. Like, right now. But I can't! Why does she have to be so perfect?

After changing into black jeans and a plain black shirt, I headed downstairs and was, once again, attacked by one very hyper girl.

"Fang! Fang! Can you give me a piggy back? Please?" Angel begged, blinking up at me 'innocently'. Ha - the child wasn't innocent. She had possession of the Bambi eyes - that is not innocent.

I groaned, knowing resistance was futile. "Sure thing, Ange. Hop on." I crouched down, and she clambered up onto my shoulders. I ran around a bit, making her squeal and clutch my hair - ouch - so she didn't fall.

But I drew the line when she wanted me to make 'horsey noises'.

After a while of 'galloping' around, I dumped Angel - really, I leant over and tipped her, giggling, onto the couch - and made my way to the kitchen. I fell into a seat at the island and rested my head down, playing dead.

"Aw, look. You broke the horsey, Ange. What a shame," Max mocked. I wanted to say something like; Yeah, what a shame - the ladies won't get their ride, but figured Max would kill me for saying it in front of Angel. As it was, I shot Max the finger - discreetly.

She smirked and shoved a piece of toast in my mouth.

"What? Five minutes? I still have to do my hair!" Ella shouted from the bathroom down the hall.

"Do it in the car, then!" Was it just me or did this sound slightly suggestive? "I'm leaving now, Ella, and if you're not there in five - no, four minutes, you can walk!"

I smirked, grabbing my bag and headed outside with her after hugging Angel good-bye. The atmosphere was only slightly awkward, but every once in a while, I snuck a look at Max and saw her blushing for no apparent reason. That I could see, anyway.

"Do you need a ride?" she asked, avoiding my eyes.

"Nah." I had to meet up with Iggy before school, anyway.

"Oh, OK," she murmured, walking towards her car. "Hey, Fang?" I turned, letting her know I was listening. Max smiled slightly. "Thanks for everything. I missed our movie nights."

I grinned at her slightly and nodded. "Me too."

Max smiled back before heading off to wait for Ella in the car. I turned and unlocked my black Eclipse, slipping in and starting the engine.

I waited until Max and Ella had already sped off before pulling out my phone to text Iggy. I needed to get some things straight, and the guy may be a nincompoop, but he had some pretty decent advice. Every now and then.

Dude, I texted, We need 2 talk. Code MGP. Meet me my locker when u get to school.

I started the engine and sped off, waiting impatiently for him to answer. I reached the school quickly - I didn't break any road laws... much - and waited for him to respond before heading in.

Shit. Srsly? CODE MGP?

I rolled my eyes at the screen before replying. No, dude, I was just pulling ur leg because I like to txt you everyday saying Code MGP just 'cause it's fun... YES I'M SERIOUS U IDIOT!

About a minute later, my phone buzzed again. Fuck! CODE MGP! CODE MGP! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL! OK, man, I'm picking Nudge up. Be there in a few. Hang tight.

Sighing, I shoved my phone into my back pocket as I climbed out of the car, locking it over my shoulder like all badasses in movies do. I hung by my locker keeping my head low, praying that Iggy would get here before Lissa decided to molest me.

Ten minutes passed before Iggy made an appearance. And boy did he make an appearance.

He came running in with a red plastic firefighter hat - complete with a siren giving off horrible wails - with flailing arms. He was screaming at the top of his voice; "CODE MGP! CODE MGP! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! CODE MGP! I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL!"

Nudge was behind him, looking mortified from being in his presence. She had a 'why-am-I-dating-him' look on her face. Everyone else just watched him as he made a fool of himself.

Iggy ran up to me, out of breath. "Hey! What are these Major Girl Problems you texted me about? Is this something to do with the Moana Lissa?"

"What? No - well... sorta. I mean, she has to do with it, but that's not - I... uhhh." I sighed in frustration.

"Dude! Make up your mind! I don't think I've ever heard this mixed up before. Seriously, what's gotten into you?"

"I need your advice." Iggy nodded, urging me to continue. "Well, I stayed at Max's last night. To make up for being a , we looked through that old scrapbook Mom made for us, then we watched movies. Then she fell asleep on the couch so I carried her up to her room. Then she pulled me down and we fell asleep together."

"Score," Iggy cheered under his breath, but he raised an eyebrow to signal for me to continue.

I swallowed slightly before continuing, "And, well - I had this 'dream' that I was making out with a girl. Damn, it was good, man. But it wasn't Lissa. It was amazing, and felt so right. Turned out it was real, and I was kissing Max. And, well, Iloved it, Ig. When we realized what was happening, we jumped apart. She hasn't spoken to me since."

Iggy's eyes were wide; his jaw hung low. "YOU MADE OUT WITH MAX?"

I gave him a shove to shut him up. "Yeah, but it was an accident. But... it just felt so right. I don't know! What am I supposed to tell Lissa?" I whisper-shouted at him.

"Sayonara bitch! That's what you tell her! Dude, do you know how big this is? You finally realize what we all figured out years ago! You. Love. Max. Go for it, man!"

"Iggy, stop!" I growled, and he let go with a sheepish grin. "It's not that easy. I dunno how Max feels, and I have Lissa to think of."

"No you don't! Dump the whore! You can do way better! You can have anyone! You can have Max! Dump the trash, man! God, deja vu! I feel like we're back in middle school, and you're freaking out about the dance." I shot him a dirty look, but he ignored me.

"I think I need to talk to Max," I decided. "But I also need to talk to Lissa. After my kiss with Max, it reminded me that that's what love is, not all sloppy and groping everyday making out to fulfill your hormones. It's not fair to string her along."

"Yeah, OK, man. But trust me, there's something between you and Max. We all know it. We've seen the way you look at each other, cheesy as it is. She loves you, Fang, she just hasn't admitted it. Give her time." I nodded in thanks, and we gave each other a quick bro-hug before he head off to his first class.

He was a few feet away from me when I called out, "Ig!" He turned around to see what I wanted. "Take the hat off, man! You look like a gay stripper!"

"Don't you wish!"

I couldn't help but laugh when he shimmied and swung his jacket around his head like a whip.

I have some really fucked up friends.

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