True Confessions of Star Crossed Lovers

Chapter 17

Max POV


I woke up the next morning, extremely giddy. I mean, it was totally understandable considering my dreams had been filled with a certain hot, amazing, wonderful guy, who's arms happened to be wrapped around me. Those warm, strong - oh, God. What am I thinking? I'm turning into one of...them.Those crazy, squealy, pathetic girls.

Lord help me.

And the main reason I wanted to be saved from this girliness? Because. I. Kind of. Liked. It.

It was onenight with a fewdreams - and already I'm sounding like one of those helpless teen heroines from a romance novel.

That boy was going to be the death of me. But I think he might just be worth it.

Love was definitely in the air. How did I know this? Because Ari floated back into the house last night, a dreamy look on his face. I could tell he really liked the girl - Ella, her name was, I think. He was falling hard and falling fast.

That reminded me - I had to hunt her up today. Ella, I mean. And by 'talk', I mean corner her in a dark, secluded area where no one could hear her screams, threaten her with a meat cleaver, make it clear that she was neverto hurt my big brother, and, well, that was it, actually.

I guess overprotectiveness may run in the family. Eh.

Before we left for school, I pulled Angel aside and asked - OK, bribedmight be a more apt descriptive word -her not to tell Ari about who exactlywas here last night. I just told her to refer to them as my 'partners' or 'friends' if he were to ask. No need to create World War Three over something so innocent. Because I wasinnocent, alright?

But I have to say, that girl drives a hard bargain. She wouldn't agree until I promised her that I would play My Little Ponies with her whenever she asked. And by her more dolls. As if she didn't have enough already!

The child is freaking evil. I must say, though, she has obviously learnt from the best -moi.


I was sitting in Biology, completely ignoring the teacher, daydreaming and doodling in my notebook. No, I was not writing my and Fang's initials down, circled in a heart. God, I hadn't sunk thatlow. Yet. I wasn't some lovesick tween. I am Maximum Freaking Ride, for God's sake. I will never turn into such a disgrace. I have an image to uphold, you know.

No, instead I was writing my name and tacking on Fang's last name.

It's not that pathetic, OK? At least there were no hearts.Like I said before - I'd never sink so low.

As the lesson continued on, never much improving from it's monotonous state save for a few fart noises by the guy behind me, my mind wandered to Fang and I's encounters today. The sly smiles, the winks, the...fucking hotness on his part.

It was cliche. It was cheesy. It was stupid. It was pathetic.

It was perfect. And, despite all that, every look, wink, every time I noticed how hot he was, made my heart stutter before kicking back in, double time. Straight out of a romantic novel? Yeah. But still - it was exciting, and I loved every second of it.

I sighed, scribbling out my name - with Fang's last name tacked on the end, of course - so completely, all that was left was a black rectangle. God help me if anyone saw it. The sigh was because - well, goddamn, since when had my life come to this?

I was contemplating that thought when the bell rang. Immediately, I shoved my notebook into my bag - out of sight, out of mind, right? - and hauled ass out of the Class of Boredom, AKA Biology.

Once I was a few dozen feet from the door, I slowed down, in no particular hurry to get anywhere, seeing as it was a free period for me.

The halls started to clear after a while, and with that came a nice, calming, hushed quiet that filled up the school. I started humming quietly to myself as I walked to my locker, not paying much attention to anything.

And then someone grabbed me and put a hand over my mouth and dragged me into a hallway closet and locket the door and they were really strong and I could not escape.

That? Well, that was me being completely serious.

My scream was muffled by the - admittedly nice-tasting - hand over my mouth. I tried to bite a few fingers off, but that didn't work; my teeth barely grazed his palm.

I struggled, starting forward before slamming back into my kidnapper's chest. I managed to maneuver my arm so I could smash it into his gut, but all that did was result in a giggling shriek of not-quite-pain-not-quite-tickling to come from my mouth.

It was the universal, Fuck I just hit my funny-bone shriek. You know the one.

"God damn, Max," Fang said, "You sure pack a punch."

I spun around, my hand clutching my elbow. I pointed at him dangerously, although the effect was ruined considering I had to hold my arm up to point at him. "You.You. You! Why the helldid you kidnap me? And now my elbow is all bruised!"

"It wasn't kidnapping!" Fang protested, crossing his arms. "If you had known it was me, you would've been more than willing to get jammed in this small, dark, intimatecloset, wouldn't you?"

Well...maybe.

"That's not the point," I huffed.

"Oh? So please, enlighten me, what is?"

"The point is that someson of a bitch bruised my elbow and is standing there as if it didn't bother him in the slightest!"

"Please," Fang drawled, "leave my mother out of this. But the reason why a certain someone isn't writhing around on the ground in pain is because, while you maypack a decent punch, this someonehas a stomach of stone."

"Oh, yes," I scoffed, "of coursehe does."

Fang cocked an eyebrow arrogantly and grabbed my hand, tugging me forward. "You want a bet?"

"Er." No.

Shrugging, he said, "Either way, I'll prove myselfright." Fang pressed my hand against his abdomen, before slipping it up under the fabric of his shirt.

Stomach of stone? Why, I believe so.

"You can let go of my hand now," I whispered, licking my suddenly-dry lips as my heartbeat accelerated.

"I don't think so," Fang answered, his voice a whisper now, too.

"First you kidnap me, now you're holding me against my will? Any other federal offenses you want to add to your record?"

"We've established this, Max. You wouldn't leave even if you were able to." Fang smirked at me triumphantly, cockiness leaking from his words. And his voice was still a low, intimate whisper that made my stomach tighten. "Plus, we both agreed that we needed to talk. So I decided to keep with cliches, and we may as well do it in a janitor's closet. I mean, we aregoing the cliche route, are we not?"

I blinked slowly. "I think we are."

"All that's left is you writing our initials in a heart on your pencil case," Fang snorted. "Or, even worse, adding my last name to yours in your notebooks."

I laughed, a bit too loud for how close we were. "As if, right?"

"Mmm," said Fang, eyeing me suspiciously, "as if..."

"So, er, what did we need to talk about?"

"You. Me. Our current relationship status." I opened my mouth, but Fang placed a finger over my lips. He tasted like icing sugar. He must've had Home Ec. before kidnapping me. "Shut up. I'm not letting you stall any longer. So, let's talk, Ride."

"Right," I said. "So, we..." I trailed off, leaving my sentence hanging in the air, waiting for Fang to finish it. I didn't want to say anything stupid and scare him off.

"...really like each other. And I want to be with you. Right now."

I smiled at him, ecstatic. "And I want to be with you, too."

Fang leaned in, forehead resting against my own, staring intently into my eyes.

"The only problem seems to be your brother."

I grimaced. Of course he had to bring that up, ruin the moment. "Yeah, Ari is one big, stupid, giant problem, alright."

Fang smirked and grabbed my hand, which, I realized, was still resting against his stomach. He kissed my knuckles, one by one, looking up through his eyelashes.

Could he beany more perfect?

"We should tell him. I will. Tell him how I feel about you. Ask for his blessing, maybe," Fang muttered, lips still on my knuckles.

"You're kiddingme, right?" I asked in shock, pulling my hand away from his mouth. "He would maimyou for even thinkingthat! There's no way we're telling him we are - whatever we are. What are we?"

Fang chuckled, and I glanced down at my shoes - which were half on top of his Converse-clad feet - bashfully. He turned my face so we were looking at each other. "We're whatever you want, but I personally want you to be my girlfriend."

A huge smile settled on my lips as I wrapped my arms around his neck, hugging him. "I'd like that. A lot. Just...let's not tell Ari, OK? Not yet. I don't need his drama. I don't need his bullshit, either."

Fang nodded, arms encircling my waist, reeling me in, our lips centimeters apart. (I THOUGHT YOU GUYS DIDN'T USE METRICS?) Kay! I told you we have to learn both. Lol.

"Would you be suggesting...a secretromance, Miss Ride?" he asked.

I smirked, flicking his ear. "Something along those lines, yeah."

"Hmm," Fang mused. "A modern-day Romeo and Juliet, minus the suicide, right? What a coinkydink." He pulled me closer. If that was possible.

I started to retort, but Fang closed the distance between us, capturing my lips with his own. The kiss was short, sweet, but it was enough to leave my head spinning furiously. There was definitely some passion in it.

"So," said Fang, "you free tonight?"

"Depends, what'd you have in mind?"

"Our first proper date."

I smiled again, hugging him. "I'd love that. How do you suggest I get past the watch dog?"

Fang smirked. "We do have a project due soon, don't we? Tell him you're going to someone's house to work on it. You can drive over to mine and we can go from there. Sound cool?"

"Sure, but where are we going?" I asked, curious.

"That's for me to know and you to find out." In response to my pout, he added, "Don't worry, you'll see soon enough."

"But Fa-ang..."

"No buts. It's a surprise. You'll have to wait until tonight." Fang winked at me, going over and unlocking the door. Before he slipped out, he turned and whispered, half mocking, half serious, "Farewell until tonight, most precious Juliet!"

"Adieu, darling Romeo," I whispered back, rolling my eyes at his stupidity.

I watched him disappear, sinking back against the wall. I bit my lip to stop a squeal from bursting from me.

It was official. I was a walking, talking, insane cliche.

Did I care?

Nope, not at all.

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