Hey, sorry this took so long to get up but at least you don't have to wait for my updates anymore. This is the last chapter so I really hope you like it. It was strangely hard to write.
Max's fingers ghost across the pale cheek, skin cold to the touch. The figure is still, unmoving from his dreamless prison and oblivious to the passing years. She traces down his jaw, past his throat to rest over his heart.
A slow sluggish thrumming is the only thing to reassure her that the boy is still alive.
For so long she has been searching for something to wake him up, and the fact that she found it, just feels unreal to her. Not to mention that she has a friend. A real, normal, friend.
So his dad is the evil scientist that caused her only family to go into a death like sleep, and held her prisoner her entire childhood, but who cares! He is real, and genuine, and cares.
It's more than she has ever had. And the way he makes her feel is just... strange. The way her chest tightens when he walks into the room, or the way her stomach squirms like she's going to throw up, but not really like that, when he smiles at her.
All of her feelings since she met him have all been screwed up. Her reactions to little things don't make since. But in time, she knows that she can figure it out. And if it becomes to much trouble, she can always ask Fang about it.
But that's not the important thing right now. What's important has a heart beating so softly under her fingertips, that it's almost like it's just a ghost of what was once there.
She has to save him. Her brother. Her protector. Her only family. She has to save him like so many times he had saved her.
Max stands abruptly, the chair she was sitting in screeching against the concrete ground. "Is it ready?" She asks turning to the dark boy fiddling with bottles and beakers nervously. The glass resting on a foldable table clings as he jerks in surprise at her sudden voice.
"Yeah." He says.
She strides over to him, a relieved yet grim smile pulling at her lips. This is it. The only way to wake him up.
A grimace distorts her face as Fang lifts up a syringe to suck up some of the strange colored liquid. She absolutely hates needles; even the sight of them, and this one that will wake up her brother is no different.
She takes it delicately from her friend's offered hand and balances it uneasily on her fingers. Jeb had said that it would change him. Into what? Into who? Will he still be Ari when he wakes up?
He has to be. This is the only way that will bring him out of his sleeping prison without directly killing him.
Max purses her lips into a thin, white line and turns to her pale brother. It's the only way, she tells herself and plunges the needle into his heart, pressing down softly on the plunger.
Long seconds stretch into minutes, and with each unchanging moment, her throat tightens unbearably.
Then his fingers twitch and her body seems to coil. She reaches out, her hand trembling, and rests it over his heart.
It's beating quickly, fluttering like a bird's wings, and her eyes sting like small fires have been lit behind them. It's too fast.
Max can't help but jerk her hand away as his eyes flash open and he sits up fast. She stumbles a few steps back, bumping into Fang who had come closer to watch.
"Ari?" She calls hesitantly, her voice no more than a croak.
Her brother's blue eyes lock onto her, recognition flashing in the depths. Then horror replaces that.
"What have you done?" He gasps, voice ringing clear and easily, as if he weren't in a sleeping state for years. "Max... You can't save me."
He swings his legs over the side of the bed and shakily lands on his feet. He shouldn't be able to stand- he should barely be able to sit up.
"Ari!" Max smiles, tears rolling down her cheeks in hot torrents. She moves to step forward but Fang grips her arm, staring at the older blond boy with uncertainty. Something seemed off.
Max looks confusedly up at her friend to see him watching her brother with an expression that makes her pause.
Something in him seems to change- a light in his eye, maybe a twitch in his muscles. He folds in on himself, his body convulsing and skin rippling like a snake just beneath the pale coat.
"Max..." His voices strains. "You have to kill me. Hurry!"
Max stumbles backwards, plowing right into Fang but she doesn't even acknowledge him. "I-I don't..."
Fang's uneasiness grows as he watches his best friend's older brother, and his fingers find the hilt of a knife that was thrown carelessly onto the table. His father's warnings whisper into his ear and his knuckles turn white with the grip that he holds.
Something is very wrong. "Max." He says, waiting for her direction on what to do. This is not the happy, tear jerking family reunion that he was expecting to happen.
Ari turns his icy blue eyes on Fang and he has to repress a shiver. The pupils dilate and expand noticeably in the azure pools, pleading with him to carry out his wishes. They close, clenching in pain and the muscles in his back shift, grow, creating sickening sounds that make Fang's stomach roll.
The blond boy's whole body shakes in exertion as his hands slap the floor. Each finger pops as it elongates, rippling and pulling the skin taut. Hair splits from his skin, growing dark and long, and thick.
Ari's eyes flash open, a darker blue than before and all together different. Hate shines in them and a rumbling growl ruptures the stale air.
"Max." Fang says again, pulling her backwards even more to create space between them and that... that thing. Wolf-like, but also human- yet nothing like a man.
Taking a chance, Fang moves his eyes from the beast and turns his stare to the girl who has yet to say anything.
Her eyes are clenched tightly closed, but a few tears still squeeze themselves from her lids. She looks deathly pale, like her brother was minutes before, but her hands tremble loosely at her sides- like she's already given up.
The thing that was once Ari lunges, barely giving Fang enough time to pull Max to the ground.
The table holding the left over vials and bottles crash to the ground with an ear shattering sound. Fang moves as fast as he can and jumps onto Ari's back, making him stagger with the added weight. For a boy who had been un-mobile for years, he was incredibly strong and easily throws the dark boy.
He hits the ground with a groan. The noise seems to spark something in Max and she opens her eyes, takes in the destruction, and her shoulders go slack.
She goes unnoticed by both boys as Ari turns on Fang. His long nailed fingers curl into a fist and smashes down on the fallen boy's face, making pain bloom across his cheek. Fang quickly rolls out of the way as a foot is sent towards his stomach. He moves to tackle his legs but the wolfish boy is much stronger than any human he has ever faced.
Ari merely grabs him from the back of the shirt and throws him against a wall. He stands tall as the towers over his sister's best friend and a gruesome smile twists his face.
Then it falters, drops, and he looks down at his chest where a dark color spreads from the very tip of an overly long knife.
He falls sideways to the ground, dead, as a puddle quickly forms under him.
Fang's wide eyes frantically look up to see Max standing there, face blank and oddly numb looking. She holds out her hand, offering it to Fang to help him up. He does so wearily.
Inside, Max feels empty. Numb, not there, not right. She couldn't save her brother- she killed him.
But he wasn't him and he was going to kill Fang. She couldn't let him do that. Her brother is gone, as dead as he was thirty minutes before, and it's like nothing has changed. But everything has because his heart is no longer beating.
Fang silently watches her, unsure of what to do or if he's supposed to say something.
Finally Max moves her gaze from her brother's unrecognizable body to the mettle door at the end of the room. A hardness seems to settle in her chocolate eyes and she blinks.
"I think it's time we fill in the flock. They need to know what happened and we can use them."
Her hand reaches out, searching for Fang's and he entwines his fingers with hers.
"What are we doing now?" He asks, hesitant but ready to do whatever Max needs him to do.
"Now, we are going to blow up the school."
Please leave me a review and let me know what you think. My Strength will be updated next but don't expect consistent updates. I really will try though whenever I start the next chapter.
Thanks for everything.