Smiles :-: Chapter One :-: House Ordeals

:-: Summer :-:

"Max, dear, we're letting one of your dad's old friends, and his son, live with us since their house got destroyed by an earthquake."

"What? No!"

"I'm sorry, Max, but they're coming today."

"Mom, why would you do that? It's not like they would do the same for us!"

"I'm sure they would."

"They're not sleeping in Ari's room, then!"

"Max, we only have one guest room!"

"Have the little kid sleep with his dad, then!"

"Erm… His son's your age... and he goes to your school. He's going to be sleeping in Ari's old room."

"My age? And in Ari's room? That's the one connecting with my bathroom!"

"I know, but it's the only one available."

"… Who is it?"


"Yeah, that kid that's invading Ari's room!"

"Oh, um, what was it…"

"Mom, I know you know."

"Fang Walker.

"… MOM!"


She paced the length of her room, angry, frustrated, but most of all, anxious. Sharing a house… with Fang? He's the smartest, most annoying senior there is! And he's going to be staying in Ari's room!

The doorbell rang in the distance. "THEY'RE HERE, THEY'RE HERE!" she heard her mom call. "MAX, COME DOWN!"

Collapsing on her bed, she buried her head in a pillow, in attempt to block out the sound. She could hear her mom and dad excitedly greet the new… house mates… and graciously welcome them in. "MAX!" her mom screamed again.

Grudgingly, Max got off her bed and headed down the stairs, not even glancing once at the mirror to see if she looked presentable.

A voice was speaking when she arrived at the foot of the stairs, in front of the door. She looked over the two men — one her father's age, and one her own age — indifference with a hint of disgust evident on her face. Her mother elbowed her in the side.

"Thank you for allowing us to stay here," the low, husky voice murmured. Max's chocolate brown eyes snapped up to look at him, averting her attention from the ground to his face.

A face she knew quite well. His dark black hair shadowed over his face, obstructing the view of one of his bottomless, obsidian eyes, which were looking at her parents.

Their eyes connected, and his widened a fraction in shock and recognition. She stared at him, inwardly amused and smug at his confused reaction. Sticking her hand out at his dad, — who she assumed was her own father's friend — Max said, "Hi, I'm Max."

She scoffed at Fang's reaction once more, as he opened his mouth to say something, before closing it. His father grasped her hand and smiled warmly at her. She didn't return his smile.

Her mother elbowed her once more, her smiling stretching across her cheeks, unlike Max's void-of-happiness face. "Max, why don't you show Fang to his room?" Max stared at her mom with a straight face, before sighing in consent. She trudged up the stairs, knowing Fang was following behind her.

Reaching the door she hadn't opened in three, almost four years, Max paused, hoping that behind it would be disgustingly dusty, and haunted. She rolled her eyes at her own absurdity.

Haunted? Seriously, Max? "Are you going to let me in?" Fang's annoyed voice asked. Max glared at him, stepping out of the doorway, and ignoring the fact he talked to her. "I know you're not mute, Moxie."

Her fists clenched at the nickname he called her. Moxie. Everyone at school referred to her as that, and she had no clue why. It was some inside joke that everyone knew about. Everyone, but her, that is.

She hated that name, and couldn't help but snap back, "Stop calling me that!"

Fang held his arms up in mock surrender, a smirk on his olive face. "Ouch, Moxie knows how to bite!" he chuckled. Smiling deviously at her, he added, "She knows how to talk, for that matter."

Her hands tightened until they blanched white, and Max resisted socking him in the face. "Just go," she muttered sourly. His hand gripped the knob of the door, pushing it open.

A puff of air came out of the room, and Max glanced around it, becoming nostalgic. Bright rays of sunlight shone in through the blue curtains, lighting up the spotless, almost sparkling room.

Plopping herself on the blue comforter of the bed, Max watched Fang begin to unpack with narrowed eyes. "Why are you here?" she asked, an edge of steel in her tone.

"Earthquake," was his one-worded reply.

"So you're basically homeless and free-loading off of us?" Max snapped.

Fang ignored that comment, responding with a, "Why are you here?"

She scoffed for the nth time that day. "I live here. And everyone calls you a genius…"

"At least I'm not stupid like you. I meant what are you doing in my room?" he retorted.

"It's not your room, it's Ar —" Max bit back her reply, and hopped off the bed.

"What?" Max shook her head, and walked over to the bathroom, opening the door. "Hey, why are you using my bathroom?"

She turned to look at him, her face hard and bored. "It's our bathroom," she said bitterly, opening the connecting door to her room. "And you call me an idiot…" Max muttered under her breath.

Slamming the bathroom door shut, Max collapsed on her bed, and screamed into her pillow, for the second time that day. Jerk.


Stretching, Fang got out of his bed with a yawn, rubbing at his neck, and pulling his shirt up over his head. He grabbed a towel that was laid out on the desk, and sauntered into the bathroom, stripping the rest of his clothes, before getting into the shower.

Warm water soaked him to the bone, as he rinsed off, taking a quick shower. Massaging his neck, Fang stepped out of the shower, grabbing the towel and drying off. He opened the towel to its full extent, to wrap it around his waist…

But that's when the door opened.

The door to Max's room.

She stared at him with wide eyes, a dropped jaw, and flushed cheeks. Quickly, he covered himself up, his own cheeks heating up. "Holy sh!t. What the fnck are you doing?!" Max screamed, immediately shutting the door closed again.

Fang sighed with relief, the humiliation flooding through him, as he locked both doors to the bathroom. He leaned back on the wall, banging his head on it several times. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.

Max leaned against the bathroom door, her eyes still wide. Why the hell didn't he lock the door? Why?!

"Idiot," she grumbled, exiting her bedroom door, to go to the downstairs bathroom and sanitize her now scarred-for-life eyes. Not so smart, after all.