Max PoV

I sat in English at the end of the day, idly twirling a pencil between my fingers. You know how the end of the day is, alternately staring out the window and at the clock until class finally ends. But right before, as in two seconds before the bell rang, the demonic teacher assigns us a project. Apparently we had to do something along the lines of…. I have no idea. Eh, I'll just ask Fang after school.

I slung my backpack over my shoulder and left with the final bell, heading to my locker. When I got there, I saw just the person I wanted to talk to leaning against it. "Hey Fang." I said as I piled my seemingly endless amounts of homework into my bag. "Hey Max." Yeah, my names Maximum. Kind of an odd name, but not as bad as Fang, or his brother Iggy. Or their sister Nudge. What can I say, their parents are a little hippy-dippy.

"Do you have any clue what that succubus of a woman assigned us?" I asked as we headed towards the doors, referring to our satanic English teacher. Fang nodded and brushed some of his black hair off of his forehead. "Apparently we have to find some super old, classic book somewhere in our house or library, read it, and write an essay on it." He explained in his deep voice. I groaned. I did NOT like reading. "Man up, it's not that bad." He said, his black eyes sparkling a little with amusement. I scowled at him. Unlike me, Fang could actually read at a decent pace.

"Yeah, whatever emo boy." I grumbled, making my usual jab at his all black ensemble. He gave me a playful glare, but didn't retaliate. We made our way outside to the pick-up line, where we met up with Fangs siblings. Iggy was Fangs fraternal twin, and looked nothing like him. He had super light strawberry blonde hair, sky blue eyes, and skin that looked like it had never seen the sun. Him and Fang were both scarily tall, Iggy edging Fang out by an inch at 6'1, which is creepy for a pair of 15 year olds. Their adopted little sister Nudge was about 5'4 at 13, with mocha skin and super curly brown hair that matched her tawny eyes. I myself was 15, and 5'9. Freakish, but still not enough to match the Tremendously Tall Twins.

"Hey Igs, hey Nudge." I said as we walked up. Fang just nodded to them, in true Fang style. They greeted us, and we gathered in a group to wait for our rides.

Fangs PoV

Everything was going as it usually does: jokes, taunts, the occasional playful insult. Until Max saw something. Her brown eyes hardened and narrowed into a glare. When I turned to see who it was, I felt a scowl grow on my face. Her brother Ari had come to pick her up. Usually it was her mom, and I don't know what Valencia was thinking when she told Ari to do it instead. Him and Max, though they shared the dirty blonde hair, tan skin, and brown eyes, didn't have a good relationship.

A couple of years ago, Ari had come home drunk and high in the middle of the night while their mom Valencia was working an overnight shift. Max hid their little siblings to keep them safe. He had looked for Angel and Gazzy (their little brother and sister) but when he couldn't find them, he went after Max. He put her in the hospital for a month, and left bruises that didn't heal for another one. After that, he had moved out. But about a month ago he had come back, claiming to be alright again. Max didn't trust him a bit. And I don't blame her.

"Yo, Max!" the seventeen year old yelled from the window. "I see you, dipwad!" Max shouted back, then begrudgingly started towards the car. I would have offered her a ride, but I knew she didn't want to seem weak, especially in front of Ari. I was the only one who knew that she was still secretly terrified of him. So I didn't say anything as she climbed in the car.

Maxs PoV

The first few minutes of the car ride were silent. "So," I said eventually, "Wheres Mom?" "She had to work late." Ari said. "She asked me to pick you up." "I could have gotten a ride from Fang." I pointed out. "I'm just doing what Mom told me to do." I rolled my eyes and turned to stare out the window.

When we finally got home, I was moving to get out of the car when Ari grabbed my elbow. I froze, immediately coiling tight as a spring. "Max." he said softly. "I really didn't mean what I did that night, you know that." I drew in a shaky breath. "I don't care what you meant." I snarled. "All that matters is what you did." With that I wrenched my arm free and stomped into the house.

As soon as I was in the front door I was attacked by an eight year old and a six year old. "Hey guys." I said happily, kneeling down to just below Angels (the six year olds) level. "How was your day?" "Great!" Angel said happily. "We made clay pots in Art!" Gazzy proclaimed, proudly holding up a misshapen clay object. "Wow, Gazzy! That looks amazing!" I took it from him gingerly and made a big show of examining it. "You definitely have to show Mom when she gets home." I said as I handed It back. Just then, Ari walked inside.

Gazzy's PoV

My sister immediately ran to Ari, throwing her arms around his leg, blonde curls bouncing. But I was a little more wary of him than my sister. I still remember something happening with Ari a long time ago. I remember Max waking us up in the middle of the night, hiding us and telling us not to come out until she got back. I remember hearing Ari yelling, Max yelling back, then a bunch of crashing and thumps. I remember Max screaming. Then Ari had disappeared for a long time, and come back out of nowhere. Now Max never seemed to be able to relax with Ari in the same room. She would try to fake it, but she was wound tight as a string constantly when he was around.

And I can't help but wonder what he did that forced her to do that.

Maxs PoV

After I finished my obscene amounts of homework, I climbed up to the attic in search of an old book. The attic was dark, damp, and dusty. No one really came up here anymore, so there were cobwebs and dust covering everything. I didn't really mind. I walked over to a box marked BOOKS and dug through it. After a short search I found one that seemed promising. It was old and moth-eaten, and once I had brushed the dust off of the embossed gold cover, I could read the title.

Written in swirling, Gothic print was the words Grimm's Fairy Tales. Hmmmm, seems like what I'm looking for. I brought it back downstairs to my bedroom, sat on my bed, opened the book across my lap, and started reading.

(A/N Soooooo whatcha think?