“Gone From Daylight”

Aggressive Strength Enhancement – Max possesses an ability that works more involuntarily than on command. Known for his bad temper, whenever he is put into a stressful situation or is dealing with anger issues, his physical strength begins to increase in sync with what he is feeling. The angrier Max gets…the more powerful he becomes. It is unknown what the limit of this ability is, as it has never been fully examined or pushed past a certain level. Nor is it known if any side effects or consequences would appear if his extra was pushed too far or used for an extended period of time. But as far as what has been tested and observed so far, there doesn’t seem to be any barrier concerning just how strong Max can get. Considering that Max’s temper has no boundaries, it is assumed that his extra could easily go way beyond the physical limits of any other known vampire in the immediate area.

“Anger is just a cowardly extension of sadness. It’s a lot easier to be angry at someone than it is to tell them you’re hurt.” – Tom Gates

Tall. Strong. Ever so intimidating. A dirty look from Max is almost as effective as a sucker punch to the ribs on most occasions. But while Max may seemlike a heartless bully, he’d never really hurt the people he cares about. Nor would he let an outsider bring harm to his family in darkness. Anyone would be foolish to try.

Growing up, Max had a father who was extremely hard on him. Always looking for ways to ‘toughen him up’ and make a man out of him. Sometimes, through the blindness of the occasional alcoholic binge, Max’s father would become violent. Hardly the kind of abuse that Justin went through in his lifetime, but it was a definite problem for him to deal with. Eventually, Max took a ‘fuck the world’approach to his problems and shut himself off from the rest of humanity. Pretending not to care about anything or anyone was his protection from the pain of it all. He became so far removed from everyone around him, that when a young lady offered him a wild time for the weekend and offered to cross him over into darkness…there really wasn’t much hesitation in him accepting. He was already an outcast who had no further use for the world of daylight. Why not try something new, and get away from his father in the process. There was very little at home for him to hold on to at that point.

The others in the lot walk a tightrope around Max. They never know how much of his foul temper is real and how much is just for show. What they don’t understand is that Max is more a wounded animal than a monster. His threats and perpetual bad mood are the only things that truly ensure his privacy. By being detached, he can avoid the vulnerabilities involved with showing his softer side. There is, however…one exception to the rule.

When ‘Kid’ was brought into the lot over a year ago, and Jenna became an instant surrogate mother to him, the boy immediately gravitated towards Max to be his adopted father figure. After such a battered history with his own father, Max initially wanted no part in being a father to somebody else. But Max’s push and shove personality never worked on Kid. The boy’s innocent eyes and silent stare stuck by him through every insult and outburst without flinching. He saw straight through to the heart of Max and knew he had nothing to fear from the barking beast he pretended to be. There’s a part of Max that treasures Kid above all others, even if he would never let anyone else know it. Kid exposes a side of him that he exhausts himself trying to hide from the rest of the world…and all Kid wants in return is love. If anything, he treats Max like a larger than life sized stuffed animal, curling up in his arms every night for comfort and safety. It’s a therapeutic commitment that gives both of them a quiet sense of peace, and they are more dependent on one another than they realize.

Max’s biggest flaw is his idea that he thinks by shutting out the people around him that he can cut himself off from the human condition itself. He struggles within himself to find a balance between being alone and still maintaining his spot as a part of a family unit in darkness. When he walked in daylight, he harbored a great deal of anger and frustration for his home life…holding it all in and wishing that he could be stronger through hard times. Which is, most likely, why his extra manifested itself the way it did. The others in the lot may be on edge at times when it comes to Max’s fury, but they appreciate and depend on him without hesitation. As the lot’s dedicated ‘handy man’, Max is in charge of fixing what little things he can, making sure that the living quarters are all sunproofed and that no UV light can get in while they’re sleeping. And every once in while, he carries his grumpy attitude out to the clubs with him to have a night out with the others. But eventually, Max will have to learn that it takes much more energy to keep his walls up than it would be to tear them down. There’s a soft underbelly beneath all that armor. One that most would benefit from…if only he’d let them get a peek.

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