Broken

A Raven Cycle AU. The rating is for the occasional swear and abuse. This is an alternate universe in which Ronan and Adam get together in the first Raven Cycle book.

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8. Damnum

Ronan

I stared sleeplessly at my ceiling, a million thoughts flying through my head, but none that I wanted to entertain. All I could really focus on was the look in Adam's eyes when I pulled away. Like I had taken the world from him.

How could I have kissed him? I groaned internally.

Adam was my friend. I didn't go around kissing Noah or Gansey. So why was I so enraptured by Adam? Why was Adam so special?

I remembered the way Adam had smelled- the way he had tasted. It was like nothing I had every felt before, and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted more.

I can't...

I sighed and looked at the clock. It was nearly seven in the morning. Had Adam left for work yet? Or was he asleep, alone in bed and regretting ever coming in here? It had taken a lot of his pride just to come ask for help, and how had I repaid his trust?

I'll be lucky if he even talks to me...

I growled angrily and sat up. I practically sensed the keys to the Pig sitting inside my desk drawer. Shaking my head, I left my room.

"Kerah?" Chainsaw called, but I ignored her. I didn't want her to follow me. I didn't want anyone to follow me where I was going. I shut my door and quietly walked by Gansey's bed. He was out cold- crashed after so many sleepless nights himself.

Sorry, I thought because I knew I'd never say it.

*

Adam

Work was near impossible. Every thought was on Ronan and his kiss. I knew I should have pushed him away. I knew I should have said something. Did something. But instead, I ran away. And I knew I recognized the look in Ronan's eyes, because I'd felt it so many times before. Disappointment and loss.

"Parrish!"

I looked up to see the floor manager with his default scowl set. He hated me. I knew that the moment I got this job. He despised anyone who went or was going to Aglionby. He saw it as a personal offense, and felt the need to go out of his way to find something wrong with what I was doing. I was really making it easy for him today, though.

He'd already given me three warnings and cut my breaks. Was that legal is up for debate, but it wasn't like I could just scream that it was unfair and quit. I needed the money. Still, my patience was becoming increasingly thin with him as his was with me.

"You got a phone call!"

I blinked at him. That was definitely not what I was expecting. I removed my gloves and headed into his small office where the only phone in the building sat waiting.

"Five minutes," he stated, holding up five fingers and shutting the door behind him.

I stared at the phone, worry clouding my thoughts.

Was it Ronan? Was he hurt?

Was it Gansey? Had something happened?

Was it Blue? Of course not! She doesn't have this number...

I took a deep breath and answered.

"Adam, honey?"

Any air I had taken in was immediately removed as my mother's shaky voice crackled over the phone.

"M-mom?" I asked, though I knew it was her.

"You need to come home, sweetie. We need to work this out like a family."

Code: You're father wants you to come home to become his punching bag.

"I-I'll be back Sunday night," I swallowed, the fear making my voice thin.

"No, you need to come home after work."

There wasn't enough air in the small office, but I tried to speak regardless. I stood there, opening and closing my mouth before "Why?" finally came out.

"You're father believes your friends are becoming a bad influence on you, and he wants you back here to have a talk. It's just a talk, Adam. I promise."

I couldn't say no because I knew what would happen if I did, so I nodded.

"Adam?"

I realized she couldn't see me.

"Okay..." I replied weakly. "I get off at nine-thirty. I'll go by Monm-"

"No, come directly home," she interrupted firmly, then hung up.

I stood there in silence, with inadequate oxygen and the phone up to my ear, until the floor manager came in and told me my five minutes were up. I walked quietly onto the floor and continued working.

Suddenly, all my thoughts were on what this "talk" would be about. I wasn't dumb enough to think my father wouldn't be angry after his truck had been blown up. I wasn't that lucky. But maybe... There was nothing that could make this situation better. Nothing that could get me out of what was to come.

You could stay at Monmouth... Stay with Ronan...

But even thinking that was impossible. There was no way I could use them as an escape. Everyone deserved better than that.

Everyone but me.

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