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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3. The Sins We Allow

Adam

I hesitated in the Pig. I knew what was inside the trailer, and I didn't want to face it.

"You don't have to go in there," Gansey replied knowingly. My grip tightened on the car door.

Of course I had to. If I didn't, everything would just get worse and worse until...

"I'm okay..." I breathed slowly. The light was on in the front room. I knew he wasn't at work, but a hopeful part of me thought maybe he wasn't home yet. That Henrietta's traffic was actually thick for once...or he got a flat tire...or he-

"Adam," Gansey spoke in a tone that told me it wasn't his first time calling me. I blinked at him. "You can just come back to Monmouth. You don't have to belong to him anymore."

A familiar anger sparked in me. I wouldn't be my father's, but I would be Gansey's. At least I had a shot at escaping my father one day. I knew if I became one of Gansey's things-one of his discoveries-I would never crawl back out, and I couldn't let that happen.

"I'm okay," I replied and got out of the car. A cool breeze hit me-strange weather for Henrietta.

"Adam-"

I shut the door on whatever Gansey was going to say because I knew if I listened, I might go with him. He began to back away. I ignored the hurt expression on his face as I waited for him to go. I didn't go inside until I couldn't see the Pig's lights anymore.

Each step was like a cut, carving into my courage. The only thing that kept me going forward was that little anger I had left from Gansey's comment. I opened the door, knowing the longer I took the worse it would be.

For a split second, I thought I was safe. He wasn't in the living room, his normal spot, and that little voice in the back of my head began to celebrate. I saw my mother in the kitchen and the look on her face killed that cheer instantly. I heard their bedroom door open behind me before I felt the fist contact with the back of my head. I went down, hoping it would be that one hit, but knowing it was never just that one hit.

"Do you think I wouldn't notice?" he yelled angrily as my mother chopped wilted carrots in the kitchen.

Diffuse the situation.

"I don't know what you mean," I replied as he grabbed me by my Aglionby sweater's collar. Just the sight of it seemed to enrage him more. He slammed his fist into my face and my world went black for a few seconds, and I dropped to the floor again.

"...called!"

I blinked back into the world. "...What...sir...?" Politeness sometimes calmed him down.

"Your rich school called!" he growled as he delivered a sharp kick to my side. "You didn't go to school today, so where did you go?"

Quick! Think of something! Anything!

"I-"

"Don't lie to me!" he yelled before I could get anything else out.

"Maybe...Maybe he's learned his lesson?" my mother finally spoke up. My father glared at her.

"He lies to us!"

"I..." I started but was silent by another kick. I had lowered my arm so the kick connected with my wrist. I felt the indiscernable snap that told me that it had broken. I didn't dare cry out.

"He won't learn if I just let him continue this!"

"You're..."

Wrong, I urged my mother to say. If she just stood up to him, maybe this would all en-

"...right. Right, honey," she nodded and went back to chopping.

Of course. Of course.

 *

I was grateful my room was too small to have many personal objects-like a mirror. I didn't see what my father had turned me into. I laid in my bed, careful of my broken wrist, and wondered how bad it would be to accept Gansey's offer.

You would belong to him.

Better than belonging to my father.

You might never become free.

But I might not survive my father much longer. It all came down to one question.

My life or my freedom?

 

Gansey

Monmouth was empty except for Ronan's odd raven. I decided to chew a mint leaf instead of contemplating the meaning behind that. It was too early in the week for Ronan to get into any bad trouble, and I couldn't blame him if he was looking for an outlet. I wanted one myself. My phone began to ring.

"Why, hello, Jane," I smiled, not allowing earlier to slip into my voice.

"My mom told me to call you," she replied, her voice thick with disdain. It turned my smile genuine.

"Why? Does it have something to do with Glendower?"

"She didn't say, so I figured you just needed someone to talk to. Ready to spill your guts out?"

I actually laughed.

"I'm just trying to me civil," Blue replied and I could just imagine her glare. "It's better than calling someone a prostitute."

That just made me laugh harder. Blue hung up on me.

Whether she meant to or not, Blue gave me exactly what I needed. I sighed and threw myself on my bed.

I couldn't love that girl. Adam loved her, and a real friend never fell in love with the object of his friend's affection. Especially with everything else Adam was going through... I couldn't take away something that might be good for him.

But...

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