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I Don’t Wanna Know About Your New Man

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Adam watched Blue through the kitchen doors. She finished scribbling something on a notepad, then put it aside and hung up her apron. He downed the last of his coke.

He had gotten off work twenty minutes earlier, and had offered to wait for her shift at Nino’s to end so they could walk to Monmouth for the movie night together. It was the first time they were doing this without Adam feeling guilty, without him feeling like he was being sly or sneaky, because it was the first time the others knew Adam and Blue were doing something together, just the two of them.

She walked up to his table and grinned at him, and he gave her a half-smile in return. He pulled out a crumpled dollar bill and a few coins from his pocket and put them on top of the check. Parting with them didn’t cause him as much of a pang as it used to. It felt nice to be able to buy a coke without beating himself up for it.

They headed outside, and Blue waited as Adam unchained his bike. Then, as if in a rhythm, they turned and began walking towards Monmouth.

“How are you?” she asked. “I haven’t seen you since DC.”

“Things have been busy,” he admitted. “I moved into a new apartment.”

Two days after Adam had seen the apartment and signed the paper work, he, Gansey and Ronan had moved all of his meagre possessions into the small room. Last night was the first night he’d spent there - squashed into the tiny bed, covered by a thin prickly sheet, a small plastic fan blowing into his face, making his hair tickle his forehead.

It had been perfect.

“Did you?” Her eyebrows reached her hairline. “Really?”

Adam nodded. He felt a flicker of surprise that Ronan hadn’t told her about this. How often did they talk to each other?

He kicked a stone and watched it roll down the street. “I just wanted my own space.”

Blue nodded, but her expression betrayed her true feelings. She thought he was foolish for wasting his money on an apartment, when he could have continued living with Ronan and Gansey. A part of him thought he was foolish too. But he didn’t regret it, not for one second.

Adam still didn’t know why Ronan had done it. Why he’d gone through so much trouble to find Adam a place to stay. How had he even realised that Adam was uncomfortable in Monmouth? That Adam’s pride, and his desire for independence, and his need for his own space, would have never let him be happy there? Gansey had been completely oblivious to the fact, and was very hurt when Adam had told him he’d be moving out. But Ronan understood. Adam had always thought he was unknowable, but Ronan seemed to get him anyway.

Ronan was really fucking confusing.

As if she could sense what Adam was thinking about, Blue suddenly said, “Ronan and I met his brother the other day.”

The awful sting of jealousy filled Adam. He hadn’t realised that Ronan and Blue had had their dinner with Declan. He wondered why Ronan hadn’t mentioned it, why he hadn’t felt like he could talk to Adam about it.

Not that Adam wanted to talk about Ronan and Blue’s relationship, but the sentiment remained.

He wondered why the thought of them together still bothered him. Their relationship had been the cause of everything good that had happened to him recently. It had been what had brought Gansey, Ronan and Noah into his life. He should have been happy these two had found each other and that he’d accidentally gotten temporarily mixed up in this secret love triangle that only he knew he was a part of.

Instead, the thought of them dating still made him uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. In fact, lately he’d been thinking a lot about Blue’s curse, about the fact that she and Ronan hadn’t kissed. Occasionally, in bed, he wondered what they had done that night in DC when Ronan had gone to sleep in her room. He drowned himself in those thoughts, wallowed in the awfulness of them.

“How did it go?” Adam asked, affecting nonchalance.

He remembered what he’d told Ronan once, early on in their friendship. He’d advised him to take Blue to dinner with his family. Show Declan that you’re not ashamed, he’d said. You’re not ashamed of her, and you’re not ashamed of the choices you’ve made.

Ronan had officially introduced Blue to his family. The next natural step would be for them to tell Gansey, and then their relationship would be out in the open. No more secret glances and hidden touches. Everything would be on display for Adam to see.

Ronan had said he wasn’t going to tell Gansey about their relationship until they were sure they were serious. The thought made Adam’s throat close up.

Ronan was serious about her. He was serious about Blue.

“It went fine,” Blue said. “I don’t think Declan likes me, but Matthew was a real sweetheart.”

The jealousy within him thickened. Matthew liked her. It didn’t take a genius to realise that Matthew’s opinion was worth a whole lot to Ronan.

Adam almost stopped in his tracks when he realised what he’d just thought. Was he… jealous that Matthew liked Blue? Why? Because that meant that Ronan had picked someone to date that his family approved of? Ronan was his friend. Shouldn’t Adam be happy that he’d found someone, even if it was someone that Adam himself had fancied in the past?

Did Adam even mind that Blue wasn’t interested in him anymore? He hadn’t been thinking much about her, truth be told. Hadn’t day dreamed about her in a while. And yes, sight seeing in DC had been lovely, and the meals they’d had together had been lovely, and she was still wonderful to talk to, but his memories with her weren’t something he’d been re-living over again and again in his thoughts. It wasn’t like it had been when he used to see her at Nino’s with Mason. He’d stopped thinking about her eyes and her smile and that little flower sewn into her apron. He’d even used up all her flower money on rent.

Then why was he still so goddamn jealous?

There was something wrong with him. He’d known that for years. His father had broken the part of him that loved properly. Adam Parrish was just a selfish dick who wanted others to be as miserable as he was. Two of his friends were very much in love, and Adam couldn’t even find it in himself to be happy for them. What a dog in the manger he was; he didn’t want them to be together, even though he didn’t want to be with either of them.

Well, he didn’t want to be with Blue.

Oh.

Oh.

“Adam?”

Adam turned towards Blue, and she must have seen the distraught look on his face, because her expression morphed into one of concern.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” Adam said, and it was so blatantly a lie that Blue frowned.

“Is this about your dad?” she asked. She smoothed out some wrinkles on her dress. “I wish you had told me about that.”

“I didn’t tell anyone about that,” Adam said.

His thoughts were still roaring, loud and complicated and completely unrelated to everything Blue was talking about.

Had he… fallen for Ronan Lynch?

As in, the same Ronan Lynch who he’d only befriended in order to make his life a living hell? Had anyone, anywhere ever failed so spectacularly at anything?

“I’m just concerned about you, Adam,” she said. “You never really open up about stuff.”

That wasn’t true. Adam had started to open up. To Ronan.

Fuck.

Here Adam was hanging out alone with a girl he thought he really liked, and he was realising that he’d fallen head over heels for her boyfriend instead.

That was why he was still so damn jealous when he thought about Blue and Ronan. That’s why he’d been tossing and turning at nights thinking about that comment Ronan had made about them doing ‘things that were not kissing.’ He hadn’t been thinking so much about Blue, because he was too busy thinking about Ronan and his affection for furry mice and the intensity of his love for his gentle golden-haired brother. Adam's thoughts had replayed the careful way Ronan held that baby deer in his arms a hundred times. He wasn’t thinking about Blue because he was thinking of Ronan’s laugh, and the way he tried to make Adam laugh, and his thoughtfulness and his loyalty and his terrible sense of humour, and how despite all the shit he’d been through, he was still so good. He’d been thinking of how Ronan tried to come across as someone who looked for danger, but who surrounded himself with people like Gansey and Noah, dreamt to life boys like Matthew. Adam hadn’t been thinking about Blue, because he’d been too busy thinking of that night in the Barns, of Ronan’s body under his fingers, hot and solid and capable of short circuiting all the thoughts in Adam’s brain. He’d been thinking obsessively of Ronan’s eyes, of his arms, of that fucking tattoo.

He hadn’t been thinking of Blue because he was too busy thinking of the boy who’d made him believe in magic.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

“I’m not really that kind of person,” Adam said.

“I know you and I aren’t very close, but I’m here if you need to talk about anything.” She was watching him now, her eyes large. “Is anything bothering you?”

Oh, it’s nothing. I’m just freaking out because I finally realised I have a big stupid crush on your boyfriend.

“No,” Adam said.

Blue furrowed her brow. “Well, if you want to talk…”

“Thanks,” he said, too quickly. “But I’m alright. So… tell me more about this dinner?”

Masochist.

She shrugged. “It was fine. Declan cooked, asked a bunch of intrusive questions. Matthew talked a lot. It was pretty normal, actually.”

“Great,” he said, even though he felt anything but. “I reckon things are going fine between the two of you, then?”

“Things are the same,” she said.

Adam forced a smile on his face. “I’m really happy for you,” he said.

He wished it was the truth. He wished he didn’t have the desire to break them up now, more than ever. But he was done trying to sabotage people’s lives.

Adam Parrish was going to be happy for them, even if he had to force it out of himself.

*    *    *

When Adam and Blue arrived at Monmouth that evening for the movie night, something felt off. Ronan could feel it in the air.

He watched Adam but Adam seemed to be avoiding making eye-contact with him.

It had been a little bit like this even when they were moving Adam’s things into his apartment, with Adam very deliberately turning away every time Ronan lifted something heavy or wiped the sweat from his brow with the hem of his shirt. But this felt different. This felt… stranger.

He felt like he’d said too much that day at the Barns. Done too much. Of course Adam was overwhelmed. Ronan had basically confessed to him that he was a complete freak. Adam barely liked him to begin with, but Ronan had gone and told him his deepest darkest secret.

He was scaring him away. Fuck, he knew this day would come.

The weird thing though, was that Ronan had almost thought they were… flirting, the other day. Which was crazy. Because why would Adam Parrish ever flirt with him?

Adam sat down on the couch beside him when they started the movie, but he took special care not to touch Ronan, which Ronan also noticed. Normally if their hands were close enough, Ronan would move his so their fingers were just slightly brushing each other. But Adam didn’t put his hands anywhere near Ronan’s today. In fact he kept them clasped in his lap.

It was driving Ronan insane. He hadn’t thought Adam would be this freaked out by his confession. He didn’t think Adam thought of him as a best friend, but he at least thought Adam would understand. He’d been so understanding about everything else.

Ronan considered going to Kavinsky’s house - K wasn’t having a party, but there were still dreamer tricks he’d promised to teach him, and he always had plenty of booze lying around. But Ronan had fought with him the other day. Kavinsky had wanted to break into and trash Adam’s apartment, and Ronan had - albeit in a far more complex manner - told him to go fuck himself. The two had parted on very cold, bitter terms that involved complex swears and several rude gestures. Ronan didn’t feel like he’d be welcome at Kavinsky’s house tonight. Maybe next week, when K was coked up enough to forget his ‘indiscretion’.

He’d thought he was done with Kavinsky, with those parties, but sitting beside Adam and not knowing how he felt was driving him crazy.

Then a thought hit Ronan, cold and clammy. Was Adam being weird because he knew Ronan had been flirting with him?

Oh fuck.

But Adam was the one who had touched him. Ronan had reminded himself of this every minute since it had happened. It seemed like a dream, but Ronan knew it was real because he knew when he was awake, and he’d been wide awake at that moment. More awake than he’d ever been before, probably. And the plain, hard fact was that Adam had let his fingers linger on Ronan’s chest. He’d dragged his fingers down Ronan’s stomach, leaving a trail of burning skin in his wake.

Ronan had re-played that scene in his mind over and over and over again. Mostly at nights. Mostly when he was alone in his room.

One of these nights, Ronan had catalogued all the reasons Adam could have possibly had for pulling away, and realised with a startling chill that it might have been due to the Blue thing. Adam still thought Ronan was dating Blue, and Adam wasn’t the type to cheat or encourage cheating. Which meant that maybe they really were flirting, and that maybe if Adam knew the truth he would have continued touching him, his hand moving lower down his stomach…

In this fantasy, Ronan was the one who closed the gap between their lips.

If only he’d had the nerve. When he closed his eyes he could picture it; he could feel Adam’s kisses in the rain, his lips wet and warm.     

Ronan was spiralling again. He really needed to get out of there.

He felt Adam’s eyes on him, but when he looked up, Adam was watching the movie. His hands twitched in his lap.

“Parrish,” Ronan whispered.

“Hmm?”

“You’ve got some shit on your face.”

“Fuck off, Lynch,” Adam said, rubbing the scruff on his cheeks.

Ronan didn’t know why he’d been growing out his facial hair, but it was doing things to Ronan that he didn’t want to acknowledge. He imagined what it would feel like to run his hands over it.

Adam turned to Ronan, deep blue eyes making Ronan’s skin burn. “Do you think it looks bad?”

“It makes you look like a loser.”

Adam rolled his eyes. “I always look like a loser, according to you.”

Ronan couldn’t help the words that spilled out of his mouth next. “It’s not a bad thing.”

Blue, who was on Ronan’s other side, shushed them. Adam turned back to the TV, but the tips of his ears were bright pink. His hand fell out of his lap. Ronan let his hand lightly brush against Adam’s fingers. Electricity tingled up his arm.

He no longer needed to leave.  

*    *    * 

Ronan’s conversation with Matthew after their family dinner with Blue had clearly affected him, because Matthew had been calling Ronan insistently since, asking if he, Ronan and Blue could have a day out together. While Matthew’s calls were the only ones Ronan answered without hesitation, he had to eventually admit to himself that having his little brother call every day was getting to be a bit much.

So he agreed. Only to shut Matthew up.

Blue was not amused when he told her.

“You told me it would just be a dinner,” she complained. “Now I have to hang out with your other brother?”

“He’s getting suspicious,” Ronan said. “He basically said the other day that you and I didn’t seem like a couple.”

He didn’t know why he was keeping this charade up. He had long since given up on denying his feelings for Adam, in denying who he was and what he liked. The whole farce had become just about Declan, about hiding it from him, about - in a sense - pleasing him. Ronan hated it.

He just had to remind himself that Declan would soon be back in DC, and this would all be over.

“How do you seem like a couple?”

“Fuck knows, Sargent. I’m as bad at this as you are.”

This shut Blue up. Ronan could practically hear her scowling over the phone.

“I do like Matthew,” she admitted, finally. “But this is taking my time away from other things, Ronan.”

“Think of the boots,” Ronan said, drily.

Blue let out an irritated exhale. “Fine,” she conceded.

“This is the last one,” Ronan promised. “Declan is going back to DC very soon.”

“Not soon enough,” Blue muttered. “So where are we going?”

Ronan didn’t know any good date places. He knew he couldn’t ask Gansey - lest Gansey get all excited about Ronan going on a date - and he sure as fuck wasn’t about to ask Adam for dating advice - lest he hear more ‘my ex-girlfriend who did blah and blah’ stories. So he turned to Noah.

Noah, of course, was more than happy to oblige.

“The circus!” Noah said. “People love the circus.”

“There is no fucking circus here,” Ronan snapped.

“Oh. Oh. Take her to one of those places where they like, lock you in a room and you have to solve puzzles to escape.”

“Noah, what the actual fuck.”

Noah made a face. “What?” he asked. “Not good enough for your fake date?”

“I wish you disappeared more often,” Ronan grumbled.

Noah crossed his legs and held his chin in his hand, brow furrowed in concentration. Then, he brightened up.

“Oh!” he said. “How about bowling?”

That was not a terrible idea.

“There’s this great place called The Fishbowl,” Noah said. “It’s like, ten minutes from your church.”

“I think I’ve heard of it.”

“This is going be so fun!” Noah said. “I can’t wait.”

“You are aware that you aren’t coming, right?”

Noah clearly wasn’t aware, because he was grumpy for the rest of the day.

After getting pizza with Matthew, Ronan drove them to Blue’s house. He honked, and Blue came rushing outside in a ripped skirt and tank top.

“Aren’t you going to open the door for her?” Matthew asked.

“She’s a feminist,” Ronan said, being facetious.

Matthew looked confused, but went back to smiling broadly as soon as Blue slid into the backseat. Matthew chattered for the rest of the drive about his friends from school and some lady that was tutoring him in math. Blue listened carefully, smiling and commenting at all the right times. Ronan watched Matthew, but the kid was always so cheerful, it was hard to tell if he was truly enjoying the conversation or not.

They changed into bowling shoes, and Ronan bought them cokes and french fries. Matthew continued chatting happily with Blue as Ronan tested the weights of different bowling balls.

“You guys don’t do a lot of coupley stuff,” Matthew noted.

Ronan was about to say that they just weren’t that kind of couple, but Blue beat him to it. 

“People don’t know about us yet,” she said.

“There aren’t many people here, you know,” Matthew pointed out.

Blue gave Ronan a quizzical look. Ronan was about to pick a random stranger and say he knew him, before Blue slipped her hand into his.

“It’s nice to be able to do this in public,” she told him, her voice dripping with fake sweetness.

“It really is, sugar dumpling.”

Blue glared at him and tightened the grip on his hand until Ronan let out a hiss of pain. He stuck a finger in her ear which made her yelp and duck away from him. Matthew smiled at the two of them.

“This is nice,” he said.

“Yeah,” Ronan said, sarcastically. “Best day of my life.”

“Don’t mind Ronan,” Blue said, sticking her ungodly sharp elbow into his waist. “He’s just shy on dates.”

“I’m not fucking shy.”

Their hands were still clasped together. Ronan’s hand felt hot, sweaty. He didn’t understand why people did this. Nothing about holding hands seemed remotely enjoyable. 

“You know him, Matthew,” Blue continued. “He’s like a coconut. Hard and spiky on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside. He even has the haircut to match.”

“I swear to god, Sargent…”

“And his swearing,” Blue shook her head. “Charmed me from the moment we met. I love me a man with a potty mouth.”

“And I love a girl whose clothes look like they were chewed up by raccoons.”

Matthew looked between them, his expression a little perplexed, but he must have assumed this riffing was normal because his face slid into an easy smile again.

“You guys are funny,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun.”

“Yeah,” Blue agreed. “It’s a nice place.”

Matthew nodded enthusiastically. “It’s cool to see where Adam works, too.”

“What?” Ronan and Blue asked, in unison.

Matthew’s mouth twisted. His eyes flicked between them.

“I thought that’s why you picked this place?” he asked.

“Adam works here?” Ronan asked. His throat had gone dry.

“He’s working right now.”

Matthew pointed. Ronan followed the motion, his heart suddenly palpitating at twice its normal speed. Two lanes over, Adam was sweeping up spilled popcorn with a broom. He was in a ridiculous red collared shirt and black slacks.

Ronan felt like all the blood had drained from his face. He was going to fucking murder Noah. Too bad the dick was already dead.

“This is his third job?” Blue asked. “I didn’t know that.”

“I did think it was weird that you didn’t say hi to him,” Matthew said.

He started waving in Adam’s direction. Ronan tried to stop him, but it was too late. Adam spotted them.

Ronan’s reflexes were not good today.

Adam left his broom and came over to them, eyes wide.

“Hey,” he said, and he sounded disoriented. “What are you guys doing here?”

“Bowling,” Ronan said, stupidly.

Adam’s eyes travelled down to where Ronan and Blue’s hands were joined. Ronan made to let go, but Blue held on. Adam’s gaze hovered there for a moment, snagged on their interlocked fingers. Then he looked back up at them. He looked distinctly more uncomfortable than he had five seconds before.

“Why didn’t you tell us you worked here?” Blue asked.

“Because it’s embarrassing,” Adam said. He gestured down at his uniform. “I mean look at this stupid thing. And usually I have to wear a cap as well. It’s humiliating.”

Blue giggled.

“It’s pretty humiliating to be seen with you right now,” Ronan remarked.

Adam made a face at him. 

“Why aren’t you wearing your cap?” Matthew asked.

“It, uh… ‘accidentally’ fell down the toilet.” Adam said, that mischievous half-grin on his face.

Ronan wondered for the nth time if he’d pulled Adam from his dreams. How the fuck did he manage to be so god fucking damn perfect all the time?

Adam caught Ronan’s gaze and held it for a moment. Ronan’s stomach flipped over. Adam turned away and rubbed the back of his neck.

“I’ll let you guys continue…” He gestured towards their linked hands. Ronan’s hand was itching now. He hoped Blue would let go, wanted it more than anything else at that moment. “I should get back to work.”

Ronan wished he had something to say, but he didn’t. He watched Adam leave in silence.

They got back to their game then. Ronan was the best by far. Matthew alternated between splits and gutter balls, and Blue wasn’t too bad either, considering it was her first time playing. Once, Ronan stood behind her and taught her how to throw the ball. They were close, their bodies pressed together awkwardly, her head against Ronan’s chest, as Ronan held her arm and showed her how to roll it in a straight line. He wondered if they looked as uncomfortable as he felt.

Throughout the evening he thought he felt Adam’s gaze on him, hot and heavy on his back, but he didn’t think he could bear to turn around and see that he was mistaken.

*    *    *

Adam’s new plan - a.k.a the one where he was going to get over Ronan with a minimum amount of trouble - was not going too well. Specifically because Gansey, who despite knowing fuck all about Adam’s plan, was clearly trying to sabotage him.

Because there was no other way Adam could reason Gansey deciding to pick up Ronan from tennis. See, Ronan had a car. A nice car that he drove around himself. Gansey didn’t need to go pick Ronan up in his car, and he certainly didn’t need to take Adam along. Except they were on their way to a cave on the ley line, and Gansey wanted Ronan to come with them, so Adam was dragged into the country club and had to sit there for fifteen agonising minutes watching a sweaty Ronan run around in shorts.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Ronan had this habit of lifting the hem of his shirt to wipe his face, so Adam was treated to several flashes of that tattoo of his that ran all the way down his back, into the waistband of his shorts.

By the time Ronan had showered and settled down into the car besides Adam, smelling of soap and deodorant, Adam was sure the universe was just playing a cruel joke on him. He tried to distract himself by watching the passing trees.

The past week had been an absolute nightmare. Adam was very much trying to distance himself from Ronan; trying not to be around him too much, trying not to touch him or hear his jokes or look into his eyes, but it was incredibly hard. Especially because Adam was used to chasing things he wanted with a fiery determination. But he couldn’t chase Ronan. Not when he was in love with Blue.

Adam wasn’t sure how he hadn’t realised his feelings for Ronan sooner. Adam’s free time was rare and precious, but he’d been spending all of it either with Ronan or thinking about him. Which was not a good thing for Adam’s new plan.

The new plan involved keeping away from Ronan until he was over him. But it was really, really hard. Particularly because Ronan was everywhere. Adam could at least brace himself whenever he went over to Monmouth, but he didn’t know what to do when Ronan showed up at Boyd’s, or at his apartment, or at The Fishbowl with Blue, the two of them holding hands and being all cute, Ronan teaching Blue how to bowl all pressed up against her while Adam stood around like an idiot in a bright red polo shirt. Adam had spent that entire night battling the green-eyed monster that resided in his soul.

Blue had him first, he’d been reminding himself. And even if he was single, he wouldn’t want to be with you anyway.

He told himself that they were happy. That by coming in their way, he’d just be ruining their happiness. They both deserved to be happy. He didn’t. So he was going to step back. It was a simple choice to make. He was going to stay away and get over Ronan, just like he had with Blue.

Beside him in the Camaro, Ronan’s hand brushed against his. Adam’s heart fluttered.

He had a bad feeling that getting over Ronan Lynch wouldn’t be quite as easy as that.

“Cheng is having a party tonight,” Gansey was saying to Noah, who was in the passenger seat, and then to Adam and Ronan in the rearview. “You guys want to go?”

“Henry Cheng?” Adam asked disbelievingly, at the same time as Ronan said, “Fuck no.”

“I know you don’t like him,” Gansey said to Ronan with a sigh. “But he’s a really fascinating, intelligent person. I know if you only gave him a chance…”

“He’s like the human version of a fly,” Ronan said. “Irritating. Irrelevant. Idiotic.”

“You didn’t want to be friends with Adam either,” Gansey reminded him. “And now look at all of us.”

Adam felt a twinge in his heart, and had to remind himself that he wasn’t a fan of Ronan when they first became friends either. Ronan glanced at him, and then away.

“And Blue as well,” Noah piped up.

Ronan hadn’t liked Blue when he first met her? Adam frowned. That was curious. He hoped more would be said on the subject, but no one elaborated.

“I’m not going to Cheng’s fucking party,” Ronan said. “Three minutes in his house and I’m going to need intensive therapy.”

“You need intensive therapy anyway,” Noah said. Ronan flipped him off.

Gansey ignored this exchange.

“Adam?” Gansey asked, pleadingly. “Blue is busy tonight. Don’t make us go alone.”

“Why are you assuming I’m coming?” Noah demanded.

“Aren’t you?” Gansey asked.

“Of course,” Noah said. “It’s a party.”

Ronan rolled his eyes. Three sets of eyes turned expectantly towards Adam.

Adam shrugged. “For probably the first time in history, Lynch is right. Cheng is a pain in the ass.”

Ronan flashed him an approving grin.

“Fucking exactly,” Ronan said. “You guys go. Parrish and I could just hang out and watch a movie or something.”

Adam felt a burst of excitement and then horror at the thought of spending an entire evening watching a movie in close proximity to Ronan. Only Ronan. The two of them together on a couch in a dark room with none of their friends around to interrupt. Adam imagined Ronan beside him, a bowl of popcorn in his lap, eyes moving away from the movie and landing on Adam. He pictured Ronan looking at him the way he had at the Barns - greedy, ravenous. He imagined Ronan's eyes trailing again to his lips. He swallowed. 

In the rear-view mirror, Noah blinked very deliberately at him. Adam gave him a confused look in return. He wondered again if Noah could tell what he was thinking. Oh dear god, was he… winking at him? Adam felt his face going warm.

“Actually,” Adam said, quickly. “Maybe we should go.”

Gansey gave him a brilliant smile. Ronan scowled. 

“You’re the one who said I never do anything fun,” Adam said to him.

“This isn’t fucking fun,” Ronan said. “This is torture.”

“Ronan has skewed ideas of what ‘fun’ entails,” Gansey said, breezily. “So that’s settled then. Adam, we’ll pick you up from your apartment at 8.”

Adam was regretting this decision already.