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Only Myself to Give-Rydon-5I catch a bus from Jon's house and Dad is nowhere to be found when I get home.
Probably out drunk in some bar, I think bitterly, hanging my jacket up in the closet and sloughing my way up to my room to do homework.
About an hour later, Brendon texts me: Hey. Sorry about Jon. He likes being annoying like that.
Well, as much as I love my History homeworksarcasmtexting Brendon sounds a lot more appealing, so I set aside my notebook in favor for my phone.
Haha yeah. Umm I didn't freak you out today, did I?
Waiting for his answer is nerve-wracking and tedious and I can't concentrate on my homework at all. Then finally
Nah, it's fine. Everything's cool. Though I must say, I didn't think you had it in you to be that sexy.
A blush creeps up my neck and over my cheeks and I sit there, nervously laughing and biting my lip until I can think of an adequate response.
Yeah? I'd make a pretty hot stripper, don't you think?
And when Brendon t
Only Myself to Give-Rydon-4I don't ride the bus home on Friday.
"You mean you're leaving me all alone?" Gabe asks, eyes wide in mock fear. "How can you do this to me, novato?"
"Grow up," I say, laughing and rolling my eyes.
"Well, I hope whatever you're doing instead is worth it," he mutters teasingly and scoots off to bother William.
I hope so too, I think to myself, watching Brendon and Pete playfully argue out of the corner of my eye.
After school, I meet up with Brendon, Spencer, and Patrick, and we all pile into Jon's car.
"I call shotgun!" Spencer says and purposefully makes his way to the front seat, leaving Patrick, Brendon, and I to figure out seating in the back.
Brendon offers to take the middle, but, "I'm the skinniest, I'll take the middle," I say and sit down in the middle, refusing to budge until Brendon reluctantly takes the seat to my right.
"I feel like such a bad host," he grumbles. "I should be in the middle."
"First of all," I begin, bossily ticking my points off on my fingers,
Only Myself to Give-Rydon-3"How was your first day of school, Ryan?" Dad asks the moment I walk in the door, leaning over me with eyes that glitter dangerously in the low light.
"It was good," I mumble. "I met some nice people."
"Boys?" he asks suspiciously and I give a noncommittal shrug. "And no kiss for daddy this morning either. You think we're not a family anymore? You think you can get away with ignoring me?"
What? I think mutinously, watching him stalk closer to me. You can't stand the taste of your own medicine?
I can smell the alcohol on his breath as he breathes into my face and I brace myself for the worst.
But all he does is give me a relatively light punch in the eye and walk away, muttering as he does so. "Damn faggot."
I press a hand to my eye and stagger upstairs to find the first aid kit, such a usual occurrence in this household.
It's only after I smear my face with some weird ointment and tie an ice pack around my head that I notice the piece of paper that Brendon snuck into my b
Only Myself to Give-Rydon-2You can take the kid of the fight but you can't take the fight out of the kid.
I'm writing lyrics in the margin of my new English notebook because, why not admit it, this is the most boring English class I've ever had the misfortune of attending. The teacher has her back turned to the class and is droning on and on about the difference between past perfect tense and simple past tense. Come on, what sort of idiot doesn't know this by now? Except I'm an English nerd from a private school, so I guess I'm a little biased
You're a regular decorated emergency. The bruises and contusions will remind you what you did when you wake. You've earned a place atop the ICU's Hall of Famethe camera caught you causing a commotion on the gurney again. (The second highest all time number of curses, swears, and punches.)
I turn when I hear Brendon's voice and he discreetly hands me a slip of paper. First class of my first day and I'm already bored enough to be passing
Only Myself to Give-Rydon-1It's first day of school and I'm standing nervously in front of my mirror, playing with my dull brown hair until the long bangs fall into my face, halfway hiding my scared eyes, so I decide to leave it like that.
I want to a private school last year and I want to make a good impression on my new classmates this year, so I'm overly careful in picking out my outfit. Acid-washed jeans that are tight but not too tight, a loose grey v-neck, my favorite black hoodie, and just a hint of eyelinerI'm thinking I pretty good.
Is it still me that makes you sweat? I sing in my head, eyeing my reflection and trying on a seductive face, which only results in nearly falling over with laughter.
"BUS!" my dad roars from downstairs and I collect myself quickly, grabbing my backpack off my bed and flying down the steps so I don't miss the school bus on my first day. Now that would make a great impression.
I open the front door and am about to step outside when my dad's hand on my shoul
Flexible--Rydon--41Kiss-ass, Brent thinks as Brendon perches on the edge of his chair, singing all of Ryan's favorite songs into the poet's ear. Or is it just their awkward way of flirting?
Because he doesn't, not for one minute, believe that they are nothing more than 'just friends.'
"Here I go, going down, down, down," sings Brendon softlythough this song is more one of his favorites, not Ryan's. "My head is spinning, around and around, as I go deep into the funnel of love."
Spencer, having bought a newspaper when they stopped for gas, is doing the crossword, eyebrows furrowed. "What's a four-letter math subject?" he asks aloud.
"Calc?" suggests Ryan.
Spencer hums. "Maybe." He writes that down.
"It's such a crazy, crazy feeling. I get weak in the knees. My poor head is a-reelin'," continues Brendon, and this time, Ryan joins him in singing, "As I go deep into the funnel of love."
Oh, definitely flirting, Brent decides and tucks his nose into The Two Towers, as Gollum
Flexible--Rydon--40Brendon's all moved out and into a cheap and almost-not-really-but-mostly-falling-apart apartment by the time they really start working with Pete Wentz.
"I'm not gonna tell you guys how to write your music. I'm just here to guide you," Pete says and invites them out to stay with him LA, while they record their first album.
So they all pile into Spencer's van and head for California.
"Dibs on the radio!" Ryan announces as they toss their bags into the trunk.
"What the fuck, dude? I thought you were driving?" protests Spencer.
Ryan smirks. "Exactly. I'm not driving to LA listening to crap music."
Brendon and Brent meet each other's gaze behind Ryan's back and simultaneously roll their eyes.
As if he can sense the mockery going on behind his back, Ryan turns around to glare suspiciously at the two boys.
"What?" asks Brendon, flashing Ryan his most angelic smile.
Ryan swallows, because damn! That smile. "I know you are up to something," he hisses, clambering into the driver's seat.
Flexible--Rydon-39"Oh my god. I feel like such a dork," mumbles Brendon, standing in front of Ryan's mirror and awkwardly trying to pat down his hair.
Ryan grins lazily at Brendon's reflection from his spot on his bed. "You look fine."
"I look terrible," argues Brendon, turning around to glare at Ryan. "No one in their right mind is going to hire me."
Ryan smirks. "Why not?" he asks. "You're smart, charismatic, hard-working, loyal, and incredibly good-looking."
Brendon blushes and mumbles a thank you.
"Ready to go?" asks Ryan, and Brendon nods, following the older boy out to his car, where Ryan drives them to mall. "You'll probably get stick with a less than ideal job," Ryan tells him. "But, hey, a job is a job. Money is money. And once we release our album we're gonna be gods. You know?"
They don't speak for the rest of the drive. Ryan taps his fingers against the steering wheel, and Brendon gazes gloomily out the window.
"We're here," Ryan says, a bit unnecessarily as he
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