Precious Sins ✓

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Chapter Twenty-Three

Preston’s POV

I exhaled a deep breath as I extended the weighted bar upwards, away from my chest, and then inhaled as I brought the bar down, and repeated the motion. Joseph stood behind me, his hands lingering underneath the bar as he spotted me on the bench press.

I did a couple more reps on the bench press, and when my arms were starting to burn immensely, I lifted the bar back onto the hooks with Joseph’s help. I sat up, shaking out my arms.

“Holy cow, Preston. Bench pressing 180 pounds? That’s impressive,” Joseph said to me. We were both sweating from our heavy work outs. On Wednesdays Daniel, Joseph, and I spent our lunch break in the fitness room at school, working out with the rest of our sports buddies. And I could say today, so far, was a pretty successful workout session.

I wiped the sweat off my forehead with the edge of my muscle tee, and glanced at Joseph with a smirk. I caught the water bottle he threw at me, “Yea? Think you can beat that?”

Joseph snorted, “not yet, but I will.”

I laughed. I took a sip from my water bottle. I glanced over to Daniel as he walked over from where he was at the squat machine, and grinned, “hey Danny, think you can bench press 180?”

“I80? Try 200,” Daniel raised a brow at us as he stepped over, setting his water bottle down onto the floor. I watched with a grin, and then moved off the bench as Daniel moved to take my place.

Joseph put an extra twenty pounds onto the bar, totaling the weight up to two-hundred pounds. Then, Daniel laid back underneath the bar on the bench, grabbed it with his hands, and as Joseph spotted him, helped him lift it off the hooks. I watched as Daniel was able to lower the bar towards his chest and then push it up, repeating for a couple more reps before he was putting it back onto the hooks.

I scoffed, smirking as Daniel sat back up on the bench, and turned to Joseph and I with a triumphed look on his face.

“See? 200 pounds, easy.”

“Yup, you definitely have us beat,” I laughed, shaking my head with a smile.

Joseph pouted, “this is not fair. You both can bench heavy weight and here I am, stuck at a measly 160. I’m such a weakling.”

“Hey, I mean...from how scrawny you were in freshman year, you’ve come a long way, Mr. Muscles.”

Daniel snorted. Joseph rolled his eyes and stuck his tongue out at me before he crossed his arms over his chest.

“Anyways, how are you and Asher doing with the pregnancy? I mean, it must be a bit difficult right now,” Joseph brought up. Daniel paused as I handed him his water bottle, and he took it with a thanks and sipped from it.

“We’re doing okay. Now that his nausea is gone, his appetite has been through the roof. He eats all the time,” Daniel chuckled, “oh, and his sex drive, it’s fucking wild.”

I laughed, a smirk on my face, “oh, yea? You must be having the time of your life then.”

“I can barely keep up, and that’s saying a lot,” Daniel chuckled, “but in all seriousness, I have a job now so I’ve been working a lot recently. While my parents are being supportive and will be helping us, they still want me to be able to provide for Asher and the baby, so after school I head to work. But, it’s hard because it means I have to leave Asher alone at his house and I’m not comfortable with him being at his own place.”

I raised a brow, “why not? Is something going on with him and his dad?”

Daniel sighed, “His dad has never liked me, and I have never liked him. But...there’s just something about him that puts me off...I don’t know, maybe I’m paranoid but I don’t feel comfortable when Asher’s there. Especially now that he’s pregnant. Asher won’t listen to me though and says it’s fine.”

“Hm...well, we could always try to make sure he’s not alone while you’re at work. He could stay at one of our places until you’re off work,” Joseph suggested. Daniel shrugged.

“Maybe, but you know how stubborn Asher is though.”

“We’ll figure it out, try not to worry too much,” I reassured, placing my hand on Daniel’s shoulder. Daniel nodded his head at that and flashed Joseph and I a smile, though I could still see the worry on his face.

Adrien’s POV

“Ugh, I’m so hungry. I should have ordered more French fries!” Asher groaned across from me. I turned my gaze from the snowy scenery through the window and glanced over at Asher, who already half finished his sandwich and fries. I smiled crookedly at him. We were having lunch at the diner across the street from the school for our lunch break. Just us two.

Snow was falling from the sky and landing on the window next to me, and painted the town with white snowflakes. For the past few days it had been snowing constantly, and while it was pretty and I loved winter, I didn’t like the icy cold weather that came with it.

“Why not order some more fries then? We have time before we have to head back,” I said to him. Asher shrugged, dipping his fry into sweet and sour sauce before putting it into his mouth.

“I’m already eating more than I used to. At this rate, I’m going to get fat,” Asher mumbled. He stuffed a couple more fries into his mouth before digging back into his sandwich. I shook my head with a laugh, stabbing my fork into my penne pasta.

“You’re not going to get fat.”

Asher scoffed, “I’m pregnant, Adrien. I’m going to get fat. My stomach isn’t going to get any smaller. I’m going to have a mountain as a belly the further along I get.”

“Being pregnant doesn’t equal being fat,” I rolled my eyes, flicking a piece of pasta at him. I smiled innocently when he narrowed his eyes, and flicked the pasta right back at me. I laughed.

“Whateverrrr. Anyways,” Asher quickly changed the subject as he took a sip of his water, “your birthday is in two weeks! What are you planning to do? It’s on a Friday this year!”

“Uhm...I’m not sure yet. I don’t want anything extravagant, maybe just a small get together with you guys at Preston and I’s place?” I shrugged, taking a bite of penne pasta. I wasn’t a huge party person. Sure, I went to parties, but I wasn’t big on them. A small get together with my friends, having drinks, eating cake, and playing games was all I needed. That’s pretty much what I did every year for my birthday, invite over my friends and we have a small party to ourselves or we go out to eat. My mom also likes to have a small family get together so we usually do that the day after my birthday.

“Yea? That would be fun,” Asher smiled crookedly. I smiled back, “I can already taste your mom’s cake. Ugh, I love her cakes! Especially her vanilla one. It’s so good.”

“I will tell her to make extra so you can bring some home after the party,” I laughed. Asher beamed, a cheeky smile on his face as he stuffed his face with his sandwich.

“And this is why I love you.”

I playfully rolled my eyes. We stayed at the diner for a while longer, and after we finished our food and Asher ordered takeout fries, we slid on our winter coats and walked back to school. Asher stuffed his mouth full of fries as we walked back, not caring if his fingers froze from the chilling wind.

“I’ll see you later tonight, Adrien! I’m going to go meet up with Daniel,” Asher beamed at me with a wave. I smiled and waved back, calling out to him a he headed off down the hall.

“Bye Asher!” I shouted to him before I turned in the opposite direction. I headed up the stairs and walked down to my locker. Once there, I put in the code, opened my locker, and slipped off my scarf and winter coat. I hung them up, fixed my hair and grabbed my physics textbook and binder, slipping them into my bag.

As I was tucking my textbook into my bag, someone suddenly stopped next to me and leaned against Preston’s locker, the sudden approach having me startled. I flinched back and snapped my gaze up to the taller male.

“Hey there, Adrien,” The guy said. He had a smirk on his face, his dark hair covered by a backwards baseball cap, his brown eyes looking at me with a glint. He wore a navy blue hoodie and black joggers. I frowned confusedly, tucking my binder into my bag.

“Do I know you?” I asked him, raising a brow at him.

He smiled amusedly, “I’m Carter. Carter Alinsky. We made eye contact at the Halloween party at Annie’s place. You don’t remember?”

I blinked. So this was the Carter that Preston complained to me about once? Now that I thought about it, he did look familiar. And the more I remembered that night, I realized that he was the one who winked at me back at the party when Marci complimented up a storm to Preston. I didn’t want to watch her hit on him so I looked away, and that was when I made eye contact with Carter. He had been with his rugby friends.

“Oh, yea, I remember you.” I smiled at him, shrugging my bag over my shoulder, “you’re also in the same gym class as Preston, aren’t you?”

“So he talks about me,” Carter commented with a chuckle.

“Well...I wouldn’t say he talks, they’re more like complaints,” I laughed. Carter looked at me with amusement shining in his eyes. They were mixed with another emotion that I couldn’t read, and the more I stared at him, the more I grew uncomfortable with his gaze. I bit my lip, turning my gaze to my locker with flushed cheeks.

“You have nice eyes. They’re a beautiful shade of green. Vibrant,” Carter complimented. I could still feel his gaze on me as I grabbed my binder, shoving it into my bag, and when I forced myself to gaze up at him again, the blush on my face worsened at the smile on his face.

“Ah...thank you,” I murmured. I felt awkward and uncomfortable, silently praying for the bell for the third period to ring. I was never good at talking to people, which was the main reason why I didn’t have any other friends outside of my friend group. It was hard to talk to people and to make conversation. I wasn’t as extroverted as Preston and my other friends were, so it was easier for them to make friends. Hell, Preston thrived on social gatherings and friendship. I thrived on being alone in a quiet place with a sketchbook and paint.

“You don’t need to thank me. It’s the truth. Your eyes are beautiful, and so are you.”

I touched the heart pendant on my necklace, fiddling with it between my fingers, “I appreciate the compliments...Carter. But, if you know Preston, you would know he’s also my boyfriend.”

Carter nodded with a hum, “I’m aware of that, yes. But there is nothing wrong with complimenting another person, is there? There’s no harm in it.”

The warning bell for third period rang. The hallway instantly started to flood with people, and that was when I closed my locker, and flashed Carter a smile, “I’ll see you another time, Carter.”

A smirk painted Carter’s face. He nodded his head and straightened up from where he leaned against Preston’s locker, “see you, Adrien.”

We parted ways. I headed down the hall to my physics class, following the swarm of people. When I reached my class and walked in, my eyes immediately caught Preston chatting with Phoebe at one of the lab stations. I also noticed that one of his football friends Branddon was sitting with them and talking, but more specifically, he was sitting in my chair.

Preston laughed at something Brandon said as I wandered over, before his gaze lifted to me, and he flashed me a soft smile, “Hey, how was lunch with Asher?”

“It was good,” I returned the smile. Brandon’s gaze lifted to me, and that was when he moved to get out of my seat.

“Sorry, I was in your seat. I was just talking to Preston but I’ll go back to my own,” He said. I nodded my head and smiled in thanks. Branddon then said goodbye to Preston and wandered to one of the work stations further back, before I sat down on the stool beside Preston.

“Are you okay Adrien? Your face is red,” Phoebe asked me. She had a curious look on her face as I pulled my binder and textbook out from my bag, and set it on the table. I glanced over to her, touching my hand to my cheek.

“Huh? Oh...yea, I’m fine,” I assured her, “I am kind of tired though...I need a nap.”

“I could use a nap too. Maybe we could take a nap when we get home before our double date with Asher and Daniel?” Preston asked. He leaned over to kiss my forehead and placed his hand on my back. I relaxed slightly as he rang his fingers up and down my back soothingly.

“Yea, that sounds nice,” I murmured. Preston smiled at me, and then, once the teacher started speaking, our conversation ended and I opened my binder to take down notes.

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