Precious Sins ✓

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Chapter Fifty

Adrien's POV

After prom was over, the eight of us got into our designated cars and drove back to Kourtney's house to hang out and celebrate. We decided to skip the after-party, because we thought it would be more fun if it were just our friend group hanging out, which definitely did sound more enjoyable than hanging out with all the other senior students.

When we arrived at Kourtney's place, we had changed out of our prom clothes and into comfy clothes. We hung out in her kitchen, music playing from the radio on the kitchen counter. Kourtney had bowls of chips and candy set up on her kitchen island, as well as a cupcake bar, where we got to decorate our own cupcakes with different flavours of frosting and types of toppings.

Kourtney brought out the wine glasses and non-alcoholic drinks, such as the pink lemonade we had that one time and a few other juice-type drinks. I poured myself some of the lemonade into a wine glass, popping a few gummy bears into my drink.

I leaned against the island, sipping my drink and snacking from the chip bowl while I watched Phoebe and Asher mess around at the cupcake bar, dancing and laughing with the music. Daniel, Joseph, and Kade were lounging around the kitchen table with drinks and food while chatting away.

I couldn't stop thinking about the song Preston sang back at prom. When the song ended, and everyone in the room clapped and cheered for him, I had been at a loss for words.

Just by listening to the lyrics, I knew that the song was directed at me, and what the two of us have been through the last few months. I understood what he was trying to say with the song—he wanted us to try again. To make our relationship work.

My heart pounded against my chest. I didn't really know how to react. What was I supposed to say? Yes? That I wanted to try again? I didn't know if I was ready. When I was dating Preston, everything had felt so good, but now, after everything that happened with Marci and Carter, I was scared to open myself up again. I wanted to date Preston so bad, that my selfish actions nearly ruined my life. Was I willing to risk that again?

I felt a hand touch my shoulder, and when I snapped out of my thoughts, I looked up and saw Preston now standing beside me.

"You okay?" He asked, tilting his head with a raised brow, "you were spacing out."

I paused, glancing away slightly as I took another sip of my lemonade, and nodded my head slowly, "Yeah...I'm fine. I was just thinking."

"About what?"

"The song you sang," I replied bluntly. I felt Preston stiffen beside me, but I wasn't looking at him, so I didn't see his reaction. I tapped my fingers against the wine glass, my eyes wandering over the marble texture of the island counter.

"Look...Adrien—"

"Let's not talk about it now," I straightened my back, pushing off the counter as I picked up my wine glass. I lifted my eyes to meet Preston's gaze; his gaze was both concerned and nervous. I bit my lip, "let's just enjoy ourselves while we're here. We'll talk about it when we get back to my place."

"I..." Preston paused before he sighed and nodded his head hesitantly, "...alright."

I patted his chest softly before I brushed past him, joining Phoebe and Asher at the cupcake bar. I could feel Preston's gaze on me as I grabbed a cupcake, putting icing and sprinkles on it all the while I joined in on the conversation Phoebe and Asher were having as he showed her a few funny videos. I only got the courage to glance back at Preston when I felt him walk past us to join Joseph, Daniel, and Kade at the kitchen table.

I watched as he sat down with them, instantly joining the conversation as if he had been there talking with them the entire time. I frowned, my heart weighing heavy in my chest as I watched him, not being able to take my eyes off him. It was only when his eyes briefly flickered back up to me that I turned away again, taking a bite out of the cupcake in my hands.

We all eventually moved to Kourtney's living room, Joseph, Phoebe, and Asher and Daniel taking spots on the L-shaped couch, all the while Kourtney, Kade, Preston and I laid blankets on the floor and sat on them in front of the couch. We had brought the chip bowls out with us, and we had a Netflix movie marathon for the next few hours. The movie marathon consisted of a lot of talking, chips being thrown at people, and Joseph and Preston even got into a brief tackle fight for shits and giggles, and Asher recorded the whole thing.

Our mini after-party lasted till almost two in the morning, and that was when everyone started to leave, except for Kade, who was sleeping over at Kourtney's place. After we said our goodbyes to everyone, Preston and I got into his car and drove back to my place.

The car ride was filled with tense silence. And we both knew why. There was an unspoken conversation we had yet to have, and the moment we got back to my place, that conversation was going to be had. We couldn't just not talk about it anymore, because we both needed clarity on what our relationship was, and what we were going to do with it.

I just didn't know what I was going to say to him.

When we pulled up into the driveway of my house, we grabbed our prom clothes from the backseat and climbed out. Preston followed me to the front door as I pulled out my keys, unlocking the door. When we stepped inside, the lights were off, and we quietly took off our shoes as Jackson was visibly fast asleep on the couch. We quietly tip-toed to my bedroom, careful not to wake anyone up, and when we reached my room, I closed the door behind us and turned on the light.

I dropped my suit onto the floor with a heavy sigh, pressing my back against the door. When I lifted my gaze, Preston was already looking at me. He looked nervous, but at the same time conflicted, as if he was trying to piece words together in his head. His lips were pressed together in a grimace as he fiddled with the strings on his hoodie. I frowned, biting my lip as I closed my eyes for a moment.

"I love you," Preston suddenly said, making my eyes snap back open as I looked at him, slightly taken aback by his forwardness. He stopped fiddling with his hoodie strings and was now looking at me, his gaze not faltering, "I still love you. After everything that's happened between us, the feelings I have for you are still strong, and I've been struggling to ignore them because I didn't know how you felt. But I can't keep it to myself anymore, so."

I didn't move. My back stayed pressed against the door as I looked at Preston, at a loss for words. I honestly didn't expect him to blurt out a confession, and now, I didn't know what to say. My heart weighed in my chest, aching, and just hearing Preston say the words I love you, made tears form in my eyes.

I still loved him, with everything in me, and a part of me just wanted to scream I love you too and jump into his arms to kiss him. My heart wanted that. I wanted to have what Preston and I had before the trauma, but my head knew that wasn't possible. At least not right now.

I wasn't ready for a relationship. A part of me feels like Preston and I were meant to be in a way, but we got together at the wrong place and wrong time. I needed to grow, to find myself again, to pick up the broken pieces that scattered around me, before I could think about being with him again, or with anyone else in general. I knew that if we jumped into a relationship again while we were still broken, that wouldn't work.

And it pained me to say that because I loved him so fucking much, and I still did. I never loved someone as much as I loved him.

"I love you too," I said after a deep breath, voice coming out a bit shaky, "I love you so much...it hurts, you know? And I wish that we could get back to the way things were, but deep down, I think you know that we can't, Preston. It's not because I hate you or that I blame you for what happened. But it's because the trauma is still fresh. It still hurts."

I wiped away the tears that painted my cheeks, and when I glanced at Preston, he too looked like he was going to cry. His eyes were glassy, and his lip quivered as he bit on it with his teeth. His gaze lowered to the floor.

"Yeah...I know. I just...wish that things were different," Preston said, voice soft, "even if you don't blame me, I can't help but blame myself. I know you don't trust me as much as you had before, even if you don't admit it. I also can't help but think of how the outcome would have been different if I had just listened to you, and helped you since the start, instead of acting like an ass and breaking up with you without giving you a chance to explain. While I wasn't the one bullying, I was still a part of it by not being there for you. Our relationship could have still been intact if my actions were different."

"Maybe..." I shook my head, "but we can't keep focusing on the what if's, Preston. It happened. And I need to heal myself from the hurt, and I think you need to work on yourself too."

Preston nodded his head silently, tears rolling down his face. With teary eyes, I walked up to him and cupped his face in my hands, pulling him down to press my lips against his. Preston kissed me back, the kiss soft and innocent, and when we pulled apart, I rested our foreheads together.

"We'll still be best-friends....because you're always going to be my best-friend, Preston," I whispered, "that will never change."

"And you'll always be mine..." He murmured. I smiled at that, and I wrapped my arms around him, Preston doing the same as we hugged each other tightly. I rested my head against Preston's chest, closing my eyes briefly as I inhaled his scent, and just relished on the comfort that was him.

When we finally pulled away, he was wiping away his tears, and I smiled softly, "how about we go to bed? It's past two in the morning and I'm kind of tired."

"Yeah..." Preston chuckled tearfully with a sniffle, "sleep sounds heavenly right now."

I turned off the lights, Preston and I maneuvering through my dark bedroom until we found my bed, and we fell on top of it together, side by side. We laid silently like that for a moment, before we got under the covers, but before Preston could roll onto his side, I curled up next to him, wrapping my limbs around him as I rested my head on his chest.

Preston seemed taken aback, but he didn't mind overall, as he wrapped his arm around me, and held me close.

"Goodnight, Adrien," Preston whispered.

"Goodnight, Preston."

With that, silence fell over us, and I closed my eyes, it not taking long for me to fall asleep in the comfort of Preston's arms. Even if we weren't together anymore, that we were just friends, there was one thing I knew for sure. Preston was always going to be one of the most important people in my life, and that will never change.

No matter what our future holds, whether that be together or not, he secured a spot in my heart a long time ago, and that spot could never be taken by anyone else.
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