Hickey || 10

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HICKEY / chapter ten

The next day, I'm at my locker when Ryder approaches me. I close my locker and turn to him, then see that he was fidgeting nervously.

"What's up?" I ask worriedly.

"Elliot knows," he says so quietly that I almost miss it. "I told him."

"You did what?" I exclaim, horrified. "When? He never mentioned anything!"

He looks torn, guilt evident in his features."Yesterday after practice."

My mouth drops open. After the heated kiss we shared yesterday, I kind of forced Ryder to get to practice even if he was already late. I didn't want to make Elliot even angrier and I didn't want him to get into trouble with their coach.

"I know you didn't want him to know but I had to tell him. If this makes him hate me more then it doesn't matter, really. I just wanted him to know the truth."

My brain takes a few moments to process all of this. We didn't talk much when Elliot got home from practice yesterday and things were a little awkward but other than that, Elliot acted like everything was fine.

He knew about it since yesterday and yet never mentioned anything, never even gave me clues that he knew! Why hasn't he confronted me about it yet? And why wasn't Ryder sporting a black eye right now?

"I feel terrible," I say, leaning against my locker for support. "He must hate me."

"I'm sorry," Ryder says, not meeting my eyes. "But he doesn't hate you. He hates me, maybe more now than before, but never you." He takes a step closer, making the butterflies in my stomach erupt. "If he beats me up for liking you then let him beat me up."

"I've already seen the aftermath of your fights. I don't want to see it again."

Ryder chuckles softly. "Some things need to happen, no matter how much you don't want them to."

"A fight doesn't need to happen," I say, sighing.

"Maybe it does," he says softly. "Elliot needs someone to blame. I'll let that someone be me."

The bell rings, signaling that it was time for first period. I adjust my bag on my shoulder and sigh. We should really talk more about this, but we we're gonna be late if we do that right now. And I might be the rebellious one in my family but I'm not cutting class.

Ryder opens his mouth then closes it again. "You should get to class," he says, shooting me a small smile before turning away to head off to his own class.

It feels like forever for the day to end. I wanted to eat lunch with Ryder, but I felt like if Elliot saw us, it would just make everything worse. Plus, I knew that once other people saw us, they'd ask a lot of questions. I wanted to avoid that until I could talk to my brother.

When the final bell rang, I went straight home. Elliot had practice so I tried to do my homework while I waited for him to get home. But the torture of waiting wasn't nearly as bad as the look on his face when Elliot saw me waiting for him in the living room. His face immediately turned from blank to something I couldn't read.

"You knew," I say quietly. "Why didn't you tell me you knew?"

"Does it matter?" he says coldly.

"Elliot." I take a step closer. "I'm sorry for not telling you, okay?"

"He took advantage of you, Eva!" he says, his voice quiet so that Mom won't hear us from the kitchen but harsh enough to make me flinch. "He took advantage of you and you didn't fucking tell me!"

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