06: Flying/Falling

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" 'What if I fall?'

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" 'What if I fall?'

'Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?' "

-Eric Hanson


IT'S SAFE TO SAY that August is wholly and utterly fucked. So is Atticus, but he actually looks like he can handle a situation like this.


        Presley raises both his brows, eyes sweeping between the two of them when they don't answer. He doesn't look so golden anymore, August thinks, especially with the slight tilt to his head, the crooked half-smile sitting on his lips. He looks more like a slab of dirtied marble circa 1500s Europe, chipped at all the wrong edges and one of Michelangelo's self-proclaimed failures. Either that, August thinks, or a ghost.

        She blames it on the lack of sunlight.

         "There's no problem," Atticus says, the first to speak up. He says it slowly. Casually. August knows the situation is anything but casual, though, if the spark in Atticus's eye is any indication of what's to come.

        She takes it back. Reduces her earlier thoughts to dust. Atticus can definitely handle a situation like this, but not in the way August wants. The spark in his eye dances, gold flitting across seas of ink. It tells her that he's looking to start something.

        (And it isn't something good.)

        Presley ignores him. He turns to August and flicks her forehead, right on the bruise. "That hurt?"

        August grits her teeth and says nothing, a save me, please look plastered on her face, directed at Atticus. She's not one to need saving, but she'd do anything to propel her from this dickhead.

        Presley doesn't stop there, though. He pokes and prods and eventually notices the one on Atticus's cheekbone.

        "Aww," he croons, "would you look at that. They're matching!" Then his expression darkens, ever-so-slightly. A muscle inside his jaw throbs. "You think I can't tell when you're talking trash about me, Conner? I thought you would've learned better after I fucked up your face yesterday, but I wouldn't mind teaching you another lesson. Maybe I'll give your little lady friend one too, while I'm at it."

        August watches Atticus from the corner of her eye, sees him breathe out and look at her, but it isn't for help. It's more of a you-might-wanna-stay-out-of-this look. She nods (Gladly.) and watches as he turns back to Presley.

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