A/N: There may be mistakes, considering I wanted to make sure this was out before NoCo week ended. Seriously though, if abuse isn't your forte, please don't read. Things may get a little OOC. I'm really sorry. I plan to post the second part tomorrow or Thursday.
Cody didn't know where he was going. He thought anywhere would be better than home, so he was moving slow along the concrete sidewalk. He knew he'd have to pay the consequences, but he was feeling different today. He quickly shoved the thoughts of it away from his mind and kept walking.
The October wind hit Cody, sending a chill through his small body. He stuffed his pale hands into his pockets and looked at his environment. This was his first time really taking a close look around him; most of the time he was too concentrated on other matters.
There were many stores, shops, and cafes standing next to each other, all in a perfect line. The street was busy with all sorts of cars and taxis. It was loud and rather annoying, but in a way, it was comforting to have people around him.
A strong gust of wind hulled Cody forward, making him stumble on his own feet. He almost fell down, but luckily, he caught himself in time. Once he regained his balance, he looked around to see if anyone noticed. But no one did. Nobody ever noticed.
The wind had blown him towards a new variety of buildings. Looking across the lively road, he inspected the new shops. When his eyes came across a coffee shop, he suddenly recognized the scent of coffee beans. It was a warm scent, and it made Cody feel a little less chilly.
The brunet walked towards the nearest crosswalk. Cody waited for the signal, and once he received one, he hurried quickly towards the other side of the street.
The coffee shop had a nice front. It was a small, brick structure, squished in between a flower shop and a toy store. The store had huge, polished glass windows. Pink and blue flowers were placed in pots surrounding the wall, adding a nice scent to mix in with the coffee. A few plastic tables and chairs were set up outside. Cody guessed it was new; it was so clean and undamaged.
He grabs the door handle and opens the door slowly. A loud bell chimed from above him, and he closed the door.
The inside might've been better than the outside. In the front of the store, it was set up like any other coffee shop would've been. There were tables and booths set up with flowers vases in the middle. A counter was set, behind the tables. A chalkboard hung from the ceiling, with the menu.
In the back of the shop, however, looked like a mixture of a Gamestop and a bookstore. There were many shelves with various books on them, on the left. A few newer books were advertised with posters and banners. On the right, video games were displayed in a glass cases.
Cody almost smiled looking at all the video games. He hadn't played any video games for a while.
He made his way towards the coffee portion of the shop. He walked up to the counter, and the lady behind it smiled, "What can I get for ya?"
Cody looked up at the chalkboard for a while before reluctantly replying, "Can I just have a hot chocolate, please?"
"Of course," she answered, turning away to start her task.
"Actually," the lady half-turned, "Can I have two?"
She smiled, "Sure."
Cody stood awkwardly, fiddling with his fingers. He snuck his hand into his pocket and pulled his phone out. He bit his lip when he saw it was 4:10. Adam was going to kill him.
Suddenly, the guilt hit him. What was he doing at a coffee shop? He was supposed to be home at four. He was ten minutes late, and now he was going to pay for it. The words "stupid" and "fuck" played in his head like a record player. It wasn't until a few seconds later, when he realized someone was talking to him.
"Uhm...hello? Here's your hot chocolates." The lady said, sliding them across the counter.
"Oh...uhm...I'm sorry." Cody replied, handing the worker his money. She smiled genuinely and took the money.
Cody grabbed the drinks quickly, mumbling a rushed "thank you". He made his way to the door and used his shoulder to push the door open.
"Sir, are you okay?" the lady asked, furrowing her eyebrows.
"Yeah, I'm fine." he said softly, hurrying to get out of the shop. It wasn't convincing, but then again, Cody was never really good at lying.
Adam wasn't so bad today, based on a scale that Cody had mentally made up.
Once Cody handed him the hot chocolate, it seemed to calm Adam enough to forget that Cody had come home late.. However, shortly after he finished his warm drink, Adam had received a work call.
Calls from work were the worst.
Cody could hear the anger in Adam's voice as the call continued. The louder Adam got, the more weak Cody seemed to be. Because Cody knew by now what was going to hit him in the next few minutes, and sadly, he was used to it.
It started with a hit to the face, and it only seemed to get worse. Adam continued his assault on Cody's small body until Cody was begging and apologizing. Phrases like, "you shouldn't of been home late" and "this what you get" were mumbled through Cody's ear. He silently took it.
When he woke up the next morning, he examined the finger-shaped bruises and the purple swells in the mirror. He was too tired to cry, so he did what he always did: covered the marks with makeup just like Adam told him to.
It didn't start out like that, Cody remembered. At first, they were like any other healthy relationship. It was sweet, amourous, and fun. It was love.
But it only took one day- one night -for things to fail. When Adam had such a terrible day, he needed something, or rather someone, to take his anger out on. Cody seemed to be his stress ball.
Ever since, Cody was reminded that telling people about the abuse would be pointless; because Adam loved him, and no one else would ever love him that way.
Cody got off work early the next day. A pipe had broke down in the store, and his boss couldn't risk waiting it off. That would've marked the first day Cody had gotten off work early to go home. He shouldn't been as sad as he was.
He cheered up a little when he realized that he did have a few extra hours on on his hands. He didn't have to tell Adam he got off work early. So he walked down the sidewalk quickly, heading for the place that seemed to bring comfort: the coffee shop.
Cody still didn't know what made the coffee shop so special. It was just a coffee shop, after all. But he doesn't question it as he opens the door to the warm store.
The shop still looked the same as it did the day before. Though, there was a new worker behind the counter. He had black hair, combed back, and seemed to be around Cody's age. He was wearing a blue button-down shirt underneath his tan apron. He wore thick-rimmed glasses that suited his deep brown eyes. He held a mysterious aura, but Cody chose to ignore it. Sometimes it was the best thing to do, or, at least, that's what he'd been told.
"So," a voice interrupted Cody's thoughts, "are you going to order something or just stare?"
Cody shook his head slightly, suddenly coming back to reality. He smiled softly before looking down at his feet to avoid the boy's gaze. "Sorry," he apologized quietly.
The boy smirked at Cody's actions, "It's fine; though I would like to know if you're going to order or not."
Cody should've just gone home. It would've been the easier solution. He hasn't really talked to anyone but Adam anymore, in fear of saying something he shouldn't. But something about this coffee shop seemed to mess with his head. So he stayed.
The boy topped the cup of steaming hot chocolate with whipped cream, before handing it over to Cody. "Don't burn your tongue," he commented bluntly, taking the money Cody handed him earlier and placing it into the register.
Cody didn't seem to acknowledge the remark and continued to look around the shop.
"Hey," Cody glanced at the boy's name tag, "Noah. What exactly is this place?" Noah raised his eyebrow, hinting for Cody to go on. "Is it a bookstore or a coffee shop or..?"
"Your guess is as good as mine," Noah responded, looking towards the back of the shop, "I don't really know myself. I think the guy who owns this wanted a Borders feel, but he didn't want to seem like a fraud. So he probably added a video game section to make it seem more original," Noah explained with a sigh, "or that's my guess anyways."
Cody slightly grinned at Noah's explanation, "I was just wondering because it seems a bit...different than a regular coffee shop."
Noah chuckled quietly, "You're telling me. I honestly don't know why the owner keeps the video games and the books. People only come here for the coffee," he adjusted his glasses, "But, hey, I'm not going to complain. I get discounts on the books and games."
Cody smiled- and boy was that a good feeling- "That actually sounds really cool."
Noah shrugged carelessly and started to clean the marble countertop with a wipe. "So...your name?"
Cody furrowed his eyebrows, "Me?"
"No, the line of customers waiting behind you." Noah said sarcastically with a smirk, "Yes, you."
Cody shouldn't tell him his name. Cody tells him his name.
"It's Cody." he offered.
Noah nodded his head shortly, as a sign of recognition. They continued small talk until Cody abruptly explained that he had to leave.
Cody doesn't cry. He used to cry with every bruise and trust. But at some point, he got used to it all. Crying was a waste of energy, and it only seemed to piss Adam off more. So he didn't cry.
When Cody doesn't make dinner perfectly that night, he gets pushed up into a wall and choked.
He sucks Adam off as an apology.
Cody showed up to the coffee shop again the next day right after work got off. He secretly was elated when he saw the raven-haired boy reading a book by the counter.
"Hey, do you like video games?" Noah asked, cleaning the coffee machine with a wipe.
"Yes..." Cody hesitated, watching Noah closely.
Noah smirked, "See here's the thing. A new game came in, but I heard it's only good if you play multiplayer. Also, I'd love to get paid for playing video games. And since this shop is a ghost town around this time, I was wondering if you could help me...test out the new Kosmic Kaos."
Cody thought about the deal. He still had an hour until Adam expected him to be home. Besides, he hadn't played many video games lately. One video game wouldn't hurt anyone, would it?
"I'd like that, sure." Cody said softly with a smile.
Noah threw the dirty wipe into the trash can and tugged his apron off. He slid himself over the counter and ended up standing right next to Cody, "Follow me."
"You're not going to get in any serious trouble for doing this, right?" Cody asked, as they headed towards the back off the store.
"I'm not going to get in trouble. I've never done anything serious yet. Besides, even if I do get caught, playing this game will be worth the warning." Noah answered, opening the door to the back room.
Cody would've never thought that the trip to the coffee shop would create a friendship.
After that day when Noah had invited him to play video games, Cody had started going to the coffee shop. It seemed that right after Cody's shift was over, he'd head over to the small coffee shop.
And of course, this meant sometimes Cody would come late, and it would cause him to get a hit or a punch. But it was worth it to meet Noah at the coffee shop to continue whatever they had going on. Cody wasn't sure what to call it, but it made him feel calm and happy.
Noah and him would mostly talk about video games, and sometimes, they would venture off to other topics like school or books. Cody wasn't stupid. He wasn't unaware of the glances he'd unconsciously sneak at Noah, and he certainly didn't miss the ones Noah would give in return.
Sometimes Cody wondered what it would be like to be with Noah. But then he thought back to Adam and remembered that no one else would ever love him like he did.
Cody forgot to pay the bills.
As punishment, Adam pinned him down and fucked him so hard that it hurt. He begged him to stop, but it was no use. Cody had to silently take his consequences and had no say in the matter.
The other man fell asleep, but Cody stayed awake and guiltily wondered if Noah would do this to him.
But that was ridiculous. Because Adam loved him, and no one else ever would.
"You come here almost everyday, and I still have no idea why you keep coming back." Noah teased jokingly, once Cody had walked up to the counter, "Hot chocolate, I presume?'
Cody smiled, while trying to take off his gloves. "Yeah, well...two actually." Cody replied, placing his gloves by the register.
"Cody's got a girlfriend?" Noah asked, starting to ready the drinks.
Cody was taken by surprise and blushed pink, "Not exactly," he stammered, "but how did you guess that?"
Noah shrugged and continued to stir the hot chocolates with spoons, "People are easy to read."
Not knowing how to respond, Cody waited until Noah finished making the hot chocolates and popped a lid on the cups, "There you go."
Cody pulled his wallet out of his coat pocket. He found the amount of money he needed and handed it to Noah.
As Cody put his gloves on, Noah looked up at him, "So when you meant 'not exactly' you meant you have a boyfriend?"
Cody froze stiffly and stared up at Noah puzzled. Had it been that easy to tell? "Dude, how'd you-"
"Whoa, take it easy." Noah said calmly, "I just saw the picture in your wallet. I'm not that good at reading people.''
Cody looked down at the picture in his wallet and sighed. It was of him and Adam on their first date. It was at the city park, and they were sitting on a bench together. Cody had suggested they take a picture on his phone, so they smiled cheekily at the camera. And no matter how many times Cody told himself to get rid of it, he never could. It was his last hope of keeping the old Adam.
Cody chuckled awkwardly and tried to give a fake smile. "Yeah, well, I have to be getting home," he said quickly, stuffing his wallet into his coat pocket.
Cody rushed out of the store, leaving a confused Noah behind.
When Cody handed him the hot chocolate, Adam seemed to really happy about the repeated gesture.
Cody realized he must've done something right because Adam suggested that they have a romantic dinner. Not long after, Adam whisked Cody away to the bedroom, giggling along.
And Cody felt loved again.
Cody was lying next to Adam under the duvets, snuggling into his chest.
"So where did you get that hot chocolate?" Adam asked, looking down at the figure on top of him.
Cody smiled, "It's a coffee shop downtown near where I work," he said without thinking, "It also sells books and video games."
"You like it there?" Adam asked, playing with Cody's hair.
"Yeah, it's really relaxing. I usually order a hot chocolate and play video games in the back of the store with a guy who works there," Cody said without thought.
Adam let out a huff, "So that's where you've been spending all your time?"
Cody flinched back, "Uhm...yes?"
Adam got up to pace around the room, "So does the guy that works there like you?"
"I don't know. Well, I mean, I don't think so. Even if he did, we're just friends." Cody stumbled across his words. He cursed himself for making everything go wrong.
"Yeah friends, I'm sure. I bet he's trying to get you." Adam responded venomously.
Cody almost laughed, "Noah's not trying to steal me."
"Are you sure? Because I'm not. You've been home late for two weeks. How do I know you haven't been sneaking around?" Adam retorted, crossing his arms.
"But he-" Cody was almost positive that he knew what was coming next, but instead, he got something worse.
"From now on, I forbid you from seeing him again."
Cody stood up from the bed, "Wh-what? You can't do that!"
It didn't take long before Adam's hand slapped Cody's cheek, "I can do whatever I want. Now, you're not going to see him anymore, understand?"
Cody looked down in grief and regret and sighed.
"Do you understand me?" Adam demanded angrily.
"Yes," Cody answered, "I'm sorry."
Adam nodded, "You'd better be. It's be a good idea to not upset the only person who'll ever love you."
Despite the warning, Cody went to the coffee shop.
The second he saw Noah, he wanted to tell him everything. He wanted to tell him about Adam and the relationship, but he doesn't.
Noah grinned softly, "So which would you like first? The hot chocolate or the video game?"
Cody frowned because he knew he had let Noah become too close to him, "I can't really play video games."
"And this is because...?" Noah questioned with uncertainty.
"I have to be home soon. I kind of promised Adam I wouldn't come here anymore." Cody said, silently hoping Noah wouldn't question it.
Noah eyed Cody, "What caused that?"
"He's just- he's sort of overprotective." Cody replied, rubbing the back of his neck.
"I see..." Noah said, frowning, seeming to be confused about Cody's response.
Cody sighed, 'But I guess one round would be okay. I'm sure he won't be too mad."
"Are you sure?" Noah asked, raising his eyebrow at Cody.
Cody asked himself the same question but responded with, "Yeah, I'm sure."
"Okay, you're definitely a cheater!" Cody proclaimed, pointing at Noah accusingly.
Noah only laughed, "I think the word you're looking for is 'winner" Noah corrected with a smug smile.
"Yeah, well, I'm sure I would've won. I just haven't played a lot of video games lately," Cody justified.
"Why's that?" Noah asked teasingly, expecting to receive a light-hearted answer.
Cody looked down at his shoes, again, hating himself for letting references slip out of his mouth. "I better get going. I really don't want to be late," Cody said standing up and turning to open the door out of the back room.
"You have to be home at a certain time?" Noah asked, chuckling softly.
Cody's face colored red and he froze in place with his hand on the door knob.
A few moments of silence ran through the room. "Are you-" Noah tried to ask, but Cody had already closed the door behind him.
Once Cody had made his way out of the shop, he pulled his phone out of his coat pocket. He felt tears welling up in his eyes, but he forced himself to blink them back.
He only had seven minutes to get home.
Luckily, he made it home just on time.
For some reason, he didn't get the satisfaction he usually did.
A/N: Please review! I really need input if this is good or not. I've never tried to write a...dark...story like this. So you could really help me out by reviewing!