Their first date was a surprise, really. Ronan picked Adam up at St Agnes and drove him out towards the Barns, but didn’t take the turn-off, instead taking them down winding country roads before parking in front of a field. He had dragged Adam into the field, Adam in one hand and picnic basket in the other. Time seem to stop as they sat on the grass holding hands, curled up next to each other Ronan pointed out suspiciously phallic clouds. As the sun set, Ronan dropped Adam back off, kissing him softly on the doorstep.
Adam Parrish’s second date is a bit more traditional, though also accidental. It was a movie date, except they’d intended to go with Gansey, Blue and Henry, until Gansey got called away by his mother, Blue was roped into a reading, and Henry was off not being the third wheel to Ronan and Adam. So they got their tickets and a bucket of popcorn, and slipped into the back row of the theatre. Both of them blushed each time their fingers brushed reaching for popcorn, and Adam’s hand rested on Ronan’s thigh almost the whole time. But they had underestimated how interesting the movie would actually be, and at the first plot twist all thoughts of traditional movie date activities vanished. After they left the theatre, Ronan demanded a re-do, but this time they’d do it properly.
The third date was only a date when he looked back on in. Ronan had gone for a midnight walk and, missing the now-familiar warmth of Ronan beside him in bed, Adam went after him. They ended up on the banks of a pond tucked away in a corner of the sprawling Lynch estate. The stars were bright that night, the skies were clear, and Ronan told him stories of chariots in the sky, people long dead immortalised in the stars, stories that were seeped with the same awe that Adam felt as he watched Ronan tell these magical, mythical tales. They fell asleep in the dirt and grass on that bank, later to be woken by Chainsaw’s annoyed but affectionate caw , Adam’s last thought being that Ronan was bound to end up written in the stars because that’s where he belonged.
The fourth date was many dates in one, always when they found themselves pulled over in the parking lot of a tiny diner, dates with hushed laughs and feet brushing under the table. It was in the morning over plates of pancakes piled high, and at midnight with greasy burgers and greasy fingers. Sometimes Chainsaw would perch next to Ronan, glaring each time they bent across the table to kiss, or sometimes they would cram into one side of the booth, tucked into each other. But no matter how it went, these dates were alway perfect.
Like many of their other dates, their fifth was spontaneous. It was supermarket runs in the night, the clatter of shopping carts on uneven paving slabs and cracked parking lot asphalt. It was the glint of Ronan’s eyes in the painful, fluorescent light of a 24-hour store in the middle of nowhere and nothing, a smile that cracked his face and a warm laugh that bubbled up through his chest like lava dangerously close to exploding. The kisses were fast and longing and burning, the possibility of more hanging between them like static electricity when they pulled away. Everything’s asleep except them, an exhilerating feeling, Adam’s heart pounding faster and louder than the BMW tearing down an empty stretch of highway. The world was theirs on their fifth date.
There was too much time before the sixth date. Adam was off at college, and Ronan was off being a farmer, and they missed each other like a heart attack, and so they met in the middle, at a park in a small city, or maybe a large town, leaves crunching because although it was autumn and Adam had only been away for a few months, a few months was too long between kisses and walks and whispered ‘I love you’s, bittersweet goodbyes and lingering kisses over and over and over.
The seventh date wasn’t ever a date. The seventh date was every moment that hung between them. Every joke, every phone call, every whispered nighttime conversation. It was every passionate word, every story they shared and every memory made. Skinned knees and skinned elbows, soft hands and soft lips, everything in between and beyond. The seventh date started in Ronan’s childhood bedroom and ended when the universe collapsed.