Chapter 2

Is there a word for being biased against people who have previously been possessed?”

“Logical?” Davis supplied, his words muffled in a pillow. “Self-preservation? Both of which do not describe you, by the way.”

“No, like ‘racist’ or ‘homophobic’—prejudiced!” Tommy said with elation, waving off Davis’s comment. “We’ll just go with prejudiced. They’re all prejudiced assholes.”

There were many ways to describe Tommy. Blond was one of them. Another could be That Guy Who Always Wears Pajamas. Davis preferred The Guy Stupid Enough to Be His Roommate, but none of them were wrong. Out of all the other Honors students, Tommy was the only one willing to share a suite with Davis. While Davis had a single room, it shared a kitchenette and living room with Tommy’s—which was a bedroom meant for two, but their third roommate backed out at the last minute, leaving just the two of them. Davis solemnly understood. Tommy was thrilled. This somehow happened both years he had been attending.

Davis sighed and rolled onto his back, his long legs stretching out over the dorm couch. It was uncomfortable, but he couldn’t be bothered to get up. He was too disappointed. “There are lots of factors that go into casting a role. I might have just not fit their vision.”

Tommy glared from where he stood in their kitchenette. His pajamas had shirtless cowboys on them, which made it very difficult to take him seriously. “Davis, I’m trying to help you feel better. Let me. What, do you want alcohol instead?”

“Underage,” Davis grumbled. “Not to mention, demons don’t take a day off. The minute I get wasted is the minute I’d have another attempted possession, and boom.” He gestured an explosion. “At least two more deaths, another protest against me, maybe even a lawsuit, and I would lose everything I’ve worked for. Probably because I’d be dead.”

“Okay,” Tommy said, frowning as he pulled out his own beer despite being underage himself. Davis had no clue where he got it, but he was sure it had to do with his perfectly tanned skin, haughty eyes, and overall beach boy charm. Tommy was well aware of the consequences Davis could face. He’d had a front row seat to Freshman Year and had since burned every death threat left at their door without a word to Davis, but a report to the dean.

“Not even one beer?”

“Not even one,” Davis said, throwing an arm over his eyes. It was much too bright for how dark of a mood he was in. He peeked at Tommy. “But thanks for trying.”

“I just do it for the discount on my housing. A happy Davis makes it tolerable living with you.” Tommy paused. “Well, except when you’re trying to imitate Brendon Urie. You can’t sing, buddy.”

Davis laughed and threw his pillow. “You are such a jerk.”

“And you love me for it,” Tommy said, sticking his tongue out and popping the beer open. It’s not that Davis had never had a drink before. It was that when he did, it resulted in such a crippling panic attack (among all of the previously-mentioned fears) that he chose to stay away from the stuff. Better safe than sorry. That was a motto forced upon him, and one Tommy willfully chose to ignore.

“There will be other auditions,” Davis whispered. He wasn’t even sure Tommy could hear him. This was just the start. Actors got rejected all the time. He would have to get used to that and used to trying again and again until he landed something—and he would try again. Later, when he was done pouting.

Tommy walked over and forced Davis to sit up to take an offered can of soda. “Cheers,” he said, tapping their drinks. “To not dealing with prejudiced people, and to other opportunities.”

“Cheers,” Davis said halfheartedly as he took a sip. Then he gave a small laugh. He had come a long way from the child who feared living, but he still looked at Tommy and wished he could be just as carefree.