Fallen Fourth Down

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Logan groaned, and his voice muffled through the door. “How did this conversation take this turn? This is very weird.”

I shook my head and yelled back, “They always do with you. You’re the common denominator.”

Logan laughed. “Denominator. Don’t you mean dominator? Come to think of it, take your time. Where’s Kris? I feel like finding my own dominator. I like being submissive. It makes me feel special and precious all at the same time.” As he kept talking, his voice faded when he walked down the hallway. Then he called back, from further down, “Be done in two hours, Sam! I call dibs with my brother after that.”

Mason chuckled, and the sound of it acted like a caress, rushing through me and making my insides curl. He cupped the back of my head, anchoring me as he looked into my eyes again. “Everything will be fine. I promise.”

I wanted to believe him. “I know.” But I didn’t. I should tell him, but I couldn’t. Not yet. It would come out, though, and that was the day my world would be threatened. I closed my eyes again and let my head fall forward so it was resting softly against his. Moving to kiss me gently, he whispered, “I love you, Samantha.”

“I love you, Mason.” I would relish this moment with him, go with him to help him move into his room, and I’d come back to start my senior year. It’d be me and Logan in Fallen Crest.

I’d have to figure everything out later, one day at a time. With that final decision made, I moved to meet his lips with mine and applied pressure. He groaned, meeting my command for more, and it wasn’t long before he slid into me. As he did, I held onto him. I didn’t want to let him go.


Three weeks later

It’d been almost a month since we took Mason to school. He had to go early for football, and since being back, I’d been on an emotional lockdown. I worked at Manny’s. I went running, and I avoided Logan, but earlier today he cornered me at work to make sure I was going to his party. I had gone to a few over the summer, but when I said, ‘a few’ I really meant a few. I think there’d been three that I’d been coerced into attending and two of those were before Mason left for college.

Heather had promised to come later, but she needed to run to Channing’s for a little bit. Lovely. Without Mason and with Logan lip-locked to his girlfriend, I flashed back to the first month of my junior year. Alone. A little hesitant. The need to run was climbing high inside me. As I crossed the street, I watched as a car stopped and a bunch of people hurried out of it, running towards Logan’s house. I had to laugh at the irony. It was Becky, the one person who had been my friend the beginning of junior year. The laugh stopped abruptly as I recognized the rest of the car’s occupants.

It was the Elite. When the hell had Becky started hanging out with them?

They were at the front door now, and I paused behind them, stepping onto the curb outside Logan’s house. For now, they were clueless of my presence. Becky glanced back and froze. Her eyes got big, and her mouth fell open slightly.

She looked different. She had lost weight. Her frizzy red hair was now a dark auburn and sleek. Her face had been clear of make-up when we were friends, but I saw a tiny bit there now. It suited her. Her eyes were more captivating. Her lips looked cute and adorable. The rest of her matched that description. Adorable. She was almost petite now. She wore a short skirt with ruffles on the bottom. A black camisole was peeking out from underneath her jean jacket. I couldn’t remember what kind of shoes she had worn before, but it hadn’t been the glitzy sandals she had on now. They were pretty and pink.

“Your friend’s undergone a makeover,” Cass said from behind me. She had stopped beside me, playing with the car keys in her hand.

I groaned inwardly right away. Another lovely change. I glanced over and saw the smug hostility in her gaze. She flicked her blonde hair back and gave me a cocky smirk. She added, “Hurts, doesn’t it. To know that your friend—sorry—someone who used to be your friend is now in the enemy’s camp.”

“That’s what we are? Enemies?”

“We’re not friends. Since I’m dating Mark, and you got me banned from my own boyfriend’s house, I wouldn’t say we’re acquaintances.”

Becky’s eyes remained wide as she watched us. Fear darkened them.

Cass waved her hand and plastered a fake smile on her face. “Things are fine, Becks. Go in. We’re cool.”

I rolled my eyes. We were not cool.

When the door shut and it was just the two of us, Cass started forward. She turned around and sauntered backwards, as if mocking me. I glared right back at her and followed, pushing her to go faster and faster. Cass didn’t seem to mind. The other side of her mouth lifted up, and her cocky smirk transformed into a smug, triumphant smile. As we drew closer to the door, she taunted, “I took your friend, Strattan. I wonder what else I can take from you?”

“You’re this pissed because Malinda banned you from the house? What did you expect? She’s Mark’s mom, and she’s going to marry my dad. You threw wine on me one night. You’ve known Malinda most your life. Did you really think she wouldn’t react to that?” I shook my head. “You’re stupid. I’m going to be her stepdaughter. She’s going to take my side.”

“Yeah, well,” her eyes narrowed, “we’ll see. Since most of the old crew graduated, I’m the leader now. It’s me, Amelia, Adam, and Mark. We had a spot open and Adam vouched for Becky. I figured, what the hell? Anything to piss you off, especially after that night.”

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