Fallen Fourth Down

Page 24

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“Yeah. True.” He nodded as we started back to the main room. “I intend to spend the rest of my birthday weekend between Georgie’s legs. That girl is like paradise. One touch and I’m salivating like I’m in a damn desert.”

“Ah,” a voice spoke from behind us, and we turned. Park Sebastian had come into the waiting room of the restaurant, dressed in a tuxedo. A girl wearing a red, slinky dress was perched on his arm, and he hustled her inside, towards us. As he did, she lifted a hand and caught a tendril of hair in her finger. Twisting it around, she gave me a seductive smile. Her lipstick matched her red dress. Park didn’t seem to care about his date as he scanned Matteo and me up and down. As the room filled with more of his fraternity brothers, he said, “Enjoying a quiet dinner before the big game tomorrow?”

Matteo grunted, showed him his teeth, and lumbered back into the main room. As he walked by me, he said, “Sorry, brotha. I’m out. I want to keep my birthday buzz.”

“Understandable.” I clapped him again on the arm before he left.

Park tilted his head to the side, and his eyes narrowed. “He’s never going to not-hate me, is he?”

Glancing through the room, trying to find Nate, I murmured, “Well, you did screw over his best friend.” As I said those words, my best friend finally came into the room. Nate’s eyes widened and he began to push his way to us. As he did, I murmured, “Speaking of best friends…” When he moved around the last of the crowd, Nate’s date came with him, and my tone trailed off. Marissa was with Nate. Seeing my attention, her cheeks pinked and her head turned to the floor. The hand she was holding onto Nate’s arm with tightened, her fingers digging into his tuxedo jacket. Her other hand readjusted a strap from her dress as it slipped off her shoulder.

“Hey.” Nate flashed me a grin. He pulled Marissa forward a step. “I totally forgot Marissa was coming to Cain U. Did you remember?”

“Yeah.” Marissa still wasn’t looking at me. “We ran into each other the other day, and she’s in a class with me.”

“That’s awesome.” Park moved forward too. His date was behind him, closed out because Nate had adjusted so he was slightly in front of her. It was a small circle of Nate, Park, myself, and Marissa who was looking at the wall. Park seemed eager. “Another high school friend.” His eyes fixed on her with a keen look in them. “I’ll have to get to know you better.”

Nate shared a look with me. I was fighting from rolling my eyes, and Marissa looked ready to disappear into the floor.

Nate said quickly, “Hey, so, Logan and Sam are coming tomorrow night, right?”

Marissa’s head jerked back around. Both her and Park focused on me.

I nodded. “Yeah. You going to the game?”

“Yeah, I’m going—”

Park interrupted, “A bunch of our brothers are going. Who’s Logan and Sam?”

I had no intention of telling him and started to tell him that when Nate forced out a laugh. “Uh, yeah. I guess Park and some others are going with me. I’ll send Logan a text. We can meet up at the end or something.”

I nodded. That sounded fine with me, but Park asked again, “No way. These are more friends of yours? They can sit with us. We have a private box. Lots of food and booze.” He winked at me. “If your friends are into that. I know you’re not a big drinker yourself.” He swung his head to Marissa. “How about you…”

My irritation level had been on a good, slow burn with the conversation, but seeing that Park didn’t know Marissa’s name switched the level to slightly amused. Marissa shot him a glare, and Nate seemed to be holding back his own laughter. Park forced out a small laugh. “I’m sorry. I must’ve forgotten your name.”

“We were never introduced.”

At her soft retort, Nate and I shared a grin. Some of the old Marissa was still there. She could be feisty at times.

“That’s right. We were all in such a hurry to get to the restaurant.” Unfazed, Park drew his date closer to his side, bringing her into the circle. She lifted her head and looked down her nose at Marissa, whose shoulders pinched together. Her size seemed to shrink, and she took a step backwards. Park ran his hand up and down his date’s arm. He said to me, “I don’t know how long your group will stick around, but head over to our table at the end. We’re all going to a formal banquet for the fraternity after this. This is our dinner. It’s an exclusive thing, just for the brothers and their dates, but you’re welcome to join. Just you, though.” He glanced over my shoulder. His fraternity brothers started to move around us and into the restaurant, but I knew he was focused on Matteo’s table. “We can find you a date, if you’d like. That’ll be no problem for a guy like you.”

My grin chilled.

“You can call me, if you decide to join us.” Nate lifted his eyebrows, giving me the unspoken message to hold back. I rolled my eyes and leaned back on my heels. Fine. I’d play silent for now, but the asshole needed to stop insulting me. Offering up a girl for me when I had Sam—I took that as a big fucking insult. Nate propelled Marissa forward. “Park, they have our table ready for us. We should go. Mase,” he halted, seeing the glare I had fixed on Park. He cleared his throat. “Uh, call me later.”

He moved forward, but Park held back. I turned. I wasn’t going to wait around for a private chat with the douche. As I began to follow the end of his group, waiting until I could veer off to my table, someone brushed against my arm, giving me a good graze of a breast. Glancing to the side, I saw Park’s date. She shot me a secretive smile before she turned to follow Park, who was always watching me. When he saw my look, he shot his eyebrow up in question, and I had a feeling he wouldn’t have minded if I wanted his date. He winked at me, but turned and ducked into a private room before he saw my real reaction.

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