Fallen Fourth Down

Page 28

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“Come on.” I wasn’t waiting any longer. “Let’s go find them.”

It didn’t take long to spot them. Nate and his friends stood out. They had congregated against a wall, but were garnering a bunch of attention. The girls in front of the concession stand across from them giggled together and whispered behind their hands as I passed them. There were other groups of girls to the side, also eyeing the guys. A sense of déjà vu came over me. It felt like my first week at Fallen Crest Public all over again, but it was Nate getting all the attention this time.

I scanned the group. “Where’s Logan?”

Nate jerked his head to the side. “Pissing.” He broke out in a big grin after that and pulled me in for a hug. “Good seeing you. It’s been too long.”

I laughed, but I had to admit it felt good.

“Hi, Nate.”

Remembering Kris, I stepped back. Nate gave her a brief grin and waved, and I saw the hurt settle in her gaze.

“Hey. Kris, right?”

I caught the wink he sent me. Oh, yes. Nate pretended to forget her name. He was subtly putting her back in her place. She wasn’t in the Fearsome Foursome, or whatever we were when it was just Logan, Nate, Mason, and myself. A wave of gratitude came over me. I saw Logan heading our way at that moment.

“Yes, hi.” Her voice had dipped down, but Logan wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her tight into his side. He scanned the group. “So, we won?”

The buzzer went off inside the arena, and I grinned. “Guess so.”

“Nate.” One of his friends stepped forward, a broad grin on his face. He was tall, over six feet by a few inches, with sandy-brown hair and crystal blue eyes. He looked like he had stepped from the brochure for an Ivy League school. “Are you going to introduce us to your friends?”

Nate was silent for a moment and paused, giving me a questioning look. I glanced to Logan and knew he noticed the change. The air shifted. We both studied Nate, who forced out a polite laugh. “Uh, yeah. Logan, Sam, this is Park. He lives in my fraternity house with me.”

“Hi.” I knew Mason didn’t like this guy so I assumed Nate wouldn’t have brought him to the game. Sharing another look with Logan, I saw he was thinking the same thing.

Nate’s head moved down an inch. His entire demeanor shifted so he came across as more self-conscious. “Mason said the plan was to come to our party tonight?”

Logan slowly nodded. “Yeah. That’s the plan.” He was studying Nate’s friends more, his eyes lingering on Park longer than it was polite.

“Well, we’ll see you guys there.” Nate moved forward. His friends took the cue and began to leave. Park flashed us a smile and lifted his hand. He started to say something, but Nate clapped him on the shoulder and shook his head. His friend frowned, but heeded the warning. He turned and followed behind the rest of the fraternity brothers. Nate was the only one who lingered behind.

He shot a meaningful look at Kris, and Logan got the message. He turned to her, “Hey, babe?”

“Yeah?” Her head jerked to his.

“Maybe you should go to the bathroom? The drive to the restaurant might take a long time with traffic after the game.”

“I should be fine. We have to wait for Mason, right? I can go then.”

“You and Logan are going to the restaurant. I’m the only one who’s going to be waiting for Mason.”


Logan shook his head at me, but patted her on the arm. “Why don’t you go now? Nate needs to talk about something private anyway.”

“Oh.” Her eyes widened as she snuck a look at Nate, who gave her a tight-lipped grin. “Okay. I’ll wait over there when I get back.”

As she hurried away, there was a brief moment of silence between us. Nate glanced from Logan to me. We were waiting to see what Logan’s reaction was going to be, but Logan turned to me and narrowed his eyes. I tensed, was it coming? But he only shook his head and said to Nate, “So what’s going on? Mason told us you wanted to network, but with that douchebag? Why are you in a fart house?”

“Not that it’s any of your business, but Mason lives in the football house. All his roommates are on the team and that means all his friends are going to be his teammates. I’m not on the team. Branching out isn’t a bad idea for me.”

Logan grunted. “It’s a piss poor idea, and you know it.”

Nate sighed, shaking his head. “Look. Whatever. Mason said you guys are going to dinner and then coming to my fart’s,” he grimaced, “frat’s party? Is that the plan?”

A gleam appeared in Logan’s eye. I knew that look. Logan wanted to fight. I murmured, “You sure you want us there?”

“Yeah.” Nate gentled his tone. “It’ll be nice to have you guys all there.”

“What about douchebag?” Logan jerked his head in the direction the fraternity brothers had gone. “He’s not going to like us. You know that.”

“Just,” Nate sounded so wary, “come for me. Okay?”

“Yeah. We’ll come.” Logan’s glower deepened. “But I’m not kissing any ass tonight.”

Nate grimaced. “Try to be nice.”

Logan kept quiet, and that was the best answer Nate was going to get. Nate lifted a hand and said he’d see us at the party. I waited until he had disappeared into the crowd before I asked, “What are you planning?”

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