Fallen Fourth Down

Page 38

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He was studying me this time. The jealousy morphed into anger, and my eyes narrowed at him. We would talk. That was a promise from me to him, and I caught a wary look flash over his face. Oh yes, he got the message loud and clear. Leaning back in the seat, I decided I wasn't going to say a damned thing. This was Mason’s rodeo. I was going to sit back, watch the fireworks, and set off some of my own when I got him alone later.

Marissa was watching me, biting her lip. One of her hands released her grip on Nate’s wrist and tugged down the bottom of her shirt. She was overdressed, wearing a pink sweater, a lacy, white camisole underneath, and a jean miniskirt. I had on a pair of jeans and Mason’s black shirt. It engulfed me, but it was comfortable and smelled like him.

I won. Hands down.

Kris was studying her too. She looked her up and down and glanced down at her own outfit, a hooded sweatshirt and pink sweatpants with a big sequined heart stitched onto one of her pant legs. A soft curse left her and she tucked some of her hair behind her ear, then tried to smooth out the rest. When she realized Logan was still staring, heatedly, across the table, her hand fell back to her lap and her shoulders lifted in a shrug. She settled back like I had and glanced at me. A faint grin was shared between us, and at that moment, we were allies.

I laughed to myself. I hadn’t seen that one coming. We turned, as one, and regarded Marissa again. Her eyes got even bigger at the new attention, and she moved back a step, still holding onto Nate’s wrist. He pulled her forward, gesturing to the booth. “I brought a friend.”

“Really?” Logan grunted.

Nate paused and turned to me since I was on the edge. I wasn’t moving. Seeing that, he guided Marissa to the other side and she scooted in beside Kris. The two girls glanced at each other again. Kris pressed her lips together and gave her a brief smile. Marissa’s hand flicked back up to her face. A strand of her hair was already behind her ear. She untucked it, then tucked it back in place as she bit her lip. Finally, she lifted her head and turned towards us.

She was openly staring at Mason.

Everyone was quiet. It was a matter of seconds before Logan jerked forward. The bomb was about to be detonated.

He waved a finger between Nate and Marissa and smirked. “When’d you two start to bone?” Marissa shrunk down and Nate straightened. He opened his mouth, but Logan held his finger back up, silencing him. A wicked grin came over him and he slowly turned his finger until it was pointing right at Mason. “Because if this is the beginning of a budding romance, you’re already losing, Nate. Her doe eyes are trying to drink Mason up. If she was a dog, she’d be humping his leg by now.” He grinned at her. “No slipping under the table, Marissa.”

“Logan!” Nate glared at him. “Shut the fuck up.” He said to Mason, “Marissa’s your friend. I thought she’d be welcomed. You going to let him bully her?”

Mason was quiet. I felt his attention more on me, but I refused to look at him.

Logan was, though. He laughed. “I’m serious, Nate. Are you two dating? That’d make more sense as to why she’s here. If so, I’ll shut my trap, but if you’re not, what are you thinking? No offense, Marissa,” he warned, which meant he was about to offend her, “but you’re a psycho. Mason told you to take a hike last year, and you’re still emailing him. If you’re a student here, I don’t believe for a second that’s a coincidence. I know you’re tight with Tate. She did the whole redemption tour when she left Fallen Crest. She knew. She would’ve told you.”

“Logan.” Mason shifted forward. At his movement, Logan quieted and everyone waited. “Stop.” He said to Nate next, “This is a little awkward. You know that.”

Nate rolled his eyes. “Like insulting one of my fraternity brothers and friends? That’s awkward too.”

Oh—what? I reared back; everyone jerked at that. Logan let out a surprised sound. “That’s a better twist. Let’s duke this shit out.” He leaned forward, his elbows rested on the table, and he swung his head, looking from one end of the table to the other. Mason and Nate were involved in a heated stare.

Mason’s eyes narrowed. “That’s what this is about?” His tone was soft, too soft. A shiver went down my back.


Nate wasn’t backing down. Mason shook his head and gestured to her. “This wasn’t the right move for that.”

“Why?” Nate clipped out, jerking his hand at me. “Because you haven’t told Sam about Marissa? Because you should’ve by now, you know. You afraid your moment of dishonesty will affect your precious twosome?”

Logan held up a hand. “I’d like to interject.” He gestured from Mason, me, and himself. “We’re better known as the Threesome Fearsome.”

“Logan,” Mason said, shooting him a look.

Logan moved his finger in a circling motion, going down, whistling as he made the motion. He grinned. “That’s the sound of the Fearsome Foursome going down the drain.”


He held his hands up. “I’m done,” he said to Mason. “Carry on, my brotha.”

A cry came from Marissa and she turned, trying to shove out of the booth, but Nate was blocking her. He didn’t register what she wanted, he was still glaring across the table, so another whimper left her and she began pounding on his arm harder.

Logan cleared his throat. Nate looked over and Logan pointed to Marissa. “Heads-up.”

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