Fallen Fourth Down

Page 40

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This was so confusing. Something wasn’t right and I opened my mouth to tell him.

He beat me to it. Mason lifted a hand, halting my words. “There’s no friendship with Marissa. Honest to god. There’s not. I meant to tell her that, but she ran off. I don’t know if she could sense what I was going to tell her and didn’t want to hear it or what. I have no idea.” Okay. I started to say something again, but Mason touched my arm. “Hold on. Let me tell you all of it.”

There was more?

His eyes narrowed, watching me warily as he said, “She’s in one of my classes.”


“I’ve never once talked to her in there. She sits with her friends. I sit with mine. There’s been no interaction at all. Then,” he hesitated, raking his gaze over my face, “Friday night, the guys and I went to a birthday thing for Matteo. Nate and his fraternity came in. Marissa was with Nate. She was his date.”

“And she came with him today.”


I shook my head. “What the hell is going on with Nate? Why didn’t you tell me any of this? I should’ve known.” My finger jabbed at his chest, poking him. “You should’ve told me.”

“I know.” He caught my finger and held it there, pressing my whole hand against him. I felt his heart racing. “I’m so goddamn sorry. I really am. I should’ve told you the first night. I meant to. I’ve just been,” he shook his head, “things are different. I’m scrambling. I don’t have you and Logan. This year is just…”

“…different.” I sighed. Things were changing. I went to him and slid my arms around him, pressing against his chest. He was stiff at first, then relaxed as his arms wrapped around me in return. He tightened his hold, and it wasn’t just me hugging him for comfort. He was hugging me back. The knots were back in me, stretching wider and wider inside me, but I didn’t think they would go away for a long time. We were in a different chapter of our lives.

“Sam?” He tilted my head up and peered down at me. His thumb brushed a tear from my cheek. “You okay? I am sorry.”

“I know. I am.” Things were changing. “You’re my anchor and you’re not there and she’s here and I didn’t hear about it until today. It doesn’t sit well. It doesn’t make me feel good.”

A swift curse left him and he rested his forehead on mine. His thumb rested on my cheek. “I am so sorry. I mean it.”

I believed him. “Yeah.” But it didn't make it hurt any less.

“Yo—oh. Sorry!”

Twisting around, we saw the tail end of Logan as he left the room. Once the door was shut, he said from the other side, “Sam, your phone is off or you’re not answering. Your dad called me. He wants to talk to you about something.”

Mason asked me, “What’s that about?”

I shrugged. “If I were to guess, Garrett.”

“We haven’t talked about him yet.”

“I know.” I stepped back, and as soon as his hands left me, I missed his touch.

“I am sorry, Sam. I really am.”

I shook my head. “No. That wasn’t…never mind. I don’t know if I should be worried. I’m not. Maybe I should, but I’m not. You not telling me she was here bothers me.” Tate had. He hadn’t. That was an extra kick in the gut. “Tate told me that Marissa was coming here. I should’ve asked you about it, but I didn’t.”

“Wait. What?”

“Yeah.” I lifted a shoulder up and let it drop. “I should’ve asked you. I shouldn’t have waited to see if you would tell me or not.” But even as I said that, I was the liar this time. I hadn’t told him about Tate because I didn’t want him asking more questions, about what else she had said. Biting my lip, I waited to see if he would do that.

“Tate? When did you talk to Tate?”

“At Manny’s. You guys left to prank some of the Fallen Crest Academy people. She showed up to talk to Heather about something, and I was there.” I felt a pang of regret slice through me. “I didn’t believe her. I thought she was making it up, trying to cause problems with you and me, so I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction. I didn’t say anything.”

“Did she say anything else?”

That Logan is in love with me. “No.”

“Oh.” He crushed me against his chest again. His arms wrapped tight around me once more, and his shoulders lifted with tension. “Tate’s such a bitch. I should’ve told you immediately. This is all my fault.”

No. No, it wasn't. It’s mine too, but I can’t find the voice to tell him that, so, feeling like a coward, I pulled away. My hands rested on his chest, feeling the strength of his heartbeat underneath them. He was so warm, so strong. I just wanted to bury myself against him again. Life would be so much simpler if I never had to leave his side.

Knock. “Sam?”

Hearing Logan again, we pulled away. Mason skimmed a hand down my arm and slipped it into mine. We had an entire year to get through.


Mason must’ve sensed my thoughts.

“I was just thinking that we have to talk more.”

He grinned and I saw the love in it. Lifting my hand to his mouth, he pressed a kiss there and murmured, against my knuckles, “I love you, Samantha.”

Choking on a sob, I whispered back, “I love you too.”

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