Fallen Fourth Down

Page 41

Spring/Summer Banners

When we went to the hallway, Logan was outside the doorway, leaning against the wall, a small scowl on his face. He straightened from the wall and handed the phone to me. David’s name was on the screen. Logan shrugged. “I didn’t know what to say. He doesn’t usually call me. If it’s not an emergency, I’m really sorry. But he says it is.”

I lifted the phone to my ear. “David?”

“Honey.” He sounded relieved. “Oh good. I didn’t know if I would get ahold of you in time.”

“We’re about to leave. What’s going on?”

“Nothing too important, but I wanted to let you know that Malinda is headed out of town tonight. She and some of her friends are going to Vegas for a couple nights. I won’t be home when you get there. I have to head out of town for a football meeting so it’ll be just you and Mark. His girlfriend might be there too. I’ll head back as soon as I can. I’m really sorry, Sam. I meant to be home when you got there. I wanted to talk more about Garrett, and I was hoping to have some father/daughter time.”


He waited a beat, then asked, “Is that okay? I can cancel. I could reschedule for another weekend, but—”

I gripped the phone tighter, pressing it harder to my ear. “No.” I hadn’t gotten a phone call like this in so long. “That’s fine, Dad. I’ll be fine. I’ll just do homework or hang out with Logan.”

“Okay. How’s your time with Mason? No, don’t answer that. I’ll ask later tonight. Maybe we can still get a movie in. I’ll hurry and try to get home as soon as possible.”

“Okay.” My throat was raw. “Sounds good. Thank you.”

He chuckled. “You don’t have to thank me, Sam. I’m being your parent. This is what we do.”

Yeah. That’s what they did, and it felt good. I wanted to thank him again, but silenced the words. This was what normal parents did. This was a normal type of relationship. I was becoming normal.

“Bye, Dad. Love you.”

“Love you too. Safe travels home. Say hello to Mason for me.”

“Sure.” Ending the call, I turned. Both Logan and Mason were watching me with expectant looks. As I handed the phone back to Logan, I grinned, feeling silly at the same time. “He didn’t want me to come home and not know what was going on. He was telling me his plans for today.”

Logan narrowed his eyes.

Mason softened, holding my bag for me.

“What? Like he was giving you an order or something? WTF, man?”

“No,” I told Logan, “he just didn’t want me to come home and not know where everyone was, and speaking of, you’re coming with me to the house. Malinda and David are gone so that means Cass will be there. I could use some back-up to deal with her.”

He didn’t look happy, but murmured, “Done deal.”

Mason glanced at his brother and rolled his eyes. “David’s just trying to be a good dad.” He nudged him with his elbow. “Stop analyzing it. The guy’s trying.”

“I’m thinking about what this means for us.” He pointed to all of us. “We’re her family. He’s moving in on our territory. How will that change things?”

“It won't.” I glanced to Mason. “Nothing changes for you either. You’re still sleeping in my room when you come home on breaks.”

“Breaks.” Logan laughed as we all began moving towards the door. He clapped Mason on the shoulder. “No offense, but I hope I don’t see you for the holidays. Your team has to rock it. Keep playing. Keep winning and get to the championship game, brother.”

“I’m a freshman.” Mason leaned over me and held the door open. As I ducked under his arm, his other hand rested on my back. It felt good having it there. As we stepped outside, he said to Logan, “I’ve got three more years after this year. I’m not too stressed about it.”

Logan snorted. He ran a hand through his hair, held it up, and waved across the street. Kris waved back from the front seat of the car. He laughed. “I’m not thinking about you. I’m thinking of my other brotha. My SBC-er. Matteo’s heart would be broken. That cannot happen. You realize that, right? Don’t break my soul brotha’s heart, or I’ll break yours.” At the end, he extended his middle finger and poked Mason in the chest. “I have to look out for my soul brotha.”

In a swift movement, Mason caught the finger and pretended to yank it backwards, like he would break it off.

Logan laughed, pulled his hand free, then rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” He threw his arms around Mason, pounded him on the back, and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek.

Mason groaned, but didn’t fight it. “Really?”

“Love you, brother.” Logan took my bag from Mason and darted across the street. Turning back around, he pointed at us. “Say your goodbyes, again, but hurry.” Patting his stomach, he flashed a grin. “I’m starving. We need to hit up a drive-thru fast. Sam, hurry it up.”

“Please,” I shouted at him.

“Please,” he added, giving me a thumbs-up sign.

Mason turned to face me squarely, tugging me close again. “Call me tonight.”

“I will.”

“I love you.” His thumb went to my bottom lip and rested there.

I closed my eyes, feeling the tenderness in that small touch. It warmed me, casting so many other worries away, but I couldn’t ignore the nagging voice in my head. I couldn’t be hurt that he had withheld information from me when I was doing the same thing. I needed to tell him. I did. And I would, but not now. My stomach clenched. I couldn’t, not yet. Instead, I said, “I love you too.”

*** Copyright: Novel12.Com

Tip: You can use left and right keyboard keys to browse between pages.