Fallen Fourth Down

Page 47

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“Sure—” Mark started to say.

Logan interrupted, “Tomorrow night. We have a game, but they leave the lights on. We can scrimmage then.”

“Wait. With everyone? Full uniform?”

“Just the guys. A friendly thing.” Logan’s tone did not indicate friendliness.

Mark glanced at me and his teammates. None of them said a word, and Mark shrugged. “Sure, but I have to warn you, like I said before, our best player couldn’t play last time. We might be like a whole new team with him.”

Logan’s eyes lit up. A slow grin spread over his face. “I’ll look forward to that.”

Mark and his teammates left, and it wasn’t long before Hayes took off with the rest of the cross country guys. Logan’s friend remained behind, but he stood at a distance from us, waiting for Logan to start running again.

Logan looked at me.

I looked at him.

He liked to fight. He liked to cause havoc and that side of him had been dormant for a while. I saw it in him again. It was like it had been awakened, a prowling tiger that was getting tired of its cage. That’s when I realized the Roussou pranks had served a purpose for him, an outlet, and he needed a new outlet.

I sighed. “Don’t hurt Mark.”

A flash of irritation heated up his eyes, but he smirked at me. “Not Mark, but there are others on that team who have hurt me.” He paused a beat. “Hurt you.”

“That’s over.”

He shook his head. “Not true. Those beasts always linger. They’re always there, waiting to get out.” Then he turned and started off. When he saw I wasn’t running with him, he paused and glanced back at me, running in place.

I didn’t move.

He shrugged and took off down the trail alone.

I was starting to wonder what beast was inside Logan, and why hadn’t I realized it was there until now.


“Okay.” Heather stuffed her hands in her jean pockets. The wind whipped her hair around, but she let it go. Her eyes flashed at me with irritation. “What are we doing here?” She gestured to the football field.

I laughed. “A challenge was thrown out and Logan pounced on it. I think he’s restless because he doesn’t have Roussou to rival with. He’s turned to my old school.” I didn’t share my other theory, that a darker beast had been awakened inside him.

She nodded, skimming an eye over the group of guys who stood in a huddle on the fifty yard line. It was Friday night. We had been there five hours earlier for an official game, but the lights were still on like Logan said they would be. Heather murmured, “This is ridiculous. There’s a reason Mason didn’t go to your school, because your team sucked. Ours dominated. They’re going to kill those guys.”

“I know.” I watched Mark, Adam, and their friends gather together, away from the FCP group, and shook my head. Even though Mason was gone, and he had been the star player, the new group of seniors still looked primed and ready to tear into the FCA group. The guys from Fallen Crest Public School were bigger and meaner. They were tougher. That was the bottom line. The guys from my old school were leaner and nervous. “Mark’s an idiot.”

“How did this happen again?”

“Logan’s team ran with the cross country team yesterday. Their coach was gone so they were doing conditioning with us. Our trail went over a hill by my old school, they were having football practice, and one thing led to another.”

Heather groaned. “This is all about the size of their dicks, which of course correlates with their precious egos. They’re all idiots.”

“Pretty much.” Watching them, I saw the hesitation on Mark’s face. The rest of the guys kept glancing towards Logan’s group. Their wariness was evident.

“So who’s the new guy?” Heather craned her neck to get a better view.

I stiffened.

She caught my reaction. “What?”

“How’d you know about a new guy? Mark mentioned him earlier, but you…” I failed to follow the connecting dots. This was from left field.

She grimaced. “Channing talks about him all the time. FCA doesn’t play Roussou, but he said their new guy is all anyone is talking about. He’s some big star from another school or conference or whatever football terms they use.”

A sense of dread began to take root in me. The more she talked, the more I knew Logan might have a surprise in store for him.

At that moment, Mark yelled to someone on the sidelines. “Cass! Where is he?”

“I don’t know. He’s coming,” she shouted back.

Heather turned and cursed. “How did I miss them?” Cass and her friends were in their own group, standing on the sidelines further down from us. “Those are the bitches from your old school, right?”


“Where’s the girlfriend?”

“At home with her sister.”

A few of the drill team girls from FCP were on the other side of Heather and me. A couple of them exchanged insults with Cass, which I was relieved about. They seemed focused on each other and not on me. I was getting a break. That was before Heather got there. Both groups were aware of Heather, who screamed sex just by walking. When she saw Cass watching her, Heather puffed up her chest and spread her arms out. “What?”

Cass narrowed her eyes and her lip curled up, but she turned away. Then she felt in her pocket and pulled out her phone. “Mark! He’s here.”

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