Fallen Fourth Down

Page 48

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Everyone looked towards the parking lot. A car had pulled up and turned off its lights. It wasn’t long before a guy was jogging to the field.

“This is the new super stud?”

I shrugged. “I guess.” I turned to watch, but was distracted when Logan headed to us. When he got near, I saw the concern in his gaze. “What’s wrong?”

“Can you hold my phone in case Kris calls? She’s been off lately, and I don’t want to miss her call.”

Heather started laughing. “You’re on the field, ready to cream Sam’s old school, and you’re worried about your girlfriend?”

“Yeah.” He shot her a dark look. “These posers are nothing. This is already handled, and yes, I’m worried about Kris. She’s been weird lately.”

“Where’s your phone?”

He gestured to his bag that was on the ground beside me. “Front pocket. Thanks, Sam.”

I nodded.

“KADE! LET’S GO!” Mark yelled.

I heard how smug he sounded and glanced over at him. The new guy had joined their group, and they closed ranks, forming a tight circle. Mark waved at us. “You’re being consoled by a bunch of girls because you’re scared?” He scoffed. “I would be too!”

Logan yelled back, “I know what drawer you keep your panties in.”

“Come on, Kade!”

I yelled back, “Shut it, Marcus.”

Heather said, “Oh, whoa.”

Mark laughed again. “Bring it, Sam! I know where you sleep.”

“Goes both ways, buddy.”

Logan started laughing. He shook his head and placed his hand on my shoulder. “I’m going to destroy them. The cockier they are, the more fun it is for us.” He started back to them, but said to me, “Don’t forget my phone.”

“What is with him and this girl?” Heather’s eyebrows bunched forward together. “I’m starting to think he actually cares about her.”

I shook my head, but made sure to grab his phone. Stuffing it in my pocket, I shrugged. “He does care about her. What makes you think he doesn’t?”

She gave me a pointed look.

Oh yeah. I’d forgotten for a brief moment.

I gave her a tight smile, feeling a weight settle back on my shoulders. “Let’s just cheer them on.”

“Yeah, yeah.” She rolled her eyes and turned back to the football field. They didn’t have their full teams and no one was wearing uniforms, but as they lined up across from each other and as Adam began the count, I was surprised at the fierceness rippling from both sides.

“This is all in good fun, right?”

Heather barked out a laugh. “Nothing’s friendly when it comes to guys and their egos. Besides, Mason’s gone and everyone’s going to challenge Logan to see if he can hold the throne by himself.”

The ball was snapped and Adam fell back, ready to throw. There was no one open so he looked to run. I looked down the field and saw Logan. He was running alongside a blocker. Both of them were going towards Adam. His blocker took out an FCA lineman. Logan ducked around the stretched arm and sprinted for Adam. It was only those two.

This was supposed to be friendly, but Logan squared down, tucking his shoulder in place. Adam didn’t see him until the last second. He tried to evade him, but it was too late. Logan got him square in the front. He wrapped his arms around him and threw him down. It was a fair tackle, but it was so quick. Everyone was silent for a moment.

Logan was the quarterback. Tackling had been Mason’s forte, but no one could deny it; it was an outstanding move. Even Adam was startled by it. When everyone remained silent, Logan smirked, turned, and pointed at Mark. He said, “That’s one. I’m going to be counting these all night, Decraw.” His shoulders rolled back and he raised his chin in a cocky challenge before heading back to his group. “All fucking night, Decraw.”

“I thought Logan hated Adam? What’s with him and Mark?”

“Nothing.” I was still stunned by Logan’s swiftness. “This is what they do at home. They love riling each other up, but that tackle was meant for Adam for a reason. Logan still hates him.”

“There are others on that team who have hurt me, hurt you.” Logan’s words floated in my memory, almost haunting me, and a dark shiver went through me.

Heather grunted and gestured to the field. “Okay. I thought it was weird before, but that guy won’t stop staring at you.”

“What guy?”

“The new guy. When you yelled at Mark before, he whipped around. Right after he saw you, he looked like he’d seen a ghost. I thought it was weird, but whatever. He’s new, but he’s still staring at you. You know him?”

Looking for the new guy, I started to say, “I’ve never met him…” My gaze collided with dark eyes, dark tousled hair, square jaw, and the start of a smile on his face. My voice trailed off. My mouth hung open. I did know him. I knew him too well. “Shit.”

Heather glanced at me. “Who is he?”

Someone I never wanted to see again. I shook my head. “I have to go.”

“What?” She whipped around and followed me as I hurried from the field. Logan’s phone was clutched in my hand, but Heather grabbed my arm and pulled me to a stop once we were closer to the parking lot. “Wait.” She pressed Logan’s bag against my chest. “What the hell is going on? For real. You have to tell me.”

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