Fallen Fourth Down

Page 53

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Logan glanced at me. “Sallaway?”

“He’s Jeff’s cousin.”

“Your ex?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

He gestured between Jackson and myself. “So you two know each other?”

Jackson glanced at me, and I braced myself. Logan couldn’t know. I wasn’t ready to tell him who Jackson was and, as if he could read my thoughts, Jackson said, “Just a tiny bit. My cousin brought her to a game a long time ago.” He nodded to me. “It was nice meeting you. I don’t know if I ever told you that. I thought you were a good person for putting up with my cousin.”

He had covered for me. I snorted, my knees suddenly shaky. “Yeah. Jeff’s a good friend, but a horrible boyfriend.”

Jackson grinned, laughing. The sound was so genuine.

Logan’s eyes narrowed at him and asked, “Are you coming to the party tonight?”

His laughter stopped, and his eyes flicked to mine. “Um…” He looked towards the parking lot. “Everyone left, huh? I’m not a big partier. Who usually shows up to those?”


I stepped back as Derek moved forward.

Jackson lifted a hand, rested it against the side of his face, and shrugged. “Sure.” His finger indicated Logan, Derek, and their other friend. “You three are your team’s captains?”

Derek started to answer him, but Logan urged me forward. Apparently, we were leaving. As we did, Logan tossed over his shoulder, “We’ll see you guys there. I have to try and sneak my girlfriend out of the house.”

Derek laughed. “Quinn’s going to love that.”

Logan ignored him, his hand still on my side, as he directed me to the car and to the passenger door. I frowned as he opened it for me, and when I got inside, I waited until he went to his door. When he opened it and got into his seat, I asked, “What’s going on with you?” I jerked my hand back and pointed to the door. “Since when do you open doors for me, and two, I thought you said Kris wasn’t going?”

He lifted a shoulder. His shoulders were so rigid. “I don’t know, Sam. Okay? I was trying to be nice. I won’t, if that’s your deal.”

Taken aback, I didn’t comment. Holy shit. Where did this side of Logan come from?

He cursed. His hand dropped from the steering wheel and his car remained idle. “I’m sorry. I’m being an ass to you, and you don’t deserve that. Quinn started texting Kris a bunch, and she’s been responding. It’s pissing me off.”


“She’s my girlfriend. She shouldn’t be talking to him. She knows how I feel about him, but she won’t stop. She keeps saying they’re just friends.” He grunted. “Fuck friends, that’s what Quinn wants.” He glanced to me, seemingly hesitant. “I haven’t said anything to you. I know you’ve got your own stuff, with Mason gone and your dad here again. Again, I’m sorry for being an ass.”

He hadn’t picked up anything about Jackson. I felt like I had just bypassed a bomb exploding. “It’s no problem. You and Kris are you and Kris. For what it’s worth, I don’t think she’d ever cheat on you, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

He cursed again and hit his hand against the wheel. “I don’t fucking know what I’m worried about. I feel like this whole year is off, you know?” He sounded haunted. “Is it just me? Is it because Mason’s not here?”

He was looking for an answer. I lifted both my shoulders up and let them fall. I didn’t have one for him. “I miss him too.”

“Yeah,” he said softly. “Maybe that’s just it.” He groaned, raking a hand through his hair, letting it rub over his face before dropping it to his lap. “It’s just, it’s Quinn, you know? I hate that loser. Anything she gives him makes me feel like crap. Any time she texts him or smiles at him or takes his phone call, the douche thinks he’s winning her over me. I hate this shit. I hate relationships.” He grinned at me. “I think Tate messed me up for every girl.”

“Just talk to Kris. She told me that she used to sleep with guys to feel loved, something about having daddy issues. If she’s talking to another guy, maybe it’s those old issues rearing up, and she’s just not handling them. I don’t know.” I reached over and squeezed his hand. “For what it’s worth, she’s crazy about you. I know she is.”

He turned his hand over so his palm rested against mine. He sighed, lacing his fingers with mine. “Thanks, Sam. You’re right. I’ll just talk to her first.” His eyes narrowed, and his hand tightened around mine. “Then I’ll kick his ass.”


I had Logan drop me off at home. He went to the party, but I never heard if there had been any drama or not. Mark was still sleeping when I got up the next morning and headed for a shift at Manny’s. As I got to the little diner, I breathed in the smell of grease, dirt, dust, and sweat. The front door was open, and I could hear yelling, mixed with a fast country song from inside. Opening the screen door, I noticed a group of guys huddled around the bar. The top of Brandon’s head was visible as a bottle was tossed in the air. When I didn’t hear glass shattering, I assumed he was doing his usual bartending show. When I moved past the bar for the back employee room, he saw me from the side of the group. In mid-pour, he flashed me a smile. “The prodigal sister has returned.”

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