Fallen Fourth Down

Page 54

Spring/Summer Banners

I grinned. “Still dreaming about being in Cocktail?

“You know it.” He winked at me. Finishing the pour, he slid the glass to its customer and held his hand towards me. “Hold up, Sam.”

I paused, but glanced around with my uniform in hand. There were two other servers that I didn’t recognize, along with Rosa and Frank, who was doing the dishes. When Brandon finished putting the money in the register, I asked him, “Where’s Heather?” It wasn’t normal to have five servers on a shift.

“That’s what I wanted to let you know. She’s at Channing’s. Rosa’s filling in for her.”

“Oh.” I was disappointed. It’s why I had picked up the shift, to work with her. “Okay. I’m still on till nine tonight?”

“Yeah, that’s the other thing. Our numbers are down, so we don’t need you today. I’m sorry, Sam. I was supposed to call you and let you know.”

Double oh.

He grimaced. “I got slammed, or I would’ve called you earlier. I am sorry.”

“So you’re saying I have a free day?”

“Go find Logan and get drunk.” He paused and then added, “Road trip to see Mason?”

I laughed, but I was considering it. I turned back and was headed outside when someone stepped forward. The screen door hit him in the head. “I’m sorry—” I started, but stopped when I saw who it was.


He had taken off his sunglasses and rubbed his forehead as he squinted to see me. “Sam?” He held his sunglasses up. “Apparently I need more than these. That sun is blinding. I didn’t see you at all.”

“I hit you. I’m sorry.”

“I’m good.” Giving me a grin, he turned and looked around us. He scanned the parking lot, the patio, and leaned around me to see inside the diner. “Are you here with someone?”

I held up my uniform. “I work here.”

“You do? I’ve been eating here for the last three weeks.”

“I work here,” I paused, “randomly. I don’t have that much time with cross country. You know, with school too.”

“Ah. Yes.” His hand lingered on the side of his face as he gazed down at me. “Jeff used to talk about you running all the time. You still run?”


He laughed and shook his head, rolling his eyes. “Jeff always bitched about you running. He tried to tell me that’s why he cheated on you, because you ran all the time.”



He said… “You and Jeff talked about him cheating?”

“Yeah—” The screen door opened again as three guys left Manny’s. Jackson glanced around, then gestured to a table and chairs in the corner. “Can we just…do you want to…I don’t know. Could we talk…a little? After what happened and last night, I feel like we should talk. Maybe for some closure or something.”

“Yeah.” That sounded good. He was right. Closure. As he sat down, I sat across from him.

I stared.

He stared back.

This was going wonderfully. “So…”

At the same time, he said, “Yeah, so—” He laughed. “Man. This is awkward, huh?”

“Little bit.” I curled my hands together on my lap. “It’s probably me. I don’t socialize much. I don’t have to. Pretty much everyone knows me by now.”

A keen look came into his eyes, and he leaned forward, propping his elbows on the table. “Yeah. Jeff said when you guys broke up, it wasn’t long before you were with Mason Kade. Since I’ve been here, I can tell that probably sent some shockwaves through school, huh?”

“You could say that.” I grinned. “Things are fine, for the most part.”

“That’s good.” His head bobbed up and down. His smile never left his face. “And your boyfriend is at Cain U?”

“Do you know that because of the gossip or—”

He shook his head. “Football. It’s known where the big recruits go. Signing day and all.”

“Signing day?”

“Yeah…” He trailed off. “He would’ve committed then, well officially committed.”


“You didn’t know?”

I shook my head. “Mason never said anything.”

He scratched his ear and tilted his head to the side. “I think he only had his mom and some old guy there. Yeah. I’m sure of that. It’s televised…” I felt like I’d been punched in the chest. His eyes widened. “And you didn’t know that either.” He glanced down to the table. “I was going to say it’s weird that his brother wasn’t there or I would’ve recognized Logan.” His voice quieted. “Signing day’s a big deal too…I’m not being helpful, am I?”

Signing day. Helen and another guy had been there. It was televised. My jaw clenched. More things Mason had kept from me.


He said that so softly, so tentatively, I wanted to melt. Feeling my throat choke up, my fingers pressed into my palms, and I willed all the weakness to go away. I wanted to scream, but I didn’t. As I forced everything down, I gave Jackson another smile and brushed that damn little tear away. I wasn’t weak. I wasn’t going to act like it anymore.

I forced out, “What were you saying?”

*** Copyright: Novel12.Com

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