Fallen Fourth Down

Page 6

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“My best friend pledged. His dad’s an alumni.” I lifted my chin. “Why’s your girl going?”

“Her friends like the frat pricks. She doesn’t. She’s going because of me.” He paused. “You’re talking about that dude you were trying to get Coach to let him live in the football house with us?”’

“Yeah.” Nate hadn’t been happy when he heard the entire house was for football players. He wasn’t good enough to make the team, but he’d been fine with that. Nate had known coming into Cain U that he wouldn’t be on the team with me. However, when he found out the living situation, he went a different route. “He says they’re the best frat to pledge?”

Matteo’s scowl deepened. “Because Sebastian’s an ass kisser. You’re warned, Kade. He’s going to try and do you doggie-style. He’s been around the game, and he loves football players, especially a football player that’s going to the pros. He’s like his dad, some senator. They pull people in close until those people aren’t useful to them, then they drop ‘em.”

I followed Matteo, as he led the way to the hallway and down the stairs. A few other players were waiting for us. It was the first night we didn’t have practice in the morning. When Nate mentioned the party, I figured I’d go to be supportive. The guys found out and more than a handful wanted to tag along.

When we were on the sidewalk, covering the three blocks to frat row, I asked, “So, how do you know all this?”

“Because he screwed over my best friend last year.”


“Jamie Satture. They were real good buddies until Jamie got hurt and lost his scholarship. He thought Sebastian would help him out since his fraternity has a lot of money and his father’s corporation sponsored the scholarship, but no way, man. That prick dropped him like a one-night stand. Ignored him for the rest of the year. He’s bad news, dude. I’d stay away from that one.”

It was noted. I wasn’t a pushover, but these guys didn’t know that. They knew it on the field, but not off. I’d been warned. I knew what I was walking into, and I wasn’t happy. Nate was friends with these guys. It’d been a vacation in some ways, being out of Fallen Crest. There were no battles. People weren’t plotting to take me down or fighting with my brother or my girlfriend. It’d been me and football. Even Nate had kept away since he was busy with his fraternity. I had a strong hunch that those simple days were about to end. If Sebastian was half as bad as Matteo said, he would not like me. He might think he would, but he’d find out I wasn’t one to be manipulated.

Letting out a silent sigh, I grimaced. I didn’t want to deal with that battle, but if it came, it came.

The street leading to frat row was packed with cars, which wasn’t a surprise. Every road within the campus vicinity rarely had an open parking spot. When we rounded the block, it was evident which one was Nate’s house. It was an old house with bricks and green stuff growing up the walls. Greek letters had been carved into the brick above the front door. The lawn had people all over it. The door was open and music blared out from it. As we started across the street, people stopped and watched us. I’d gotten used to anonymity over the last three weeks. Classes hadn’t started so no one knew me, but walking with this group of guys, all large and toned, they knew who we were. A group of girls turned to gawk from the patio. Shock filled their gazes and one girl’s mouth dropped open. Another dropped her drink.

“Hold up.”

A guy separated from a group of guys on the lawn. He disappeared inside, and it wasn’t long before another guy came out with him. The second one was taller, as tall as me, but leaner. I grunted. This was Park Sebastian. I could already tell. He was a pretty boy with enough arrogance to fill a blimp. This guy was another Adam Quinn, and at that reminder, I gritted my teeth. The old feeling to rip into Quinn came back to me, but this guy was the new target.

His eyes lingered on Matteo, who lifted his chin in a challenge. Sebastian pressed his lips together, as if holding back a scowl, but walked towards me. His eyebrows furrowed together. I could see it plain as day. He was racking his brain, wondering if we had met already. We had, the day I helped Nate move in, but he hadn’t given two shits about me that day, and I hadn’t with him. Things were different. My reputation as a wide receiver had been building since I got to school. With my performance on the field and in practice, I wouldn’t have been surprised if that had been the real motivation behind Nate’s invitation. He hadn’t invited me to one all summer. As I stood there and looked right back at Sebastian, I wondered if I was staring at the real reason I’d been invited.

He looked me up and down, holding a cup of beer in his hand.

I didn’t stand for this shit at home; I wasn’t going to now. “We can leave, if you’d like.”

His head snapped back up, and he narrowed his eyes, assessing me once again, but with a different emotion. I had surprised him. Extending his cup towards Matteo, he said, “I’m not in good standing with the football team. No offense, I’m surprised is all.”

Matteo shifted on his feet and growled softly.

“My friend is a pledge. He invited me here.”


It was an unspoken question to find out who I was. I kept quiet. I had no intention of dancing to his tune.

“Mason!” Nate came from the front door and waved a hand. He jogged off the patio and stopped beside Sebastian. “This is my best friend I was telling you about. Mason Kade, this is Park Sebastian. He’s the president of our fraternity.”

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