Fallen Fourth Down

Page 66

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“Thanks for calling me.”


“You called me, right? That means you called me before Heather. Once you talk about something, you usually let it go. You’re not like other girls and talk about it over and over again.” His voice quieted. “Thank you.”

He sounded so grateful that I felt another tear at my eye. I brushed it away and murmured, “I’ll talk to you later.”

“Eh, about that…”

I glanced at the screen and saw that Mason had ended the call. Hearing the change from Logan, I sat up slowly. Growing concerned, I asked, “What did you do?”

“Yeah. Mason and I talked about one other thing before. I didn’t tell you because I wanted to know why you called.”

Why did a feeling of doom settle back on my chest? “What?”

“Kris and I are coming up for dinner.”



Marissa was gone by the time I was dressed and heading out. There was no note. When I went downstairs, no one remembered seeing her leave. I didn’t question it. Marissa wasn’t my problem, but I knew Sam would worry, so when I got back from practice, we went to my room. Matteo said he would stay at his girlfriend’s again, so I knew we wouldn’t be interrupted. I needed this time with Sam. I needed to make things right.

I glanced at my watch. We had an hour before meeting Logan and Kris at the restaurant.

My throat was thick as I started, “I’m sorry, Sam.” I’d been so happy to see her last night that Marissa had been an afterthought, but looking at it through her point of view, I was ashamed. I should’ve taken Marissa to a hotel, not the house. “I need to explain why she was here in the first place. I will apologize profusely for it because I screwed up. She shouldn’t have been here, and I should’ve been thinking about you first the entire time.” I started with the facts. “She was wasted at the club. She had no phone, no purse. She wasn’t answering questions. We couldn’t find any of her friends, and I forgot my phone at home. I couldn’t call Nate, who would’ve known where she lived. Drew offered his room for her and that was it. A guy was all over her. If we had left her, I’m sure she would’ve been raped by him. But having said all that, she should’ve never been brought into this house. I wasn’t thinking. Drew was drunk. Matteo was twerking against everything. The car door. A street light. Our mail box. Marissa started to cry that we weren’t friends. I wasn’t thinking. I’m so sorry.”

If I’d been her, if I had come to her house and found Quinn in the hallway, I wouldn’t have handled it like her. I would’ve wanted to hurt him and probably would’ve, regardless of the circumstances. Sam was everything to me. Any guy that tried to threaten that, threaten our relationship, and I saw red. Even thinking about his past antics sent a fierce wave of anger through me. I protected Sam. That was my job, and I had failed last night.

“You thought I was her.”

“I did.” Fuck. “I couldn’t tell how drunk she was, but I know she has feelings for me. It was in the back of my mind that she might’ve tried to sneak in. I’m really sorry, Sam. I really am. Then you came in, and I saw red. I was mad at her for you. If that makes any sense. I was mad that she would dare try to come in when she knows I’m with you, when she knows how much I love you.” I grimaced, remembering how rough I had been as I grabbed her arm and pushed her into the hallway. “Are you okay? I grabbed you too hard last night.”

She nodded. “I’m fine. You didn’t. You were…” Her head hung down. “You were rough because you thought I was her. Thank you.” She looked back up, raw emotion swimming in her eyes. “Jeff never would’ve done that for me, but you do. You always take care of me.”

But I hadn’t. Not last night.

“She didn’t look drunk when she opened the door.” She looked up, searing me with the agony in her eyes. “She looked tired, but not drunk. Drew said you got in an hour before I got there. If she was that wasted, she wouldn’t have sobered up that quick.”

I sighed, sitting on the bed. “I know.”

She shook her head, blinking for a moment, and for that brief moment I couldn’t see the pain she was in. When she opened them again, it was there. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was a part of that. I had hurt Sam. Gritting my teeth, my hands curled into fists. I hated that. I hated any pain she might endure and knowing I had contributed to it, even if it hadn’t been intentional, gutted me.

She murmured, “Am I supposed to worry about her? Is she going to try something else? Logan said she’s crazy.”

“She was a friend to me when I didn’t like the female gender. I felt like they wanted to use me, use Logan, use my dad. Marissa was a friend that showed me not all girls want to use someone for something. I haven’t wanted to deal with her, with this crush she has on me, because I cared about her.”

Sam frowned.

I held my hand up, seeing she was going to say something. I said softly, “I don’t care about her now. I’m not friends with her. I hate thinking that last night was a set-up, that somehow she worked everything so she was brought here, but I can’t rule out that possibility.”

“Have you talked to her?” She looked back down at her lap. Her hand started to pick at imaginary lint on her pants. She did that when she was nervous or couldn’t deal with the pain inside her.

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