Fallen Fourth Down

Page 67

Spring/Summer Banners

“No.” I waited a beat. “Do you want me to?” Marissa was nothing to me, but she kept popping up, and she was becoming a problem. I would do what Sam wanted. This wasn’t about me or Marissa’s feelings. This was about what Sam wanted me to do. It was all about how to make her my first priority, remember that she was my first priority. When she didn’t answer, I prodded, “Sam?”

“I don’t know what to say. I hate that she’s here. I trust you, but I don’t trust her.” She cringed and pressed her fingers to her forehead, rubbing at a headache. “She just won’t go away. Why won’t she go away? I don’t know what to think about last night. She came to that lunch, then she’s in your hallway, and you’re apologizing for not dealing with that.”

Hearing the misery in her voice sealed it for me. Marissa was done. Sam would never be exposed to her again, and it was my job to make sure it didn’t happen. If I had to, I would make Marissa hate me. Maybe then she’d stay away.

I knelt in front of her. My hands went to her legs, felt how stiff they were, and I cursed inside. “Hey.”

She gazed down at me. Raw hurt was in there. I helped put it there. I couldn’t talk for a moment, but said, “I’m sorry. I’ll make sure she goes away. I promise.”

The relief was evident. Her head bobbed up and down in a weak nod. A different look came across her features, and she stiffened. Her shoulders lifted, staying there. “I have to tell you something.”

Logan told me about the douchebag. He gave me warning that another guy was sniffing around Sam, but that was it. As soon as Logan said that to me, I knew it was the real reason Sam was here. She hated keeping secrets, so this must’ve been eating away at her. I nodded. “Go ahead.”

“It’s about that guy I told you about, the guy who took my virginity.”

My insides tensed. Even her saying that, made me want to hunt him down and punch him. I didn't know much about the guy she had lost her virginity to, but I wasn’t dumb. I knew she regretted it. A part of me relaxed at the same time, though. The usual condemnation that she had whenever she had spoken about him wasn’t there. I still heard the nervousness, and that made me even more wary.

Trying to sound casual, I murmured, “Yeah?”

“He’s here. I mean, he’s in Fallen Crest.”


Looking back to her lap, she rushed out, “His name is Jackson; he’s Jeff’s cousin. I cheated on Jeff with him, once, a few months before we broke up. I never talked to him after that, but he recently moved to Fallen Crest. His parents are going through a divorce. He’s going to school at FCA. He’s,” her tone softened, more hesitant, “he’s a big football star.”

“Jackson?” What was her ex’s last name?

“Jackson Sallaway.”

The name registered. “He plays tight-end? He was at Cequate High School?” Shit. He was good.

“There’s nothing there.”

I felt her eyes on me, and for once, I was the one not looking at her. Yeah, she was right. There wasn’t anything there because if there had been, that guy would be fucked. I shook my head, cursing to myself. Even if I wanted to kick his ass, I wouldn’t have. Sallaway’s reputation was a good one. He was a decent guy. He didn’t mess with other guys’ girls, and he wasn’t cocky.

I gritted my teeth. “He’s good-looking? His nickname is Pretty.”

She laughed, but it stopped immediately on a high-pitched tone. “Yeah.”

I groaned. “That makes it worse.”

“He’s not you.”

A hollow laugh came from me. “I’m aware. He’s there and I’m here.”

She stood, a determined glint in her eyes as she approached me. Her chin was set. I had to laugh. Sam was going to make me feel better. She was going to reassure me, whisper how much she loved me, and tell me how great of a guy I was. I already knew these things. I didn’t need her to remind me because in the end, she’d still be leaving. He’d be there and I’d remain here. My stomach was already in knots, but I lifted my head and waited for her to stand in front of me. As she did, my hands went to her hips. Hers cupped my face and she whispered, her eyes so goddamn loving, “No one will ever be you. All roads lead to you, Mason. No one else matters because I’m always going towards you.”

I nodded, feeling the graze from her fingers over my skin. “I know.” I tugged her onto my lap, and as she was going to sit sideways, I lifted her and pulled her legs so she was straddling me instead. I could feel her heart racing and the tension in her body. She was trying to reassure me, but I could tell this was scaring the shit out of her.

Running my hand up her back, slipping it under her shirt, I watched her. This was one of my favorite moments, when I would touch her and could watch her reaction. Her eyelids dropped, and she relaxed. I slid my hand further up her back, slipping it under her bra, and pulling it towards her front, under her arm. Feeling her breast, it was warm and solid. I cupped it, my thumb rubbing over the nipple. As I did, Sam squirmed like she always does. Her legs surged against mine, pushing into me, and she leaned forward into my hand. Her neck tilted to the side, as if granting me access there.

I leaned forward and kissed her neck. We had thirty minutes. I was going to enjoy every minute of it and make sure Jackson Sallaway was a very distant memory for her.


“I don’t think Mason likes me.”

*** Copyright: Novel12.Com

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