Fallen fourth down, p.10
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       Fallen Fourth Down, p.10
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         Part #4 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan

  A gleam appeared in Logan’s eye. I knew that look. Logan wanted to fight. I murmured, “You sure you want us there?”

  “Yeah.” Nate gentled his tone. “It’ll be nice to have you guys all there.”

  “What about douchebag?” Logan jerked his head in the direction the fraternity brothers had gone. “He’s not going to like us. You know that.”

  “Just,” Nate sounded so wary, “come for me. Okay?”

  “Yeah. We’ll come.” Logan’s glower deepened. “But I’m not kissing any ass tonight.”

  Nate grimaced. “Try to be nice.”

  Logan kept quiet, and that was the best answer Nate was going to get. Nate lifted a hand and said he’d see us at the party. I waited until he had disappeared into the crowd before I asked, “What are you planning?”

  “I’m going to piss his friend off.”

  With the dark intent brewing in his gaze, I knew Logan was going to make enemies that night. I shrugged. It was going to happen. I flashed him a grin. “Looks like we’re getting a head start for next year.”

  He grunted in response before we sat back and waited for Kris and Mason.

  CHAPTER TEN

  MASON

  “Hey, man.” Drew came over and propped a hand on the top shelf of my locker. He had showered and dressed in jeans and a Cain University shirt. “I heard your woman’s in town.”

  I narrowed my eyes and bent to grab my own shirt. Pulling it on, I asked, “Yeah?”

  He ran a hand through his hair and bent over so he could see in my mirror. As he fixed his hair, he said, “A bunch of us are going downtown for Matteo’s birthday. He can let loose tonight. He mentioned that you’re going to a frat party tonight?”

  “Yeah.” I watched as he moved his head at all angles to inspect his hair. When he saw a clump that was pressed flat, he bit his lip and lifted his hands to tug them apart. Logan did this shit. He had cut his hair so it was shorter, but there was enough for him to spike it like my quarterback. I kept mine in a crew cut. I didn’t want to waste time, and Sam seemed to like it. Good enough for me. As he moved to a new clump of hair, I told him, “You know my best friend is there. He wants to show the house off to my brother more than anything. I doubt we’ll stay late.”

  “I’m surprised you’re going. Matteo told me you’re a no-nonsense guy. I would’ve thought Park Sebasstian would be road kill to you.” His fingers pulled apart two hairs that were sticking up. He rubbed them so they stuck up even higher, then nodded to himself. He turned to face me again and smirked, but when he saw the no-nonsense expression on my face, his smirk fell flat.

  I said, “I’ll deal with anyone who tries to mess with me.”

  His eyes narrowed and studied mine. He nodded. “Sounds good.” He pounded me on the shoulder. “We’re at Cliché tonight. Just ask for the Cain U footballer’s private box. They’ll show you the way.” He turned to go, but paused. “A lot of the guys from the team go there.”

  “What are you talking about?”

  “Don’t worry about age. They worked out a deal with one of the captains a long time ago. They don’t serve ‘alcohol’ to minors.” As he used his fingers for air quotes, I assumed that meant we could get alcohol just fine if we wanted. He added, “And don’t feel weird. A lot of the guys bring their wives too, you know, the guys in serious relationships like you.”

  I grunted. “Yeah, okay. We might swing by. My brother would probably like the club.”

  “Sounds good, man. Have fun with the wife and kids.”

  As soon as Drew moved away, Matteo lumbered over to me. He had showered, but he only managed to get his pants on. Still shirtless, he was rubbing lotion over his chest as he said, “You coming out tonight?”

  “I think so.” I jerked my head in Drew’s direction. “The wife comments, are those veiled insults?”

  “What?” My roommate’s eyes got big, and he glanced where Drew was talking to two senior players. “No, man. If it is, I’ll be pissed. They call Georgie my wife too. That's what they call the serious relationships.”

  “So there’s no shade with that?” I wanted to make sure. Drew had been smirking, but I knew he was still on an adrenalin high from the win. He threw four touchdowns, but I wasn’t going to stand and be laughed at without hitting back.

  “No, no, no.” Matteo seemed taken aback. His hand paused in rubbing the lotion, but he started again a moment later. “They want us to be wifed-up. Girls can mean problems for the single guys. Hook-ups sometimes become baby-mommas. Some of that shit happens on purpose. You know how it is. They want the guys to have wives. They’re more stable. Those girls are rocks for some of us. I know Georgie is for me. If I step out of line, she smacks me back in, and I regret it for the rest of my life.”

  I grinned, easing up a bit. “Good to know.”

  “How about you?” He sat down on my bench. “You don’t talk too much about your woman, but you guys talk every night.”

  “Me and Sam?” I grunted. “I guess I’m the rock.”

  “She doesn’t smack you around if you step out of line?”

  I didn’t step out of line. I never wanted to. Shrugging, I commented while I saw my phone buzzing, “No. We don’t really fight that much.” I read the text and saw it was from Logan. Get your ass out here. Mine is hungry and wanting sweet relief, if you know what I mean. Serious, tho. Get out here. Sam won’t look away from the hallway you said you’d be coming from.

  I typed back: Coming. I said to Matteo, “I need to go. Happy birthday and I’ll see you later tonight.”

  “Yeah, I want to meet your woman. She didn’t stop by earlier.”

  I began backpedaling and lifted my arms up in a shrug. “They were late. Logan said there was some fight, but they’re here now.” As I moved through the main open area of the gym, I raised my voice and lifted a hand, “Happy birthday to Matteo! May your dick be tired tomorrow morning.”

  “You douche,” Matteo called after me, laughing.

  The guys who were still in the locker room called out their own cheers for him, and as I went out the door, I knew my roommate was soaking up all the attention

  It didn’t take long to walk from the locker room to where I knew Logan and Sam were waiting. I came up the side stairs, and when I opened the door, I noticed the stadium had cleared out. Going past some offices and conference rooms, I turned and saw them at the end of the hallway. The walkway was huge. Sam and Logan looked like ants compared to the massive posts around them. One of them jerked upright from a wall.

  I grinned, waving. It was Sam. Fuck, it’d been too damn long. She broke into a run, and I walked faster. Her eyes were wide, her mouth opened, and there was no hesitation. She threw herself at me. Grabbing a hold of her, I turned and pressed her against the wall. My legs were unsteady, from the game and seeing her, and I needed more balance. Closing my eyes, I pressed a kiss to her forehead and hugged her. She hugged me back.

  Home. That’s what Sam was to me.

  Moving to her ear, I whispered, “It feels good to hold you again.”

  She clasped onto me tighter and wrapped her legs around my waist. When she didn’t respond, I knew she couldn’t. I wanted to kiss her, but she was pressed into my chest and her head went to my shoulder so I stopped thinking and just held her. I’d forgotten how perfectly she fit with me.

  I needed time with just her.

  Logan had walked closer, but he saw my look and nodded. Reaching behind him, he took his girl’s hand and said something in her ear. When he led her out the door, I knew he had given us some privacy. I wasn’t going to waste any time. Sliding my hands under Sam’s ass, I stood from the wall and her legs tightened in response.

  “Mason?”

  I turned for one of those conference rooms. Locking the door, hitting the lights off, I pushed her against the wall again. Her legs fell so she was standing on her own, and she gazed up at me in confusion. I cupped the back of her head and slammed my lips down on hers.

  Fuck. She tasted
good.

  Her hands lifted and bunched my shirt collar in her fists. When I started to lift up again, she pulled me back down, taking command. It wasn’t long before my hand was inside her shirt, nudging underneath her bra. I was two seconds from opening her jeans and shoving mine down when I remembered these rooms had cameras.

  FUCK!

  Ripping my mouth from hers, I rested my forehead against hers. I wanted to be between her legs, feel her body underneath mine, writhing as I moved inside her, slow and steady and harder, as we both forgot where one began and one ended.

  She whispered, panting, “Can we please take a separate car from them?” Her hand went to my pants and began kneading the bulge there.

  I laughed, turning into her neck. Kissing her, I murmured, “I think we’ll have to. God, I’ve missed you.” I couldn’t stop myself. I lifted her in my arms again, hoisting her high so her legs wrapped back around my waist, so she could look down at me. Her eyes were dark with lust, glazed over from it, and she let out one of those small sighs of frustration.

  Her hand lifted, and she ran her fingers through my hair, cupping my cheek. She smiled down at me. I saw the love and warmth, but I paused as I saw more. There was misery and pure agony. Something was wrong and I didn’t think it was just from our separation. I bit my tongue. I wanted to question her, push her buttons so she spilled what was wrong, but that wouldn’t work anymore for us. Sam needed to tell me on her own.

  My own pain sliced through me. There was distance between us, physical and emotional. My hand lifted and I rubbed a thumb over her lips, lingering over the bottom. I murmured, “I know something’s wrong.”

  She stilled.

  I never looked away from her. “I can’t push you to talk anymore, Sam. You have to tell me on your own. This won’t work otherwise.”

  A tear formed and, biting her lip, she jerked her head in a nod. Some of her hair fell forward to block her face, and I tucked it behind her ear, my hand lingering there. I began to make circles on her cheek with my thumb. It was a loving gesture, and my god, I loved this girl. Feeling a surge of that emotion go through me, it pushed the pain away. We’d be fine. We’d have to be.

  I let her back down to the floor, but kept her in my arms. Resting my chin on the top of her head, her arms slid around my chest, and she burrowed into me again. I asked, “Will you tell me what’s wrong?”

  I felt her nodding against my shoulder.

  This was important. The urgency of it coursed through, me and I tipped her head back up. Our eyes collided and held. “I mean it, Sam. You have to tell me. This shit is work. We both have to put into it. No running.”

  “I won’t.” A small grin tugged at the corner of her mouth, and she cupped my face in her hands. “I promise. I won’t.”

  “What’s wrong?” Because I knew there was something going on. “Is this about your dad?” No… That didn’t feel right. It was something else.

  She hesitated.

  “Sam.”

  She shook her head. “You know me and my family. Terrifying. But no, I just…” She faded and glanced away.

  I bit back my words. I wanted to make her tell me, but Matteo’s words stayed with me. His woman smacked him back into place when he faltered. Sam didn’t do that for me. It hurt to acknowledge that. We needed to have that. I hadn’t known how bothered I had been when he said those words, but it did. Sam rarely put me in my place.

  “Sam,” I whispered.

  “I know. There is something, but I’m not ready to talk about it.” She held my gaze, and I saw she meant what she was saying. She added, “I will tell you, but not yet.”

  “You will?”

  She nodded. A small tear slipped out and trailed down her cheek. She ignored it. “I love you so much.”

  I nodded, then pulled her back to me. Her head tipped back and her lips raised for mine. I brushed mine against them. I wanted to make love to her that night. I wanted to show her that everything would be fine, that she could tell me anything, but I also just wanted to hold her and not let go. Feeling all that, I applied more pressure to the kiss, and she sighed from contentment.

  It was later, much later, when we finally left that room and headed down to the parking lot. I was grateful Logan gave us that moment of privacy. It was needed. When Sam was gone, there wasn’t just literal distance between us. It was like we were on the same page, but there was a tear between us. Seeing her again helped to mend that tear. We were on the same page again. She felt like home again.

  My hand tightened around hers. She squeezed back.

  When we got to Logan’s car, Logan threw his arms around us, separating us again. I shot her a grin when she stepped back. I clasped my arms around him. “Hey, man.”

  Logan pounded me twice on the back before letting go. A wide grin stretched over his face. “I feel hornier than a dog who almost got his balls snipped off. Shit, man. Your face is gorgeous. Have you always been this fine specimen?”

  I laughed, shoving him away. “Hump your woman, not your brother.”

  It felt good to have him there. It felt good to have them both there. Logan threw his head back, grabbing for his woman’s hand again. He continued smirking at me. “Dinner? I know I’m starving.”

  And then a party and booze. I knew that was where Logan was going, but I shook my head as I grabbed for Sam’s hand again. “Change of plans. Let’s hit the frat place first, and briefly.” I paused. Logan narrowed his eyes and a spark flashed for a second. There was a story there, but he slid his eyes to his girlfriend and gave me a small shake of his head. Message received. I’d ask later, so I added, “And my roommate wants to meet you guys.”

  “Matt?”

  “Matteo. It’s his birthday this weekend. We had a dinner last night, but he was tame.” He sat on my bed later in the evening for a ‘serious’ talk about Park Sebastian. The talk never started. Matteo declared that he was hot and started taking his clothes off. I went to the bathroom and when I came back, he was spread eagle on my bed, naked. Too much sake had him snoring loud enough to wake the two rooms on both sides of us. I corrected myself, “I think he was tame last night. I’ve got a feeling tonight will be a night to remember with him.”

  “Where’s he at?”

  “They’re at Cliché.”

  Logan’s girlfriend jerked forward, clinging to my brother’s arm with both hands.

  “What?”

  “Did you say Cliché?”

  “Yeah.”

  Logan glanced to her. “What?”

  “That’s the hottest club here. Oh my god. We’re going there?”

  Sam sighed beside me.

  Logan prodded, “Have you been there?”

  Her lips pressed tight and she shook her head, but a squeal left her.

  “All right,” I continued. She’d been annoying this summer, but as she started bobbing up and down and more squeals left her, I held back the usual blast I might’ve given someone in the past. Logan liked her. I had to deal with it.

  “Sorry.” Her cheeks were red. “We used to live not far from here, and I know it’s the place to go. Charlie used to go there a ton, but she’s forbidden me to ever step foot inside.” She started clapping. “I’m so excited.”

  Logan was grinning at her. “And this is why your sister hates me.”

  “I don’t care.” She began waving her hands instead. “I’m so excited. You guys have no idea. This place is epic.”

  “Well, whatever.” Her hands fell down at my abrupt tone. I ignored how she jumped back a step, and said to Logan, “The birthday party’s there. I figured we’d go. Nate can show off his house to you guys, and we can head there after?”

  “Sounds good to me.” Logan’s tone turned predator-like. He shared a look with Sam, who didn’t say a word. When she saw that I caught the brief exchange, she gave me a slight nod and slanted her eyes towards Logan’s girlfriend.

  I got the message so I said, “Give me a ride to my car? We can head to your hotel, switch it up, and ta
ke one car?”

  “Sounds good to me.”

  We piled into the car and left for where my car was parked, clear on the other side of the stadium. On the drive to Logan and his girlfriend’s hotel, Sam told me what had happened between Logan, Park, and also Nate. I wasn’t surprised. The guy was a dick, but I also knew that I might need to watch Logan a little more than I had planned.

 
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