Fallen fourth down, p.12
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       Fallen Fourth Down, p.12
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         Part #4 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan

  coming, I didn’t want him to see that. He would press me. I wasn’t ready to face that yet so I surged up on my feet, grabbed a hold of his face with both hands, and pressed my lips to his.

  I was starving for him. Tasting my need, Mason wrapped his arms around my waist, lifting me off my feet and moving us. The sounds from the club grew muffled and the lights dimmed. We were in a room. It was only us, no light, no one else. He opened his mouth over mine.

  Answering my desperation with his own, he lifted me higher and I crawled up his body. My legs wound around his waist, clenching tightly. His hand slid under my shirt, grasping onto my breast. It wasn’t enough. Moving so I could get a better angle, my mouth opened over his and I felt his tongue slide inside me and brush against mine. It was a delicious rub, and I whimpered, needing more. I would always need more with him. My hands fell to his jeans. I wanted him in me, all the way in, but his hands brushed mine aside.

  My legs tightened around him in protest. I rubbed my chest against his and tried again.

  He blocked me, but his hand wedged inside my jeans, and his fingers plunged inside me.

  I gasped, feeling the rush of pleasure.

  Mason nipped at my bottom lip while his fingers plunged in and out. He wasn’t being gentle. As his fingers kept thrusting, I was paralyzed from the sensations. They were building, and they were overwhelming. I tried moving my hand to him, wanting to give him pleasure as well, but his fingers kept going in and out.

  God. It was coming.

  My head fell back to rest against the wall. As my climax was nearing, I gasped and arched my back. Mason’s head fell to my exposed throat. He kissed me there as his fingers continued their onslaught. A groan built from deep in my throat. As it began to slip out, Mason kept going, but he covered my mouth with his.

  A scream erupted out of me, muffled by his lips, as I hurdled over the edge.

  He held me as the tremors ripped through me. When they had faded and I could walk, my legs slid down from around his waist to the ground. Still holding me, he brushed a hand over my forehead, smoothing my hair and tucking a few strands behind my ears. He leaned down, and his lips grazed over mine in a soft kiss. “No matter what’s going on inside you, I’m here. I always will be.” He pressed another kiss to my forehead. “I love you.”

  My hands grabbed and fisted his shirt. I loved him too. God, I loved him. The entire act of what he did was beautiful, loving, and tender all at the same time. I didn’t deserve him.

  “Sam?”

  “I love you too, and I don’t deserve you.” Just tell him. Get it over with. Let the chips fall where they lay. I was screaming at myself, but I silenced that voice. “When we get home…” I was going to make it up to him. I was going to love him how he just loved me.

  A cloud of confusion appeared over him, but as he read the promises in me, it cleared and a small grin showed again. He bent down and I closed my eyes, waiting for the feel of his lips again—

  “Tell me you’re not boning in a club?” A loud voice broke the moment. The door opened wider, letting in the neon lights and booming music. A silhouette of a large guy stood inside the doorway, and he flung his arms up. “I’m staying at a sorority house for you, man. This is supposed to happen at home. Do you not appreciate the sacrifice I’m making for you?” His hands cupped together, and he shook them at us. “Sorority chicks. Vanilla scented everything, even their forks smell like mocha and sweat pea. Pink shit everywhere. Bowls of ice cream. Boobs flashing all over the place. It’s hell, Mason, and you’re in here getting it on?”

  He made a sound of disgust, shook his head, and turned to leave. “What I do, my roommate, and you don’t appreciate it.”

  Mason chuckled. His hands finished zipping me up, one of his slid into mine, and he pulled me out of the small room. A group had congregated in the center of the floor. Other guys, I assumed they were also football players from their large sizes, stood with Logan and Kris. His arm was around her shoulders, and he grinned wickedly at us.

  When he caught my eye, one of his eyebrows curved up.

  I rolled my eyes.

  Logan started laughing. “This is what I lived with for a year. They’re rabbits, man.”

  Mason pulled me closer to his side, then gestured to the guy who had interrupted us. “Sam, this is Matteo. My roommate. Matt,” he indicated Logan, “this is my brother and my girlfriend.”

  Matteo was intimidating. He was bald, tan, and large. He stood as tall as Mason, but he was twice his weight. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt and jeans and I saw the muscle definition. He wasn’t all muscle, but I could tell he was a powerful lineman. His dark eyes flashed and a wide grin appeared as he raked me up and down. He harrumphed and nodded. “Yep. I can see the obsession.” He jerked a thumb in Mason’s direction. “Your man is obsessed with you. He don’t talk. He’s not all frou frou with his emotions, but a brotha knows.” He turned to Mason. “She’s a good one. I can tell.”

  “I know.”

  Matteo went to Logan’s side and threw an arm around his shoulder. His hand patted the arm that Logan had around Kris. “You can be obsessed with your woman. Me, I’m obsessed with your brother. You didn’t prepare me for him, man. What were you thinking?”

  Mason frowned slightly. “What are you talking about?”

  Matteo’s smile widened. He pounded his chest and pounded Logan’s chest. “There’s a soul brotha connection here. You should’ve told me I’d be meeting one of my kindred.”

  “Oh my god.” Mason laughed. “Why am I not surprised the two of you are already friends?”

  Logan winked. “And guess what? He hates Park Sebastian as much as me.”

  “See.” Matteo’s head bobbed up and down with an approving grin. “Soul brotha connection. SBC. That’s what I’m calling it.”

  Logan jerked his chin up at Mason. “And you’re not included. You’re not a SBC-er. That sucks for you.”

  A couple of the guys in the group started laughing. One, who was leaner than the rest but just as tall, shook his head. He had brown hair, long enough for him to gel it up into small spikes. He had dark eyes, high cheekbones, and a soft face that gave him a young, pretty boy look. He said to Mason, “Your brother and your roommate are in love with each other.”

  Mason grinned at the guy. His hand moved to a loop in my jean’s waistline. His finger went through it, anchoring me to him. “I’m seeing that.”

  Matteo and Logan had stopped listening. They turned to each other and both held the other’s head in their hands. They began moving up and down, as if participating in a dance/football huddle together. They began chanting. When I heard it, I started laughing.

  “S-B-C.” With each letter, they moved up and down. “S-B-C.” They began saying it faster and faster. The rest of the group started in, shaking their fists in the air. When it was so fast, sounding like only one loud word, Logan and Matteo threw their arms in the air, making the sound of an explosion. The other guys did the same.

  Logan stepped back, grinning like crazy, but Matteo danced around. He jumped, planted his feet on the ground, and began shaking his fists in the air, pumping his arms like he was a machine, and he went faster and faster until his arms were a blur. The guys formed a circle around him, bringing their fists down in the air as they began their own chant, “Cain. Cain. Cain.”

  A battle cry came from Matteo and he jumped in the middle of the circle. He stayed in the same spot, but jumped so he was facing north, then south, then west. He went all the way around, his arms still going, the guys making the same chant, until finally he seemed to combust. His head tipped back, his arms shook in the air, and the rest of the guys flung their hands up at the same time. They were all saying, “Cain U. Cain U. Cain U. Cain U.”

  The pretty boy guy moved into the circle. He lifted a hand. As he did, the group fell silent. All their hands lifted in sync with the leader. They were waiting, watching him, and as he brought his hand down, they slammed theirs down on top of his. One last
cheer erupted from them, “Cain U conquers you!”

  The rest of the room, including the staff at the bar, joined in and the sound was deafening. The school pride was unmistakable.

  Mason leaned close to me. “This is our chant before we run out of the locker room. We start it right when we step on the field, and at the end, the stadium joins in with the last line and we run out.” His eyes were sparkling. “It’s an adrenalin rush.”

  I nodded, but I had no words. The unity and tradition was strong. I had felt it at the game, but I felt it even more now. These football players were gods here. My hand curved under Mason’s and our fingers laced together. He was one of them. Everything fell away.

  I was proud to be at his side.

  CHAPTER TWELVE

  When I woke up, Mason was gone. The door to his bathroom was open so I knew he wasn’t in there. A rumbling began in my stomach and I laid back down. I didn’t want to move. The whole night had been a lot to take in. We had stayed at the club for a few hours. It had been nice to meet all of his teammates. I could tell they already respected Mason, and his roommate adored him. It was obvious. Grinning, I remembered the look of brotherly love Matteo had given Mason when we said our goodbyes. The big lineman had been drunk, and his girlfriend told me later that he was glowing because he was so happy about meeting Logan, but I could tell that his supposed soul brotha connection wasn’t only with Logan. It was with Mason as well. When we left the nightclub, Logan and Kris had stayed, but the guy who led the chant (Mason formally introduced him later as Drew) reassured us that he’d make sure Logan would get a cab.

  “Morning.” Mason came through the door with a cup of coffee in one hand and a toasted bagel on a plate in the other. He put both on the stand beside the bed and sat next to me. The bed dipped under his weight. “You sleep good?”

  “Mmmm, more than good.” His finger trailed up my arm, and I closed my eyes. A feeling of contentment filled me. As his finger went to my shoulder, I rolled to my side, and he went down my other arm. Images of the night came to me, once we had gotten to his room. I felt a stirring between my legs again. We had spent the rest of the night making love. “What time is it?”

  “It’s eleven in the morning.”

  We had slept four hours. I grinned up at him. “Aren’t you tired?”

  “Nope.” He grinned. “Not a bit. You?”

  I shook my head. “I should be.” But I wasn’t.

  We shared a look, then I began tugging him down to me as his phone went off. Groaning, I flipped onto my back as he went to answer it. “Logan.” He paused, twisted to see me, and I sat up. “Yeah, yeah. We can do that.” He paused again, his eyes narrowing. “You sure? Okay. I’ll call him.”

  When he hung up, I asked, “What’d he want?”

  Mason came back over and sat beside me, his phone in hand. As he pressed two buttons and lifted the phone to his ear again, he rested his hand on my leg. “He wants to meet for brunch. He wants Nate to come too.”

  “Oh.” I chuckled. “I’m surprised he didn’t ask for your roommate too.”

  “He did. Hey, Nate.” His voice lifted. “Logan called. He’s up for brunch. Do you want to come?” Another pause. “Sounds good. I was thinking the diner on campus.” He laughed. “Yeah, okay. See you.”

  I waited as I assumed he was texting Logan where to go. When he tossed the phone to the nightstand, I asked, “When do we have to leave?”

  His grin turned predatory and his eyes darkened. One of his hands slid under my back as the other went up my leg, under the covers, until it found my core. One touch, that was all it took and I was already panting. Moving so he was positioned above me, holding himself upright so his weight wasn’t on me, Mason gazed down at me.

  The corner of my mouth tugged up. I loved when he was in this position. Sliding my hands up over his shoulders, his neck, the sides of his face, and into his hair, I whispered, “I love you.”

  The lust darkened even more in his gaze. His head tilted to the side as my hand fell to his cheek. He moved into my touch, closing his eyes, then lowered himself so he was just lightly resting on me. The other side of my mouth lifted up. This was another position I loved as well. My leg curved up around his waist and I pressed him into me. Enough foreplay. I was already wet. Sensing my urgency, he moved up again, but grabbed my leg and clamped it there, still wound around his waist. As he readjusted, my body adjusted with his. Pressing a kiss to my throat, he moved even further up and I shoved down his pants.

  He was in me within seconds. As he pushed inside, I gasped from the sensations. He whispered against my throat, “I love you too.”

  He began moving and our hands found each other. He held them above my head, against the headboard as he kept thrusting. I ceased thinking. I never wanted this to stop.

  *

  The plan was to head back with Logan and Kris after brunch, which turned into lunch, so Mason had my bag on his shoulder as we cut through campus. When I asked why he picked that diner, his reasoning was to show Logan and me as much of the campus as possible. I grinned at that. “You mean the front lawn of a frat house and Cliché nightclub wasn’t academic enough? We didn’t get the whole experience?”

  Mason laughed, then shrugged. “The frat stuff probably is. I don’t know about the club, but,” he gestured to the tall buildings around us as we headed through a quad, “this is what college is like. I walk through here every day.” We were coming up to a large black glass building. As we drew closer, I saw faint shadows from inside, where people were, but the place looked like a nightclub as well.

  I raised an eyebrow. “This is the diner?”

  “Yeah.” He reached for the door. I went first and his hand settled on the small of my back. “The team eats here during the day; it’s got a buffet, including a salad bar, so you can get whatever you like.”

  “You had me at buffet.” But the salad bar sounded good too.

  Mason paid for both of us right away. “Yo.” Logan waved from a corner booth. It curved into the wall and could sit eight people comfortably. Kris was sitting right next to Logan, squished beside him. His hand was under the table, as were hers. Her shoulders were also hunched forward and pinched together, like she was trying to appear as small as she could get. There were bags under her eyes, and she seemed pale. Her hair had been pulled back into a messy ponytail.

  I grinned. She was hung-over. Logan, on the other hand, was beaming. He continued to wave until we scooted in with him. Mason slid next to Logan, and I took the end. There was enough room so we didn’t have to move all the way in, and remained at the edge of the booth.

  Logan asked, “Nate coming…” His question faded as his gaze went over our shoulders. His eyes widened, and his mouth moved into a silent O.

  Mason looked first. The exhaustion from Kris was contagious. Some of my own seeped in and I was too lazy to turn all the way around. I felt Mason tense—he wouldn’t have tensed if it was only Nate—so I turned to look, and I saw her. She was tiny. She had her brown hair pulled up in a high ponytail. Unlike Kris’, which looked cute and messy, this girl’s was sleek and pristine. Her hair was long too, falling past her shoulders. Two things caught my attention more than anything. One, she was holding Nate’s hand. No, correction, she had a death grip on his hand with both of hers, and two, her gaze was glued to Mason’s, like she feared his reaction.

  Logan muttered, “As far as twists come, this one sucks balls.” He shot a glare at Nate and muttered, “I thought the mantra was no dumb shits allowed?”

  “Logan!”

  Tate’s voice came back to me. “Has he told you that Marissa’s going to Cain University too?” It clicked, and it felt like an anchor dropped inside me. This was Marissa, and no, Mason never told me. I snuck a glance at him from the corner of my eye. He wasn’t looking at me. His jaw was clenched, and his eyebrows furrowed together.

  I barely remembered her from the one time I almost met her. Mason had kept her away from everyone, myself included, but things
were different now. I was closer to him. She was not anymore. As they stopped at the end of the table and stood there, their hesitation was obvious. I couldn’t ignore the flicker of jealousy in me.

  Marissa was here. She could be in the same room as him whenever she wanted, within a few minutes. I could not. That alone had my teeth grinding, and I shot Mason another look. He hadn’t told me she was here.

  He was studying me this time. The jealousy morphed into anger, and my eyes narrowed at him. We would talk. That was a promise from me to him, and I caught a wary look flash over his face. Oh yes, he got the message loud and clear. Leaning back in the seat, I decided I wasn't going to say a damned thing. This was Mason’s rodeo. I was going to sit back, watch the fireworks, and set off some of my own when I got him alone later.

  Marissa was watching me, biting her lip. One of her hands released her grip on Nate’s wrist and tugged down the bottom of her shirt. She was overdressed, wearing a pink sweater, a lacy, white camisole underneath, and a jean miniskirt. I had on a pair of jeans and Mason’s black shirt. It engulfed me, but it was comfortable and smelled like him.

  I won. Hands down.

  Kris was studying her too. She looked her up and down and glanced down at her own outfit, a hooded sweatshirt and pink sweatpants with a big sequined heart stitched onto one of her pant legs. A soft curse left her and she tucked some of her hair behind her ear, then tried to smooth out the rest. When she realized Logan was still staring, heatedly, across the table, her hand fell back to her lap and her shoulders lifted in a shrug. She settled back like I had and glanced at me. A faint grin was shared between us, and at that moment, we were allies.

  I laughed to myself. I hadn’t seen that one coming. We turned, as one, and regarded Marissa again. Her eyes got even bigger at the new attention, and she moved back a step, still holding onto Nate’s wrist. He pulled her forward, gesturing to the booth. “I brought a
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