Mason, p.13
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       Mason, p.13
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         Part #0.5 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan
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  for whatever I wanted, whether I did all the work or she did, like today. I closed my eyes when she bent down and felt her mouth close over me.

  An hour later, I dropped her off. As she shut the door and started for her house, I opened the passenger door’s window and called through it, “Kate.”

  She turned, flashed a grin, and propped her hands on the door. I got a good view of her rack as her shirt was baggy and fell low from her neckline. She was cocky as she asked, “Yeah?”

  “We’re done.”

  She straightened abruptly. Her hands shot from the door as if she was burned. “What?”

  “This. You and me. Your jealousy crap. It’s over.”

  “What are you talking about?”

  “You hurt a friend of mine.”

  “Are you kidding me?” A storm was brewing in her eyes. I was giving her the boot and she knew it. “We just screwed, you asshole.”

  Yeah, I was. I was a complete and utter dick, but Kate was a problem I didn’t want to deal with anymore. “You got rid of Tate. That was my thank you.”

  She began shaking her head. If steam could’ve left through her ears, it would’ve. She was flashing back to our conversation before. I grinned. Yes, honey, that was my foreshadowing.

  ”I’m going to make you pay.”

  “You can try, but if you hurt anyone I care about again, you and I are going to have problems.”

  “Really? What are you going to do about it?”

  “I don’t know.” She saw I was being honest and paused. “But I’ll figure out what I can do and I’ll do that.”

  I laughed. “You can’t do a damn thing to me.”

  “Well, I can stop fucking you. That seems to be a good way to punish you since you always come back, panting after me.”

  Another anguished scream came from her, but she clamped her mouth shut and flipped her middle finger in the air. “I’m going to finish you one day.”

  I laughed. “You can try. I don’t think you’ll get it done, but it’ll be fun to watch you try.”

  “AH!” She kicked at my door. As she fell back and I saw that she was winding her leg up to kick at my mirror, I sped off. She kept screaming, but I drove away. I never looked back and I knew I wouldn’t. As I went to pick Logan up, it felt right. Kate was behind me now. As I sat there and sent him a text, my phone buzzed. Assuming it was him, I read it absentmindedly, but the name startled me.

  It was from Marissa. Paige told me what she said to you. I’m sorry. You weren’t to blame for what happened.

  A weight fell back on me. I was to blame. It happened all because of me and because I hadn’t reigned Kate in a long time ago. I typed back, I’m sorry. I’m finished with Kate. I didn’t know what else to say so I just typed again, I’m sorry.

  There wasn’t even a second before she replied. It’s not your fault, but thank you.

  ”Yo.” Logan jumped in the car and he frowned, looking from the phone to me. His eyebrow curved up. “Not Kate still?”

  “No.” I shook my head and tucked my phone away. Marissa would keep texting. I knew she liked me, and we were friends. Somehow I would make it up to her. I didn’t know how, but I would try. “You cut it short with whoever’s house this is?”

  He laughed, glancing back at the house. “That chick is pissed. I told her it was a guys’ night tonight. She threatened to find Kate and the girls and have their own girls’ night.”

  I swore. “They can do whatever they want.” I shot from the curb and peeled through traffic, taking a wide turn into the next lane.

  Logan cursed and reached for hand strap on the door. “What’s your problem?”

  “Nothing.” I careened over two lanes, cut off a car, and took a quick right turn down the road to Nate’s house. When we got there, I told him, “You stay. I’m just going in to grab Nate real quick.”

  Logan looked at me as if my head fell off. “Are you nuts? Nate’s mom hates you, but she loves me. I should go in and you should stay here.”

  “Good point.” I clapped him on the shoulder and pointed to the door. “You go. I’ll text Nate quick so he knows what’s going on.”

  “Wait.” Logan had opened the door, but he shut it. “What is going on?”

  “Just grab him. We’ll figure it out as we go.” I leaned over and shoved him out. He sighed, shaking his head, but went inside. I sent Nate a quick text, telling him Logan was there to get him. I didn’t say anything else, but it was then I saw the missed call from our dad. I was calling my voicemail when Nate texted back, K. Be out soon. Then I heard my dad’s voice, “Mason, I know you’ve met Analise before, but I would like for you and Logan to officially meet her.” He paused. “Please be polite this time. She’ll be staying at the house the whole weekend. Again, I am aware that you don’t like her, but this one is different. We’d like to have dinner brought in tonight. I know this is short notice, but what are you and Logan doing tonight? Could you please come home and spend an hour with us? It would mean a lot to me.”

  I tossed the phone as anger rolled over me. He wanted me to play nice? He wanted Logan to meet her now? She’d be at the house the whole weekend? When Logan and Nate came out, they both took one look at me and grew cautious.

  Logan got in the front seat. “What’s wrong?”

  “Dad wants us to meet her.”

  His eyebrows shot up.

  Nate said from the back, “Whoa.”

  “That bitch you told me about?”

  I nodded, my jaw was clenched tight. “Yeah.”

  “She’s married.”

  “I know.”

  Nate said again, “Whoa.” He leaned forward and his head popped in the space between our seats. “This is the one you caught him with at the house?”

  I nodded. I couldn’t talk. I was so pissed.

  He glanced at Logan. “You’ve never met her?”

  He shook his head, watching me the whole time. I felt his own tension as he continued to wait for what I was going to do.

  Nate asked again, “How do you know she’s married?”

  Logan smirked at him. “We googled her. Mason knew her name and get this, her husband’s the football coach at Academy.”

  “For real? No way.”

  “She’s got a kid too.” Logan looked back at me, and we shared a look. A kid was a weakness. It was one we could exploit.

  I frowned, knowing what he was thinking.

  Nate looked in between us. “What are you guys thinking? You’re doing the silent conversation thing again.”

  I shook my head. I said to Logan, “I don’t know. We don’t know who she is.”

  “Wouldn’t be hard to find out, just ask a couple people.”

  “It’s a daughter? Your dad’s married girlfriend has a daughter?” Nate kept looking between us. “I’m playing catch-up here. You never told me that before.”

  I said to him, “Because we don’t know how old the daughter is.”

  “She’s in my grade,” Logan informed us. We both turned to him. He had been watching me the whole time. “I don’t know what she looks like, but I asked Decraw and he told me.”

  “Who’s Decraw?”

  I told Nate, “Mark Decraw. He played league baseball with Logan this summer.”

  He asked Logan, “He didn’t tell you what she looked like or a name?”

  “It was in passing, but he said she was in his grade. I didn’t have time to question him about anything else and I forgot to later.”

  “Well, whatever she is, we can’t do anything about her now.” I started the engine and turned around.

  Nate leaned back, asking, “So what are we doing again?”

  I glanced at Logan. He understood. James would be at the house the entire weekend. She would be there with him and they expected us to act like good little boys? We weren’t going home this weekend. As if reading my mind, Logan nodded, giving me the go-ahead. Then he flashed me a grin. “I’ve always wanted to steal a cop car.”

  “Wait. What?
” Nate shot forward again.

  I returned my brother’s grin. “You could be the decoy. They’ll get out, I’ll rush in and take the car.”

  Logan nodded. His wheels were turning and his eyes lit up. “I’ll be naked. They’ll get out, thinking I’m drunk. They won’t draw their weapons and then I’ll take off through the alley.”

  “No, wait. You have to stumble to the alley so they will follow you. I’ll get the car then.”

  He nodded. “As soon as I’m in the alley, I’ll take off. You better fucking pick me up on the other side.”

  “I will.”

  Nate groaned from behind us, “Oh my god, you guys. My parents are going to flip out. I can’t get arrested. They’ll move. I’m telling you right now. They hate you, Mason, and with this last thing, if you get me arrested, it’s over. I’m out of here. I just know it.”

  As I turned towards the main street, where we knew the cops lingered, I told him, “You can take this car and just meet us later. You don't have to be a part of it.”

  He groaned, shaking his head back and forth. “You don’t get it. I’m here. There’s no way I can’t not go with you guys.” A resolved look came over him. “I’m all in with you guys.”

  “All-for-one-and-one-for-all type of shit?” Logan grinned back at him.

  “Oh my god. I guess.”

  I laughed, then slowed the Escalade when we saw a cop car parked outside of a taco shop. Pulling into the parking lot, I parked and we waited. When Logan started taking his clothes off, I asked, “Why do you have to be naked?”

  “Are you kidding me? We’re going to steal a cop car. How could I not be naked for this story? It’s going to be epic.”

  16

  THE THREAT

  It was the next morning when we were bailed out. As we went to the front of the station, James was there. Logan muttered next to me, “He looks pissed.”

  I grunted. “Good. Let’s do this every weekend.”

  He sent me a grin and then our dad was in front of us, shaking his head. “Get in the car. Now.” He stormed out, leading the way.

  Logan followed first, but turned around to walk backwards. He flashed me a smirk. “Mission accomplished, huh?”

  I nodded, watching our dad as we went outside and towards the car waiting for us. When we got into the back, he told the driver to go, but turned around to us. “Are you kidding me?” He was looking right at me. “I call you and tell you that Analise would be at the house; that we wanted to have dinner with you two, and you get arrested instead?” He glanced at Logan, then looked back at me. His nostrils flared from anger. His lips pressed tight together with disappointment. “And you get him arrested too?”

  I rolled my eyes. “How much did you spend to make it go away?”

  He drew in an angry breath. “I will ignore that last comment, Mason—”

  I shot back, “I don’t give a shit what you ignore. Yes, we got arrested, and yes, I know you paid off a nice judge to let us off.”

  “You did this because of her.”

  “Damn straight I did.”

  “You endangered his future.” He pointed at Logan.

  “You endangered both of us every time you stuck your dick into some other woman that wasn’t your wife.”

  His eyes grew heated and he leaned away from the seat, as if putting space between us would calm him. I waited, watching for his next move. When he didn’t make one and kept quiet, I taunted him. “What are you going to do, Dad? Ground us? Send us to Mom?” I laughed, and even I flinched when I heard the resentment in my own voice. “We both know you don’t want Mom to have us. Fuck the football scouts. I’ll get them to watch me on another team. I don’t give a shit.”

  “You are so angry.”

  I snorted and turned away to watch out the window. “I’m angry? Are you kidding me? Of course I’m angry—”

  “She’s married,” Logan spoke up, and we both looked at him. His mouth was pressed in a flat line and he was glaring at our dad.

  “What did you say?” James’ voice grew quiet.

  He said again, “She’s married, Dad. We looked her up. Her husband is the football coach at Academy.”

  He didn’t react. I was waiting for something, surprise, shame, or even guilt, but nothing flashed in his eyes. He didn’t move one damn bit. I shook my head and a disgusted sound came from me. He looked to me now, growing cautious as he did. I said, “You knew and you don’t give a shit, do you?”

  “Mason—”

  “Don’t start,” I cut him off. “Don’t even fucking start. She’s a married woman.”

  “She’s unhappy in her marriage.”

  I scoffed, shutting him up again. “I’m sure she is because she’s cheating on him. What if she didn’t cheat? Maybe she’d be happy? Why her? Pick another one. Pick someone who’s not fucking married. Don’t screw up another family.”

  “He didn’t pick her.” Logan’s soft voice got our attention again.

  “What?” James asked.

  His voice grew louder. “She picked you, didn’t she?”

  “What are you talking about?”

  Logan looked at me. “I was at his office a long time ago, and she was there. They had lunch together or that’s what he said. He said it ran long. Dad was supposed to give me a ride somewhere, but he spent the whole afternoon somewhere else. His secretary had to call and remind him that I was there. She was with him when he got off the elevator.” He paused and then added, “And I saw her another time before that. She was at the gym. I was there with Dad, but he didn’t notice her then. She noticed him. When we went into the weight room, she followed us around.” He gestured to James. “He didn’t notice her at all. I think he had another girlfriend at that time.”

  His words triggered a memory of the first time I met her. She had stared at me from the car when they left, after I caught them in the front entrance. I shook my head. My gut had been right. This one was going to be a problem. “I had no idea it’d been going on that long.” I looked at our dad again. “How long?”

  He flushed. “It is none of your business.”

  “She’s in our house too. That makes it our business.”

  He shook his head. His anger rose and he lifted a hand over the seat to point at me. “Let’s get one thing straight, Mason. You will stop with this rebellious shit you’re pulling. You will stop being disrespectful to me. You will begin to cooperate with me, and you will set a better example for your brother.” Then he pointed to Logan, who started laughing. James turned to him and snapped, “Shut up. I won’t hear any more smartass comments from either of you. You will grow up and you will put on fake smiles when we get there.”

  “Are you kidding me?” My mouth dropped open. “She’s still there?”

  He was becoming more hostile. He clipped out icily, “Mason, you and I will have a private conversation later, but right now you will act like loving and respectful sons. She is waiting for us.”

  “At the house?”

  He turned to Logan. “What?”

  Logan gestured out the window. “We’re not going home. Where are we going?”

  I shook my head and said, “Unbelievable. You’re taking us to eat somewhere?” I glanced at Logan. “He doesn’t trust us in private at the house and he thinks we’ll act appropriately in public.”

  Logan grinned. “It’s like he doesn’t know us at all.”

  I grunted. This was all becoming ridiculous. I hadn’t said two words to this woman, but I was already beginning to hate her. “Do you love her?”

  James grew still at my question.

  I saw the answer in his eyes. “You do. Shit. You love her.” He was standing up for her. He was reprimanding his children for her. He was still going through with this meeting. My gut twisted as I realized that this was the love he should’ve had for our mom. “Are you kidding me?”

 
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