Fallen fourth down, p.21
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       Fallen Fourth Down, p.21
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         Part #4 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan

  lip. “Because you’re hurting and that makes me hurt too.”

  He closed his eyes. His head moved lower and his chest jerked up. A second later, he said, “Thank you, Sam.” His voice was hoarse. He squeezed my hand back. “Thank you.”

  “I’m sorry.”

  He nodded. “I know.” He lifted his arm, our hands still joined, and laid it across my shoulders. He pulled me into his side. His head bobbed down to rest on my free shoulder, his face right next to mine. He murmured, “I needed this.”

  “Me too.”

  “Mason left, and I lost him and you.” His eyes moved so he was watching me from the corner of his eye. “Are you back?”

  “I’m back.” I nodded, grazing my cheek against his. “I promise.”

  “Good.” His body had been tense, but as he said that word, all of it left him. He relaxed next to me, his arm sagging. It would’ve slipped off, but I kept my hold on his hand and tugged it back into place. We shared a grin and readjusted. I burrowed closer to his side and he propped his arm further over me, nearly blanketing me so our hands rested close to my lap. His head moved, against the top of mine, and he turned, pressing a soft kiss to my temple. He murmured, “I’ve missed you.”

  I had missed him too, more than I realized. Regret filtered through me, but Tate’s words came back to me: “Logan’s in love with you.” I hadn’t tried to distance myself from Logan. I tried to distance myself from those words, but they came back. They were going to haunt me forever. I had to accept it.

  “Sam?”

  I moved an inch over so I could see him. “Yeah?”

  “What’s been going on with you?”

  Nerves sparked up in my stomach. A feeling of doom settled in my chest, but I had to tell him something. I had to let go of one of the secrets. “You know that Jackson guy?”

  “Yeah?” He tensed against me.

  “I don’t know if Mason ever told you, but I slept with another guy before him.”

  “That guy?”

  “He was my first, and I never saw him again until last Friday night.”

  “For real?”

  “Yeah.”

  “Oh, man.” He pulled me back to his side. “I’m sorry. I should’ve backed off. That’s why he went to see you.” The corner of his mouth dipped down. “I told him to stay the fuck away from you, or I was going to find his closest female relative and bang the hell out of her.”

  Oh, god. Only Logan. “Well, you don’t have to.”

  He grinned. “I wasn’t quiet either. I think people heard.”

  “He said you were nice about it.”

  “I wasn’t. I was an asshole.”

  “He’s not a factor. It’s nice not to regret that night, but it’s over. Jackson’s not going to be a part of my life.” I lifted my eyes to hold his again. “You and Mason are.”

  “Threesome Fearsome again?”

  I nodded. “Threesome Fearsome going strong.”

  “Damn straight.” He flicked the corner of my lip, grinning at me. “I love you, little sister.”

  “Little?” I straightened up, moving so I could turn around and face him squarely. Our hands let go and his arm slipped down my back, resting behind me. I wrinkled my nose. “I believe I’m older than you.”

  He shrugged. “Age doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in here.” He touched his chest.

  “Your heart?”

  “My lungs. They’re stronger than yours. I’m in better shape. That’s what’s important.” His grin stretched from ear to ear.

  “Oh, god.” I punched him in the side and rolled my eyes. “But I’m older and wiser.”

  “Not true.” Still grinning, he tugged me back and wrapped his arm around me. He moved so he was hugging me from the side. His forehead lowered to rest on my shoulder. He glanced up at me from the corner of his eye. “Thank you for telling me about Jackson.”

  “Yeah.” I shot him a dark look. “Do not tell Mason. I want to tell him myself.”

  “I promise. When are you going to tell him?”

  “Tonight.”

  “Tonight?”

  I nodded. “I’m leaving after this.”

  He lifted his head from my shoulder. A serious expression came over his face. “You’re driving there?”

  “I wanted to come and make things right with you, then go to see him. I’m going to stay there for the weekend.”

  He nodded. “Mason trusts you. You don’t need to be nervous.”

  I knew that. Giving him a soft smile, I lifted my hand. Forming it into a fist, I pretended to hit his chin. The corner of his mouth lifted as he held my gaze. I asked, “Are you and Kris having problems?”

  A storm passed in his eyes. Hesitating, his chest lifted, and he answered, “Yes.”

  “I’m sorry.”

  “Me too.” He shook his head, closed his eyes, and when they opened again, a mischievous look had replaced the sadness. Wrapping his arms around me, he stood and swept me up with him. I was tossed over his shoulder. He climbed over the bench, smacked my rear, and yelled out, “Derek! Do you have a pool?”

  “No!” I started kicking. “Logan, put me down.”

  He started forward. The crowd moved aside for him. Smiles started to spread around the backyard. His friends had moved to the basketball court. When we got there, they noticed the change in his attitude, and just like that, like a switch had been flipped, the party atmosphere went up a notch. It was all because of Logan. He seemed to infect everyone.

  As he kept laughing, I felt the reverberations through his body as he moved me around. “Huh? Huh? Want to get wet, Sam?” His head straightened, and he hollered across the backyard, “What about it, Derek? If you don’t have a pool, please tell me you have a large tub.”

  I should’ve been fighting more, but I couldn’t. Logan’s excitement was even affecting me. I had a feeling that I’d be trying to dry off on the drive to see Mason.

  CHAPTER TWENTY

  It was dark, nearing one in the morning, when I got to Mason’s house. I called, but he never responded so I was relieved to see the living room lights on when I headed for the front door. Instead of ringing the doorbell, I knocked softly. Mason told me earlier they had practice in the morning, but that it was exam week too, so he didn’t know if people would be sleeping or staying out to party. When the door swung open, I recognized their quarterback.

  He squinted at me, rubbing the side of his face. He pulled the door so it was only a fraction of an inch open. His head poked around the frame. “Who are you?”

  “I’m Samantha, Mason Kade’s girlfriend. You’re Drew, right? We met a few weeks ago.”

  At the mention of ‘girlfriend’, his eyes got big and he stepped back from the door. Still holding it open with a hand, he tilted his head to the side.

  I flushed. He was looking at me like I was an alien. “Is there a problem? Do you have rules that I can’t be here?”

  “You’re Kade’s girlfriend?”

  “You don’t remember me?”

  “No offense, but when his girlfriend was here, I only saw her for an hour. Mason kept her all to himself, not that I could blame him.” He skimmed me up and down. “You sure you’re her?”

  I crossed my arms over my chest. What’d he mean by that? “Yes.”

  “Girls show up all the time and say they’re so and so’s girlfriend. Kade’s serious about his girlfriend so if I let you in and he throws you out, don’t be surprised.”

  “Well, I am his girlfriend and thank you?” This conversation was weird. “I don’t know what to say to that.”

  He shrugged, stepped back, and opened the door wider. “Your funeral, lady, if you aren’t who you say you are.” He gestured up the stairs. “He’s probably still awake. We just got back an hour ago. Second door on the right.”

  I stepped inside. Shooting him a dark look, I said, “It’s the third door on the left.”

  He flashed me a grin. “Ah. So you have been here before.”

  “Whose d
oor is the second on the right?”

  “Mine.” He was beaming. As I stepped past him, heading for the stairs, I smelled alcohol on his breath. Things were making sense. He laughed to himself, saying, “It would’ve been awkward if you had gone to my room.” Then he shut the door, locked it, and went to the living room.

  I paused, right before going upstairs. He plopped down on the couch, pulled a blanket over him, and burrowed face first into the cushions. He mumbled, “Hit the lights, would you? They’re right there.”

  I skimmed the wall. “Where?” I saw nothing.

  “Right there.” His voice was becoming drowsy. “Left wall.”

  I glanced to the right instead and there they were. Flipping them off, I saw a small light upstairs, so I could still see. When I started up, I heard him mumble, “Thank you.”

  The light was off in Mason’s room, and hearing loud snoring from inside, I left it off. Tiptoeing in, I went to the direction of Mason’s bed and felt for the bedcovers. Before I could wake him, a hand snaked out and grabbed onto my wrist. With a cement-like hold on me, I was pushed in the direction of the hallway. Mason got up from the bed, looming large over me. He never made a sound. For a moment, my heart paused, and a chill went down my spine. Once we were in the hallway, he shut the door and pushed me against the wall, still holding onto my arm. The little light illuminated the side of his face, and I could see the fury in his eyes. His mouth was pressed in a flat line. His jaw clenched, and he rasped out, “What the fuck are you doing?”

  The air was held trapped in my throat. I couldn’t talk for a second, then I whispered, “Mason?”

  His eyes narrowed.

  I waited a beat.

  His hand abruptly dropped mine, and he stepped back. “Sam?”

  “Yeah.” My heart slammed back into pace, pounding against my chest. “Holy shit. Who did you think I would be?”

  A door opened from across the hallway. A girl stood there in a tight shirt and skirt, wiping her mouth. Her hair looked like she had just run her fingers through it. She started out to the hallway, saw us, and jerked back. Her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. She went back into the room and slammed the door shut.

  It took one second. That’s all I needed before I knew who she was. Marissa. Even thinking that name was like a punch in my gut. I looked at Mason, leaned back against the wall, and crossed my arms over my chest. “What the fuck is Marissa doing here?”

  He ran a hand over his face and cursed. “She was wasted at Cliché.”

  “She’s not wasted now.” My blood was starting to boil. “I want her gone.”

  He held his hands up, backing away. “I’ll take care of it. Promise.” Pausing in front of that door, he glanced over his shoulder.

  “I’m not leaving.”

  “I know. I just…” A small grin appeared and he raked his gaze over my face, lingering on my lips. “I’m happy you’re here.”

  Oh fuck. My blood went down to a simmer at the look in his eyes. I rolled my eyes. “I want her gone, Mason.”

  “I know. I know.” He knocked on the door and braced his hand against the doorframe. As he did, his back muscles bunched together and my mouth went dry. I skimmed down his back, to his lean waist, and saw the boxers he was still wearing. They were black and molded to his ass. I wet my lips. An ache started between my legs, and I pressed them together. It’d been too long since I felt him, since he held me in his arms, since I felt his lips against my skin. I closed my eyes shut. He was getting ready to kick her out of the house, and all I wanted to do was jump him. Leaning back against the wall, I moved my hand to touch the plaster. The cool feel of it helped some reality sink in, only a tiny bit.

  He knocked again. “Marissa?”

  Waves of longing and yearning crashed down on me. I blinked, shaking my head. I heard her say through the door, “Is Sam still there?”

  Wait. Here came the anger, tangling with need to feel him inside me. Mason lifted his head, looked at me, and paused. His gaze met mine, and he saw the tornado whirling in me. His eyebrows lifted, and he straightened from the wall. “You okay?”

  I tried to shake my head. I couldn’t talk, and my neck muscles were stiff. My chin moved just slightly. I choked out, “Leave her.”

  He nodded, reaching out to me. As his hand touched my arm, I shivered. His thumb rubbed over my skin, and I bit down on my lip. A groan escaped me. As it did, as I tried to swallow it, I couldn’t look away from him. He was having the same reaction. As he heard my groan, his eyes darkened and he went back to watching my lips. Pulling me to him, he bent his forehead to mine, and murmured, “My roommate’s in there.”

  I shook my head. I didn’t care, and losing the will over my own body, I pressed against him. He was hard. Feeling the bulge, my eyes closed. I moved against him, pressed my hips into his, and rubbed against him.

  “Sam.” His voice was hoarse. “Shit. Okay.” Taking my hand, we went back into his room and through it to the bathroom. Once inside, he lifted me onto the counter and shut the door. It was locked and he hit the switch so the fan turned on.

  I shook my head. That wouldn't be loud enough.

  Groaning, he peeled away from me and went to the shower. It was turned on at full force, and he came back to me. I watched him, my mouth open, dry, and my heart pounded. I just wanted him in me. I wanted to feel his body pressed over mine as he moved in and out.

  He stood in front of me, and his eyes drank me in with a stark look of need. I swallowed and began panting. I spread my legs, beckoning him, but his gaze trailed over me, down my front, lingering on my breasts, dropping to my waist. A look of fierce concentration came over him and his chest lifted. Holding still, his hand went to my leg. He grabbed hold of me, then moved between my legs. I started to wind them around him, but he shook his head. Gazing at my lips, he said, “No.” His hand lifted to my bottom lip, his eyes smoldering. He bent forward, his breath a caress over my skin as he said, “I love you so goddamn much.”

  Reaching up, I grabbed the back of his head. My fingers fisted chunks of his hair, and I said, “Fuck me.”

  A tender expression came over him, but he grinned and leaned down to touch his lips to mine. I sighed at the feel of them, just there, resting on mine. I waited, but he didn’t apply pressure. I needed that pressure, so I pressed up against him. I felt Mason holding back. Fuck that. My other hand grabbed the front of his boxers and I yanked him to me, scooting myself forward at the same time. We were pressed so tight together, he was almost in me. He was pressing right at my opening. I grinded against him, panting into his mouth.

  He was trembling. His hand was still bracing himself against the counter. I ripped my mouth away.

  His eyes were trained on my lips. His other hand ran down the side of my face, sweeping over my cheek, then my throat. It trailed all the way down until it rested between my breasts. “This, Sam. This is mine. This is what you have of mine too.” A look of love swept over him, filling his eyes, and he softened. I froze as that look raced through me, taking the world away. It was me and him. Right then. Right there. The emotion so damn thick in me, I murmured, “Mason.”

  He shook his head, his forehead resting against mine. “You, Sam. I love you. Only you. When I’m not with you, I survive. When I’m with you, I live.”

  “Mason.” Tears were running down my face. “I love you so goddamn much too.”

  He nodded, touched his lips to mine again, and bent down to slide his hands underneath me. I was picked up from the counter and taken into the shower. He backed me up against the wall, still holding me upright, but it didn’t matter. My legs were wound so tight around him, I wasn’t going to fall. Running my hands over him, over his jaw, over his shoulders, down his chest, then back up to his face again, I opened my mouth to his. His tongue slid inside, meeting mine, and the kisses turned into a battle: who was commanding who. I growled as his tongue brushed mine, sending a heated frenzy through me.

  My jeans were unzipped. His boxers were shoved down
and kicked off. He took my hand, pressed it against the shower wall, and slid inside me.

  I gasped, arching my back and exposing my throat. His mouth fell to lick there, and he began to move.

  As he kept thrusting, I moved with him. We were moving as one, just wanting to feel the other, needing to feel the other, and
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