Fallen fourth down, p.27
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       Fallen Fourth Down, p.27
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         Part #4 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan

  She said, “You’re being really hurtful, Jen.”

  “No. I’m preparing you. You should also be prepared that Logan’s going to sleep around. That’s how he’s been the last two years, until you. He’s going to go back to it and everyone at school will go nuts. Girls don’t think right when it comes to Logan. They just want to jump him. They don’t care about the consequences.”

  Gritting my teeth, I decided I couldn’t hear any more. I flushed the toilet, ignored the shocked gasps, and walked out. Kris’ friend was Jen Conly. I shouldn’t have been surprised. She was the top ‘it’ girl in their grade. Kris turned away, pressing into the towel dispensers. If she could’ve walked through them, I had no doubt she would’ve. As I washed my hands, I held Jen’s gaze the entire time. I was cold, angry, and wanted to rip into her. I let her see, but she didn’t look away. She held my gaze, swallowed nervously, but lifted her chin.

  I smirked and held my hand out for a paper towel. Kris pulled two out and handed them to me. As I dried my hands, I shook my head. “Shame on you.”

  “Sam,” Kris started.

  I talked over her, “You’re pressuring her into breaking up with Logan, and I’m betting that you’ll be one of those girls all over him the second she does.”

  Kris sucked in some air. “Jen?”

  Her friend didn’t look away from me. As I had spoken, a cockiness came over her. A defiant look entered her eyes and she lifted a shoulder. “So what? You can’t deny it. Logan Kade is fucking hot. Yeah. I probably would screw him if I had the chance, but I’m not going to lie to myself. He’s not coming to me for a relationship. He never would. I’m not going to waste my time and have feelings for him, but he’s Logan Fucking Kade. I wouldn’t turn down a screw with him. It’s more like a status thing, especially when he’s going to be messed up after getting dumped.”

  “Oh, god.” Kris choked back a sob, then rushed from the bathroom.

  As the door swung shut, I lifted a finger and waved it back and forth in the air. “Tsk, tsk. That wasn't a very friendly thing to do.”

  She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “No, it wasn’t, but my job was to break them up. I think I just did that.”

  “I hope, for your sake, that she tells him exactly what happened in here.”

  “She won’t,” Jen taunted me, her eyes darkening. “Same reason you won’t either. I know Tate. We were neighbors before she moved, and we got caught up when she came here last year. I know everything you know, and I also know that you haven't said a word about Logan being in love with you. There’s a reason. I know that’s why you tried to distance yourself from him too. No, no. You’re not going to say anything to him and neither will Kris.” She gave me a bright, beaming smile, and went around me to open the door. “Oh, and the other reason she won’t say a word is because she knows it’s true. You didn’t see the look in her eyes when I said those words to her. It was priceless.”

  “You’re such a bitch.”

  “Yeah, but I’m not a dumb bitch like Kris. I’m helping her out in the long run. She won’t be so naïve anymore, and hey, she might develop some claws of her own.” She skimmed me up and down. “Lord knows you had to.”

  I hated her, and I hated the fact that she was right.

  She left and the door started to swing shut behind her, but I caught it. I wasn’t the type to go after someone, but this girl deserved it. I was going to obliterate this junior.

  CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

  Kris was gone. She wasn’t in the lobby, neither was her ‘friend,’ but Logan was. He was leaning against a far wall with his hands in his pockets. His shoulders were hunched over, giving his lean physique an even leaner look. His lips were pressed together, as if he was pondering something, and one of his feet was hooked over, resting across the other foot. He wore jeans that rode low on his hips, pressed even lower because his hands were in the pockets, pushing them down, and his shirt hugged his chest and stomach. It had ridden up, exposing an inch of his flat muscles underneath. He must’ve ran a hand through his hair because it was messed up, sticking out all over, but on Logan, it gave him a cute and adorable look that mixed with the always dangerous and dark vibe he gave off at times.

  I stopped and sighed. Kris’ friend said Logan Fucking Kade and seeing how he was waiting for me, drawing attention from the staff and the other customers in the room—even some of the older women—the name fit him.

  He saw me and the pondering look switched to a grin. He stayed there, against the wall, and as I headed towards him, he held up one arm. I stopped right in front of him, but he shook his head. “Nope.” He caught my arm and pulled me in, his arm fitting around me. He was strong and warm pressed next to me. I needed to find that Jen girl, but for a moment, I leaned into him.

  No matter what, he was family. Kris had been told, and it was only a matter of time until the truth came out. Even thinking about it, made my stomach clench with nerves, but a part of me was just waiting for it to happen. Secrets never stayed secret, and for once, I was going to hold Logan and Mason to their promise. No matter what happened, we were family. They had better not leave me.

  “You okay?” He tightened his arm around me, looking down at me.

  “Yeah.” But it was time. I started to pull away when I heard a whispered gasp from behind me. “Oh my god.”

  My heart dropped. Kris. Stepping completely away from Logan, I tried to prepare myself for what I was going to see in her eyes, but as I met her bleak blue ones, I couldn’t have prepared myself for the torment in them.

  She had a hand pressed to her mouth. “It’s true, isn’t it?”

  Logan straightened from the wall. “What are you talking about?”

  “You and her.”

  I swallowed. This was going to get bad. “Kris,” I started, stepping towards her.

  She scooted back, shaking her head. “No. Stay away from me. It’s true, isn’t it?”

  “No.” But it was. “It’s not.”

  “Yes it is.” She jerked her head up and down.

  Logan started for her, lifting his hand out to her. “Kris? What’s going on?”

  She darted out of his reach. “You and her. It’s true.”

  “What?”

  I glanced around. We were drawing a crowd. A head popped up from the stairs that led to the basement. Hayes came up, followed by a bunch of others. I didn’t know where Kris’ friend was, but she was probably hiding. I had every intention of hunting her down later.

  “Kris, stop it.” I moved forward, taking charge. “It’s not true. Don’t listen to your friend. She was trying to mess with your head. She even admitted she’d try to sleep with Logan too. She just wants you to break up with him. That’s what that whole thing was about.”

  “WHAT?” Logan whipped around to me, then to her. “You’re breaking up with me?”

  “No.” Kris was crying. Both of her hands were balled into fists, and they were pressed against her mouth. She kept shaking her head. Her shoulders started jerking up and down from the sobs coming out of her. “That’s not all. It’s true. Sam, just admit it too. I can see it in you. I saw it in you before. You believe it too.”

  I closed my eyes and looked away. I couldn’t admit to it, not here, not like this. I whispered without thinking, “I didn’t think you had caught on to that.”

  “Caught on to what? What the fuck is going on?”

  “Logan.” Kris dropped her hands. Her face was a patchwork of white and red spots. Her mouth was red from where her hands had been pressed against it. She swallowed some of her tears and wiped the rest from her face. “Do you lo—”

  “I picked the best fucking time to get pizza EVER!”

  Oh no. I recognized that voice. It had been in my head the whole year.

  Right in the doorway was Tate, the root of my ass pain. With a beaming smile on her face, her long blonde hair hanging loose over her shoulders, and wide eyes as she took in the scene, Logan’s ex-girlfriend looked ready to climax. She shook her he
ad. “My god. Is this what I think it is?” She checked her phone. “My old neighbor texted earlier that you’d be here, but I didn’t think my timing could be any better. This is a gift handed down from heaven.”

  Oh hell. Even wearing a baggy white shirt that hung down to mid-thigh and jeans that were so tight they looked like leggings, she still looked like a model. Her jeans were ripped at her knees, but it looked stylish. Little tiny black shoes completed the look.

  The guys agreed with me. I swear I saw drool forming in the corner of Hayes’ mouth. I glanced sideways to Logan. His eyebrows were bunched together, a wrinkle in his forehead appeared, and he just seemed confused.

  “Tate? What are you doing here?”

  “Getting my rocks off right now.” Her gaze swept the room once again. “This is so amazing.”

  Kris turned to Logan when he said Tate’s name, and it clicked. Her mouth fell open. “This is your ex? You loved her?”

  Tate closed her mouth, but it was pressed in a firm grin. Even her dimples were showing and laughter spilled from her tightened lips. “Oh, honey. I’m not the one you need to worry about.”

  No, no, no. I already knew, even before she rested her gaze on me, what Tate was going to say.

  She was enjoying this too much. I heard, “You need to worry about little Strattan right there. Logan doesn’t love me. Oh no. I screwed that up, but this chick, she’s got it going.” Her voice was clearer, and I opened my eyes to see she had moved forward a few steps. “A little birdie told me that you haven’t let out the secret. Can’t say I blame you. Why mess up a good thing with one brother? I mean, Mason’s gone. You and the other brother can get your rocks off too, if you know what I mean.”

  She laughed. She wouldn’t stop laughing. The sound sickened me.

  “What. The. Fuck. Is going on?” Logan was gritting his teeth, turning to me, then back to Tate and Kris. “Tate, what the hell are you doing here?”

  “Oh no.” She waved a finger at him. “This is my town, Logan. I go to school here. You don’t have any right to say that to me, to make me feel like I’m trespassing. It’s you this time. I get to flip it on you and make you feel unwelcome. My town.”

  “I don’t fucking care.”

  She reared her head back, flipped her hair over her shoulder, and her hand fell to her hip. “Well, you should, because this whole thing is about you.” She circled the room with her hand. “This is all about you or should I say about how you fee—”

  Kris cut her off. “Do you love Sam?”

  Tate shot her dark look.

  Kris placed both her hands on her hips and stuck her chin out at her. She said to Tate, “How do you like that? You didn’t get to say it.” She muttered, “Bitch.”

  It was a small victory for Kris, and one for Logan even though he didn’t know it. Tate had been rubbing her paws together. She’d been so happy to be able to deliver the news, and even though I heard it coming, I couldn’t talk. I was frozen, but I glanced at Kris. I tried to thank her for interrupting. Those words should’ve been spoken by me, but I hadn’t said them. I held it in too long. I didn’t know if I ever would have said Tate’s words, but they were out. And they hadn’t been delivered to Logan by someone who only wanted to harm us. Even then, as Kris nodded at me, I knew she still cared about him.

  I turned to Logan. He was right next to me, but he was radiating tension. His jaw was clenched tight, his shoulders were rigid, and he was staring down at me, heatedly.

  He was furious.

  “Cat got your tong—”

  “Shut the fuck up.” He turned to her, his eyes flashing in warning.

  Tate fell back a step. Her own eyes widened again. “Whoa.”

  “This is from you?” He was still looking at Tate.

  “Wha—what do you mean?” A wary expression came over her features.

  “This.” He pointed at me, Kris, and our audience. “Did you do all this?”

  She shot a hesitant look at the crowd, but shook her head. “Not them.”

  “Kris?” He was still interrogating Tate.

  “Yes.”

  “How?” he commanded, the word coming from deep in his throat.

  She heeded it. “My neighbor is one of her friends.”

  “She’s not,” Kris added. “Not anymore.”

  “Not my neighbor?”

  Kris rolled her eyes. “Not my friend. She’s my enemy.”

  “Oh.” A cloud of confusion settled over Tate, but she just shrugged and looked back at Logan. “Whether or not it’s true, you need to know that I told Sam last summer. It was my last goodbye present.”

  Logan seared her with a dark look.

  She stopped, her chin trembled a little, but she swallowed. Her head lifted again, and she smoothed out her shirt. “I went to Manny’s to say goodbye to Heather. Sam was there and I couldn’t keep the truth to myself any longer.”

  “Truth.” Logan snorted. He raked a hand through his hair. “You don’t have any idea what the truth is. You wanted to mess with us. That’s the truth. Stop lying to yourself, Tate.” He cursed. “And I thought you changed last year. All this bullshit about making amends, turning over a new leaf, trying to make things right.”

  “I was,” she shot back. “I fucked up. I wanted to try with you again. You’re the best guy I had and lost. That’s on me, but let’s be real here. I’m not a saint. I mean, come on. I had no shot. You should’ve been honest with me right away.”

  “What?”

  “You strung me along. Used me for sex—”

  “Stop, Tate.” His voice dropped back down. He was keeping himself calm, but the level of hate in his eyes gave me an indication of his true feelings. “I never lied to you. I never said we’d date. I told you we wouldn’t. You still came onto me, and it wasn’t one time. I told you over and over again, but you kept coming. You’re the one who called me. I never called you first.”

  “Stop it.”

  He laughed. “The tides have turned. You keep throwing out the truth. I’m going to throw out the real truth. Now you want me to shut up?” He waved at our audience, who still hadn’t moved. “The truth, Tate, is that none of these people give a shit about you. They’re up here to watch some shit storm go down in front of them. They’re eating popcorn, enjoying this show.” He jabbed his hand in the air, his finger pointing at her. “You gave this to them. You. Not me. Not Sam. Or Kris. You did, coming in here and acting like you’re too good to be in the gutter.”

  “Logan,” she whispered. Her head hung down.

  He jerked forward a step, stopped himself, and looked back at me. I was burned by his look. He was still furious, no. He was enraged. Another shit storm was coming our way. Logan was holding it in. That was going to be between him and me.

  He shook his head, still looking at me, but moved back around to focus on Tate. “The truth is that you’re still in there. You’re not out. You never left the gutter. You’re the same girl who came onto my brother when the guy who loved her was next door. Mason wanted to throw you out of the house naked that night. I wish he had. I wish our dad hadn’t stopped him.”

  She’d been crumbling, but it switched. The fight came back to her and she reared back, her eyes seething. “Okay, here’s the real truth. I hate that bitch behind you.” She stabbed in the air, pointing at me. “But I hate your brother even more because he didn’t need to hurt me the way he did.”

  “Mason hurt you because you hurt me. Don’t you get that?”

  She kept going, as if he hadn’t talked, “And I hate you because I still love you and I’ll never have you. There’s the real ugly truth, right there for you. But everything else, I have changed. I did make things right with Marissa. I meant that when I said it. I’m her friend. I have been for years and I wanted to come back and see if I could get my other friend back, but because of her,” everyone knew she meant me, “there’s no hope in that. Heather acts like I’m dirt underneath her feet.”

  “You brought that on yourself. No one el
se did this. Stop fucking with my family.” Logan turned to Kris. His voice softened, “I’m sorry you heard this. I’m sorry that you’ve been hurt by her too.” He gestured to Tate. “And I think we need to have a conversation after this, alone.”

  She nodded. As he was apologizing, fresh tears slipped down her cheeks and she brushed them away. Then she left and went outside.

  Logan looked at the crowd. “Show’s over. Get lost.”

  Everyone dispersed. Some ran into each other, but Logan wasn’t one to be ignored when he spoke like that. Logan Fucking Kade was back. He stood there, shaking his head from side to side. I couldn’t move. I didn’t know if I dared. My eyes met Tate’s. She was feeling the same way.

  He motioned to her. “Get your pizza, or whatever the hell you came here for, and get out of my fucking life.”

  She sneered at us for a moment and left too.

  There was an eerie silence over the customers, and Logan shook
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