Mason, p.7
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       Mason, p.7
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         Part #0.5 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan
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  When I went to take a shower and came back out, I saw that fight had come to me instead. I was glad that I pulled my boxers on inside the bathroom. Tate was sitting on my couch. The room was dark, but I wasn’t an idiot. I knew what was going to happen so I grabbed my phone and pressed two on my speed dial for Logan without hesitation. This was her move, and she was doing it even though I never gave her any encouragement. Fine. So be it. I was going to record her. I silenced the phone so she wouldn’t hear and kept it hidden in my hand. Then I went and flipped the light on.

  “Man, that’s bright.”

  Ignoring her, I went to my desk and hit the webcam button. When it came up on screen, I hit record then hid the window right away. As I did, I turned it around so it was on Tate. Then I asked, “What are you doing here?”

  She blinked, startled by my harsh tone, but smoothed it over with a grin. “Logan passed out. We were having sex.”

  “I’m aware.”

  She paused. I was cold to her, but she’d been trying to get close for months now, she was used to my attitude. She wasn’t going to stop. I saw the determination flash in her eyes. She gave me a seductive smile, turned her head so it was slanted, and said softly, “I didn’t cum with him, you know.”

  “How’s that my problem?”

  Her head went down. Then her hand went to her waist. She was only wearing a long t-shirt. It was obvious she wasn’t wearing a bra and I doubted she had on anything else. She stood and her hand slid down to the edge of her shirt and she touched between her legs. “I was hoping you would help me out.” Her voice went low and throaty. She started to walk towards me. One slow step at a time. Her mouth curved up at one side and she licked her lips, holding my gaze. “I’ve been hoping for a long time, Mason.”

  “Stay by the couch.”

  I didn’t want her near me. She mistook it as a different command. Her eyes lit up and her mouth fell open. She was panting. “I think about you, when he’s in me.”

  I closed my eyes. Shit. He was going to hear that.

  “I love Logan. I do, but he’s not you. I think about touching you all the time. I think about being with you.” As she talked, her finger slid inside her. Her hand moved and I knew she was going in and out in rhythm with her words. Her voice dropped to a whisper, “I get so jealous when Kate’s with you.” She grimaced, a flash of pain came over her face, and she groaned a little. “When I hear her voice in here, it takes everything in me not to come in and drag her out.” Her hand began moving again, harder this time. “Mason, come over here.”

  Disgust rolled over me in waves. She was a spectacle for me to watch and knowing how this would hurt Logan stripped any normal response a guy would have watching a girl finger herself. It left me angry and the need to make sure she paid for this. She was trying to come between us. She wouldn’t.

  “Mason?” A small note of confusion intermingled with her lust. Her other hand reached up and she grasped onto her hair, pulling at it until she let her hand drop to her throat, then to her chest. Her hand lingered between her breasts. They were erect against her shirt. As she held my gaze, a small smirk formed, although I’m sure she meant for it to be teasing and alluring. Her hand slid over and covered her breast. Her thumb moved in circles over the tip. She was doing this for me. She wanted to see that I wanted her, that I was enjoying this.

  I cleared my throat, unsure how far to take this. This was enough. It would tear Logan up. She moaned. “Mason.” Her head went back, exposing her throat and she reached for her shirt. She pulled it off and let it fall to the floor. Her hand was going faster now, her breasts were moving in rhythm, her breathing was speeding up. “Please,” she whimpered. Her hand went back to her breast, now touching it without a barrier. She wasn’t even looking at me anymore. “Please, Mason. Come touch me. I want you in me instead of my hand.”

  I glanced down at my phone. The call had been picked up; Logan was still listening. The door swung open silently. His phone was pressed to his ear as he came inside. She had no idea he was there. When he looked at me, there was no emotion. I shook my head and gestured to my computer.

  Logan frowned, but soon realized. I was pointing to the webcam. His phone dropped from his hand, landing with a thud on the floor.

  Tate’s head snapped back and she saw him. She gasped, and she scrambled for her shirt. “Logan!”

  He was seething. There was rage in his eyes and his hands were in fists. He jerked forward a step. “Get. Out.”

  “Logan.” She glanced at me.

  I held my phone up. “I called him.”

  He ground out, “I heard everything.”

  “Oh.” She paled. “Oh my god.” Pulling her shirt on, she wavered on her feet like she was going to fall down. Her hand pressed to her stomach. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

  “Welcome to the fucking club.” Logan never looked away from her. The rage was there, but it was held in control. Barely.

  I stood from my chair. Casting a concerned gaze over my brother, I said to her, “Get out. Now.”

  “Mason—” She started walking toward to me.

  “STOP!”

  She jumped back, her eyes large and horrified as she watched Logan with caution now. Her jaw started trembling. “Logan,” she whispered, “please—”

  “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”

  She choked out, “Oh my god.” Then she fled. When she turned to go to his room, he went after her.

  “Logan.” I caught him and held him back.

  “GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE! NOW!”

  She froze, then a strangled gasp ripped from her. “My clothes.”

  “Fuck your clothes. I tossed ‘em.”

  Her eyes got even bigger. “What?”

  A bitter laugh came from him; it was harsh and ugly sounding. “Why do you think it took me so long to get here? Your clothes are gone, bitch. Get the fuck out of this house. Now!” He jerked forward against my arm again, but I felt the control in him. He was still holding it back. She just didn’t know it.

  She stumbled back a step. “I have to go out like this—”

  “GET THE FUCK OUT!”

  A hallway light switched on from the third floor. I cursed. Our dad was up. Then I snapped at her, “Get the fuck out of here or I’m calling the cops.”

  “But—”

  “NOW!”

  “What the hell is going on down here?” Our dad was coming down the stairs. As he got to the last step, he tightened his robe and gazed around the group. He frowned. “Why doesn’t this girl have pants on? Why don’t you have a shirt on, Mason? Logan? What is going on?”

  I stepped forward. Logan was close to snapping so I pushed him inside.

  He resisted. “No.”

  “I’ll take care of it,” I told him. “You’re going to lose it soon.”

  He bit out another harsh-sounding laugh, but leaned around me. “He recorded you.”

  “Oh no.” Her mouth fell open again, and she fell against the wall. “Oh god no.”

  “Every fucking thing. He recorded it from the beginning and he called me. I heard the entire thing, not part of it, not a little bit of it. The whole fucking thing. You’re done, Tate. You’re goddamn done. No one will want to be your friend.”

  “Go.” I shoved him inside and pulled the door shut. Logan tried to open it again, but I held it firm and waited until he let go.

  He continued to yell through the door, “You want to fuck my brother? You think you can play us? You have got another think coming, Tate! I know you. I know all your goddamn secrets. I know how to make you suffe—” He cut himself off and a sick laugh came next. “FUCK! You went after my brother, that’s my family. He’s my blood, and if you’d—you bitch!”

  She started whimpering. “What am I going to do?”

  I whipped around and got in her face. She backed up, a startled gasp in her throat, and slammed against the wall. I leaned close, keeping only an inch between us. I’d been holding it back. I wanted her to show her real self and s
he had. All of my contempt and my own anger had been kept in check. It was about Logan then, but not anymore. Logan was in my room. He wasn’t coming out. It was her and me, so I let my mask fall. When she saw my loathing, the near hatred I had for her, she began crying. Large tears gathered in her eyes and they fell. She didn’t stop them. She gasped for air instead, but kept quiet, watching me as if her life depended on it.

  “You will leave this house. You will leave my brother alone. You won’t email him, Facebook him, text him, tweet him, you won’t do anything except wait until he chooses to talk to you again. If he’s walking down a hallway, you leave. If he enters a room, you leave the room or you stay in the farthest corner away from him that you can. Now,” I paused, “I won’t say it again. Leave this house.”

  James beckoned for her. “Come on. I’ll call a driver for you.”

  When she edged away from me and went to him, I shook my head. “You’ll call a cab. Not a driver.”

  He took hold of her arm and frowned at her. “Does she have clothes?”

  She was sobbing, but said around them, “Logan did something to them.”

  He sighed. “Of course.” Then he said to me, “I am not going to call for a cab. If she’s hurt somehow on her way home, she could sue us. I won’t have her damaging this family any more than she has.” He pointed to my room. “And whatever you have recorded, you will delete it immediately. She could sue for that as well.”

  “Dad—”

  “Delete it, Mason.” His eyes flashed a warning. “You’re thinking short-term. I’m thinking long-term. I have no doubt she will hurt within her social groups. I know both of you have power among your friends at school, but those are both items that tread into a different system, one that you could get hurt from. I might be an asshole father, but I’m still a father and that’s what I’m doing right now. Delete it. Now.”

  He didn’t wait for a response. He went forward and led a sobbing Tate with him. It wasn’t long before the front door opened and they were outside. In some way, I was happy that she didn’t wait for a car inside. Then I went back to my room. Logan was sitting in front of my computer. The video was up and I saw that he had watched it. He was pale, calm, and there were tears sliding down his face.

  “Dad said—”

  “I heard.” He sounded defeated now. His voice was soft as he stared at the screen. The last image on it was of her. She was naked. Her head was back. She was holding her breast and her other hand was pressed between her legs, moving inside herself. He shook his head. “I will. I’ll delete it. Dad’s right, but…”

  “What do you want me to do?”

  He turned around. His eyes held mine and I saw the stark need in them. She’d broken him. Then he said, “Hurt her. Hurt her even when I’ve forgiven her.”

  “I will.” The pain in his gaze sealed her fate.

  9

  MARISSA AND THE PROMISE TO TATE

  It had been three months since we threw Tate out of the house. She apologized to Logan for the first week, but he ignored every message and every apology. She was nothing to him now. Then she began with me, but she only apologized a few times. I warned her to get the fuck away from me. She heeded the warning and had kept a safe distance since. Neither Logan nor I talked about what happened, but everyone knew he and Tate had a nasty ending. Like sensing a weaker prey, Kate turned on her. Her friends all tormented Tate, who took it for a while before she started fighting back.

  Getting to class late one day, I stopped in the doorway and saw my usual seat was filled. The guy in it saw me looking at him, but turned away. His neck grew red as I continued to stare at him. The teacher stopped writing on the board. “Mr. Kade, you weren’t here when I had everyone pick their new seat for the rest of the year.”

  I frowned. “We’re in the middle of a semester.”

  “Your point?”

  “I don’t have a great attitude, but I’m never late and I’m not a bad student.” I gestured around the room, ignoring how everyone was staring. They always stared. “Did you do this because I was late this one time?”

  He barked out a laugh and shook his head. “Mason Kade. Of course, this whole thing was about you.” He rolled his eyes. “I like when my students are confident, but you’re to the point of arrogant. No, this had nothing to do with you.” He sent a pointed look to the back where Kate was sitting. She flashed him a smile and flicked her hair back, behind her shoulder. Then he sighed and looked in the opposite corner, to the front of the room. Tate lowered her head and slumped down in her seat. He continued, “Due to the history of heated exchanges these past few months, these are the seats you will have for the rest of the year and there will be no talking amongst the tables.”

  I saw the open seat. It was in the front row, but on the opposite side of Tate with a table between us.

  The teacher pointed to it and said, “You will be sitting with Miss Hooper for the year. Be nice, Mason. She’s the only one you can talk to for the rest of the year.”

  As she was named, my table mate glanced up. I recognized her from other classes, and remembered we had been assigned to work on a different project at the beginning of the year. She hadn’t been excited to deal with me then either, but I hadn’t cared. I hadn’t paid her any attention. I did now, though, considering the circumstances. Then I tensed. Kate was always jealous when I spoke to other girls. I glanced back at her, but she wasn’t paying attention. Then I gritted my teeth. She needed to stop acting like my girlfriend and I needed to stop caring.

  As I sat next to her, she scooted her chair back. Her eyes were filled with fear and awe. She was tiny with dark hair that was pulled in a ponytail. I scanned her over, but there wasn’t much to her. When I nodded hello, she jerked her head away and hunched over her notebook.

  I frowned. Shit. I knew I was scary, but I didn’t know I was that scary. “Relax. I only screw with people who fuck me over.”

  She made a choking sound, but she didn’t look up.

  “Don’t fuck me over and we’ll be fine.”

  “Mr. Kade,” the teacher glared at me, “I told you to be nice to Marissa.”

  “I am. I’m laying the ground rules.” I leaned back in my chair and gestured for him to continue. “You can keep teaching. I won’t interrupt anymore.”

  He pinched the top of his nose and looked in pain. Shaking his head as he turned back to the board, he muttered to himself, “I retire in five years. Five years. I have to get through five more years.”

  I frowned. I didn’t think I deserved that reaction. My table mate slid a piece of paper to me. She gave me a shy smile and said softly, “He wants us to start working on these.”

  I nodded. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

  Her eyes got big again and she retracted her hand as if she’d been burned. The slight smile vanished. Then she jerked her head in a nod. “I know. I…you’re a lot.”

  I narrowed my eyes. I knew what she meant, but this wasn’t a girl that I was used to dealing with. Taking the worksheet, I saw she had started on the first question. When I began to fill out the second question, I said to her, “We worked together before. Do you remember that?” She didn’t answer so I added, “You’re not a normal chick, are you?”

  “Oh god.” Her cheeks turned red and she closed her eyes for a moment. “Do you know the answer to question three? I couldn’t find that one.”

  She was one of those girls that hugged the wall. I saw them in the hallways. They stayed by their locker or their friends’ lockers and never said anything. When I walked by, they watched me, but they never said a word. I had never dealt with one up close and personal. I was used to girls coming onto me. “Do you date?”

  “Um.” She was biting her lip and her hands slid from the table to her lap. She grabbed fistfuls of her pants and held onto it. Her head hung down.

  “Relax. I’m not asking if you want to date me. I don’t date girls like you.” I didn’t date at all, but she looked ready to pee her pants and sit in it even if
it formed a puddle on the floor. “You’re not like other girls I deal with. I’m curious, that’s all.”

  She began counting to herself.

  What the fuck? She’d been more normal the first time we worked together.

  “Mr. Kade.”

  I glanced to the teacher. “Yeah?” He was frowning at us.

  “Maybe less talking with Miss Hooper. You can hand in the worksheet on your own.”

  I shrugged. “Fine with me.” As I opened my textbook, I looked back over at her. She had stopped counting, but a look of relief was evident on her face. We didn’t talk for the rest of the day. After class, the teacher called me to his desk, and I was instructed not to talk to that girl. He added, “Maybe I should change the assigned seating.”

  “She’ll be fine. I’ll back off.”

 
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