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Fallen fourth down, p.1
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       Fallen Fourth Down, p.1

         Part #4 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan  



  DEDICATION

  This is dedicated to all the Fallen Crest fans! You guys are amazing! You love Sam, Mason, and Logan as much as I do and sometimes, I think you love them more than me. 

  CHAPTER ONE

  SAMANTHA

  Logan loves me.

  Tate’s words had been haunting me for three months. They could destroy everything. I already lost one family; I didn’t want to lose another. It would fuck everything up if my soul mate’s brother loved me. I thought about those words even now, sitting in bed as Mason slept next to me. As I watched him sleep, tears threatened to spill.

  The fear, terror, paralyzing horror—you name it, I felt it—surged up in me again. Mason was leaving for college today. This was the day that would start my most challenging year ever.

  Mason had become my rock, my soul, my way of living. Some say that I depended on him too much, but I didn’t give a damn. He and his brother, Logan, protected me when everyone had abandoned me. If Logan did love me, everything would be destroyed. The family unit we had would be gone. Jealousy and mistrust would take its place. I couldn’t shake the fear that Mason would follow through on a threat he said a year ago: No girl would come between him and his brother.

  Well. Hello. Here I am.

  He opened his eyes, and it was like he’d been awake the whole time. His green eyes looked right into me, like he always did, immediately alert and focused, and he reached over. Trailing a hand up my arm, he tugged the blanket down, then curved his hand around my waist. He pulled me down, and asked, “What’s wrong?”

  He positioned me so I was laying on top of him, and I just savored being with him. Mason Kade was beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to touch. He was all muscle, so solid and powerful, all right beneath me. He was over six feet tall. Sculpted broad shoulders. His back was contoured, and his muscles tapered down to a trim waist, making him look like a perfect specimen. With black hair cut in a crew cut, chiseled cheekbones, a strong jaw, and a perpetual smirk that tugged at the corner of his mouth, he could’ve been a model. He wasn’t. Instead, he was the future star wide receiver for Cain University’s football team.

  He’d been a god in Fallen Crest. He and Logan both were. I’d endured hell over the last year just because I was his girlfriend, but he was going to a Division One school. That meant his games would be televised nationally. ESPN coverage. Future NFL talks.

  “Hey,” he murmured, his nose nuzzling my neck. His arms tightened their hold on me, pulling me tighter on top of him. “Talk to me.”

  “You’re leaving. Enough said right there.”

  “Sam.”

  I shook my head. We’d been inseparable over the summer. I wasn’t sure if it was on either side, or more from me. I should tell him my fear, what Tate said to me, but I couldn’t. Couples are supposed to tell each other the bad stuff, even if it might hurt. I knew Mason would want me to tell him, but my vocal cords shut down. I couldn’t say a word.

  I wanted it to go away. Logan didn’t actually love me. It was all a lie or a horrible joke.

  “Hey,” he murmured again, catching my chin and turning me so I was looking right into his gaze. “Tell me what’s going on? I know something’s up. You’ve been off all summer, running more than usual.” He paused. “What is it?”

  Tell him. Just tell him, let the chips fall how they’re supposed to. Then his voice came back in my head, “I’m not going to let anyone get in between my brother and me.”

  I couldn’t say anything. I was a coward.

  “Sam?” He cupped the side of my face, and his thumb brushed a tear aside. “Everything will be fine. We’re going to talk every night. Eleven at night, every night. It’s set in stone for me, no matter what. And you’re in a good place. David was a fuck up before, but he’s coming around. He’s trying to be a good father to you, and you have Malinda; she’s awesome. Analise is still in that treatment center. My dad said she’s going to be there for a long time. Logan’s across the road. There’s no Kate. No one will mess with you this year, and if they do, just tell Logan. He’ll deal with them. You and I are good. There’s nothing to worry about. I love you.” He sat up. As he did, he held me in the air, holding me in place, and he rested against the headboard. I was placed back down, straddling him. Feeling the strength of his muscles underneath me, a rush of adrenalin went through me.

  My hand fell to his waist, lingered there, and he trembled under my touch. That was me. That power over him, was all me. He was mine. So many wanted him, but he was all mine. I let that filter in. That gave me reassurance. That made me feel like I was on top of the world, having him love me so much. When I thought about that and felt Mason’s love, Tate’s words were shoved to the back of my mind.

  What she said didn’t matter. It couldn’t.

  “Assholes, get up!” Logan’s voice came from the hallway, and he pounded a fist on Mason’s door. “He’s not just yours today, Sam. You have to share. He’s my brother, and he’s leaving me too.” He pounded again on the door. “This is your thirty minute notice. You have a half hour to do your deed, ride him hard, and then get dressed. I want my time with him.”

  Mason’s chest moved as a laugh came from him. His hands went to my legs, and he pressed them down, moving me so I was grinding on him, and he said back, “You want to ride me?”

  There was a brief pause before Logan’s response. “Only if Sam isn’t getting the job done. I’ll pull on my brother shorts and make you feel all girly and pleasured.”

  I rolled my eyes.

  Mason called back, “Go suit up.”

  Logan groaned, and his voice muffled through the door. “How did this conversation take this turn? This is very weird.”

  I shook my head and yelled back, “They always do with you. You’re the common denominator.”

  Logan laughed. “Denominator. Don’t you mean dominator? Come to think of it, take your time. Where’s Kris? I feel like finding my own dominator. I like being submissive. It makes me feel special and precious all at the same time.” As he kept talking, his voice faded when he walked down the hallway. Then he called back, from further down, “Be done in two hours, Sam! I call dibs with my brother after that.”

  Mason chuckled, and the sound of it acted like a caress, rushing through me and making my insides curl. He cupped the back of my head, anchoring me as he looked into my eyes again. “Everything will be fine. I promise.”

  I wanted to believe him. “I know.” But I didn’t. I should tell him, but I couldn’t. Not yet. It would come out, though, and that was the day my world would be threatened. I closed my eyes again and let my head fall forward so it was resting softly against his. Moving to kiss me gently, he whispered, “I love you, Samantha.”

  “I love you, Mason.” I would relish this moment with him, go with him to help him move into his room, and I’d come back to start my senior year. It’d be me and Logan in Fallen Crest.

  I’d have to figure everything out later, one day at a time. With that final decision made, I moved to meet his lips with mine and applied pressure. He groaned, meeting my command for more, and it wasn’t long before he slid into me. As he did, I held onto him. I didn’t want to let him go.

  CHAPTER TWO

  Three weeks later

  It’d been almost a month since we took Mason to school. He had to go early for football, and since being back, I’d been on an emotional lockdown. I worked at Manny’s. I went running, and I avoided Logan, but earlier today he cornered me at work to make sure I was going to his party. I had gone to a few over the summer, but when I said, ‘a few’ I really meant a few. I think there’d been three that I’d been coerced into attending and two of those were before Mason left for college.

  Heather had promised to come later, but she needed to run to Channing’s for a little bit. Lovely. Without Mason and with Logan lip-locked to his girlfriend, I flashed back to the first month of my junior year. Alone. A little hesitant. The need to run was climbing high inside me. As I crossed the street, I watched as a car stopped and a bunch of people hurried out of it, running towards Logan’s house. I had to laugh at the irony. It was Becky, the one person who had been my friend the beginning of junior year. The laugh stopped abruptly as I recognized the rest of the car’s occupants.

  It was the Elite. When the hell had Becky started hanging out with them?

  They were at the front door now, and I paused behind them, stepping onto the curb outside Logan’s house. For now, they were clueless of my presence. Becky glanced back and froze. Her eyes got big, and her mouth fell open slightly.

  She looked different. She had lost weight. Her frizzy red hair was now a dark auburn and sleek. Her face had been clear of make-up when we were friends, but I saw a tiny bit there now. It suited her. Her eyes were more captivating. Her lips looked cute and adorable. The rest of her matched that description. Adorable. She was almost petite now. She wore a short skirt with ruffles on the bottom. A black camisole was peeking out from underneath her jean jacket. I couldn’t remember what kind of shoes she had worn before, but it hadn’t been the glitzy sandals she had on now. They were pretty and pink.

  “Your friend’s undergone a makeover,” Cass said from behind me. She had stopped beside me, playing with the car keys in her hand.

  I groaned inwardly right away. Another lovely change. I glanced over and saw the smug hostility in her gaze. She flicked her blonde hair back and gave me a cocky smirk. She added, “Hurts, doesn’t it. To know that your friend—sorry—someone who used to be your friend is now in the enemy’s camp.”

  “That’s what we are? Enemies?”

  “We’re not friends. Since I’m dating Mark, and you got me banned from my own boyfriend’s house, I wouldn’t say we’re acquaintances.”

  Becky’s eyes remained wide as she watched us. Fear darkened them.

  Cass waved her hand and plastered a fake smile on her face. “Things are fine, Becks. Go in. We’re cool.”

  I rolled my eyes. We were not cool.

  When the door shut and it was just the two of us, Cass started forward. She turned around and sauntered backwards, as if mocking me. I glared right back at her and followed, pushing her to go faster and faster. Cass didn’t seem to mind. The other side of her mouth lifted up, and her cocky smirk transformed into a smug, triumphant smile. As we drew closer to the door, she taunted, “I took your friend, Strattan. I wonder what else I can take from you?”

  “You’re this pissed because Malinda banned you from the house? What did you expect? She’s Mark’s mom, and she’s going to marry my dad. You threw wine on me one night. You’ve known Malinda most your life. Did you really think she wouldn’t react to that?” I shook my head. “You’re stupid. I’m going to be her stepdaughter. She’s going to take my side.”

  “Yeah, well,” her eyes narrowed, “we’ll see. Since most of the old crew graduated, I’m the leader now. It’s me, Amelia, Adam, and Mark. We had a spot open and Adam vouched for Becky. I figured, what the hell? Anything to piss you off, especially after that night.”

  “Newsflash, bitch. Becky and I haven’t been friends for a while.” I stepped closer, purposely invading her space. This wasn’t a Tommy Princess. I wasn’t worried a knife would be drawn by this one. No, Cass was Fallen Crest Academy through and through. She thought she was more than she was, and I had already taken them on—and won—once. I smirked at her. Mason was gone. Things with Logan were uncomfortable, so that meant I had a whole host of bad shit rolling around inside me. She thought she could target me? Oh no. I had found the perfect target. As my smirk grew, hers faded. I leaned in closer. She was now pressed against the door, all that bravado gone. I asked, “You want to take me on? Do it. I’m going to enjoy this because, honey, I need a distraction from the real turmoil going on in my life.”

  She swallowed.

  I tilted my head to the side, scanning every inch of her to make her even more uncomfortable. “I should thank you for volunteering. After taking on the Tommy Princesses from FCP, you’re going to be a treat. For real.”

  She froze, and I rolled my eyes. I shoved her away from the door and headed inside. That game could start later on. It was my senior year. Even if Mason was gone, I should enjoy some of it. I headed for the kitchen. Maybe it was time I tried drinking. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

  “Hey, Sam.” A guy passed me, but I didn’t recognize him. As I drew closer to the kitchen, more and more people said their hellos. The hostility wasn’t there from the girls, and the guys weren’t tense around me anymore.

  “It’s because of us.”

  I drew back as Natalie, one of the remaining two Tommy Princesses at FCP, stood beside me. She was leaning against a counter with a beer in her hand and a scowl on her face. Her black hair was tucked behind her ears, and her eyes were heavily made up with mascara. With a black corset top, her breasts almost popping out, and tight jeans that were ripped near the crotch area, she looked scary.

  “What do you mean?” I asked.

  She gestured around the house. “It’s because of us. We’re not in force anymore. Kate and Parker graduated. It’s just me and Jaz. You and the Kades took care of our threat so the girls are going to be nice to your face, since you’re still close to Logan Kade, but don’t be fooled. The guys will all wonder who’s going to bang you now that Mason is gone.”

  “I’m still with Mason.”

  “Not here.” She took a sip and rolled her eyes. Her hostility matched Cass’, but her attitude was darker. I knew from experience she wasn’t afraid to follow up with a threat. She added, “No one stays with their high school sweetheart.” She glanced to where Logan was, as he had Kris trapped in a corner, nuzzling her neck. “Half the people are wondering if Logan’s your next conquest or if you’ll give it up to another guy. Shit. There’s already bets on who’s going to be in your pants by homecoming.”

  “I don’t believe you.”

  She laughed and finished her beer in one gulp. She tossed the can into a barrel in the corner and held her hand out. Another beer came down the line, handed from person to person, until it was put in her hand. Sick enjoyment lit up her face as she opened the can. “You might’ve been accepted, since you got Logan and Jax circling around you in protection, but don’t fool yourself. You’re not wanted there. You found that out last year because of us. We were up front about it. These hoes,” she gestured around the room, “they’ll come at you from behind and stab you in the back. Just wait. I’ll be standing by, eating popcorn when that happens.”

  The anger that had been smoldering in my gut since my encounter with Cass erupted in flames. Feeling a hand from behind, I was shoved forward. A brief thought flashed in my mind. I might as well use this chance, so I didn’t fight the shove. I let myself fall forward and my fist clipped Natalie on the chin. Oops. As she gasped, I tipped her beer on her. I looked back, saw it had been Cass on her way into the kitchen, and reached for her hair. Grabbing a good fistful of it, I yanked her back and shoved her at Natalie. I showed her off, my hand moving up and down as if revealing a prize. I said to Natalie, “Don’t blame me. It was this Academite sweetheart.”

  Cass’ eyes rounded, and she struggled against my hold. “I was shoving you, not her.”

  “You shoved her into me.” Natalie set her beer on the counter and pushed from the counter. The crowd around her felt the tension. Eyes turned towards us and a hush fell over the crowd.

  “I didn’t. I’m sorry. It was her.”

  “I don’t give a shit.” Natalie sneered at me. Her gaze locked with mine, and I knew she was aware that I had stepped into her all on my own, but she just shook her head.

  I grinned. We weren’t done. I’d only given her a new toy to chew on for the meantime.

  Becky and Amelia were there, staring at Natalie like she was a hyena circling them on a safari.

  Good. My jaw firmed at that thought and I started for the kitchen. There was one last crush of people in front of me, but a hand reached through, grabbed my arm, and I was pulled through the crowd. No one stood in the way; they melted to the side. Logan was glaring at me on the other end, Kris tucked behind him. He asked, “What was that about?”

  I shrugged. “Same problems. Different day.”

  Kris didn’t pay attention to me, but I was okay with that. I’d met her last year when she had dated Adam and Jeff was sniffing around her, but it seemed that Adam won out. He brought her to the house one night to watch movies, wanting to spend time with Mark, but Logan and Mason had been there too. I couldn’t say it was love at first sight since Logan took one look at her and announced that he fucked her, so it was more like love at second sight. Hell. Even with that, I wasn’t sure. All I knew is that Logan started dating Kris after that night, and he enjoyed rubbing it in Adam’s face that he stole another girl from him. Since then, Adam had been absent from Mark’s house—my house too (I was still getting use to calling it that.) Cass mentioned Adam earlier, but if he was here, I was certain he’d stay hidden in the background.

  “Same problems? What are you talking about?”

 
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