Fallen crest alternative.., p.29
Fallen Crest Alternative Version,
Part #2.1 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan
I glanced around. Emily was quiet now. She looked away. Peter frowned, gazing off. Mark scratched his head. I asked them, “Are you guys all sure about this?”
Adam’s jaw clenched again. “We voted before. You have to choose.”
“How did this come about?”
“Miranda told us. She explained everything, that Logan set her up and he did it because Mason had him do it. Miranda’s one of ours and one of yours came after her. We can’t condone that. You have to pick.”
Well. When it was put like that. I shrugged. “See you later then.”
Emily started laughing. Adam’s glare turned into a scowl. He asked, “That’s it?”
“I love it.” She came over and clapped me on the shoulder. “Good for you, Sam.”
“We go to your school, Sam. You need friends there.”
“No,” I spoke to Adam. “I don’t. I didn’t have friends there before. Remember those days? When you pretended to be my friend. When my boyfriend cheated on me and everyone turned against me. Remember that?”
“This was too much.” He pointed at Mason, who had remained silent the entire time. I glanced at him and saw that he was biding his time. I felt his unrest then. He was going to attack soon. The more Adam said, the more Mason was going to hurt him. I held my breath. I hoped it was verbal and not physical.
Adam continued, “They might throw good parties, but they hurt people. They hurt Miranda. I don’t know why he went after her, but he did. This has to stop. If you pick them, Sam, you better know what you’re picking.”
The warning in his tone made me pause. I narrowed my eyes. “What are you talking about?”
“It’s us or them.” There was a hidden meaning in his eyes. I saw it. Then he said, “You’ll have no one from our school. No one.”
He meant Becky. “You would do that?”
He glanced over. Becky and Rex had arrived. When she saw us, her eyes widened. She grabbed Rex’s hand, but they didn’t come over. It was already done. I rounded back to him. “What did you do?”
“I told her the truth. I told her how they hurt us and they’re going to hurt you too.”
I sucked in my breath. “You didn’t.”
Mason shifted behind me. Adam’s gaze transferred to his as he said, “You think the Kades are the only ones who can lie and manipulate? That’s what you did, isn’t it?” He wasn’t talking to me anymore. “You go a step further. You sicced your brother on a friend of mine. You made us all hate her, humiliate her.”
Mason’s hand came to my elbow. He pulled me behind him. I closed my eyes. This was it now. Then I heard his voice, it was soft at first, “You think that’s what I did?”
“Yes.” Adam’s voice was rough. He was on edge. “Logan seduced her. He preyed on her, and then he dumped her. You knew what that would do. You did that to a girl who’s done nothing to you.” He paused. I felt his attention on me. “I can’t imagine what you would do to Samantha.”
“You think I’ll hurt her.”
“Yes.” Adam growled. “You already have.”
Mason started to laugh. “You’re the one hurting her. You just threatened her that you would take her friends away.” He gestured to Becky, who jumped like he had slapped her, across the room. “No doubt she’s waiting for the signal if she should cut Sam off or not. That’s from you.”
“You did worse to Miranda.”
“No. I didn’t lie to her. Logan gave her a drink. That’s all he did. He gave her one fucking drink. Your leader had her hand wrapped around his dick within ten minutes.” Mason gave him a feral grin. “I bet she’s never told anyone that part. There was no seduction. There were no pretty words shared. She screwed him and sucked him before she decided to dump this guy.” He gestured to Peter, who was pale in the face. Mason continued, his voice low and controlled, “Your friends threw her out. Your friends laughed at her when Logan dumped her. I didn’t do anything, other than tell my brother to protect Sam.”
He was lying. Adam knew it. I knew it, but he was convincing. Emily, Mark, and Peter were enraptured by him. I knew the real reason he wanted Miranda taken down, but he was right about one thing. Miranda’s friends jumped on her. That was their choice. They could’ve stuck with her, but they didn’t. That was done because of Miranda herself. She passed judgment on them so they judged her back. Mason didn’t control that. He knew it was there so he used it, but that was all. The rest, about Logan, about his feelings for me, no one else seemed to know about that part of the situation. They didn’t need to either. That was between us to deal with.
Miranda and Amelia came back at that moment. Miranda’s hair was back in place. She wore a cardigan over her dress. It was buttoned so no one could tell she’d been in a fight. As she approached the group, a forced smile was on her face. When she saw that Mason had been talking, her smile grew more forced. She flicked her hair back and asked, “What’s going on here?”
Peter started for her at the same time Adam opened his mouth, ready to say something.
“I was telling them about when you sucked my brother.” Mason beat both of them to it and they froze.
Miranda did too. Her chest moved as she took a silent breath and fear entered her eyes. It was there for one second, but as she blinked, it was gone.
She was scared of Mason. I frowned. What did that mean? Had she not said anything to Logan?
“You were what?” A mask plastered over her, making her look calm and collected. Her hand twitched at her side, though.
Mason was watching her too. Something wasn’t right. Then understanding dawned. Logan did this. My mouth fell open, and I uttered, “Oh my god,” before I realized I had spoken out loud. Miranda swung her gaze to me.
He had. I saw it there. He covered for us.
“We have to go.” I grabbed Mason’s hand and started to pull him out the door.
“Wait. What?” I could hear Adam behind us. “Sam!”
“Gotta go. Thanks for making me choose,” I threw back over my shoulder. “I hope to never talk to you again.”
I heard Emily laughing again.
As we brushed past Becky, she said, “Sam?” She reached out, but I hit it down. I hissed at her, “You can believe Adam, with whatever he said to you, but that’s your decision.”
Blood drained from her face. “What are you talking about?”
She jerked a step. I saw the guilt on her face.
“No matter what he says, it’s your decision if we’re friends. Don’t let him get in your head. I’m a good friend. Be one back.”
“Sam.” Mason touched the back of my arm. “Let’s go.”
She swallowed, moving back another step as Mason spoke. Then she said, “I’m sorry.”
I wasn’t sure what she was talking about, but I sighed. Whatever happened in the future, I was sorry too. I nodded. “See you, Becky.”
She nodded. “Okay. Bye.”
As we left, I glanced over my shoulder. She was still watching us. She hadn’t moved from her spot and then Adam was next to her. He touched her arm and she turned towards him. I had no idea what was going on, what he had said to her, but it was her decision. I made mine. I was officially out. Becky had stood with me before. I’d have to wait and see if she would do it again.
When we got into the car, Mason started it up but he didn’t reverse. He let it sit there, and he looked at me. We were thinking the same thing.
Mason said, “He did something to her.”
I nodded. It was the only thing that made sense. “But what?”
“She told him what we did, and he still covered for us.”
“That means something, doesn’t it?”
Mason sighed, putting the car in reverse now. “I have no idea what it means.”
He took us home and when we got there, there was still no sign of Logan. A girl was next to Nate on the couch with a blanket over both of
Nate shook his head. “Nothing.” There wasn’t any more traces of the easygoing attitude he had before. He had the same concern in his eyes now. It was bad. It was really bad.
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE
I canceled my birthday dinner. There was still no word from Logan, and I couldn’t handle our parents without him. Mason was quiet. He’d been quiet since Peter’s party. Things at school were calm. I had been nervous about what I was walking into, but there had been no isolation or humiliation. Whatever Logan had done, it kept Miranda off my back. The entire Elite stayed away. When they passed me in the hallway, Emily nodded at me. The next day was a wave, and then she began smiling at me. By the end of the next week, she started spending time at my locker. Once people saw that she was still friends with me and there was no backlash from the Elite, other people began warming up to me again. Well, others except for Becky. Adam followed through with his threat. Whatever he said to Becky worked. She was a permanent fixture to his hip. Mason told me that she broke up with Rex. He heard the rumor from his school. When I asked about Logan, Mason grew quiet. He stopped talking after that.
This was a normal reaction from him now.
After Monday, Mason found out that Logan was staying at Fischer’s house. He hung out with the group so it appeared to others that there was no problem between them, but that was appearances. Mason said that the guys knew there was friction. No one knew what it was about. Logan hadn’t told anyone and we both knew Mason hadn’t either. Nate left the following weekend. He said he decided to go back home. When I mentioned to Mason that it felt like his best friend was leaving him, Mason shot that down. Nate needed to handle his own issues. He was running away and after seeing how Logan’s absence was hurting us, he explained that Nate realized that wasn’t the right course of action.
I still felt Nate should’ve stayed. Mason needed his friend more than anything.
I was at home when Mason drove Nate to the airport. Analise and James had gone to the city for the weekend so when I heard the door shut, I assumed it was Mason. “I’m downstairs.”
I heard him coming down the stairs, and I hit the silence button the remote. “Hey. I was just watching a movie…” I turned around and my voice faded.
It was Logan.
“Logan.” I couldn’t believe it was him. There were bags under his eyes. He looked like he had lost weight and his shoulders were tense. He shoved a hand into his pocket and looked away.
“Hey,” he said. “Mason’s not here?”
“No.” I grew quiet. I’d never seen this side of Logan. I’d seen him angry, cocky, amused, and charming but never this. He was defeated. I had no idea what to say now so I blurted out, “I’m sorry.”
His head lifted. His eyes pinned me down and he frowned. “Sorry? For what?”
His eyebrows shot up. “You did?”
“It wasn’t right and I feel horrible about it. So does Mason. He hasn’t said much, but I can tell it’s been weighing on him.”
“I know.” He expelled a deep breath and sank onto the other couch. Resting his elbows on his knees, he caught his head in his hands. He scraped his fingers through his hair before he lifted those same haunting eyes to mine again. “I feel horrible about it. He tried to talk to me at school, but I couldn’t. I just,” he took another deep breath, “couldn’t. I didn’t know what to say.”
“I texted you. We texted you.”
He looked back down, and his head bobbed up and down. “I know. I got them. I didn’t know what to say, Sam. I feel horrible about everything and how Miranda spun it. It was wrong. Shit.” He ran his hands through his hair again before letting them fall to his lap with a thud. “Sam, what she was going to say was wrong. I dated her to protect you. I wanted her to shut up and not go after you anymore. She couldn’t if she was dating me and she’d look like an idiot when I dumped her, but I had no idea she would figure out to spin it this way. I mean, seriously, Mason setting me up to do that?”
Wait. What? I frowned.
He kept going, “Then she started spewing about how I had feelings for you and that she told you, I didn’t know what to do. I don’t even know how she figured that part out, but everything else...I had to leave. I had to think about everything and what to even say to you about it.”
He didn’t believe her. He did have feelings for me. Both realizations shattered me. Then I realized the actual significance of it. He left because of him, not because of Mason. I started thinking over the text messages.
Can we talk?
Where are you?
Please call me?
I knew Mason had sent similar ones, but there’d been nothing about Mason’s manipulation. Nothing. There had only been questions from us about where he was, if he could call us, etc.
Oh my god.
I lifted horrified eyes back to him. He had no idea. Miranda had been telling the truth.
“Logan,” I choked out. My voice was hoarse. “Wha--what did she say to you?”
He frowned and anger flashed over his face for a moment. “You mean that bullshit about Mason manipulating me? She didn’t tell you?”
I could lie. I could cover everything. I took a breath. “What did you say to Miranda? She hasn’t said anything to me the last few weeks.”
“Because I fucking told her not to touch you.” He grew heated. “I threatened her, if she didn’t leave you alone, I’d tell everyone her secrets. Trust me. She’s got them. She did some dirty shit with me.”
I grew sick. “You recorded it?”
“Fuck no,” he snorted. “But I remember. I have a photographic memory, so does Mason. I remember every little detail. People would believe me because she told me things about all her little friends too.”
“Secrets about them?”
He nodded, looking away. His hands went back to twisting around each other. “Yeah. I have enough baggage on all them. If it came out, they’d go ape-shit on her. She won’t say a word. I promise, Sam.”
Logan hadn’t believed her. He made her not believe herself. I bit my lip, wondering if that was true, but it didn’t matter. Miranda did know. She was silenced, but she still knew. So did we. I didn’t know what Mason would’ve told me to do, but I knew what to do. With the decision made, I knew what else I’d have to do afterwards.
My stomach shrunk. I grew nauseous. I wanted to throw up, but I couldn’t. My hands started shaking, but I heard myself speak, “Logan,” I paused. This would change everything.
He asked, “Yeah?”
I started saying goodbye to them in my head. I had to prepare myself. Then I said, “She was right.”
His eyes narrowed and his eyebrows furrowed together. “What do you mean?”
My throat was dry. “She was right.” Shit. “About everything. About Mason, about Nate. I knew.”
I stopped and waited. The storm would come.
He grew still, eerily still. A minute passed. Another, then a third. He jerked forward. “What are you saying, Sam? What exactly are you saying?”
“Mason wanted her to be shut down. He used you to do it.”
“Nate? You said Nate?”
My voice started shaking. “Nate told you to date her. He--”
“He set me up?”
My neck was stiff, but I jerked my head in a nod. “Yes.”
“Mason set him up to it?”
I couldn’t say it again. I sat and waited. I couldn’t do anything else.
“And you knew?” He stopped, scowling now. He sounded confused. “But...my feelings?” His gaze swung to mine again. They were piercing. “You knew?”
“I,” stopping, I swallowed. I couldn’t talk. “I think I always
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