Fallen crest public, p.29
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       Fallen Crest Public, p.29

         Part #3 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan
 

  “Tate called me. Actually,” he lifted the phone as if we could see her calls, “she called me ten times and texted another seven times.”

  Mason stiffened underneath me. He leaned his head back against the wall. “What about?”

  “Uh …”

  “Logan.”

  “Okay.” His shoulders lifted when he sucked in a deep breath. “So when you shooed me out of Sam’s room when she was in the hospital, I wasn’t thinking clear, and I needed to get my mind off things …”

  “Spill it.”

  “Yeah.” The hand with his phone went to his hair and he grabbed onto some of his locks, pulling at them so they stuck up. His other hand tightened around the bottle. His shirt rode up, exposing the waistband of his boxers. His jeans slipped down an inch, but Logan wasn’t aware. He shook his head. “I forgot all about it.”

  He stopped again. Seriously.

  “Yeah, so I went to Tate’s that night, and we were in the living room. No one else was there. There was a time when she went to the bathroom, and I was looking through her magazines.”

  “Logan, tell us what happened.”

  His hand dropped from his hair. “They have video tape of Tate giving me a blow job.”

  “What?”

  I began to giggle again. This night couldn’t get any worse.

  “Like I said,” Logan’s head went down. His shoulders drooped. “I can’t believe this. I wasn’t thinking that night. Now Tate’s freaking out. She thought I covered the camcorder. She never knew where it was, and I stopped caring. I thought it would’ve ran out of batteries, but I guess they fixed that somehow.”

  “How’d they get the camcorder back?”

  Logan groaned.

  Mason cursed. “Just tell us.”

  “It’s because of you.” His hand jerked up and gestured to Mason. “Tate was freaking out because she thought you and Kate were tight again. She said they came over this afternoon to get ready for the street dance together. She let them in. She figured if they were tight with us again, she didn’t want to be on Kate’s shit-list anymore.”

  More curses spewed from Mason. He was like cement underneath me. Lifting a hand to his chest, I felt his heartbeat going off like a stampede. His eyes caught and held mine, but I couldn’t share in his misery.

  They got Tate giving Logan a blow job. That was karma.

  He explained the misery. “I have to kiss Kate’s ass again and get all those copies from her.”

  “Yeah.” Logan came into the room and collapsed down on the couch. His elbows went to his knees, and he leaned forward. The bottle and phone were left on the cushion beside him, and he covered his face with his hands. They slid into his hair again and he tugged once more on his strands. “This blows.”

  Literally.

  I snorted at the joke, but stopped. Neither of them were amused.

  Another curse sounded from Mason, and then he asked, “What do they want from Tate?”

  “Huh?” Logan glanced back up. His eyes were glazed over, and I wondered how full that bottle had been in the beginning. There were only a few droplets left inside.

  “Tate.”

  “Oh. Yeah. Uh, she needs to find out where Sam’s living now. Guess you weren’t too sharing with Kate over the week, huh?”

  “Are you kidding me? She’s still looking to fuck Sam over?”

  “I’m sure Kate thinks she has free reign since you two are hooking back up again. Probably hopes you won’t find out until after she finishes whatever she has planned. That’s what I’d do.” He caught the glare from Mason and corrected, “At least that’s what she thinks, that you two are good. Not that you are, not from your side, but whatever. She’s a hateful bitch. Let’s go blast her. I’ve had enough dealing with them all week.”

  Mason groaned as his hand curved on the inside of my thigh. His finger rubbed between my legs in a smooth motion as he started to lift me back to my feet. I gave him a lopsided grin when he stood next to me, and his hands found my waist once again.

  I was still drunk. A bit.

  He shook his head, but the corners of his mouth curved up. Pressing his lips to my forehead and then to my lips, he whispered at the same time, “I love you. You need to know that.”

  I did. As they headed off and I stayed back, I continued to know that. Then I grabbed my phone and dialed Mark’s number. When he answered, out of breath, I told him, “You need to come pick me up again.”

  “What? Come on—”

  “You said you’d help.”

  He grew quiet, then groaned. “Fine. Be there in a little bit. I’m in the,” he hesitated, “middle of something.”

  “Again?!” someone screeched in the background.

  It was a screech that I recognized, and I couldn’t hold back a smirk. “Cass? Really?”

  “Yeah,” he grumbled. “Hold on. I’m getting clothes on. You’re at your dad’s?”

  “Yeah.”

  “Alright. See you in a few.”

  Yes, I knew Mason loved me. Yes, I knew he was doing all of this to protect me, but I wasn’t a sucker. I was going to be at that confrontation. Nothing was going to stop me from being there with front row tickets. When Mark pulled into the driveway twenty minutes later, I was glad that I hadn’t changed out of my clothes or washed my make-up off. He gave me a quick perusal and nodded in approval. “Can’t see the bruises anymore, but you smell like booze.”

  My day was complete. “Thanks. Just what every girl wants to hear.”

  He grinned. “Where to, boss?”

  Where would Kate and her friends be? Or the better question is, where would they go after sending Tate a blackmail message? I shrugged. “Where’s the party tonight?”

  “Ethan Fischer’s having a big one.”

  “Isn’t there supposed to be a bonfire tonight?”

  “That’s a no-go. The only way back there is next to Quickie’s, and they shut it down. I guess the clerk keeps getting beat up by the Broudou brothers, so they’ve been banned. I heard police were even going to be there, and if the Broudou’s can’t go, no one from Roussou’s going. Hence,” he flashed his dimples at me, “there’s a Public party at Fischer’s. I was there earlier.”

  It was perfect. “That’s where we’re going.”

  He didn’t move. In fact, he turned the engine off.

  “Mark?”

  “You sure about this?”

  “What do you mean?” There was something in his gaze that made me uncomfortable. As he continued to stare at me, the more I wanted to run. Then it clicked. Pity. He felt sorry for me. “I know.”

  “You do?”

  “About Kate and Mason?”

  His eyes widened.

  “I know. That’s why I’m going.”

  “They weren’t there before.”

  “Let’s go, Mark.” They were going to be there. She was going to be there, and so was I. I wasn’t going to miss this for the world.

  “They’re late.”

  I glanced at Logan as he checked his phone for the fourth time. We were waiting in my car, parked outside of Ethan’s house, and I was tempted to punch my little brother. “We’ve been here five minutes. Relax.”

  “You relax,” Logan shot back. “We need to get in there and get that video back from Kate. If it were Sam in it, you’d go steal the video from Kate’s house.”

  “I wouldn’t.”

  “You would too and we both know it.”

  “You’re not pissed about the damn video and we both know it.”

  Logan didn’t comment on that, not that I expected him to, but I rolled my eyes and sighed as I leaned back in my seat. Twenty people were running around Ethan’s front yard in rhythm to the bass from inside. Drunken idiots. The entire night had been fucked up. The hurt in Sam’s eyes wasn’t something I’d forget any time soon, but I shoved that memory aside, for now.

  “Finally.” Logan pressed a button and his window went down.

  Ethan, Strauss and Derek broke away from the
crowd and crossed the street. A few from the front yard watched them, but no one followed.

  “Yo.” Ethan led the way around to Logan’s side. He held onto the Escalade’s top and leaned against it. “What’s the plan?”

  Logan glanced at me.

  I leaned forward. “You guys got all your things ready to go?”

  Ethan looked to the other two, and they all nodded. “Looks like. That was the plan we hashed out at Nate’s. I didn’t know it was going down tonight.”

  “It is.”

  “Okay. Sounds fine to me.” A cruel grin came over him. “I love butchering little shits.”

  Derek snorted in laughter. Strauss nudged him out of the way, hitting his shoulder into Ethan’s harder than necessary.

  “Ouch, man.”

  Strauss ignored him and addressed me, “I thought you were waiting another day.”

  “This idiot,” I pointed at Logan, “got caught getting a blow job on camcorder.”

  Ethan and Derek burst out in laughter. Strauss grinned, but reached inside and punched Logan’s shoulder. “Should I congratulate you or call you a moron?”

  Derek snickered. “Depends on who the girl is.”

  A fresh burst of laughter came from Ethan. “Did she deep throat you?”

  “Could she?”

  They kept laughing.

  Logan cursed and slammed his hand against the car door. “Shut the fuck up.”

  “Shit.” Derek straightened away from the vehicle. “I thought this was a topic we could laugh about. You would be if it happened to one of us.”

  “You better run, Streeter,” Logan threatened, his hand going to his door handle. “I’m going to beat your ass until—”

  “Enough.” I stepped out and slammed my door. As I rounded to their side, I asked Ethan, “Kate’s inside?”

  “Not yet. You called her?”

  “Yeah. I told her to bring everything.”

  “You think she will?”

  I shrugged, glancing at Logan from the corner of my eye. “She knows I hate Tate.”

  Derek snorted. “And she thinks the two of you are tight again.”

  “Yeah.”

  Strauss slapped his hand to Derek’s chest and pushed him back a step. He moved in front of me. “Kate stopped sniffing around us when she thought the two of you were good again. Is that going to be a problem?”

  “No. We just need proof she was coming around before that.”

  “We got that.”

  Logan got out of the Escalade as I told Strauss, “You and Derek stay up top. We’ll do this downstairs.”

  “I cleared it out when I got your text,” Ethan added.

  “Good.” I glanced at Logan. “Where’s Tate?”

  He checked his phone. “She’s inside. I’ll tell her to hide in a room downstairs for now. You know Sam’s probably headed here too.”

  Everything was falling in place, except for that.

  As we started for the house, I told Strauss, “Sam will figure out where we’re at. She’s got too many buddies from FCA here. Don’t stop her, just let her through. We’ll have Tate play interference when she gets into the basement.” I didn’t like it, but she was coming no matter what. “And don’t let anyone touch her. She’s still hurting. A lot.”

  Strauss asked, “What about the other girls?”

  “Kate and Parker can come down with us right away. Hold Natalie and Jasmine back.”

  “But what about the stuff? They need to hear it, don’t they?”

  “We’ll text you when to let them hear. Ethan, give yours to Streeter. He can play it for Jasmine.”

  Swapping phones, Ethan smirked at the other guy. “Good luck with that. She’s going to go nuts on you.”

  Derek paled, but jerked around to me. “What do we do then? He’s right. They’re both going to flip.”

  “Then let them through.”

  Logan remarked, “That’s the whole plan, dumbass.”

  When we crossed the street, people stopped what they were doing on the front lawn. A tackling game paused. Conversations halted. People looked up, but no one said a word as we walked past them. It was the same effect inside. The music continued playing, but the partying halted until we were downstairs. As we descended the stairs, I glanced around to find the best room, but Logan tapped my arm and pulled me into a corner. Ethan got the gesture to stay back and he did. Tate came down the stairs a second later, but he pulled her over to him.

  Logan waited to make sure she wouldn’t head to our corner. He lowered his voice then, “What are you going to do if Kate goes to Broudou? She’s going to get mad. She could tell him the truth about who Sam is.”

  I shook my head. He was right, there was a chance. “There’s people in Broudou’s camp that are covering for her. He saw Kate and me. We both know he doesn’t trust other people’s word, just what he sees for himself.”

  “And when he does whatever he’s going to do?”

  “Channing said he’d let us know. We’ll call the cops.”

  “She won’t go to the cops. Kate hates being the victim.”

  I flashed him a grin, though my eyes were dead. “We’ll make a personal call to her uncle. We both know how protective he’s been.”

  “He’s going to hurt her bad. We’re okay with that?”

  Thinking about what Kate did to Sam and knowing it could happen again, but by Budd Broudou reaffirmed everything for me. I didn’t care what he did to her. I was too dead inside to care. “He was going to hurt Sam. All we’re doing is giving him a different target. You know that.”

  Logan nodded with the same darkness coming over him. “Okay.”

  “Okay?”

  “Yeah.”

  Another look passed between us. An image of Sam in that hospital bed flashed in my mind. It haunted me. All the bruises, dried blood, how frail she looked in that bed would haunt me for the rest of my life. This was what I needed to do to make sure it didn’t happen again.

  I headed to Ethan’s rec room and went to the far wall. Logan filled Tate in on her part of the plan. She disappeared into a separate room. Then he came to stand beside me while Ethan took position next to the pool table in front of us.

  The door was left open, but it wasn’t long until I heard Kate’s voice.

  It was go-time.

  Cars were lined around the block, as well as the next block over. When he pulled into a back alley, there were a few hidden spots open behind Fischer’s house. Cutting across the backyard, a lot of people waved at Mark. I recognized a few people from Academy spread out throughout the yard, but when we went up the back porch, the Elite had taken their spots. From how they were sitting, with everyone beneath them, it looked like they were perched on their
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