Fallen crest alternative.., p.7
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       Fallen Crest Alternative Version, p.7

         Part #2.1 of Fallen Crest High series by Tijan  

  glittered with a dark promise as she fixed them on me. “Parker’s not gonna be happy with you.”

  Mason curved a hand around my hip. “Shut it, Reid.”

  She shut her mouth but continued to glower.

  “Why’s she going to be mad at me?”

  “Because Nate said hi to you first,” she clipped out. When Mason stiffened, she made a show of closing her lips and took a long swallow from her glass.

  “Serious?”

  Mason rolled his eyes. “Parker’s an insecure bitch.”

  “She’s my friend, Mason!” Kate surged to her feet. Her jeans slipped low over her hip bones and the thin white tank top she wore inched high. Her rib cage showed through the top; her black bra did as well. She flipped a loose braid over her shoulder and gripped her beer tight.

  His hand tightened on me as he cursed at her. “You’re an insecure bitch too.”

  Her eyes flashed in anger, and her fingers tightened around her drink.

  “Hey, whoa.” One of the guys surged forward and swept a hand around her waist. He lifted her as if she were a flower and walked away with her. When he took her inside the barn, one of the other guys chuckled. “Man, Kate’s so high strung.”

  Another guffawed, “They’re better when Natalie’s around.”

  The one who had been called Strauss sat forward. “Yeah, where are Natalie and Jasmine?”

  Then Ethan rambled to the group. His jeans were baggy and nearly falling off, but he hitched them up with one hand. The other gripped a beer and he sat with a grunt. His shirt hung around his neck and his biceps flexed from the night’s chill. His eyes were glazed with booze and a snarl loitered over his face.

  One of the guys chuckled. He asked in a low baritone, “You lose against Tara?”

  Ethan grimaced. “Nah. Fucking pussy.”

  The guys mirrored each other with similar knowing smirks, but Ethan glanced around. His eyes narrowed when he saw me, but he asked Mason, “I heard Nate finally got here. Where is he?”

  Mason jerked towards the woods. Strauss grunted, “Parker.”

  “Ah.” Ethan nodded and finished the rest of his beer.

  A small grin grew on Mason’s face as Ethan continued to finish the rest of his beer. He asked then, “We set up for tomorrow night?”

  “Fuck yeah.” Ethan’s snarl was illuminated by the bonfire’s light. It flashed over his face and sent chills down my back. “Roussou won’t know what hit ‘em.”

  The guys cheered to that.

  Mason nodded and held me tighter against him. I sensed he’d heard whatever he needed to hear and was now done with the group. I was right when he lifted me in the air. I gasped on a laugh and wound my legs around his waist. His hands held me up by my ass. They flexed into my cheeks as he grunted when he came in full contact against me.

  When he turned and started to leave, Ethan yelled out, “A couple of those daisy farts are here.”

  Mason pivoted around and hollered back, “Don’t touch ‘em.”

  I heard a growl behind us.

  “That’s an order, Fischer.” Mason was stern.

  The growl grew, but I felt Mason starting to laugh against my chest and grinned into his neck. “Where are we going?”

  “Where do you think?” His voice dropped to a knowing promise and my legs tightened in response. He groaned again but clasped me tighter against him. I felt him harden and kissed the side of his neck.

  “Sam!”

  He cursed under his breath, and I closed my eyes.

  “Heya, Sam!”

  I pressed my forehead against him for a moment and panted. I needed to get control of myself.

  “Seriously?”

  I heard his question and nodded.

  He groaned as he swung me down but pulled my back tight against him. He started to grind against me, but it was slow. It was slow enough so that others wouldn’t notice, at first.

  Becky had a silly grin on her face as she hurried over. She was panting with a beer in hand. “Hey!” She bent over and gasped for breath. “I saw you all the way across the clearing. Where’d you go? Hiya, Mason.”

  He looked away.

  She continued to pant. “Mark and Adam saw Logan grab some girl. He took off in the woods.” She wiggled her eyebrows. “We all know what they’re doing.” Then her smile slipped a bit. “Adam got all pissed. I think he’s hitting on some girls around here.”

  I frowned at her. “Where’s Mark?”

  “Hitting on them with Adam.”

  “They left you alone?” My tone cooled.

  She waved her hand. “Oh no. That’s okay. I mean, I get it. I’d do it too, you know, if I was a guy and… Yeah. I’m okay. Where are you guys going?”

  Mason tipped his head back. A quiet groan escaped his lips as they pressed tight.

  I elbowed him in the gut. “We were coming to look for you.”

  “You were?” Her eyes lit up.

  “Yeah.” I started to pull away from Mason, whose hand lingered on my waist. His thumb slipped inside of my jeans and rubbed up and down. I glanced over my shoulder and his jaw tightened. He saw the apology and hauled me back for a moment. His mouth was hot against my ear. “Tonight.”

  I nodded, my throat was thick.

  His finger dipped low for a moment.

  My eyes went wide at the touch, but I cleared my throat. “I’ll see you later.”

  He flashed me a look before he turned towards the bonfires again. I shivered from the promise in it. He had plans and my legs were a bit wobbly in anticipation.

  And then Becky plopped down on a log behind us. She sipped her beer. “Man, this is great. This is what high school is supposed to be about.”

  “Uh, yeah.” I took in the sight before us. Drunk girls teetered on their feet. Most of them were half dressed and surrounded by guys. Most of the guys were half-undressed as well.

  “Sam?”

  I glanced over with a welcoming smile. Logan was returning from the woods. He held hands with a skinny blonde, who staggered away to her friends. She had long golden tan legs and wore a very small miniskirt over a tube top. Her hair was swept over one shoulder. It was messy as some grass stuck out from it.

  He didn’t give her another look but took the seat beside me. “What are you doing over here?”

  “My friend is here.” I gestured to Becky, who waved with an eager smile.

  Logan’s grin slipped a bit. “Hey there.”

  “I’ve never officially met you.” She thrust her hand out in front of me.

  Logan took it but was cautious at the exchange. “Nice to meet you.”

  “Becky.”

  Understanding flared within him. “I’m Logan.”

  “I know.” She giggled into her drink and continued to sip some more beer.

  A grin teased the corners of his lips as he nodded slowly. “I see.” He met my gaze with amusement. “Mason took off?”

  I rolled my eyes. He was well aware of Mason’s dislike for Becky. Some of the common phrases used to describe Becky were weak, pathetic, stupid, and dork. Those were the nicer ones. He’d never been quiet in front of Logan as he cursed the friend who had abandoned me for the last three months.

  “You know it.” Then my grin renewed itself. “Nate’s here.”

  Logan shot upright. “Really?” He was on his feet the next second. “Where?”

  “The woods.” I laughed at his eagerness. “A girl named Parker.”

  “Oh.” He slumped back down. His shoulders dropped with him. “Figures.”

  I patted him on the back. “I’m pretty sure he likes you better.”

  He grunted a laugh and nudged me with his knee. “Shut up.”

  “Hey, Logan!” Mark bellowed out as he waved from across the lawn. He tugged a girl with him as he hurried to us. A bright smile was lit on his face as he plopped down on a log across from us. He pulled the girl to his lap. “Hey, man. How’s it going? I was thinking we wouldn’t get to see you, except for the Sam-over-the-shoulder thing.” He gestured to me with his beer.

  “Yeah. Hey, man.” Logan returned his easy grin. “Shells.”

  The girl plastered herself against Mark but gave him a sloppy smile. “Hey, Logan. Saw you with Macey.”

  He gave her a small nod. “I was excited.”

  “Hey, so, I heard you guys got something planned against Roussou tomorrow night.” Mark leaned forward in eager anticipation. “Could I help? I’d love to help.”

  Logan stared at him a moment. “Why?”

  “Because.” He glanced around with a frown. “Because…I don’t know. I’d love to help.”

  “Remember, Logan.” I tapped his leg softly. “I am a member of the Academy Elite now.”

  Logan cursed out of the corner of his mouth. “Yeah. Mason told me that. That’s the stupidest piece of crap I’ve heard all week—”

  “But it’s done anyway, and you like Mark.”

  He shook my hand off and scowled. “Doesn’t mean I’m going to let him come with us. I don’t even want you there.”

  I scowled back at him. “Didn’t stop me the last time.”

  He rolled his eyes. “You shouldn’t have been there and you know it. But, whatever, it’s done.” His eyes shot to Mark. “You can’t help. Sorry. My friends only.”

  Mark’s smile never slipped. He bobbed his head some more. “Yeah, man. That’s cool. But if you ever need help, I’m more than willing.”

  Logan sighed.

  I couldn’t hold back my smile. He was starting to like Mark. He already liked him from before, but I could tell he was starting to like him more. Oh, the dilemmas of being a Kade. They were taught only to like those that proved worthy enough. Mark hadn’t proved himself at all, but Logan still liked him.

  When some curse words left him, I wasn’t surprised.

  “Hey!” Another shout came from behind us.

  There was a smile on Adam’s face, but when Logan turned, it vanished. He stopped in his tracks and the girl who came with him bumped into his back from the abrupt halt. She mumbled out an apology and stepped around.

  Logan burst out laughing.

  Tanya blinked in confusion. She swooned against Adam. He caught her before she fell and she gurgled out, “Toodrunk.”

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  “Tanya.” Logan stood and shook his head.

  “Whad?” She fell against Adam again.

  The laughter had vanished and a seriousness took over him. “Don’t do this.”

  “Huh?” Her head popped up. “Do what?”

  “Don’t screw him.”

  Adam twisted around. “Hey!”

  “Why?”

  Logan’s voice dipped low. It was almost kind. “Because he’s not going to be your boyfriend.”

  “Why not?” She struggled to push herself up but staggered away from Adam and crossed her arms over her chest. “What do you know about it?”

  “Because I’m the reason he’s never going to date you.”

  Pain flared before she masked it. A tear trickled down, and she never brushed it away. Her chin trembled as she lifted it. “You don’t know that. You don’t know what he said to me.”

  “I do know.” Logan stepped towards her. “Because he was laying the groundwork before. He was doing all the right things. He was taking you places. He had you hang out with his friends, but I stepped in. I got you. He never did and what he’s doing right now is a typical guy move.”

  She brushed a tear away. “What are you talking about?”

  “He wants to screw you and then he wants to be the one who walks away. Not you. He’s playing you, Tanya. That’s all this is.”

  As she looked around, searching for something, Adam had turned away. I expected anger. There was only irritation, and I choked out my own shock. I couldn’t believe it, but… I should’ve.

  “Sam?” Logan was the one who heard me.

  I couldn’t take it. “This is because of your ego?”

  All eyes turned to Adam, who seemed reluctant to meet my gaze. When he did, the acknowledgment was there, along with the shame.

  “I can’t believe you.”

  “Of all people, you should.” The corner of his lip curved up in a sneer. There was a mocking tone to him. “You’ve been after me since the beginning to leave her alone. You know, out of everyone, why I would do this. Yes, I want to screw her. Yes, I want to humiliate her. She humiliated me. Your boy there humiliated me, but I can’t touch him. No one can touch the Kades. They’re goddamn protected by everyone.”

  “Adam,” Becky whimpered as her lip quivered. “Stop it.”

  He closed his eyes with a snap and turned to her. “I’m sorry, Becky. I am.”

  She gulped for air. “You—you don’t know what you’re saying right now. This makes you seem…”

  “What?” He taunted her. “Like a jerk? I am one. I’m a first class asshole, and I’ve made everyone think I’m prince charming. I’m not your prince charming, Becky. Let it go. I’ve been an ass to you time and time again. You keep coming back. Stop it. It’s pathetic.”

  “Adam—”

  He turned to me and threw his arms wide. “This is what you wanted, Sam.”

  “Sam?”

  I gritted my teeth. “I wanted you to stop playing with her emotions, not—”

  “He is stopping.”

  I faltered in my step. Surprise flared in me. “Logan?”

  He nodded and took a beer from Mark. He was calm as he took a drink. “He’s being himself. He’s not lying about what he’s doing. He’s being honest. Give him a break. He’s not playing with your friend. This is who he is. He’s showing her. It’s all up front and in her face.”

  “Sam?”

  My heart broke. Becky was a little girl again. I reached for her and hugged her close. “It’s okay.”

  She clung to me and buried her head in my arms. “He’s never going to like me, is he? He’s never—I’m not good enough for him.”

  I patted the back of her head as Adam and Logan watched. Tanya had teetered off somewhere and Mark yawned before he held a cup of beer to his girl. She curled in his lap, and he stroked her back. Everyone was waiting.

  I sighed. “I’m taking her home. Adam, give me your keys.”

  “What?” His mouth fell open. “I have no ride.”

  “Logan will give you a ride.”

  “I’ll what?”

  I glared at him. “You will. You’ll give Mark a ride home too—”

  “Nah. I’m good. I’m going with my girl here.”

  “You’ll give Adam a ride home, and you won’t punch each other.”

 
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