Home > Fallen Crest Forever (Fallen Crest High #7)(15)

Fallen Crest Forever (Fallen Crest High #7)(15)
Author: Tijans Books

He started the engine. “They’re supporting their star runner.”

She wasn’t the star anymore. It would’ve been cocky to say that out loud, but I couldn’t help thinking it.

“You just started today,” Mason said as we left the parking lot. “You turned everything upside down. It takes a while for people to adjust. They’re supporting another teammate. In the future, they’ll support you too.”

“That’ll be weird too.”

“She’s not going to give up that spot without a fight.”

I frowned at him. “I know that.”

“No, I mean, she’s going to push herself harder. She has someone to catch now. They’ll all push harder now.”

“So, I’m kinda helping them in a way?” That pissed me off.

He laughed. “Kinda, but you don’t stroll through the door and take the spot at the top without a battle. She’ll give you a battle. I think she’ll do it in a dirty way, but it’ll be there no matter what. You just gotta fight for your spot at the top.”

“It wasn’t like this in high school.”

“You were already at the top.”

I glanced at him again. “What do you mean?”

“You came in, and you fought Kate. What do you think she was doing? She wasn’t just fighting you for me. It was more than that.”

“I wasn’t at the top in high school.”

He reached over. His hand covered mine. “You were with us. We were the top.”

I turned my hand over and laced our fingers together. “Did you have to deal with this in football?”

“I wasn’t the top my freshman year. I’m up there now. Me and another guy.”

“It wasn’t like this with track.”

“Because everyone did different events, but I bet you’re considered at the top there.”

Maybe, but he was right; it was more individual there. I let out a sigh. I was starting to come down from the adrenaline wave. I could feel myself crashing a bit.

I leaned my head back against the headrest and murmured, “I haven’t been this angry in a long time. I mean, I don’t know. It’s different. It’s—”

“How it was when you were at the Academy?”

“Yeah.”

“Like I said, it’s because you’re doing your own fight. And I can’t help you with this one.” He pulled up to a stoplight and looked over as we waited. “I wish I could.”

I squeezed his hand. “I know. I feel the same when you’ve had your battles.”

The light turned green, and after that, we were silent.

I was already thinking about the next day’s practice.

MASON

“Yo.”

I was crossing the parking lot to the sports center when I looked over to see Logan behind me in his yellow Escalade. He had the window rolled down and an arm propped on it. He waved me over.

I shifted my gym bag to my other shoulder. It was early in the morning—not Sam-early, but early for me. She was probably already off on her third run with the team, and my day was about to start in thirty minutes. And I’d be busy all day—running drills, watching game tapes, and lifting weights. We’d be here until three or four this afternoon. Yesterday’s breakfast had been a one-time deal.

“What’s up?” I frowned. “You slept at the house last night.”

“I know. I brought Taylor and Sam in for practice this morning. What are we going to do about those two girls?”

“Sam says it’s her fight.”

Logan dropped the smirk and gave me a knowing look. “Right. Because that’s our role. We stand back and let the chicks duke it out.”

I stifled a grin. “Sam thinks this is her fight, and she wants us to respect that.”

“You’re saying you’re actually going to not do shit here?”

Now I was the one to smirk. “Logan.” I shook my head as if to say, Come on.

He chuckled, bobbing his head up and down in approval. “That’s what I thought. So what’s the plan?”

“I’m thinking we should know as much as we can about the whole family. I don’t like when people threaten mine.”

Logan’s top lip curled. “I figured your whole passive boyfriend act wasn’t real. Call Dad? Have him find out information on this girl’s family?”

I hesitated. Things were still tense between our father and us. The speeches we’d made at his wedding hadn’t been respectful or loving. “I don’t know if we want to push our luck with Dad, not just yet.” A horrible idea took seed in my head. Maybe it wasn’t so bad, but . . .

Logan’s eyes narrowed. He saw it forming too. “What are you thinking?”

If we didn’t go to our dad ourselves, who else could go to him? Who else had a vested interest in Sam? Who had said she’d do whatever Sam wanted, and wouldn’t attach strings to any favor?

I couldn’t. No way. I loathed this person. But she’d proven she could be somewhat sane when it came to her daughter. Lately.

“Mason?” Logan prompted.

“Analise.”

His eyes widened. “What? Fuck, no. Have you lost your mind?”

“Think about it. Her psycho button is going to get hit eventually, but not yet. She’s still trying to do whatever Sam wants.”

“Which is to be left alone.”

“She can help us help Sam. That’s enough. She won’t go to Sam with expectations of being thanked or anything.”

Logan groaned. “Team up with Anabitch? Are you sure about this?”

It wasn’t ideal, but . . . “I can get Dad’s guy to look into this girl and her family, but Dad might have information we wouldn’t get any other way. It’s worth the try.”

“What makes you sure Dad even knows this guy?”

I wasn’t. “We have to see. If this chick is wealthy, and it sounds like she is, chances are good that Dad knows something about her family.”

“Okay.” He nodded. “And when we break the news to Sam that we went behind her back?”

“Remind her she’d do the same for us.”

His eyebrows lifted, but he didn’t comment.

“Mase!”

Matteo waited by the door. I held up a hand, then turned back to my brother. “Nate’s birthday is this weekend. We can pretend to take him to Vegas.”

“But by Vegas you mean Fallen Crest?”

I nodded.

Logan laughed. “Nate will be so disappointed.”

“Yeah, well, maybe we can use Dad’s favor and fly to Vegas afterward?”

“Mason!” Another yell from behind me.

“Score.” Logan held out his fist. “Your boyfriend is getting impatient. Pound it. I’ll see you later.”

I met his fist with mine, then headed for the doors. Logan sped past us out of the parking lot, giving the middle finger as he did.

“Did your brother give you a ride or something?” Matteo asked.

I shook my head. “Just had to talk about something. That’s all.”

He narrowed his eyes. “The draft is this year for us. Don’t do anything to fuck that up.”

I understood his concern, and as I nodded, he seemed to relax.

But I had started to wonder if it was worth it.

Did playing professional football outweigh doing the shit I’d always done to protect those I loved? Being good and saint-like versus what Logan and I had always been?

I was beginning to think it wasn’t.

SAMANTHA

A hand on my hip woke me in the night, and I rolled to my back, already knowing who it was. Mason was poised above me, and his hand inched upwards, pushing aside my thin shirt until he cupped my breast.

“Hey,” I murmured, touching his chest and sliding my hands around his neck. I raked my fingers up into his hair and grabbed a fistful. There was just enough. “What are you doing?”

He grinned in the moonlight as shadows covered him in a mysterious and alluring way. It didn’t matter that he was already above me; I would’ve been aching for him anyway. I opened my legs a little. He looked down, running his hand along my leg until his fingers rested right there, lightly grazing over me.

   
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