Home > Fallen Crest Forever (Fallen Crest High #7)(5)

Fallen Crest Forever (Fallen Crest High #7)(5)
Author: Tijans Books

The funniest reactions were the people who looked at him like he was an alien. They’d just gawk. I once overheard a guy say to his friend, “That’s not Kade. He’s not big enough. Kade’s a fucking legend.”

His friend had shaken his head. “Huh-uh. I’m pretty sure that’s Mason Kade. And he’s not six four. Check out his stats. That’s him, dude.”

“Whatever. I could take him. He’s not that big of a deal.”

Mason might’ve overheard, but he didn’t react then, and he didn’t now. He generally ignored people.

He stared at Court. “That’s your friend?”

“Uh.” She tugged Nettie closer, almost using her for protection now. “Yeah . . . You’re Mason Kade, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” he clipped out. “How drunk is she?” He jerked his gaze to Nettie, half scowling. “How drunk are you? Was it consensual with that guy?”

It hit me like a lightning strike.

Consensual. He was worried. Girl Sexually Assaulted at Mason Kade’s Party would be the headline, and soon people would think he’d sexually assaulted the girl.

Fuck.

I felt slapped in the face.

“What?” Nettie shivered in Court’s arms. They switched positions so it was Court’s back toward Mason now. I watched as Court closed her eyes and drew in a breath. She needed a moment. I could relate.

Mason was intense, especially when he was pissed. And he was livid right now.

He cast me a look, asking for help. I stepped forward just as Taylor came outside, but I motioned for her to head back in.

“Why don’t we all go inside? We can talk in private.”

Court and Nettie nodded, looking relieved. They started for the patio doors where Taylor waited.

I followed and turned around to see Mason coming behind me. I placed a hand on his chest. “Maybe you should stay?”

“Grace!” Court yelled. “Come on.”

The third friend slid off her stool, a contented, serene look still on her face, now topped with a goofy grin. As she walked past, I saw how glazed over her eyes were. I wondered if she’d even remember this the next day. Of the three, Court was the most sober, with drenched, shivering Nettie a close second now.

They headed inside, and I looked back up at Mason. He hadn’t moved.

“Do you know the attention that could put on me?” he asked.

I did. I was cringing that I hadn’t considered it sooner. “I won’t let anything happen to you. Okay? You guys protected her. That should count for something.” I started to leave, but he caught my arm.

“Sam.” I looked back up at him. “Thanks for taking care of this.”

I hadn’t done anything yet. “Thank me later in bed.”

He relaxed, the lines around his mouth softening. He bent down for a kiss and murmured, “Trust me, I’ll be thanking you for the rest of our lives.”

A tingle shot through me.

I pressed my lips against his before heading inside. He’d watch the bar. I didn’t need to worry about that, and I felt a smile tug at my lips. A little extra sensation warmed me.

I forgot our current trouble for the moment.

I was going to be his wife. I rubbed at my bare finger. Mason had been reaching into his pocket when he first started to propose, but then his phone rang, and the whole football and fight video thing took over. He’d gotten back around to asking me after that, but then my hesitancy had put another damper on things.

Since then, I’d been waiting for him to give me the ring, but he hadn’t, and I would respect his wishes. Mason would give it to me when he decided it was time. I pushed my insecurities aside and let myself feel a little thrill at the secret we had.

No one knew. Not even Logan.

I couldn’t wait until we told, but as I stepped inside and went to Logan’s bedroom, I paused. I could hear the girls’ voices, and I took a deep breath.

I had something else to deal with first.

“What were you thinking, Nettie?” Court demanded, standing over her friend.

Nettie sat on the edge of Logan’s bed with her elbows resting on her knees and her head pressed into her hands. Her black hair was matted and still drying, but she wore one of Logan’s sweatshirts now. It hung on her, giving her a drowned-kitten look. She lifted her head and used the end of the sleeve to wipe her face.

She sniffled. “Court, don’t rail on me. Okay? I’m pissed enough.”

Grace was perched on Logan’s couch at the opposite end of the room. She sat sideways, with one foot on the floor and the other pulled up next to her. Still looking glazed, she blinked over and over again.

“Come on, Courtney,” she said, yawning. “Net met a boy.” A dreamy look settled over her, and Nettie laughed a little. Grace winked at her. “She felt those special tingles only tequila gives us, and the two fell in love . . . with exhibitionism.”

Nettie barked out a louder laugh.

Courtney folded her arms over her chest, frowning. “This isn’t funny.”

Grace rose from the couch. She gestured to Nettie with a wave. “Seriously, Courtney. Logan Freaking Kade—” She turned to Taylor, who stood just inside the door, next to me. “—Who it just clicked is probably your boyfriend. You’re Taylor Bruce?”

Taylor nodded. “Yeah.” Her hand rose in an awkward wave. “Hi.”

Grace returned the nod before continuing. “I mean, seriously, Nettie, you’re wearing Logan Kade’s sweatshirt. You’re in his bedroom. Your partner in public love got booted from the party.”

I cleared my throat. This was my opening. “About that guy . . .” I paused. They all looked at me. “Who was he?”

Nettie grimaced before plopping her head back in her hands. “Just my biggest embarrassment. Ever,” she groaned.

“He’s a guy she’s liked in our poly sci class. They hooked up at another party, and it continued here. I hope you get a bonus for helping us.”

I paused. Blinked. Then it clicked. She still thought I was the help.

Taylor frowned at me.

I shook my head. I was enjoying this anonymity.

Stepping toward them, I crossed my arms over my chest. “But that was consensual, right?”

Nettie stared at me, a blank expression on her face. Then understanding dawned. Her eyes widened. “Oh, of course! I was just being stupid.” She gave me a more pointed look. “Courtney said two guys were filming us? Is that true?”

Taylor spoke before I could. “Yeah, but Mason took care of it. I’m pretty sure I saw him deleting something on their phones.”

Nettie’s eyes widened even more, and a look of astonishment took over. “Mason Kade?”

“I told you. He was at the bar just now.” Courtney’s arms dropped. Her hands went into her pockets.

Grace sighed dreamily. “Now he’s someone I’d let myself be filmed with. Good Lord, the guy is from another planet.”

I fought against smiling.

Taylor bit her lip, her eyes twinkling. “Uh, so yeah. He got the videos, and all of the guys were booted from the party.” She looked over the three friends. “Do you guys need a ride somewhere?”

Grace and Nettie both gestured to Courtney with haphazard waves. Courtney ran a hand through her hair. “Yeah, I drove. I’m the sober cab tonight.”

“How’d Jonathan get home?”

I looked over at Nettie. She’d asked Taylor, but Taylor looked at me.

“That’s the guy you were making out with?” I asked.

She nodded. “He came with us. I don’t think he knew anyone here.”

This girl was concerned about the guy who’d almost put her in a bad porno? For real? I shrugged. “I don’t know how he got home, but I know he was kicked out.”

“Oh.” Her shoulders fell. “Okay.”

She was pissed about that? I didn’t know if she was being stupid or ungrateful, but she could fuck things up royally for Mason. My mouth remained shut.

“Thank you.” She looked around the room. “I mean it. I know this was a hassle.” She sounded sincere as she looked at Taylor. “You think I could thank your boyfriend and Mason?”

   
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